Beyond High Street on Smash Notes

Beyond High Street podcast.

March 12, 2020

For anyone that has spent time on campus, the podcast name won’t need any explanation. But for others, High Street is that one red brick street uptown, our hub in town. Forbes even just ranked Oxford, Ohio as the best college town in the nation.

Since graduating more than 20 years ago, I have always wondered what it is – what’s the commonality of all Miami students. We were willing to venture into the farmland and into the corn stalks of southwest Ohio, we left major cities to study and live in a tiny, rural community for 4 years and for some, even more.

I’ll say this - whatever it is - it drives us. It’s why Miami consistently ranks in the top 5 in the country in producing Fortune 500 CEOs and CMOs and It’s why you have seen Miami names on the executive leaderboard at Instagram, twitter and other emerging global brands. The list of Entrepreneurs, business heads, community leaders, media executives and authors is endless, it even includes a former United States President and Super Bowl winning quarterback.

I am going to have weekly conversations with these alum and dig into their current experiences and what drove them to Miami and how Miami helped them turn that drive into tangible success.

Recently updated notes

Joshua Dahn is the head of school at Ad Astra, a school that he co-founded with Elon Musk. Together, they are challenging norms and changing the way children learn. They are focusing on the practical aspects of problem solving from the young age, encouraging kids to work in team, solving complex and multi-disciplinary questions. Could this be the future of public education? I sure hope so! - Kirill Zubovsky, Smash Notes editor.

Updated on June 07

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The CEO of Chipotle explains how he spends his day, mostly sitting around and doing nothing other than figuring out a way for his team to be happier, and more effective.

Updated on March 12

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Andrea Saia is a Miami University alum, member of the school’s Business Advisory Council and a must-listen. She has had a wealth of business success yet she credits the most important decision and job to her first at Proctor & Gamble – learning the consumer and satisfying the customer need. It’s this statement that has guided much of her career. We jump from business challenges (like a product recall as a company CEO) to the power of mentorship and paying forward. Andrea shares plenty of tips for college-age and others in the work force, especially about getting a job in sales or marketing to learn about the customer journey.

Thank you Andrea for the time. Your continued commitment to Miami is fantastic and our conversation re-focused my attention to the customer journey. See you all at Skipper’s real soon.


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Megan Fischer is the CEO and Founder at Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank, a non-profit donating more than 175,000 diapers to needy families monthly (serving more than 3,500 babies). We have a great discussion about filtering out areas of “no-interest” to ultimately get you to the passions that drive your every day. From her Pre-Med major to Journalism and from textbook publishing work to non-profit, each of these paths had a reason for Megan, and that windy road narrowed especially during her second pregnancy. Five years into Sweet Cheeks and she is still the only full-time employee – it’s an incredible testament to her work ethic and willingness to do whatever it takes. Please donate diapers here.


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Eric Lange is a Critics Choice nominee (Escape at Dannemora), 20-year+ professional actor and he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Miami. He has appeared in dozens (and dozens) of television shows, feature films, Broadway and brand ads; most notably as villain Stuart Radzinksy in LOST and Erwin Sikowitz in Victorious (as my kids remind me often). Our conversation bounces from ‘learning how to learn’ and how he would spend time at Miami if he could do it all over again to understanding and capitalizing on knowing you are and the confidence that comes with. He remembers his time at Miami fondly and the program, peers and professors that helped guide his way. If you get a chance, read his 2015 Miami University College of Creative Arts commencement address here.


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Kurt Donnell is a President of Freestar, one of the fastest growing private business in the States and a self-professed deal junkie. He comes from a full Miami family – parents, brother, sister and uncle. That’s right. All Miamians. As an accounting major, turned lawyer,  turned entrepreneur, Kurt credits his entrepreneurial spirit to growing up in Ohio and living in-and-around small business owners. We discuss curiosity and the thirst to learn; understanding customer service and how people are motivated; and the benefits of getting out of your comfort zone. He’s navigated a business career taking on challenges and focusing on his passions. He continues to thrive.


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Kevyn Adams is the real deal and he has also come full circle in life. A Miami student-athlete and alum, a merger, Stanley Cup winner, business man and now, a father of a Miami student living in the same dorm he did 20+ years ago. As you’ll hear, the journey wasn’t straight and certainly not easy. But grit, perseverance, putting your work every day helped push him forward. You need to back it up and earn everything. They are more than mottos, they are a way of life that he learned as a student-athlete and hockey player at Miami. It’s a wide ranging pod from the impact Miami has on the NHL, to what he did when he had the Stanley Cup for a day to putting yourself in uncomfortable situations, learning and working with good people.


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Spence Stiles oversees Stryker’s Joint Replacement, Trauma, Extremities and Spine business. But the title doesn’t do him justice. He is laser focused on helping people get healthier, developing leaders and giving back. We spend a lot of time in the pod talking about the power of Miami and what it meant to him personally and with the 70 plus alumni that are working today at Stryker. He is passionate about being fully present in what you do, taking risks and adventures, finding a passion and chasing what matters. I am thankful that our dear mutual friend and fellow Miami alum John Heinrichs connected the dots. The Miami network continues to thrive.


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Katie Quinn is a video creator, host and soon to be Harper Collins published author….and as you hear in her own words, quite quirky.  She thinks there’s a story to be told everywhere, especially in the connection between food and people. Our conversation jumps from balancing her brain’s quirkiness and entrepreneurial spirit to figuring out what she wanted to do in life via a process of elimination. Her path from Miami to London isn’t a straight line but as you will hear, it’s with purpose and always advancing….including a side hustle internship that accelerated her career. As a creator, she shares her passion of building a community and how to take advantage of the digital age. And like many, she got her first job because of a Miami professor.


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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.


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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).


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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Each time I listen to Jeff Kadlic I learn something new. He is a 25-year friend (and our wives were housemates at Miami too!) and a Founding Partner at Evolution Capital Partners. Our discussion spans from goal setting (and the moment he figured out the importance of that trait) to an 101 on the financial capital markets. Like many, he credits Miami for the opportunity to think and the experience he received traveling to Lux and Moscow as a student. He leads Miami’s Cleveland development team and is a Miami Entrepreneurship Board member (me too). He closes with wise tips for students and those eager to learn and advance in their careers. Hope you enjoy. I did.


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Ron Carson is the creator and founder of Cool Action Suits, a first of its kind suit company that brings moisture wicking fabric technology to formal wear. Ron had the idea on a hot tarmac in New Delhi as a logistics, security lead for President Obama that there has to be a better way to dress (formally) in heat. And as they say, the rest is history. In our conversation, he shares a wonderful story about Miami’s motto Prodesse Quam Conspici and how it made Oxford feel like home.


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Jeff Pegues is a CBS News correspondent, two-time author and multi-Emmy winning journalist. And just last month, he was the commencement speaker for Miami’s 2019 graduating class. He currently leads the Chief Justice and National Security beat for the news organization. I enjoyed the discussion about how he prepped for delivering an address to students (yes, of course he was a bit nervous) and the key messages he wanted to make sure he conveyed to the graduating class. He likes to explore the unknown and stresses the importance of trying new things to the students and his peers.


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Charlie Metzger is the EVP, Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer at Palace Sports and Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons, where he oversees all business functions including marketing/sales strategy, communications, fan experience, social media, and community relations. We discuss the challenges of his job and the differences of working for a team, brand and agency (he has done all three!). He discusses the advice he shares to many about the willingness to take on all challenges and try as many adventures as you can. He is data driven, customer-centric and the dad of a recent Miami grad.


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Miami University alum Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick is not only the voice of the NHL on NBC Sports, he is simply the voice of hockey. His vast and successful 46-year broadcasting career 46 years includes six Sports Emmys for Outstanding Sports Personality, Play-by-Play – including just two nights ago! Our conversation focuses on the beginnings of his incredible vocabulary and language recall to his advice for new graduates, and how he keeps his energy up throughout his broadcasts (spoiler: Peanut Butter). During his recent Sports Emmys acceptance, he even gave out his personal email (2x) for aspiring broadcasters to reach out to him for advice and questions. Now that’s a class act. Make sure to catch Doc calling the Stanley Cup Finals beginning May 27 on NBC.


