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Trailblazers.FM

Representation matters. The voice of successful black professionals makes a difference. Trailblazers.FM is an interview style podcast, where host Stephen A. Hart seeks out professionals of color in every possible venue, no matter how small. He is determined to find the best entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, creatives and business professionals, representing the most diverse viewpoints. Through these conversations, our listeners (the Blazer Nation) gain the know-how, confidence and mission fuel needed to blaze their own trail.
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Aug 29, 2016
Representative Edwin “Ed” Narain is a dedicated member of the Tampa Bay community and has served in various civic leadership roles for more than two decades. I've known him personally for almost 20 years from our time working together in Student Government at USF.  In November 2014, Ed was elected to the Florida House of Representatives as the State Representative for District 61 and he is presently running for the Florida State Senate District 19 race, with hopes of making a bigger difference for his community, city and the state of Florida. Listen on iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn In this episode, I asked Ed: 02:45 What are you most grateful in your life right now? 06:25 Was there a specific moment when you realized what you were born to do? 07:45 What have been some of the biggest things you learned about yourself since taking the State Representative seat? 09:30 How do you find the right people for your team? 10:50 How do you prepare for really big moments speaking publicly? 12:30 How do you remain in a confident and positive mindset throughout the pressures of an election season? 14:30 What's one of the biggest mistakes you've made as a politician and leader? 16:20 How do you make time for your wife and children, in the midst of this busy election season? 17:20 What are some of the key attributes someone should be looking at Ed Narain for? Why Ed and why now? 26:20 An inspiring message from Ed Narain on the 3 Fs, taking action and just doing it! Links and resources: EdNarain.com Ed Narain on: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram Edwin's Book Recommendation:  All Labor Has Dignity" (King Legacy) by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Edwin Narain's Bio Edwin “Ed” Narain is a dedicated member of the Tampa Bay community who has served in various civic leadership roles more than two decades. The oldest of three sons born to Aubron and Yvonne Narain (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Ed moved to Tampa in 1994 to attend the University of South Florida. There he was elected President of the Student Body (1997-98) and was voted USF’s First Fall Homecoming King. While at South Florida, he partnered with the United Way to develop the first Student driven United Way campaign and received the Department of Student Affairs first Student Leadership Award. In 2015, he received the USF President’s African American Advisory Committee’s Ike Tribble Kente Alumni Award. Ed works has worked with several organizations that are committed to helping children and the working poor. He is a member of the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, and served for several years on the Hillsborough County Head Start Policy Council and the Hillsborough County Community Action Board. A Life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., in 2008 he was honored as the Tampa Alumni Chapter’s Man of the Year. In 2010, he earned the alumni chapter’s Leadership Award for guiding the chapter to its first Southern Province Chapter of the Year Award as President. Professionally, Ed is a Regional Director with AT&T and is a three-time Florida Top Performance Manager of the Year (2009, 2010 & 2013). He has also earned two AT&T Summit Awards given to performers within the top two percent of the company (2005, 2013). A member of Leadership Florida’s College Leadership Florida (Class I) and Connect Florida (Class IV) statewide leadership programs, Ed earned a BA degree in Psychology and a Masters in Business Administration from Saint Leo University. In 2013, he completed a Leadership Certificate and earned a Jurist Doctorate degree from Stetson University College of Law where he also received the Dean’s Award for outstanding service to the law school. In November 2014, Ed was elected to the Florida House of Representatives as the State Representative for District 61. As a freshman legislator, Ed was elected Chairman of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus,
Aug 22, 2016
Cornell Thomas is the perfect example of turning a loss into a win. Two weeks away from playing professional basketball in Europe, Cornell suffered a career ending injury that derailed his dream. Growing up with adversity his whole life allowed Cornell to get past “Why Me” and focus on “What Now”. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn In this episode, I asked Cornell: 02:45 What happened during the years between 2003 and 2010? What was that valley like between basketball and coaching? 11:00 What has been the most amazing thing that's happened since you started the Power of Positivity movement? 16:00 Do you think most people today are unhappy with themselves and their lives?  19:30 Tell us about your Positivity Summit and what you are trying to create with and through this event? 27:00 What do you do to keep pushing yourself to new and higher heights with your work? 30:50 How were you able to get your family to buy into your big entrepreneurial dreams? 32:50 How do you define success? 33:20 What are you most grateful for in your life right now? Links and resources mentioned: Cornell-Thomas.com Cornell on: Twitter, Instagram Cornell's Fav Books:  How to Be Interesting: (In 10 Simple Steps) by Jessica Hagy The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World by Chris Guillebrea Cornell Thomas's Bio Cornell is a father, husband, author, speaker, and coach. Cornell thought his purpose in life was to play professional basketball. In 2003 he received a contract to play professional basketball in Portugal. A dream he had would finally come to fruition.  But two weeks before he was supposed to leave he suffered a career ending injury. Little did he know, that injury would help him find his true purpose in life. In 2010, he decided he wanted to start a new movement. He began writing his own motivational quotes. Those quotes eventually led him to starting and writing a blog, and the blog led to him writing his first book “The Power Of Positivity-Controlling Where The Ball Bounces.” This helped Cornell realize his true purpose, to inspire and motivate others. Cornell now speaks all over the United States, sharing his story with people from all walks of life. He dares others to say and think 'What Now', instead of 'Why Me' when they find themselves faced with adversity. Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to get automatic updates! It’s free! Subscribe / Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn
Aug 15, 2016