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A deep discussion with SVP and General Counsel of BioScrip, Kathryn Stalmack about work-life balance and the personal choice of a woman to work or stay at home. It’s an important discussion that is not shared publicly much. Kathryn took it head on. She also elaborated on the unpredictable aspect of her work and the tone/communications skills needed for her audiences (staff, clients, shareholders, Board). We also dig into Kathryn’s process for learning, and the importance of taking care of your yourself in order to bring your best self to work. And of course we touch on Miami, ever-lasting friendships she made in Oxford, and how one of her best friends enabled her to be proud of every aspect of her personality. She makes a great point about the importance of understanding the unique personality traits that separate you from others, and being willing to embrace them. 

As we head into the summer months, we are turning the podcast into a once every two weeks release. See you at Skippers.



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Andy Sauer continues a recent conversation trend; entrepreneurs who identify problems and work-round-the-clock to solve them through innovation. There was a lack of convenience and clarity in performance nutrition and Andy isn’t stopping until it is fixed. Through experience and a bit of trial and error, he and his team at Hilo Nutrition have developed a gummy product to meet the needs of all athletes. Our conversation focuses on the line entrepreneurs must toe between wanting to get your idea to market, and taking the time to make sure it’s perfect. He shares the journey as they evolve from e-commerce to brick-and-mortar and he shares great advice for upcoming graduates too. He points out: learn as much as you can at each stop in your career, and continue to rely on the mentors you meet along the way.


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Our first active Miami student on the pod! Why? Because Christie Currie is so darn impressive. She is days away from graduation and about to hit the world with a newly created business. She identified a problem in the real world through her own personal experience with cancer and is all-in to solve it. Enter Zandaland, a holistic digital platform and virtual world for Children’s Hospitals that educates, connects, and distracts inpatient pediatric cancer patients. Zandaland uses fun, play and technology to empower young patients through knowledge and engagement. We spend a great deal of time on the pod discussing the benefits of sharing the entrepreneurial experience with peers (and she has some classmates that are part of the new team). Check out Zandaland and all the inspiring things that Christie and her team are doing, and you can support them at their GoFundMe.


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Mark Lacker took a circuitous route to his current role as an entrepreneurship professor at Miami’s Farmer School of Business. He is a self-described accidental professor. While building and scaling businesses, he connected back with Miami to get help from students as an occasional guest lecturer. His interest, excitement and long-term love for Oxford grew and grew until he moved out of the business world and into full-time teaching. His real world experience gives him a unique perspective to share with his students. We focus parts of the conversation on the importance of establishing why you want to do something, before identifying what you want to do. He is practical with his thoughts and direction. Mark was the first current employee of the University we have had on the pod. And remember this, if you are an alumni who wants to get involved and engage with the entrepreneurship program, click here to find out how.


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While Tim Sweetwood has always been passionate about music, it wasn’t until he graduated from Miami and experienced the entrepreneurial side of the business that he knew he could make a career out of it.  In the years since he has been involved with just about every aspect of music entertainment – from recording, to booking events, to his current role organizing and running entire music festivals. It’s fascinating to hear how the progression of his early successes - throwing parties with emerging local bands – motivated him to keep finding new and bigger opportunities within the industry. And while he originally gravitated to this field because of his passion for music, he is quick to remind the artists he works with that it is a business first. I think his advice to young people looking to get into the music industry is equally applicable to all industries - “be a dork about it and absorb it.”


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Jon Podany has the unique challenge and awesome opportunity to manage the legacy of one of sport’s most revered figures. Podany was appointed the CEO of Arnold Palmer Enterprises, managing every use of the legend’s name, image, signature, and properties worldwide in the Fall of 2018. He is also the President of the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation. It is staggering to hear Jon list all of the touchpoints Mr. Palmer has around the globe. From licensing, to events, to charitable giving, Jon’s role is incredibly demanding and equally rewarding. It’s also clear he is driven by Mr. Palmer’s example and the core values he embodied – integrity and respect for others.


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It takes a lot of courage to drop everything immediately post college and move to a foreign land without a lick of the local language. This week’s guest Jeff Brunka did just that and has been taking calculated risks ever since. His first job in Germany was helping out at a horse ranch, four hours away from Munich.  Brunka has a lot of great stories and insight, from his first months in Germany to his time down under in Australia and now in his current role as Global Alliance lead for Amazon Web Services. His story about how he learned the local language – including a brief detour into accidentally learning Polish – is a must-listen. 


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Susan Canavari, the Global Head of Brand Experience Development at JPMorgan Chase & Co is a rockstar. She has had an incredible business career which began on the other side of the house, the agency side. We focus much of the conversation on the differences between the two sides and how they can help each other succeed. We dig into her daily habits, from what time she wakes up to how she stays current on relevant news. We dig into her daily habits, from what time she wakes (it’s 5am), to her email tendencies and how she stays current on relevant news. Her advice is appropriate for all - "work really hard and be flexible”. 


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Andy Blackburn is the VP of New Business at Marquee Sports & Entertainment, which is the hospitality and marketing arm of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field, and other iconic properties. Every day, he aims to improve the in-game experience for anyone who steps foot into Wrigley Field, from team sponsors to once-a-year fans, and everyone in between. He talks about the dramatic facelift Wrigley Field, and the surrounding neighborhood, has gotten over the past few years, and how that transformation has helped modernize the team’s approach to sponsorship and hospitality. His team has created a new PGA TOUR Champions event for 2020 which is so smart with MLB spring training right there. I love that his first crack into sports was a lead through a Miami professor. Power of not just who you know, but who knows you. That job, which was selling Detroit Pistons tickets via cold calls, is the only break he needed.


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The MLS season is just getting underway, and we’re lucky to have on the pod this week the President and General Manager of the league’s newest team. Jeff Berding was instrumental in the awarding of FC Cincinnati, and he provides some fascinating insight on the pod about the process of getting his beloved city that franchise. You can hear in his voice the passion he has for Cincinnati. He also talks about how sports are like politics in terms of meeting deadlines and putting your product out to be judged by your consumer. I really appreciated his approach to work and life – “Be stubborn on vision, but flexible on journey.” That’s great advice for anyone, no matter which stage of their career they are in. Enjoy!


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From a geology major to an uber-successful business leader, Steve Carlin has spanned the industries of soap and cosmetics to video games and robotics over 20+ years of work. Our conversation covers all sides of his business career and is rooted in some key themes – leadership, business creation, and networking. He has successfully weaved his way forward using key attributes and learning to propel into career-advancing jobs. He is smart, articulate and his perspective is well thought out. I can’t believe we haven’t talked live in more than two decades. It felt like we were in an IFC meeting senior year on campus. And to the students listening on the pod, his statement about school is so true – “college is about learning how to learn”. Hope you enjoy it!


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David Fleming is a senior writer for ESPN and has written numerous stories for The Magazine and He has also authored two books – Noah’s Rainbow (a father’s memoir) and Breaker Boys (the stolen 1925 NFL title). The passion in his voice when talking about Miami is infectious. He uses that same passion when writing too. If you haven’t read his work, search for it. It’s worth your time. In the pod we spend time talking about the art of listening, relationships, and how to earn trust, be it with your writing subject or even family, friends or peers. When asked about Miami, he starts by saying “and when I got to campus”…what’s incredible is that everyone who went to Miami nails that sentence. There is something special driving into Oxford that keeps you there. Lastly, check out the book Noah’s Rainbow. It’s written for parents who are grieving the death of a child and is particularly geared towards fathers but it’s broad enough to appeal to anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one or who cares about someone who is grieving. It will also serve anyone searching for perspective or hope in life.


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Andy Gloor is a Managing Principal at Sterling Bay – an uber-successful commercial real estate and development firm. Bloomberg even named Andy – “the tech industry's go-to real estate developer”. He really stresses the importance of relationships and how handshakes are often more important than lawyers in getting a deal done. He and his wife Mara (a Miami Merger) are incredibly generous and have supported Miami, including the naming of the auditorium at the Athletic Performance Center on campus which has become the multipurpose facility centerpiece for Miami Football.


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Beth Herrington is a partner at Morgan Lewis, and has been named one of Crain’s Chicago Most Influential Women Lawyers….multiple times! It was so great to catch up and hear about all of her success. Her comments about gender-split in law, competitiveness and the power of a relationship are so well articulated. You can easily see why a client would want her to be on the front line in any dispute. Beth shares a great story about teaching people how to distill complex issues into a few sentences. This ‘elevator speech’ philosophy is so important in life yet not mastered by many. Thanks Beth….keep crushing it.


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As PR Week wrote when Jeff Immel was honored with a 40 under 40 Award, “a leap of faith can sometimes usher in a whole new approach to marketing….when Immel left Arc Worldwide to join Weber Shandwick’s budding creative team as its first art director, he was making a bold move.” I so appreciate his risk, and the firm’s, as the public relations discipline was evolving into something much greater – a global communications and marketing business. Since then, he has grown that business tremendously. Our conversation spans from the risks brands need to take to breakthrough in today’s climate to understanding that often business success is driven by understanding that the audience now dictates the terms. Jeff shares a great analogy from a Cannes lecture, that it is now the deer who has the gun, not the hunter (listen for the whole story). And his tips for Miami students are different than some but absolutely on point. All the resumes look great so take advantage of the human side. Stand out by being the call or meeting want to take. Be the person that helps, engages and listens. Sometimes the basics in life are forgotten. And a special shout out to one of Jeff’s Weber Shandwick Miamian colleagues who is awesome -– Executive Vice President Melanie Strah! She has welcomed Miami students each year into their office for a day of learning.


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Imagine waking up every day having to react to countless stories that came in overnight, and to determine how they impact your City. Well, that is what Lisa Schrader did for two years as Chief of Staff for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (and almost 15 years total working at City Hall). She shares great learnings of skillsets you acquire when working in the public sector, and how she has used that experience the jobs she has had since then. We laughed as she reminisced about times at Miami and living a ‘double life’. You will have to listen to the pod to hear that story. We close the conversation talking about her new job (I mean only a week into it…) at Luminary Media, a new podcast premium content subscription business (stay tuned for more on Luminary). I could talk with Lisa for hours, the conversation quickly reminded me (and hopefully us) of the good ‘ole days.


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So good to catch up with Kevin George, the new CMO of Harvest Health & Recreation, Inc. – a vertically integrated public cannabis company. That’s right, a cannabis company. Kevin has spent the past 20+ years in global leading roles at Unilever, Beam Suntory and the marketing agency Mosaic. He is taking his plethora of experience, knowledge and relationship into one of, if not, THE fastest growing industries in the United States. He now has the chance to build a slew of brands from scratch – ones they have acquired and others they are incubating. They have raised nearly $300 million to capitalize the business and as he says, this is like the day after prohibition for the alcohol industry. The opportunity is immense with no clear leader. There are challenges ahead, it is a state-by-state industry that is not federally legal (yet). As he always does, he also shares great wisdom for Miami students in the pod.


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Welcome back to Beyond High Street! One area I want to focus on with this podcast is innovation/transformation, and retail is the perfect industry for that. Our guest today is Jeff Gooding, who oversees all Marketing and Advertising for ACE Hardware. He shares great thoughts on what it takes to change in today’s business environment and how to work in a co-op environment (as he says, “it’s like having 4,500 bosses”). Jeff also shares a perspective about job hunting for college kids - that it’s easier to get a job when you have a job. Point being, internships or getting a foot in the door somehow is more important  than landing your dream job at 21. Enjoy the pod.

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Happy New Year Beyond High Street friends. Marc Bushala has passion to be an entrepreneur. You can hear it in his voice in how he thinks through challenges and opportunities. He shares some great stories about taking advantage of opportunities (especially when you are young) and how to find openings in the marketplace. All of this business and entrepreneurial work led him down a path into the spirits world. And after a deep dive almost a decade ago, he has been building and creating some incredible whiskey products including Angel’s Envy and now Heaven’s Door in collaboration with Bob Dylan. Google his background. It’s very impressive. Enjoy the pod.


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Jeff Tennery is the founder & CEO of Moonlighting and has spent 25+ years in senior executive leadership roles in the mobile space via Verizon, AT&T Wireless and Millennial Media. Jeff has spent the past year “moonlighting,” helping friends and co-founders on nights and weekends build the first on-demand mobile marketplace (you will hear his commentary on the 41st hour in the pod! and when/how/why to start a business). Prior to founding Moonlighting, he was responsible for delivering hundreds of millions of dollars annually across 50,000 applications worldwide, playing an instrumental role in Millennial Media’s 2012 IPO. He has incredible insight for those that want to start a business, the future of blockchain plus a stroll down memory lane at Miami talking MGT 495, being a Miami Merger and loving his cheese fries!


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Mark Satkiewicz has spent the past 20+ years working with and building mission-based businesses. All of that work is guided off a simple phrase from him: are you a contributor in life or a consumer? And a recent near fatal health issue (resuscitated to life!) has made him refocus on what’s important for him and his family. He is taking that new focus back to Steamboat, CO with his family to better the community and move it forward. Like many, he credits Miami for four of the best years of his life.


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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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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 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 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 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.


Key points in this episode

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)!


Key points in this episode

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.


Key points in this episode

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.


Key points in this episode

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.


Key points in this episode

I’ve been watching this week’s guest perform for almost 30 years – first, when he would return as an alum and do stand-up at Balcony (a bar that is no longer in Oxford) and now, on countless sitcoms and movies. Chip Chinery has appeared in, among many others, Seinfeld, Friends, 3rd Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Family Guy, and most recently the movie Battle of the Sexes (and countless TV commercials). In the pod Chip talks about how creating a day-in-the-life documentary of his senior year led to his first job out of college at a news station, and the importance of friendship - as it was a Miami fraternity brothers father who helped him land his next job with a bank (which paid for his stand-up touring). Chip also has some great stories that give insight into the world of a working actor in Los Angeles, from finding out the day before about important auditions, to attending a movie premier only to learn you’ve been cut out of the film (it’s an epic tale). Make sure you stay until the end to hear about his on-set conversation with award-winning actress Emma Stone and the Miami connection they have together.  


One highlight from Chinery’s career

  • Got the opportunity to work with Donald Sutherland and Clint Eastwood in Space Cowboys.

  • Ultimately got cut out of the movie, but was surreal in acting with Donald Sutherland.

Didn’t find out he was cut until he was watching it at the premiere

  • Invited to the screening and realized at the end his scene was cut.

  • Got a letter in the mail the next day letting him know they cut the scene out.

Sometimes you find out the night before or the day of that you have an audition

  • In TV shows and movies, it’s quite normal and not uncommon for this to happen.

Why Miami

  • Chinery had first cousins that went to Miami and he visited them when he was younger.

  • Thought the idea of college was so cool and fell in love with the campus.

Always was interested in comedy.

  • Started doing stand up when he was 16 and continued this through his high school and college days.

Realized he didn’t want to do business after a 8:00am M-F Calculus class.

  • Originally wanted to take mass communications, but his mom wanted him to go to the business school.

  • Realized quickly he didn’t want to do business after the 8:00am calculus class.

  • Decided to become psychology major.

After graduating Miami.

  • Always been interested in video and TV and stand up.

  • Had done some video projects for the Channel 9 News in Cincinnati and gave his boss a call asking if there were any open positions.

  • His boss offered him a job as a cameraman.

  • Left Channel 9 to become a PR director of a bank.

Keep your friend’s parents in mind for employment.

  • Got to be the PR director of a bank because he sent out letters to parents of his frat to buy this year in the life video for his fraternity.