Phaon Spurlock serves as the Communications Manager for the Multicultural Marketing department at Prudential Financial. He is also the Founder of LuxuriousPROTOTYPE Online Men’s Lifestyle Magazine and Owner of BKLYN LEAGUE Men’s Apparel, Accessories and Home Goods. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn In this episode, we discussed a lot and I asked Phaon several questions, including:  What was your dream as a child?  What have been the biggest lessons you've learned about yourself while working in your corporate marketing gigs, that carried over and helped you create the magazine and your new brand, BKLYN LEAGUE?  What was the big opportunity you saw most other fashion entrepreneurs missing, that sparked the idea and led you to creating BKLYN League?  How do you impose life balance, eating right, exercise and the other important elements of a healthy life, when you're required to work an extra 6-8 hours some days to make your entrepreneurial dream a reality?  What are you most grateful for right now?  What can we look forward to with you? Are there any big dreams and goals on your vision board for the next 10 years and beyond that you'd care to share with us? Links and resources mentioned: BKLYNLeague.com Phaon on: Twitter, Instagram BKLYN League on: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook LuxuriousPrototype on: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, website Phaon's Fav Book:  The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, Updated and Expanded Phaon Spurlock's Bio Phaon Spurlock serves as the Communications Manager for the Multicultural Marketing department at Prudential Financial. He is also the Founder of LuxuriousPROTOTYPE Online Men’s Lifestyle Magazine and Owner of BKLYN LEAGUE Men’s Apparel, Accessories and Home Goods. Phaon’s professional background includes marketing and communication experience working with Seedco, Alloy Media & Marketing, Major League Baseball, New York State Senate, USA Network and McDonalds. He holds a BS in Biology from Southeastern Louisiana University and a Marketing Certificate from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He also serves as a junior board member at the Eagle Academy Foundation. He is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc, Carnegie Hall, New Jersey Performing Arts Center LGBT Advisory Council and Ivy. Phaon has a passion for community service and philanthropy which is why he spends much of his time volunteering for Hashtag Lunch Bag, Impulse Group NYC and Eagle Academy and contributing to the American Museum of Natural History, 20/20/20, Order of Malta, MoCADA, Black Lives Matter Movement, Evidence Dance Company and the Guggenheim Museum. He was recently listed as one of the 100 Modern Men of Distinction for Black Enterprise Magazine, one of the 6 Young Professionals on the Rise – Success in the Career Jungle 2014 & 2015 and Top 50 New Media Moguls – Rainbow Fashion Network 2014. Phaon is a Brooklyn, NY resident and a Baton Rouge, LA native. Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to get automatic updates! It’s free! Subscribe / Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn
Aug 8, 2016
Maurice Cherry is the founder and principal at Lunch, a multidisciplinary studio in Atlanta, GA that helps creative brands craft messages and tell stories for their targeted audiences, including fostering relationships with underrepresented communities. Past clients and collaborators include Vox Media, NIKE, Mediabistro, Site5, SitePoint, and The City of Atlanta. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn In this episode, we discussed a lot and I asked Maurice several questions, including: 02:00 What are you most grateful for in your life right now? 03:30 What are you hoping to create through your brands? 05:25 What are you most passionate about when building these platforms? 06:25 What have been some of the biggest lessons you've learned? 11:00 Are you able to monetize the podcast? 12:30 What have you been doing in your business in the past 6 months to 1 year that have brought you to the success you're experiencing today? 19:15 Is it still important that we establish a solid brand identity? Why?? 24:00 Share a road block, challenge or fear you had and how you overcame it to move forward 30:00 Share a couple lessons that someone listening who is wanting to pivot needs to know to grow and succeed on their journey? 32:30 What can we look forward to with you in 10 years and beyond? Links and resources mentioned: MauriceCherry.com Lunch: YepItsLunch.com Podcast: RevisionPath.com Maurice's Fav Books:  Creative Strategy and The Business of Design Unlabel: Selling You without Selling Out The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers Design is a Job The Five  Love Languages Maurice Cherry Bio Maurice Cherry is the founder and principal at Lunch, a multidisciplinary studio in Atlanta, GA that helps creative brands craft messages and tell stories for their targeted audiences, including fostering relationships with underrepresented communities. Past clients and collaborators include Vox Media, NIKE, Mediabistro, Site5, SitePoint, and The City of Atlanta. Maurice is a pioneering digital creator who is most well-known for the Black Weblog Awards, the Web's longest running event celebrating Black bloggers, video bloggers, and podcasters. Other projects of Maurice's include the award-winning podcast Revision Path, 28 Days of the Web, and The Year of Tea. His projects and overall design work and advocacy have been recognized by NPR, News One, CNN, AIGA, HOW, Print, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, and The Los Angeles Times. Maurice is also an educator, and has built curricula and taught courses on web design, web development, email marketing, WordPress, and podcasting for thousands of students over the past ten years. Maurice was named one of Atlanta’s “Power 30 Under 30″ in the field of Science and Technology by the Apex Society, one of HP’s “50 Tech Tastemakers” in conjunction with Black Web 2.0, and was selected by Atlanta Tribune as one of 2014's Young Professionals. Maurice holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Morehouse College and a Masters degree in telecommunications management from Keller Graduate School of Management. Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to get automatic updates! It’s free! Subscribe / Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn
Aug 1, 2016
Tameka Montgomery was appointed by President Obama to lead the Office of Entrepreneurial Development at the U.S. Small Business Administration.  In her capacity as Associate Administrator, she is charged with driving programs and policies that support national entrepreneurial training and education programs such as Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Regional Innovation Clusters, ScaleUp America, online education and the national SCORE mentoring program. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn In this episode, we discussed a lot and I asked Tameka several questions, including: 03:10 Could you tell us a little about what it is that you do in your day to day at SBA? 05:50 What have been the biggest lessons you have learned about yourself during the term of this appointment? 07:00 Could you maybe dispel the myth about SBA providing direct funds and loans, and maybe explain a few of the ways the SBA is able to assist a startup & existing business with getting access to capital? 08:45 What % of SBA guaranteed loans are going to minority and women owned businesses? 11:45 How can we go about gaining access to SBA guaranteed loans / funding? 13:20 How can we connect with local Small Business Development Centers? 13:55 Are these local centers and agencies independent of the Small Business Administration? 14:15 The costs of working with business advisors through SBA and their partner resource agencies 15:30 The scope of the resources available to individuals locally across the U.S. 17:15 Tell us about some of the biggest mistakes you've seen entrepreneurs making as it relates to marketing their business? 18:30 Are Small Business Development Centers able to assist with the market research needs of business owners? 