  • CEO of the bank reached out to him (who was a parent of his fraternity brother) and said he might have a job for him.

Transitioning into stand up.

  • When Chinery got offered the job in CT, he wanted to make sure he could do stand up there.

  • A mutual friend connected him with a stand up guy in the area.

  • Chinery was the PR director for 8 months, but realized it wasn’t right for him.

  • Chinery’s boss told him he should go do stand up full-time.

Chip’ s Money Tip’s Blog (

  • Chinery felt he had some common sense ideas for money tips, so he started a blog to help people.

Emma Stone’s parents went to Miami University (and her aunt).

  • Chinery worked with Emma Stone on Battle of the Sexes.

  • Found out her folks are from Columbus and went to Miami and her family graduated from Miami.

  • Chinery realized he knew her aunt Karen.

Next iconic actor he wants to work with:

  • Christopher Guest.


Key points in this episode

Focus and listen. It’s what I had to do after my conversation with Stuart. I went back to the beginning of it, listened and learned. He is not only a great storyteller but a teacher too. Stuart is the Founder and CEO of Narrative Science, a company that interprets millions of data sources and transforms it into insightful, natural language narratives. His industry and brand are cutting edge and AI is certainly part of the now and the future. But just as important, I loved his vision of wanting to be “the somebody else,” the client that was being served, which led to an abrupt change in careers (the story is worth listening to). You will also appreciate and respect the business business opportunity he got from a CEO after seeing him (and really only him) on countless Saturdays in the office.


Podcast Notes:

Stuart’s career from Miami

  • Accounting major from Miami and started working for PwC.

  • Went to Vanderbilt Law School and was a corporate lawyer for three years.

  • Frankel got an opportunity with a client to work on a project that excited him.

  • After a couple months, Frankel got word that the project was canceled.

  • Took some time to figure out exactly what he wanted to do from there.

Coming into the office on a Saturday?

  • In office every Saturday 9am-3pm.

  • The only other person who would come in was the CEO.

  • If you work a little harder than the other person, this can give you a significant advantage over them.

Why Stuart got the promotion

  1. He was the youngest people there and the CEO thought that younger people would understand and adopt emerging tech and things better.

  2. He had been bugging him in the past 6 months about implementing new ideas.

  3. He was there and showed up even on the weekends and the CEO felt he could do this job

Take the risk.

  • When the project was canceled, he had the choice to go back and practice law or to discover another area of business he was interested in.

  • Frankel didn’t look at what the next three years would be, but he looked at what the next 30 years could be.

Working in AI (Artificial Intelligence), there’s always two sides...

  1. Creation of technologies: this is where a lot of work is being done by large companies (Google, Microsoft, etc), but also smaller companies.

  2. Market adoption: this is the harder step because it takes a lot for people to adopt and like the technology.

Always be in a learning mindset.

  • Read everything.

  • Listen to a lot of podcasts.

  • Surround yourself with people of very different backgrounds.

  • Learning doesn’t stop at 22.

Key points in this episode

Pulitzer-nominated Wil Haygood has made a career out of telling some of the most interesting, if overlooked, stories in American Life. Most notably, he penned the story "A Butler Well Served by this Election" for The Washington Post which became the basis for the award-winning 2013 film "The Butler" and for Haygood’s New York Times’ best-selling book of the same name. His seventh book, TIGERLAND: 1968-1969, A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing, was just given to all Miami University freshman upon arrival into Oxford this August and thanks to Penguin Random House, weeks in advance of the actual book release. He addressed the incoming students at Miami’s convocation on August 24 and discussed the importance of race relations. The pod examines his writing success but also digs back into his childhood. Wil was the first person from his family to attend college, and he talks joyfully about knowing the moment he came onto campus that it was the only place he wanted to be. I was also fascinated with his description of his book writing process. You can pre-order the book (release date September 18, 2018) via AmazonWil_Haygood_-_Photo_-_9_12.jpg

Podcast Notes:

“When there’s unity, good things happen”

Where Haygood’s love of writing began.

  • A teacher told him he had a writing gift, when no one had said that before.

  • Decided to go to Miami with full intention of taking English literature courses.

  • Majored in urban planning with minor in English literature.

Why Haygood chose Miami.

  • No one in his family had gone to college and he knew it was going to be a tough challenge.

  • Went to his high school counselor's office and took a stack of pamphlets about colleges.

  • Immediately was attracted to Miami because of the the red brick and loveliness of the school grounds.

  • Told his counselor that he wanted to go to Miami and she told him that she didn’t think he could get into Miami.

  • He got offended by that which made him try harder to get into Miami.

  • Local high school teacher took him to visit the campus, six weeks before classes started.

  • Knew once he had seen the campus that he was happy he committed to Miami.

Growing up in Columbus was different than it is today.

  • Grew up on the north side of the city.

  • On the north side, the grade school and high school were all racially mixed.

  • His mother and him moved to the east of Columbus and the schools were segregated there.

It was difficult, but Haygood graduated.

  • He knew what was at stake and he knew he had to succeed for himself, his family, and to inspire others.

  • School was hard and he struggled, but he loved taking different courses.

  • He had some caring professors who he could tell wanted him to succeed and that made him work harder.

  • From there, he started to understand what a writing voice was and grew into his writing.

What gives him the inspiration to write each book

  • When he walks into bookstores and he wants to see a book about a certain subject matter, if he don’t see the book he says to himself that he’s going to write it.

Haygood’s writing process for Tigerland.

  • Started traveling to Columbus to find and talk to the athletes.

  • A lot of the athletes got emotional about sharing their story because they thought their stories had been forgotten about.

  • Interviewed around 125-150 people to understand more about the story.

Key takeaways from Tigerland.

  • Sports and sports figures have always brought the country together.

  • With race being a long overdue discussion right now, it’s important to look at where there are triumphs.

  • It’s a story that inspires people and exemplifies the best of the human spirit.

What’s next for Haygood.

  • Not totally there yet with the idea, but it’s going to have a focus about the world of movies

How “The Butler” came to life onscreen.

  • Wrote the story and it appeared on Washington Post.

  • That same night, he had eight phones calls from major Hollywood producers telling him they wanted to buy the rights to his book.

  • Once he sent the screenplay out, the story interested great actors to be casted in movie.

Wil Haygood’s book, Tigerland, comes out September 18th, you can pre-order Tigerland on Amazon.

Key points in this episode

I have talked to some wonderful people on this podcast, but it is just a bit sweeter when you can reconnect with a friend from your college days. Lisa and I have been friends for more than 20 years (really almost 30), and it’s been incredible to watch her career blossom. And frankly, she has crushed it over the past few decades. And now she provides a unique podcast perspective as she is between jobs – something not many would be open to talk about. You will love her story about being called the wrong name repeatedly at the Miami job fair and years later, her cold call to a CEO. Both ended with jobs. She has a thirst to learn and spends time in the pod discussing inspiration, the need of space to think and how to understand signals of communication.


Podcast Notes:

“Ask for what you want and you might just get it”

Inspiration comes from learning.

  • Lisa credits her inspiration to always wanting to learn and being on the learning curve. Lisa believes learning is where real growth comes from and it’s best to learn by doing.

Sometimes cold calling a CEO works...

  • Lisa cold called to the CEO of a company after leaving a technology start-up. She gave pitch and the CEO said sure. This lead back to her continuous need to learn and did this through reading, talking and taking in as much she could.

The importance of having a  “figure it out” mindset.

  • If you have a figure it out spirit, you can get a lot of things done

    • Lisa spent a semester at the London School of Economics and wanted to challenge herself to learn French. She did and credits this mindset to how she really grew as a person personally and professionally.

  • It is crucial to learn how to have the ability to adapt, change and have the ability understand all signals of communication, especially when traveling abroad.

Understand what’s said and what wasn’t said.

  • When you understand the signals of communication, it’s most important to realize what you miss

    • You can pick up on this and realize how decisions are still made

  • This is important to understand when being leader and role model

    • Example: when a leader announces a promotion, all employees read into what is said, but also what is not said. Be careful.