20:00 What are some effective strategies that you and your team have been able to work with businesses across the country and help them not only experience staying power, but help them grow steadily over time? 22:30 What would be 2 or 3 fundamental lessons you'd want me to take hold of in the process of that pivot to entrepreneurship? How can I begin to lay the right foundation to grow and succeed on my entrepreneurial journey? 27:00 What's next for you? Are there any big goals and plans on your vision board that you'd care to share with us? Links and resources mentioned: Small Business Administration website Tameka Montgomery on LinkedIn Tameka's Fav Resource: Trip Case App Tameka's Fav Books:  The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller   Tameka Montgomery Bio Associate Administrator, Office of Entrepreneurial Development US Small Business Administration. In 2013, Tameka Montgomery was appointed by President Obama to lead the Office of Entrepreneurial Development at the U.S. Small Business Administration.  In her capacity as Associate Administrator, she is charged with driving programs and policies that support national entrepreneurial training and education programs such as Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Regional Innovation Clusters, ScaleUp America, online education and the national SCORE mentoring program.  Ms. Montgomery believes that small businesses truly are the economic backbone of our nation.  She has a passion for equipping individuals with the tools needed to achieve the American Dream of building a successful and thriving small business. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Montgomery was the executive director of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation as well as the executive director of the nationally recognized Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (Denver Metro SBDC) for more than seven years. While there, she provided vision, leadership and strategic direction to develop and deliver programming and services for small businesses. Under Montgomery’s leadership,
Jul 25, 2016
Dr. Christi Hay, MD MPH is a board certified general pediatrician.  She attended Stanford University for undergrad and University of Virginia for medical school.  She's worked in academia as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics for The George Washington University, and also worked in private practice for several years.  A few years ago she left a busy practice to begin Palisades Pediatrics, and she now focuses her time on providing personalized pediatric care to her patients right in their very own home.   Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn In this episode, I asked Dr. Hay several questions, including: 03:15 What are you most grateful for right now? 04:00 What ignited the desire to be a doctor and to focus on pediatrics? 05:45 What are some of the big lessons you learned while working at Children’s? 08:20 Tell us a little more about Palisades Pediatrics? 11:45 Where did you get business guidance to pivot to where you are now? 14:45 Do you have a support system and people who help to hold you accountable today? 15:45 How do you fight through the self doubt and challenges that come, how do you push through that? 21:15 Before starting your practice, did you actually do research to see if potential patients would like home visits? 25:00 What are a couple fundamental steps other doctors need to know to lay the right foundation for setting up their own practice? Links and resources mentioned: Palisades Pediatrics website  Palisades Pediatrics on Facebook Dr Hay's Fav Resource: SmartPhone Calculator App Dr Hay's Fav Books:  Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg   Christi Hay's Bio & TEDX Talk Dr. Christi Hay is a native of California, who now calls the Washington Metropolitan area home. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Biology from Stanford University, a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan and her Medical Degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Dr. Hay completed a pediatric residency program at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. She is a board certified general pediatrician. Dr. Hay has worked in academia for The George Washington University as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics. In this capacity, Dr. Hay taught pediatric residents, medical and physician assistant students. Dr. Hay also worked in private practice in the Spring Valley area of Washington, DC for several years. Dr. Hay enjoys all aspects of pediatrics but she has special interests in developmental delays, early childhood literacy, breastfeeding, reactive airway disease/asthma, nutrition and fitness.   Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to get automatic updates! It’s free! Subscribe / Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn
Jul 18, 2016
Melissa Carter is the founder of "IGNITE WITH MELISSA", LLC. She holds an MBA and is a former music industry corporate executive turned Life Empowerment and Strategy Coach. After years of morbid obesity preventing her from tying her own shoes, depression, failed relationships, and a core belief system of not being "good enough," Melissa embarked on a 150-pound weight loss journey that inspired a career and life transformation.   Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn In this episode, I asked Melissa several questions, including:  What are you most grateful for right now?  What ignited a desire in you to want to get into the music industry?  What are some of the big lessons you learned while working with these music brands?  How do you explain what's inside you, that allowed you to get up each day with positive gratitude and fight the natural urges ... that ... most of us have to remain in the place of comfort... eating what we love to eat ... making a 1,000 excuses why we can't change our outward appearance?  Talk about your support system that helped you through your dark valleys?  What are you doing today as a Holistic Life Coach and what does your day to day look like?  You're having a bad day, bad week, bad month. You're facing business challenges, family issues, someone you know is ill, life is happening ... right ... How do you handle your clients and your work and push through those moments when life is happening?  Do you think that despite losing your relationship and the pain of going through other loss, you gained clarity and revealed your purpose? Links and resources mentioned: IgniteWithMelissa.com  Melissa on Instagram  Melissa on Twitter Melissa's Fav Books:  Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck Melissa Carter's Bio Melissa Carter is the founder of "IGNITE WITH MELISSA", LLC. She holds an MBA and is a former music industry corporate executive turned Life Empowerment and Strategy Coach. After years of morbid obesity preventing her from tying her own shoes, depression, failed relationships, and a core belief system of not being "good enough," Melissa embarked on a 150-pound weight loss journey that inspired a career and life transformation. Melissa recreated her whole life from the inside out.  Facing her deepest fears, demons, and past through her Believe.Commit.Live  process she rewrote and rewired her thought patterns, self care practice and belief system that now supports her living a powerful life. A life of purpose, love, abundance and contribution. She now pays forward what she believes is a second chance at life through her Life Empowerment and Strategy coaching practice. Through her three-step approach to life, Melissa is confident that you can transform YOUR life to be anything you want as long as you BELIEVE.COMMIT.LIVE with love, integrity, dedication, and gratitude and of course a KEEP IT REAL and POSITIVE attitude.    Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to get automatic updates! It’s free! Subscribe / Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn
Jul 11, 2016
Koki Adasi is a motivated and dedicated real estate agent. In 2008, Koki was recognized by REALTOR Magazine as one of the thirty most talented, up-and-coming realtors in the U.S. In 2009 he provided real estate expertise on CNN's The Situation Room and NPR, and in 2010 he appeared on an episode of HGTV's television show House Hunters. Since that time Koki has lent his expertise to several different media outlets including: Washington Post, Washingtonian Magazine, The Gazette and Real Estate Radio.  Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn In this episode, I asked Koki several questions, including: 01:30 What are you most grateful for right now? 03:15 Why are you passionate about the work you're doing in real estate? 06:00 What have been some of the biggest lessons you've learned as a real estate agent? 07:15 How do you define success? 09:00 What have been some of the basics steps you've been practicing in the last 6 months to a year, that have helped you pave the way for the success you're now experiencing? 11:20 Why are people choosing to do business with Koki & Associates? Why do you think they're paying you and your team for your services versus choosing to work with another agent? What sets you apart? 15:00 Tell us a story about one road block, challenge, or fear that you experienced? What happened and what did you do to overcome it and move forward?? 18:30 Do you have coaches or mentors today who help to guide you & your business and hold you accountable toward achieving your goals?? 20:10 At what point did you decide on seeking out coaches & mentors? Why do you think you are able to produce at a higher level because of your coach & mentors?? 21:45 Koki shares his amazing journey & lessons learned from basketball Links and resources mentioned: Kokiisthekey.com  Koki on Twitter  Koki on LinkedIn Koki's Fav Resources: Instagram Koki's Fav Books:  The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod The Success Principles(TM) - 10th Anniversary Edition: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield   Koki Adasi's Bio Koki Adasi is a motivated and dedicated real estate agent who places customer satisfaction as his number one priority. Having grown up in the DC area -- attending Magruder High School and Mount Saint Mary's University -- Koki is perfectly situated to provide professional guidance and area knowledge to his clients. He first entered the real estate business in 2006 while looking for a career that would allow him to combine two of his passions: people and real estate. In 2008, Koki was recognized by REALTOR Magazine as one of the thirty most talented, up-and-coming realtors in the U.S., in 2009 he provided real estate expertise on CNN's The Situation Room and NPR, and in 2010 he appeared on an episode of HGTV's television show House Hunters. Since that time Koki has lent his expertise to several different media outlets including: Washington Post, Washingtonian, The Gazette and Real Estate Radio. He currently is on the Board of Directors for the Greater Capitol Area Association of REALTORS® and is Co-Chair for the National Association of REALTORS® Meetings and Conference Committee Outside of real estate, Koki's time is spent with his family, in volunteer activities or on the basketball court. He has served on the Board of Directors for YMCA Youth & Family Services since 2006, and was recognized by the Greater Capital Area YMCA as Philanthropist of the Year in 2011. Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally,
Jul 4, 2016
Dr. Marquita M. Qualls has over 25 years of leadership experience in consulting, coaching, and motivating people who want to produce order out of their chaos. Though a scientist by training, she commands a masterful understanding of the human aspects needed to thrive in today’s fast-paced and competitive business environment. She founded Entropia Consulting, a small management consulting firm that focuses on helping individuals become more productive and effective leaders. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn In this episode, I asked Dr. Qualls several questions, including: What was your dream growing up? What inspired you to pursue a degree in Chemistry? What are some of the biggest lessons you learned about yourself during your years with Glaxo? Tell us about your transition from Glaxo to starting your own consulting business? What is the exact problem your clients are having and how are you able to help provide a solution through your coaching services? Share one of your road blocks that caused you to have to take a major detour. What happened and how did you overcome it and get back on track?  How do you learn to love doing hard work you don't want to do? Why is learning a super power? What does successful leadership look like? What can we look forward to with you? Are there any big dreams and goals on your vision board for the next 5-10 years and beyond that you'd care to share with us? Links and resources mentioned: Marquita Qualls on Entropia Consuting Marquita Qualls on Twitter Marquita Qualls on LinkedIn Marquita's Fav Resources: Schedulista Marquita's Fav Book: Oh, The Places You'll Go!   Marquita M. Quall's Bio Marquita M. Qualls, Ph.D. has over 25 years of leadership experience in consulting, coaching, and motivating people who want to produce order out of their chaos. Dr. Qualls possesses the rare combination of strong technical ability and impressive soft skills. Though a scientist by training, she commands a masterful understanding of the human aspects needed to thrives in today’s fast-paced and competitive business environment. Her technical side drives an ability to gather perspectives and analyze feedback, while at the same time connecting with clients and guiding them towards achieving results. This has enabled her to function and make seamless transitions between the scientific and non-technical worlds. She has a gift for listening to what's not being said and asks the probing questions to help you arrive at a solution. Her style is often described by her clients as energetic, engaging, and empowering. She understands what it takes to be an extraordinary leader. She is a former National President of a professional technical organization and was a member of the team that created the Leadership Development System® for the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. She has also served on the editorial advisory board of Chemical & Engineering News, The Chemical Science Roundtable of the National Academies, and an Entrepreneur in Residence with Innovate Mississippi . Dr. Qualls has consulted with teams and coached professionals within governmental, educational, corporate, and nonprofit sectors including the Department of Homeland Security, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Jackson State University, P&G, Purdue University, The Dow Chemical Company, and American Chemical Society, Association of Women in Science, NOBCChE and SACNAS. Dr. Qualls’ professional career was rooted at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world. During nearly a decade at GSK, she held roles of increased global responsibility spanning drug development, technology evaluation, program management, strategy development, and people development. She founded Entropia Consulting, a small management consulting firm that focuses on helping individuals become more productive and effective leade...