Miami University is full of opportunity.

  • Opportunities are there and you just have to recognize it and reach out and grab it

  • Miami gave Lisa the confidence that she can ask for what she wants and this ability has helped her succeed in her career

Ask for what you want.

  • Ask for what you want

    • Example: Lisa was attending the career fair at Millet Hall and walked up to a recruiter, who kept calling her the wrong name. She told the recruiter she wanted to apply for the investment banking internship and the recruiter told her they only hire Ivy League students for that internship, all while calling her the wrong name. Lisa corrected her name to the recruiter and walked away saying she was only interested in the investment banking internship. A month later, the recruiter called her to tell her she was accepted to move forward to phone interviews for the investment banking group. Lisa ended up getting the internship and is a great example of asking for what you want.

  • Don’t expect your school or employer to just put what you want on the silver platter for you, you need to tell them

It’s good to take a step back and reflect on what you’re doing.

  • Lisa left her job because she realized she was starting to plateau and she wasn’t sure it was what she wanted to be on career path wise. Lisa wanted to step away from work in order to really reflect on what she wants to do next. Continuing with always wanting to learn, Lisa wants to challenge herself and immerse herself in a steep learning curve.

So, what’s next for Lisa?

  • Lisa is interested in artificial intelligence and how we are applying it to other industries. It is a gamechanger for how we can use data and predictive modeling to make better decisions to help consumers.

It’s important to recharge.

  • Step away from work and dedicate time to yourself.

    • Lisa decided to make a plan where her kids would go on a new vacation to a new location and try foods and different cultures once a month. It’s invites the space to think, as well as ushering in great adventures.

    • When creating the space to think, Lisa exercises more, sleeps better, and relishes the time.

Where can you find the space to recharge?

  • So many executives are go, go, go, and multitasking.

    • Initially, Lisa didn’t create the space to think in any of last jobs.

    • She recognizes this as failure to herself and family and now is working hard on creating deliberate tools to create the space to think. Example: walking to work instead of commuting where you can just think, free from distractions.

Lisa’s advice to young Miami University professionals.

  • Don’t be so set on having a game plan that you lose other opportunities that come your way

  • Experiment with different careers and roles

  • Be a risk taker

  • Your first five years of your career will be the most important because this is where you learn what you’re good at and what you think to do. It’s important to get a understanding and a synthesis of that to get a robust view of that

  • Try a lot of things and don’t be afraid to do that when you get older

  • Always try to keep yourself in change agent mode and risk-taking mode

Key points in this episode

We caught Jeremy Kudon at a pivotal time in his business. As the foremost lobbyist in the gambling/betting industry and client of daily fantasy giant DraftKings and several professional sports Leagues, he has been working 24/7 since the Supreme Court ruling allowing states to decide on their own to have legalized sports betting or not. The Founder of Orrick’s Public Policy group, Jeremy helps influence legislation at the state-wide level for all his clients. Similar to many alumni I talk to, he specifically points out a professor and classs (MKT 301, 401) that helped shape his mind on what he wanted to (and sometimes didn’t want to do) next. For him, it was Don Norris (also one of my favorites). We started off the podcast discussing the moment and then the subsequent hours  after the Supreme Court ruling was released.


Podcast Notes:

“I didn’t want to look back 50 years later and say I didn’t pursue something I wanted to pursue”

24 hours in a litigator’s life once a big ruling comes out.

  • Currently in Boston, he was meeting with Massachusetts Attorney General with major leagues to talk about sports legislation betting.

  • Once the opinions started coming out, he waited to hear what the ruling was. It was a 7-2 for the petitioner (in favor).

  • From there, his phone was constantly blowing up with emails from his clients, friends, and co-workers.

  • He originally planned his day to consist of a series of meetings with legislators that day, but needed to meet with league clients to New York.

  • He flew to New York that same day to meet with his clients.

  • Met with clients to start planning the next steps in strategy.

What Jeremy Kudon does...summarized.

  • He works with clients that are private companies and sports leagues o try to get the betting legalized.

Jeremy Kudon’s career path to where he is now.

  • First, Kudon started as a commercial litigator working on big accounting liability cases.

  • His clients at the time were DirectTV and Dish Network and they hired them to be a appellate lawyer to work on helping the companies develop and implement a national state legislative campaign.

  • The first years of the work were far from exciting; once he started working on the cases, he started to get a niche in it.

  • Kudon then got a call from Uber in 2014 to come in and help them, but after two meetings they realized there was a conflict.

  • From there, Kudon started to reach out to other companies and eventually emailed the founder of FanDuel.

    • No one ever responds to the cold-emails, but the CEO of FanDuel responded. Three months later, he started representing DraftKings and FanDuel.

What to write in an email to potentially get new business.

  • Introduce yourself

  • Make fun of the fact that you don’t normally send emails

  • Make the point of emailing

    • Example: Kudon was basing his email from feedback of legislators saying FanDuel could face issues if they didn’t hire him and start focusing on state legislators

Why Jeremy Kudon chose Miami.

  • Kudon swam in high school and was recruited by the swim coach.

  • He also loved the campus when he got there.

  • He was a big fan of the “Public Ivy” book and learned that the guy went to Miami.

  • His mom had dated a hockey player at Miami and said she had fond memories at Miami.

  • Six other people from high school went to Miami.

  • He was excited to leave the DC area and try out the midwest because of Miami’s great academic reputation.


Make sure you thank your professors.

  • Two great professors influenced his career: Augustus Jones (political science) and Donald Norris (marketing).

  • Keep in touch with your professors, especially if they made a big impact on you

    • Example: Kudon didn’t keep in touch with his professors and he advises to try more often to let professors know how they made an impact on your life.

The law school decision.

  • Didn’t go to law school after college until 3 years after.

  • Kudon worked in marketing and was doing well.

  • He still loved law and wanted to practice it; he didn’t want to look back 50 years later and say he didn’t pursue something he wanted to pursue

Advice for before you jump into law school.

  • You need to learn the ropes of the law because it’s so big and it’s not what what it looks like on TV

  • Law school is a way to approach life. You’re supposed to look at the world as grey, not black and white.

  • You have to look at the argument and understand both sides of the argument.

What’s next in sports betting.

  • Each state taking on the issue and opening up the markets.

    • 10-12 states are going to follow

    • 6 states have legislation on the books

    • 3-4 are actually operational

    • New Jersey has a true mobile prodiver (SportsKings)

  • This will revolutionize sports betting in the US and once other states see the markets flourish, more states will adapt.

Key points in this episode

Interesting few pods ahead with the upcoming start of the NFL Season. Our guest this week Matt Golis is working on helping leverage the excitement around fantasy for social good (and next week, Jeremy Kudon, a betting/gaming lobbyist working on behalf of Leagues and brands to legalize at the state leaves). Matt’s start-up company DraftMates lets users play fantasy sports with proceeds directly benefitting a charity of choice. A true entrepreneurial mind as he has created a fundraising platform taking advantage of the enormous affinity of fantasy. He has spent his career finding digital solutions for users, and has some really great perspective on the unique challenges found there. I really enjoyed the dialogue about his move from the Bay Area to the Midwest and which Miami class has helped him throughout his career. 


Key points in this episode

Rich is a nothing short of a go-getter. 200+ days on the road a year and has navigated 40 countries in his business travels. No wonder why he has grown and sold businesses and is hot on the next one (Enrich Media). Wait until you hear about his first stock buy of $500 …. At the age of 14. Similar to some recent pods, each of these successful Miami alums have figured out a personal unique proposition that make them indispensable for businesses. For Rich, it is scaling companies, and scaling companies well. It shouldn’t get lost that he acknowledges his parents as his business mentors and advisors along the way (you don’t have to look so far for guidance, keep that in mind!). I was intrigued with how someone who travels so frequently manages their work stream. Rich shares his personal methods of daily exercises and mimicking Jack Dorsey by breaking his day into 30-minute increments each focused on a specific subject matter. Hope you enjoy.