Jun 27, 2016
Lorine Pendleton is a seasoned business development executive with extensive experience in the legal, internet/new media and entertainment industries. She is the US Director of Business Development for the largest global law firm in the world.  She is also an active angel investor who invests and advises women and minority-led companies.  Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn In this episode, I asked Lorine these questions: What was your dream as a child? Did you always have dreams of being a lawyer? What are the biggest things you learned about yourself in your time at Londell McMillan PC? Why transition from being a practicing attorney to your present role with Dentons? Do you have mentors today? When did you begin learning about the process of being an investor? Explain what an angel investor is and does?  What are the most important metrics that you're looking for as an angel and that help you decide whether you're going to take action and invest with a founder? How do you keep from falling into and getting stuck in comfort zones with work? What do you do to push yourself to new and higher heights? Share a couple fundamental lessons that black women and minority founders need to know, to grow their business and raise funds. 00:00 -  What can we look forward to with you? Are there any big dreams and goals on your vision board for the next 10 years and beyond that you'd care to share with us? Lorine shares 8 alternate sources to seek funding beyond traditional angel / venture capital (V.C.) funding: Government Grants Small Business Research Innovation Program Business Technology Transfer Program Economic Development Agencies  Startup Competitions Verizon Powerful Answers Competition Startup Accelerator Programs Crowd Funding Websites  Links and resources mentioned: Lorine Pendleton on Twitter Lorine Pendleton on LinkedIn Lorine's article on Black Enterprise Lorine - AngelList Lorine's Fav Resources: Evernote Lorine's Fav Book:  The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business; Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?: How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion-Dollar Business Empire   Lorine Pendleton's Bio Lorine Pendlenton is a seasoned business development executive with extensive experience in the legal, internet/new media and entertainment industries.  She is the US Director of Business Development for the largest global law firm in the world.  She previously worked at Simpson Thacher, one of the oldest and most prestigious law firms in the US.  Previous stints include working at a number of startups such as SelectMinds, developer of web-based social network programs for corporations acquired by Oracle and Community Connect, the publisher of the leading ethnic social networking websites BlackPlanet, AsianAvenue, and MiGente, acquired by Interactive One. She is a former practicing attorney at Londell McMillan PC, a leading entertainment boutique law firm, where she structured and negotiated multifaceted entertainment and media deals on behalf of her clients such as Prince, Spike Lee, Ruff Ryders Records, Faith Evans, Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan. Lorine is an active angel investor who invests and advises women and minority led companies.  Her portfolio includes Cisse Trading, Traklight, Hire an Esquire and Nextwave Rising Tide Fund.  She is an alumna of Pipeline Angels, an angel investing bootcamp which trains women to become angel investors and increase diversity in the US angel investing community. Lorine served on the board of directors for the National Black Programming Consortium, which provides funds and distributes films and TB programs relating to African Americans with principal funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting/PBS. She also served on the board of Living Labs Foundation, which organized the TEDxHarlem conference in Harlem in 2012.
Jun 20, 2016
Indigo Ocean Dutton is the founder of Aspiratech, Awaken Business Consulting, and Phone Buddies Peer Counseling Community. She is the author of Being Bliss and Micro Habits for Major Happiness. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn Indigo and I discussed: 03:00 -  Whether there was any significance or meaning to the name Indigo Ocean 04:00 -  Her life's story leading up to her time spent in Bali 09:00 -  What provided the winning mindset to achieve so much after leaving Bali 13:45 -  How she went from being a 1099 business consulting contractor making $23/hr, moved up to $75/hr and then jumped ship to running her own show and getting a $300k contract inside of 2 years 25:00 -  What gets her out of her comfort zone and reaching for new and higher heights  29:30 -  She shares two (2) effective foundation steps every new entrepreneurs must get right  Links and resources mentioned: Indigo's Website Indigo Ocean on LinkedIn Indigo Ocean on Twitter Indigo Ocean on YouTube Indigo's Fav Book: The Power of Myths by Joseph Campbell Indigo Ocean's Bio Indigo Ocean Dutton, MA is the founder of the Aspiratech corporate business technology consulting and training firm and Awaken Business Consulting business development programs for spiritually oriented entrepreneurs. Indigo is also the founder of the Phone Buddies Peer Counseling Community, one of her service projects. She is also the author of Being Bliss and Micro Habits for Major Happiness. Indigo received her MA in Integral Counseling Psychology from the CA Institute of Integral Studies and her BA in International Commerce from Brown University. Indigo’s background working with youths stretches over several decades. Most recently she has taught meditation to incarcerated teenagers as an instructor at Mind, Body Awareness Institute, developed and taught a teen entrepreneur development workshop at Berkeley Youth Alternatives, and served on the Board of Directors of Future Leaders Institute. Before returning to CA in 2007, Indigo worked as a school based Behavioral Health Specialist for the state of Hawaii. Indigo began volunteering in her teens, creating a county Youth Council at the age of 15 and a summer crafts camp for younger children later that same year. She has been a dance teacher, land trust community builder, and radio talk show host, among her many work/service endeavors over the years. Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to get automatic updates! It’s free! Subscribe / Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn
Jun 13, 2016
Kelly Leonard is a speaker, trainer, award-winning CEO, and former Fortune 500 Vice President. A certified public accountant (CPA-inactive) and corporate trainer with over twenty-five years serving government, non-profit, private and public industries [including Fortune 100], Kelly has an innate ability to connect with diverse audiences across disciplines. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn Some of the questions I asked Kelly: 06:00 -  Was being an entrepreneur and business woman your dream as a kid?  08:00 -  What were some of the big lessons you learned about business and about yourself [as a CPA]? 10:00 -  Take us through the transition from CPA to CEO of your own company? How did that unfold and over what period? 13:40 -  Are there any rituals or routines that help to sharpen your mind and keep you grounded? 14:45 -  Is Taylor Leonard Corporation more of a lifestyle brand?  16:00 -  Could you share with us one of your road blocks that caused you to have to take a major detour.  Tell us about that challenging time, what happened and how you were able to overcome it and get back on track? 20:00 -  How has family had an effect on shaping the business woman that you are today? 21:45 -  Why is LinkedIn so valuable for those that learn to use it effectively? 24:15 -  What could we put into practice today to make LinkedIn more effective for us?  Links and resources mentioned: Taylor Leonard Corporation Website Kelly Leonard on LinkedIn Kelly Leonard on Twitter Kelly's Fav Book: The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson; How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie Kelly Leonard's Bio Kelly Leonard is a speaker, trainer, award-winning CEO, and former Fortune 500 Vice President. A certified public accountant (CPA-inactive) and corporate trainer with over twenty-five years serving government, non-profit, private and public industries [including Fortune 100], Kelly has an innate ability to connect with diverse audiences across disciplines. Prior to becoming CEO of Taylor-Leonard Corporation (T-LC), Kelly held leadership positions with GE Capital, Kaiser Permanente, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Currently, Kelly oversees T-LC's [LinkedIn] training and business development practices. Kelly has personally trained 5,000+ participants using the same methodologies that resulted in her firm generating $500,000+ in new consulting revenue in their core IT competency (Customer Relationship Management) within the first 24 months of strategy implementation. Although Taylor-Leonard Corporation’s clients include government agencies, non-profits, and publicly traded companies, Kelly’s most passionate about leveraging the best practices of multinational enterprises to be a catalyst, compass, and connector of new business development and expansion for entrepreneurs and the small business community. Kelly is a wife and mother of two teenagers. In addition to serving as marriage mentors in their local church, Kelly and her husband, Jerome, are Area Developers for Nehemiah Project; a global non-profit organization whose mission is to build and equip kingdom businesses globally using Christian business training, education, and coaching tools.   Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to get automatic updates! It’s free! Subscribe / Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn
Jun 6, 2016
Keion Jackson is an Author and Senior Writer for Hallmark Cards.  He's also a playwright, having written and produced his first play, Gumbo House, that debuted in theaters in Kansas City, MO in March 2016.   Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn In this episode, we discussed: 01:30 -  His dream as a kid growing up in Port Allen, Louisiana  03:00 -  What Keion does in his day to day as a Senior Writer at Hallmark Cards  05:00 -  What inspired him to write his first play, Gumbo House 07:00 -  What he learned about himself in his first independent project with the play 09:00 -  What he does to keep from falling into comfort zones as a writer, having written for different mediums 10:30 -  Tips on how to avoid writer's block and produce something original, creative and worth reading 13:40 -  How faith influenced his career 15:00 -  How he got involved writing about faith and authoring a book for Hallmark Cards Links and resources mentioned: Keion's Hallmark Book, Because Jesus Shop from Keion's collection Keion Jackson on Twitter Keion's Fav Resources: RhymeZone.com, Thesaurus.com Keion's Fav Book: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi A portion of Gumbo House proceeds was donated to lowernine.org, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the long-term recovery of the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the levee breaches of 2005.   Keion Jackson's Bio Keion Jackson is an author of the Hallmark book, Because Jesus.  He is a Senior Writer for Hallmark's Creative Writing Studios, where he's been employed since graduating from Clark Atlanta University in 2008.  Keion is originally from Port Allen, Louisiana, and has a twin sister.  He knew from a very young age that he was meant to be a writer. Keion was selected by Hallmark, to write about his faith.  But that said, he's a very creative, extremely funny, down to earth guy that you immediately feel like you know. Keion is also a playwright, and wrote / produced his first play, Gumbo House, directed by Teresa Leggard, in March 2016 in Kansas City, MO.   Keion is also now working through his first documentary on christian hip hop.  We are excited and can't wait to see both his play in a theater near us and hopefully his documentary on Netflix in the next year or so.   Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to get automatic updates! It’s free! Subscribe / Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn
May 30, 2016
Tiffany Hardin developed Gild Creative Group, a consultation firm providing cultural engagement activation strategies for brands & advertisers. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn In this episode, we discussed: 04:30 -  What provided her a winning mindset on such a big stage 09:15 -  What inspired her to start her own consulting firm 12:30 -  Gild Creative Group and what she does as the Cultural Engagement Strategist 19:30 -  Mentors that are helping guide her forward 20:30 -  How family affected her entrepreneurial journey 22:15 -  Some of the biggest lessons she learned while building Gild 25:20 -  Fears of failing to achieve set goals or responsibilities that follow 28:30 -  How she keeps herself from falling into comfort zones with her work 31:20 -  2 things Tiffany is working on right now as part of her future vision/goals Links and resources mentioned: Tiffany Hardin's Website Gild Creative Group She Knows Now Tiffany on Twitter Tiffany's Fav App: Weather App Tiffany's Fav Book: Million Dollar Women: The Essential Guide for Female Entrepreneurs Who Want to Go Big Tiffany Hardin Bio Tiffany Hardin developed Gild Creative Group, a consultation firm providing cultural engagement activation strategies for brands & advertisers such as Mother Industries, Civic Entertainment and Doner Agency.  Additionally, she consults creative talents such as media savant, Karen Civil, fashion expert, Vanessa Simmons, and, hip hop artist, Kris Kasanova on developing their brand as a business, as well as, developing key brand partnerships. Dedicated to paying it forward, she is also an adjunct professor at NYU- Clive Davis School of Recorded Music. Hardin is the founder of She Knows Now, a platform dedicated to collecting and sharing the insights of confident, driven women who share what they each know for sure. She served on the boards of SoundCtrl, Music Unites, Council of Urban Professionals, and AdColor, and, currently serves on the leadership board of Live in The Grey. She is an avid speaker on Influencer Marketing, Women in Entrepreneurship, Music & Branding, Social Media Marketing, and Music/Tech at conferences such as Social Media Week, Internet Week, SXSW, AdColor and Adweek. Hardin had previously held positions at Violator Management, Monami Entertainment and Translation LLC prior to her entrepreneurial endeavors. Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to get automatic updates! It’s free! Subscribe / Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn PHOTO CREDIT: SAM TEICH
May 23, 2016
Dr. Jason Carthen is a former NFL football player for the New England Patriots and a highly sought-after international speaker in the areas of leadership, motivation and identifying your purpose in life. He has delivered his own unique brand of inspiration, passion and practical ideas to people in over 1000 audiences worldwide. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn In this episode, we discussed: 05:00 -  Dr. Jason's dream as a kid  06:00 -  Lessons learned playing under New England Patriots Coach Bill Parcells 09:00 -  Difficulty letting go of football and pivoting to the next chapter of his life 12:00 -  Mentors that guided him through his transitional years after football 13:00 -  What Dr. Jason attributes to his tremendous success today 14:45 -  How family factors into his entrepreneurial endeavors 17:30 -  What Dr. Jason does to keep pushing forward to new and higher heights 19:30 -  Steps someone starting over or pivoting needs to know 36:45 -  4 foundations for success Links and resources mentioned: Jason Carthen Website Dr. Jason on Instagram Dr. Jason on Twitter Dr. Jason's Facebook Page Send a text "ispeaklife" to 38470, to sign up to his daily quotes Jason's Fav Apps: Evernote, ScreenFlow Jason's Fav Books: MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom, 52 Ways to Tackle Leadership for Your Success!: Lessons in Leadership and Life (Lessons for Leadership and Life Book Series) (Volume 1) Jason Carthen, Ph.D. Bio Known as The Leadership Linebacker™ Dr. Jason Carthen is a former professional football player for the New England Patriots and a highly sought-after international speaker in the areas of leadership, motivation and identifying your purpose in life. He has delivered his own unique brand of inspiration, passion and practical ideas to people in over 1000 audiences worldwide. He is the Founder of Speak Life University™, which provides Business & Leadership Development programs for anyone interested in increasing their capacity to influence others positively through exceptional leadership. A prolific author, Dr. Jason has written over 150 articles and published three books related to leadership, business and personal development. His fourth highly anticipated book, Destiny Focused Leadership™ details the key behavioral traits of successful leaders that want to live and leave a legacy for their followers. He is also the author of several best-selling Online Courses addressing Leadership, Business and Sales strategy. No matter where he may be speaking or who his audience may be, the foundation of Dr. Jason’s message remains the same. You can achieve any goal, you can overcome any obstacle and you can find solutions to your toughest challenges by suspending your beliefs about what is possible and what is not when it comes to achieving your Destiny! Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to get automatic updates! It’s free! Subscribe / Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn
May 16, 2016
Shawn Dove serves as the CEO of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA), a national membership organization dedicated to ensuring the growth, sustainability and impact of leaders and organizations focused on improving the life outcomes of America’s Black men and boys.   Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn In this episode, we discussed: 05:45 -  Shawn's dream as a young black child  08:05 -  Who Shawn describes as his most valuable mentor growing up in New York  10:30 -  CBMA's back story and what he does in his day to day role 15:35 -  The biggest lessons he learned about himself in the process of growing CBMA 20:00 -  How great leaders can continue to have vision and be successful 24:00 -  Shawn's blind spots as a leader 26:00 -  Why it's so important to lead with generosity in your relationships 29:00 -  What to do when speaking publicly, to make ourselves unforgettable 32:30 -  What he'd do if he were the head of our nation's educational system 36:40 -  The effects of being a husband and father of 4 children on his career journey 47:00 -  Shawn's inspiring poem: "Discover your G-Spot and Become a Gold Digger" Links and resources mentioned: Campaign for Black Male Achievement Shawn on Twitter Shawn's Fav App: Apple's Podcast App Shawn's Fav Book: Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice - Dennis Kimbro Shawn's Bio Shawn Dove serves as the CEO of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA), a national membership organization dedicated to ensuring the growth, sustainability and impact of leaders and organizations focused on improving the life outcomes of America’s Black men and boys. Started by the Open Society Foundations in 2008 as the nation’s largest philanthropic initiative on this issue, Dove’s leadership has propelled CBMA into becoming an independent entity, growing its membership to more than 4,000 leaders representing over 2,000 organizations nation-wide. For more than a decade, Dove has demonstrated catalytic leadership in helping to establish and develop the field of Black Male Achievement. He has served as a lead organizer of the Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys & Young Men of Color; brokered a partnership between Open Society Foundations, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the City of New York to launch the NYC Young Men’s Initiative; and helped seed the launch of the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. Under Dove’s direction, CBMA’s efforts led to the creation of the nation’s first-ever Black Male Achievement fellowship for social entrepreneurs in partnership with Echoing Green, and he played a key role in the formation of Cities United, a national strategy that facilitates partnerships between mayors, municipal leaders and community-based organizations to eliminate violent deaths of Black men and boys in over 70 cities. Prior to heading up the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Dove held over 20 years of leadership experience as a youth development professional, community-builder and advocate for children and families. He began his professional career as Executive Director of The DOME Project, a NYC-based youth development organization, then went on to become Director of Youth Ministries for First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, NJ, where he managed the 7,000-member institution’s youth development initiatives, strategic partnerships and cross-ministry collaborations. Dove also served as the New York Vice President for MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, during which time he successfully doubled the organization’s membership of mentoring programs and created The Male Mentoring Project, a city-wide public awareness and recruitment strategy to grow more African American and Latino male mentors in New York City. As Creative Communities Director for the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts, Dove led and managed the technical assistance,
May 9, 2016
Host Stephen Hart shares a unique story and discusses the 5 core themes evident in the first fourteen interviews of the podcast. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn Today's Show Notes: It was on my heart today to share a story with you all to set the stage for what I wanted you to take away most from today's episode. This story was originally told by a man by the name of Dr. Russell Herman Conwell, and he told this story more than 6,000 times all around the world. Dr. Conwell went on to become the founder of Temple University in Philadelphia. I was introduced to Dr. Conwell by his now famous inspirational lecture, Acres of Diamonds, and it has inspired me in so many ways and I'd like to take a couple minutes at the beginning of this episode today, to share a brief summary of this inspiring story with you. This is a true story of a persian farmer named Ali Hafed who was a wealthy man.  One day Ali Hafed heard tales about the exciting stories of other African settlers who had made millions by discovering diamond mines.  Now after he had heard all about diamonds, & how much they were worth ... he quickly became discontented.  Realizing the African continent was rich in diamonds, the farmer became determined to have a mine of diamonds for himself and so he sold his farm, left his family and went in search of diamonds. Ali Hafed spent the rest of his life wondering Africa and Europe, searching for diamonds without success.  Finally, broke and desperate, he threw himself into a tidal wave in Barcelona and drowned. Meanwhile, the man who had purchased Ali Hafed's farm, one day led his camel into the garden to find water to drink and as the camel put its nose into the shallow waters of that garden's brook, he found a large and unusual black stone in the stream which cut through the property.  It turned out to be a great diamond of enormous value.  and then he'd discovered that his farm was covered with all sorts of beautiful and valuable gems.  It was to become one of the world's richest diamond mines of all time.   the largest diamonds on earth came from that mine. You see, Ali Hafed had owned literally acres of diamonds but had sold them for practically nothing, to go in search of them elsewhere. If Ali Hafed had only taken the time to study, to know what diamonds looked like in their rough state, and thoroughly explored his land, his gardens and the streams he owned, he would have had the millions he sought, right on the land he'd been living on. The message of this story, that I hope to impart to you today is that each of you listening today, is at this moment, standing in your own acres of diamonds.  Together, we have heard so far from 14 trailblazers who are each experiencing success in their own lives.  They are each successfully mining their own acres of diamonds. If we can extract some wisdom from those interviews and have the patience to intelligently and effectively explore how that can be applied to the work we are doing today, we will most definitely find the riches we seek, whether financial or intangible or both. As Earle Nightingale once said on this very topic: "Before we go running off to what we think are greener pastures, let's make sure that our own is not just as green, or perhaps even greener.  while we are looking at other pastures, other people are looking at ours." Somewhere within the work you are doing today, there lurks an opportunity which could bring you everything you could possibly want for yourself and your family. I hope that these past 14 weeks have blessed you, as much as it's been a blessing to me.  I would never have guessed that in the first 3 months of this podcast,  we would have had an opportunity to talk with so many brilliant and amazing trailblazers who have pushed through their biggest failures and challenges to experience success. In the past few days, I discovered that the Trailblazers Podcast has already been download...