Podcast Notes:

“Anyone can learn a business when it’s good, if you want to make it--you have to find a carved out niche”

“You’re going to have times where things are going to be awful, but it always gets better and you have the ability to determine that yourself”

“Sometimes your big opportunity in life is at times is going to come when you're not the most prepared for”

Managing Across Different Time Zones.

  • Try to manage and schedule your days in 30-minute increments.

  • Everyone has different times on when they work best- find what time works best for you.

  • Finds that doing the heavy work in the morning is best and allows you to work before the day and distractions get started.

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body.

  • Exercise is the very important to incorporate in your routine.

  • It’s a great way to let off steam.

The Three Essentials for Constant Travel.

  1. Noise-canceling earphones

  2. iPad

  3. Lots of different snacks (because airplane food is boring and unhealthy)

The Skill Needed For Success.

  • The skill of compartmentally: being able to do two different things.

  • Model your schedule in 30 minutes increments like after Jack Dorsey.

  • Don’t take a lot of meetings because they can be a big waste of time.

  • Make sure your make time to get your actual work done.

Miami University and its Professors Change Your Life.

  • Never forget your great professors and keep in contact

  • Miami really prepares you, especially the business school for the real world and the challenges that come with it

  • You have to go through the hard things to appreciate success

You Might Have Hard Times... It Gets Better.

  • Sometimes your big opportunity in life is at times is going to come when you're not the most prepared for

  • Say yes and taking the chance to new opportunities

  • Anyone who has gone through hard times know that it’s going to get better and things do change

  • You’re going to have times where things are going to be awful, but it always gets better and you have the ability to determine that yourself

  • Surround yourself with the right people:  find an executive you admire and listen to them 90% of the time.

Book Recommendation.

  • Financial Freedom Explained by Kizzi Nkwocha

Next Steps for Rich.

  • Working with a seed school (a school for intercity kids)

  • In order to change the future, you have the change the foundation

  • Want to focus more on golfing

After Seeing 40+ Countries, See This Country.

  • Italy

Rich’s Go-To, High-Street Meal.

  • Skipper’s

  • Chicken gyro with waffle fries

Key points in this episode

Seller of burial plots and a franchise owner of an insurance agency. Did I get your attention yet? That of course isn't what Summer is doing now but each were stops on her business path. A path that has always had the focus on awareness, storytelling, demand generation and thinking about the customer experience. She has used those traits throughout her career to now where she is the COO, CMO and Co-Founder of tilr, a HR-tech company. She has an incredible appetite to learn, and she focuses on subject areas where she doesn't feel up to par. Something brave to admit, and something smart to share. I always appreciate her efforts in getting brands to hire based on skill versus simply a job title. Students should take note and use that in their interviewing conversations too.


Key points in this episode

One thing that is clear from my conversation is that Matt is an absolute grinder. Even before Oxford, he was an entrepreneur. Working on a farm making money at the age of 10 and being active in the stock market as a high schooler. He then continued to find new business opportunities, each time using the success of his previous business as the foundation. Matt has used all of this experience to start his current business Arrive Logistics, a modern freight broker and overall logistic solutions company. It was 10 employees in 2014 and now has 500+ and growing). I think you will also enjoy hearing about Matt’s business of selling supplements out of his dorm at Miami. He never stops. Keep thriving Matt!


Key points in this episode

Simply put, Jim is a pro’s pro. A simple search of his professional background would show a career filled with experience and success. But maybe more importantly, and what comes through in a phone call, is that he is caring, dedicated, and willing to help others get better. Our conversation spanned from his very limited use of technology in the late 1970’s in Oxford to walking the campus just months ago as his youngest of two graduated Miami (his older son is a Miami grad too). His principles to success are clear: 1) work hard and be dedicated, 2) learn how to work within a team and 3) personal integrity is everything. We dabbled into how he learns, even today, and how her exposes himself to the ‘unfamiliar’ to expand his own thinking. We even touched on the need of mentorship….who knows, maybe I added a new one today.


Key points in this episode

This is a great story! We start the conversation talking about Michael’s Astronaut Scholarship. Wait, have you not heard of an Astronaut Scholarship? Don’t worry, neither had I. A light bulb went off in Michael’s head as a young Miamian while climbing a mountain – how do we make better insulated jackets that are not ridiculously bulky? So he and his fellow Miami buddy and co-founder Rithvik Venna went to work. They created and demoed product as students uptown in their apartments and created OROS Apparel. OROS is an ancient greek work for Mountain and to Michael, this is all about the climb, the journey, and giving 110% effort every day. They are crushing it year-over-year and the sky is the limit for them. Especially for two guys who raised 3x the ask on a kickstarter campaign. Nobody does that….well, except for OROS.


Key points in this episode

The old saying goes, it’s not where you start but where you finish. Chris Rose's first job out of college was a $4.85 part-time gig at a Cincinnati TV station. Now, twenty-five years later, he hosts shows on the MLB and NFL Networks, and is living out his dreams every day. A Shaker Heights, OH-native, Chris transferred in to Miami and immediately went knocking on the Sports Information Director’s door to inquire about broadcasting Miami sports games on the radio. He continued his work and networking via Miami colleagues and professors through that first job and beyond. His NFL Network colleague Charlie Yook (previously on the pod) and he participate in the annual ‘Bring Miami Kids to Hollywood’ program every year, which he loves being a part of. I enjoyed the moments in the conversation where he talks about finding your own voice and how We could all "Use a Little Kevin Millar In Us". Make sure to follow his reports from the MLB All-Star game next week.


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How times have changed. From running around with Joe at Skippers, Ozzies and anywhere else our colleagues and buddies took us out at night, to now having a podcast conversation about his twenty-five years of business success and global excursions. Similar to many Miami alumni, he started his professional life via an internship through a connection in MUSF. That led to a project of “finding a business we can invest in”. He did, which sent him to Boulder, CO after school, and he shares in the pod what life was like being part of a start-up (and one that was soon acquired). He has had significant roles at adidas, The North Face, Newell Brands, and many more. He currently is an advisor for OROS (and check out a pod on those guys later in the month). We opened the conversation about the difference of living in Sonoma to being born-and-raised in Middletown, OH.


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If you haven’t heard Todd Henry speak, go listen. If you haven’t read Todd’s books, go to Amazon and buy. Incredible insight on creativity, productivity and passion for work to help people and teams generate brilliant ideas. He just released book #4, Herding Tigers and already is noodling his fifth. He also hosts The Additional Creative Podcast with millions of downloads. Incredibly, he started the pod a dozen years ago when most didn’t even know what a podcast was. As we have shared before, all paths are different and Todd’s is unique as he spent his first five years post-Miami as a country artist going from county fair to county fair. Hope you enjoy the listen.


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Dave is an inspiration to me and many around the world. Early in his medical career, he recognized a barrier between patients and doctors that affected his ability to provide the best care. He then turned that into Walk With A Doc, a movement in which there are 376 chapters around the world including 11 in India and in parts of Africa. The premise is simple. Walk with a Doc puts doctors in parks across the country and around the world with the goal of disrupting the current medical system as we know it. Join the community. Talk with doctors, friends and neighbors. Breakdown walls and build conversations. And get some exercise while you are doing so. It’s no surprise U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy used Walk with a Doc as the example for preventative health when addressing audiences. Make sure to check it out


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Bright eyes. I loved that description Stacey Browning shares on this podcast. Stacey, the President of Paycor, is talking about Miamians and what sets the students apart from many others she sees in the work place. In the pod, she goes into a greater description of what that means and the uniqueness of Oxford, OH. She has been at Paycor for almost 25 years and her enthusiasm for her company comes through in the conversation. You can see why she still is there and continues to thrive every day. We spend part of the conversation talking about learning; not just for students but even for her as a corporate President. Learning is a fundamental trait in life – both professionally and personally.


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Every podcast guest has had a different path to success and through life, and this one is unique in its own way. Gerri Kahnweiler used her first several years after Miami’s graduation in the accounting field, and working for a hedge fund. She then spent 30 years out of the work force dedicating her life to raising a family and volunteering in women and girl’s philanthropy, included a couple stints as an elected official, among other positions. Two years ago, she began a new life phase, and opened Invest HER Ventures, a fund focusing on funding female entrepreneurs seeking early stage capital. There are great life lessons in this conversation for women (and men) about priorities and how any chosen path isn't necessarily final.


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Ray and I have known each other for 28 years, dating back to freshman orientation in 1990. Ray always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and since finishing Miami, his motor has not stopped. He did spent several years at P&G, and since then, he created a team dating app, became General Manager of a Los Angeles-based professional boxing team, and now, he is the Founder and CEO of the vitamin company Buiced. We spoke to Ray just days after he secured an huge order from Wal-Mart, putting his liquid multi-vitamin in more than 2,000 stores nationwide. The conversation details his pitch to the retail giant and how he got Buiced to where it is today….on his own. His passion for his product is clear, and it’s a big reason why I am betting on Ray’s success.


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Kate Pratt is the Director of Marketing Partnerships at Madison Square Garden and brings an energy that makes you smile. She is a rising star (2017 Forbes 30 Under 30) in the workforce, and in the pod she shares great feedback for students looking either for jobs or to jump into the internship game. We also touch on my time back on campus recently judging the Entrepreneurship Program start-up competition. We’ll have the winners of the competition on the podcast in the next few weeks.


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Talk about backstory? Matthew’s background is incredibly interesting. The now best-selling author joined the Marines after finding his calling soon after breaking up a fight at a movie theatre. He became an author after realizing he could write a better novel than the “boring” best seller he was reading at the time. He talks about finding the right path for his career, even if it wasn’t what he would have envisioned for himself. But of most importance to him, Matt talks about his upcoming novel Field of Valor, the latest installment in a series of thrillers featuring the protagonist Logan West. Field of Valor can be preordered here, and found wherever books are sold when it is released this coming Tuesday, May 22nd. He was recently back on campus providing life and business tips to Miami’s ROTC program.


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The buzz the past few years has been all about “the rise of the influencer” and “influencer marketing”. And there is no better example than this week's guest, Rachel Rudwall. She is multi-talented. A host, photographer, speaker, writer, explorer, and yes, an influencer. It was a fun, action-packed conversation. She speaks 10+ languages, has traveled to 70+ countries, helping dozens of brands create or amplify their campaign work along the way. These adventures, along with her Tedx speech, are reasons why her social following grows every day. I also enjoyed part of the conversation where we discussed mentorship. Hers? Former pod guest Jeff Conroy. We are never too old to learn and grow.


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The curiousity to explore and thrist to learn are two qualities that define Julie Felss Masino. She works tirelessly to build culture, innovate for the future, and lead by example. And now, as North American President of Taco Bell, she is doing it for the world to see. Her career has inscluded incredible brand work at Coach, Godiva, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Fisher Price and 10+ years at Starbucks. Her experience in the restaurant and retail world is unmatched. I think you’ll appreciate her honesty of what her daily schedule is like and what it takes to bring companies to the top.


Show Notes:

“Companies who sit still find themselves behind”

 “Always solve consumer needs before the consumer knows they need it”

 Day in the Life of a North American President.

  • Get to the office early: it’s imperative to have time before everyone comes into the office.

  • Being a leader means being ready for the day and to know what’s coming. You want to show up well, be prepared for every meeting, and to know if you should have an opinion about a matter.

  • Give yourself an hour where you don’t have to think. It’s super important to let the mind be free before going to bed, so you can fully show up to work.

Sometimes You Work Weekends.

  • Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, led by example to always be on and to always be working.

  • It’s necessary to unplug on the weekends and try activities such as pilates, yoga, or hiking.

Lead by Example.

  • Don’t take the responsibility of being a leader lightly.

  • Believe in teamwork, positivity, optimism and to bring everything to your role.

  • Ultimate questions of being a leader:

    • How do you inspire and put the right people in the right roles?

    • How do you give your team the tools to be the best?

    • How do you challenge them to be the best?

      • All of these leadership questions stem from holding the bar high for yourself. Never ask anyone to do something if you wouldn’t do it.

Always Be Curious.

  • Read a lot and ask a lot of questions.

  • It’s important to be very confident and to not be afraid to ask for help or admitting you need help.

Help Others Along the Way.

  • Look around you at Miami University or in your career and make friends.

  • Share knowledge and help your peer group. It’s beneficial to help others along the way and to nurture these relationships now.

Say Yes.

  • Say yes to new opportunities and try new things whether it’s in a role or location

  • If you want a bigger role in leadership, it’s important to understand the bigger picture of business and to take roles even if it’s not in your specialty. It makes you a better and more well-rounded leader.

  • Not only this, it makes you a better human and widens your lens to understand there’s not one way to do things.

  • Make sure you have a network you have the ability to say yes to new things. Sometimes you have to say no, ensure you’re saying “not now” to open more opportunities later in your career.

Innovation Is Important.

  • Work with brands you are passionate about and believe in.

  • Key reasons for coming to Taco Bell: being in a culture that reinvents the business playbook, they are passionate about their customers, and want to continue to be a part of their lives in fun ways.

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A special treat for the pod this week as we have Charlie Yook, the NFL Network's coordinating producer for "NFL GameDay Morning" and the NFL Draft, just over 24 hours before the 2018 NFL Draft kicks off. Like previous guests, he stresses the importance of storytelling and implores students to master the skill. He also credits a particular Miami class that put him in front of and behind the camera as the inspiration to really explore working in media. With 20 years in the industry, the last twelve of which at NFL Network, he hasn't looked back. Enjoy the conversation and make sure to tune into the NFL Network coverage starting on Thursday, and through the rest of this week. 



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Talk about being ahead of the curve. Bryan Murphy was creating, building and selling businesses in the tech, web and venture world….20 years ago, and is still doing so today. That’s forward thinking. His entrepreneurial spirit started at the age of 10 and he shares a great story of making and selling custom pies. Yes, that’s right - Pies. After school, he saw a marketplace opportunity in creating brand websites, and as they say, the rest is history. Our conversation spans from his early work days in Detroit, to his first meeting with (and sale to) a venture capitalist, selling a business to eBay, and understanding marketplace gap in selling mattresses online. And that is the world he lives today as President and Founder of Tomorrow Sleep, a wholly owned subsidiary of Serta Simmons Bedding. If you are on campus, look for Bryan May 10th when he comes back to Oxford to judge a Shark Tank-style competition for senior Farmer School business students.


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From a Political Science and Public Administration major to the President of a MLS club – kudos to you Tom Fox. Tom’s business career and success has spanned all sides of sports marketing – brand, league, agency and now team. He earned his stripes at Quaker, Nike, Gatorade, NBA, Arsenal, Aston Villa before joining the San Jose Earthquakes. He has demonstrated incredible timing with his career moves and advancement – from opening the NBA’s first Asia office, to leading Gatorade’s efforts as sponsorship exploded, and then into soccer domestically where the fan base continues to grow daily. He credits Miami for helping him learn and understand parts of life beyond what you learn in a classroom. And later in the conversation we talk about content and the disruptive nature of how the current (and future) generation of viewers consume it. I do like his nugget that his first brand work was on Captain Crunch cereal (one doesn’t forget those days).


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Leadership. Character. Commitment. Three simple words that Captain Adam Carlstrom professes over-and-over to describe what he does day-to-day, and that he deems are important for success in life. As Deputy Commander of Electronic Attack Wing, US Pacific Fleet for the US Navy, Carlstrom takes those words very seriously. His work purview includes 160 aircraft and close to 5,000 individuals. He also talks often about the goals of his unit: Man. Train. Equip. Getting the next person ready for their daily work. This motto could be on the door of every corporate human resources executive out there. Captain Carlstrom’s call sign is Pinto, he is part of a Miami merger and he was enjoyable to converse with.


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Some conversations are easier to have than others. I am pretty sure I could talk to Joni Fedders for hours. Insightful, exuberant and quick-witted all come to mind when thinking through the chat we just had. It makes me smile when she talks about coming through the farmlands of Ohio and rolling into Oxford and onto campus. All Miamians can relate to that feeling. Two of her children graduated from Miami and her third is on campus now. She is now the President of Aileron, a national non-profit organization which helps business owners strategically manage and grow their business (almost like an accelerator for the small business community around the world).


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Miamian Dave Neiswander is the CEO of World Bicycle Relief, an organization committed to helping people conquer the challenge of distance, achieve independence, and thrive. To date, they have donated close to 500,000 bikes to deserving and needy children. Prior to his CEO post, Dave spent a decade in Africa building the foundational elements of the organization including program design, partnership engagement, geographic expansion and the Buffalo Bicycle social enterprise strategy. Prior to joining WBR, he had a 15-year career in investment banking in Washington, D.C.  In the pod, he shares a great philosophy of getting “one win a day”, something he learned when living in Africa. To support their efforts, check out


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As Content is King, Jon Miller’s job at NBC Sports as President, Programming is paramount in the media landscape. Responsible for countless hours of programming, Jon has the unique challenge of increasing the value of existing shows while continually looking for the next big thing in his NBC Sports Ventures business. While many often search for the perfect job  Jon explains a different path. Taking jobs to learn and grow and from there, finding your direction. For him it was sales, TV, then sports, and the rest is history. He is incredibly passionate about supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and so am I.


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Trish Lukasik is a high energy leader (to say the least!) who recently shifted into the fast paced world of technology and e-commerce, assuming the position of CEO at Luxury Garage Sale, a leading omni-channel retailer of high end boutique and consignment merchandise. Prior to joining LGS, Trish transitioned from a career in consumer products to SpotHero, where she served as Chief Operating Officer.  Before joining SpotHero, Trish built a distinguished career over two decades within the Consumer Packaged Goods industry, with significant experience across Procter & Gamble, The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo. She has a thirst for learning and an unparalleled drive that is unmistakable in this conversation.


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Not everyone knows what they want to do when they get to Miami, but Oxford seems to set people on a path…and a path for success. This was the case for Jeff Conroy. It wasn’t until sitting with the Miami counselors half-way his Oxford run before he picked a major and a direction, and he hasn't stopped learning since. Jeff shares a great story about getting a crash course entertainment MBA by being a driver for a TV executive in Hollywood. The daily conversations helped him land his next job. Now twenty years and three Emmys later, Jeff co-runs BobCat, a multi-platform video studio based in Los Angeles. His team’s latest docuseries project, American Farmer, was just greenlit by the History Channel a few weeks ago.


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Dave brings a blend of classical marketing acumen (from his days at P&G) along with entrepreneurial instinct to navigate today’s changing business landscape. He is recognized throughout the industry as an innovator that bridges the worlds between brand marketing, digital, and entrepreneurship. He also co-founded The Brandery, one of the top 10 Startup Accelerators in the US. Most recently, Dave authored the best-selling must-read: Predicting The Turn: The High Stakes Game of Business Between Startups and Blue Chips, which was recognized as the Grand Prix winner in the 2017 Atticus Awards. He has a B.S. Marketing from Miami and with Jenny Rooney, co-created the Cradle of Marketers program within the Farmer School of Business.


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Miami grad John Walton is living his dream at this very moment. He is in Korea, calling Olympic hockey games for NBC (you might have heard him last night calling the USA women's 5-0 win over O.A.R (Olympic Athletes from Russia). Quite a change of location from his days in Oxford and Cincinnati and then from Hershey, PA and Washington, DC. His twenty-year career has stretched from the Cincinnati Reds to now as the Director of Broadcasting and Play-by-Play voice of the NHL Washington Capitals (he is taking a three week sabbatical to do the Olympics works). As you’ll hear in our conversation, his entire career started with a tip and some help from a Miami professor. We caught up with John before he left for Pyeongchang, and he talks about the importance of storytelling and how he uses his voice to tell that story.


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 Rebecca Messina is a well-respected global brand marketer who has led fast-growing entrepreneurial premium brands at The Coca-Cola Company and now at Beam Suntory.  She has lived and traveled the world teaching the values of ‘brand’. Interestingly, she says the difference maker in her initial job growth at The Coca-Cola Company comes from her Spanish-speaking skills honed at Miami. Fortunately I get to spend time with her every year in Oxford at The Cradle of Marketers…because I learn from her too. Our conversation begins as we dissect this past Sunday’s Super Bowl advertising game.


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With two days before the Super Bowl, I felt appropriate to get Miami alum Rick Dudley on the pod. Not only did he spend more than a decade at the NFL, he has been the CEO of Octagon, a global sports and entertainment marketing and management agency, for more than 15 years. And oh yeah, he is my boss. He references two Miamians in the pod that are very relevant to the Super Bowl too - Jim Steeg and Jon Miller. We'll get them on the pod shortly. In the below image, Rick is with Octagon's Janey Miller, John Shea and client and 4x 2016 Olympic Gymastics Gold Medalist (including the Individual All-Around) Simone Biles. 


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Now one of the biggest stars in WWE and eight-time Intercontinental Champion, the Miz, then Mike Mizanin, originally came to Miami to find his direction. After two years, with the help of his Theta Chi fraternity brothers, created a VHS video tape and applied to be on MTV's The World. As they say, the rest is history. Despite his short time on campus, The Miz credits the University, and the friends he made there, with sending him on the path to success. Go ahead, and add to his multi-million follower list on Twitter and Instagram.  


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Jay was the first person I met at freshman orientation in Oxford. We immediately connected and have stayed friends ever since. He has always inspired me with the ability to thrive in the corporate world while having credibility in the venture space. Over the past 20 years, he was a Senior Vice President at Bank of America and also an Angel Investor. But in 2017, he was recruited to be the CMO of a booming pet toy business Bark. Not a Miami conversation goes by without Jay reminiscing about bringing Jay Leno to campus (in the early 90's) when he was leading Concert Board as a student.


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Jenny Rooney is one of the most trusted names in journalism when it comes to corporate news and people who make it. Weekly, you can see her interviewing the world's top CEO's and CMO's, in paper and at conferences. She also helped create Miami's Cradle of Marketers conference (with fellow alum Dave Knox), which brings back some of Miami's brightest alumni to give advice and network with current students in the Farmer business school. She also deserves some credit in Beyond High Street as I created the idea of it simply thinking about how to extend the great work she does at the Cradle of Marketers.


Makre sure to follow her on twitter to hear some great interviews with the world's best business minds. 


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When Kyle isn't hanging around with partners like 43-time combined Grand Slam Champion Roger Federer and Serena Williams, he's one of the smartest voices in Sports Marketing. Kyle gives a good perspective when working for a business with large marketing budgets and how to be nimble and different when your budgets aren't so big. He always brags about the Luxembourg experience and recommends international studying for every single student. 


Make sure to root for Kyle's partners in the coming months, and to follow him at @kyleschlegel15.

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Check out my audio below where I share my vision of this new pod, Beyond High Street.

Since graduating more than 20 years ago, I have always wondered what it is – what’s the commonality of all Miami students. We were willing to venture into the farmland and into the corn stalks of southwest Ohio, we left major cities to study and live in a tiny, rural community for 4 years and for some, even more.

I’ll say this - whatever it is - it drives us. It’s why Miami consistently ranks in the top 5 in the country in producing Fortune 500 CEOs and CMOs and It’s why you have seen Miami names on the executive leaderboard at Instagram, twitter and other emerging global brands. The list of Entrepreneurs, business heads, community leaders, media executives and authors is endless, it even includes a former United States President and Super Bowl winning quarterback.

I am going to have weekly conversations with these alum (releasing every Wednesday) and dig into their current experiences and what drove them to Miami and how Miami helped them turn that drive into tangible success.

I hope you enjoy the pod and do share with all Miamians. And follow along on twitter via @BeyondHighSt.

-David Schwab


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