May 2, 2016
Clarence Wooten is a Serial Entrepreneur, Investor and Public Speaker in Palo Alto, California. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn Clarence Wooten's Bio Clarence Wooten is a serial internet entrepreneur who has been creating and building Internet startups since 1998. Back then he co-founded and was CEO of ImageCafe.com, an online superstore of pre-fabricated websites for small businesses. ImageCafe was acquired for $23 million by Network Solutions/Verisign in November 1999, 7-months after launch and just before the dot com bubble popped. After being an entrepreneur based in Maryland his entire career, Clarence moved to Palo Alto, CA in early 2011 -- to the heart of Silicon Valley, with the goal of doing it bigger and better. In pursuit of this goal, he recently founded VentureFund.io where he serves as CEO; and co-founded Progressly where he serves as Chairman. VentureFund.io is a real-time traction marketplace that makes it easy for founders to build relationships with investors simply by sharing a live-feed of their startup's growth data. Our goal is to reduce selection bias and make access to capital performance driven. Clarence is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and was honored as a distinguished alumnus in 2010. In this episode, we discussed: 03:18 -  What Clarence does in his day to day roles at VentureFund.io and Progressly 05:18 -  Why he's enjoying the work he's currently doing 06:00 -  Who inspired his direction to go into business and investing 07:27 -  The biggest lessons he learned as a business owner over nearly 20 years in business 09:45 -  A story about an early roadblock on his career journey that almost tanked his business and how Clarence pushed through 11:35 -  When he began learning about the investor side and the process of becoming an investor 14:45 -  Explained what VentureFund.io is and does 15:50 -  Clarence defines "startups" 16:45 -  Explained the Traditional (TVR) and Traction methods for raising assets for  your startup 22:15 -  What might be contributing most to businesses that are failing 23:50 -  How he keeps pushing himself to new and higher heights Links and resources mentioned: ClarenceWooten.com Clarence Wooten on Twitter VentureFund.io Progressly Clarence's Tool:  Techmeme.com  Clarence's Fav Book: Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0 Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to get automatic updates! It’s free! Subscribe / Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn  
Apr 25, 2016
Everette Taylor, Founder and CEO of MilliSense, also leads Growth and Marketing at Microsoft.  Previously, Everette was the Chief Marketing Officer for Sticker Mule, and also started the business website GrowthHackers. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn In this episode, we discussed: 04:00 -  Everette's inspiration to begin his own marketing firm 04:55 -  Who mentored him in his formative years in business 05:53 -  Some of the lessons he's learning right now while building MilliSense 07:15 -  He talked about a past challenge with GrowthHackers and what he did to overcome that 09:00 -  We discussed why product market fit is so important to young businesses 10:00 -  He shared some insight on growth hacks for social media 12:00 -  What small business owners can begin to do to build their social media communities 14:35 -  We also talked about how he stays motivated and keeps from getting stuck in comfort zones 15:20 -  What is on Everette's vision board for the next 10 years? Links and resources mentioned: EveretteTaylor.com Everette on Twitter Everette on Instagram Google Analytics Kissmetrics Everette's Fav App: Google Analytics Everette's Fav Book: Hooked by Nir Eyal & Ryan Hoover Everette's Bio Today, I'm pumped to finally have Everette Taylor on the podcast. He is a young, powerful influencer, Entrepreneur and Marketing Executive.  Presently, he is Founder and CEO of MilliSense (named after his mother Millicent) and leads growth and marketing for new projects at Microsoft. Throughout his career, Everette has maintained a strong track record of helping companies grow through creative data-driven marketing. He has been called a"marketing genius" by Forbes, a "marketing star" by Fortune Magazine, a "visionary businessman" by The Huffington Post, and "an innovator who's changing the consumer marketing game" by Black Enterprise.  Everette formerly served as Chief Marketing Officer for the popular e-commerce company Sticker Mule and also started the business website GrowthHackers with renown entrepreneur Sean Ellis and led marketing for the platform, taking it from zero to a thriving community that catapults the ideas and strategies of today's marketers to help them think outside of the box and establish their value in the industry. Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to get automatic updates! It’s free! Subscribe / Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn  
Apr 18, 2016
Candace Mitchell, CEO and Co-Founder of Techturized, Inc., is a 2016 Forbes 30 under 30 recipient, and a business woman that's pushing hard to make her signature brand, Myavana, a household name among women of all ethnicities. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn Candace's Bio Candace Mitchell is Co-­founder and CEO of Techturized Inc., a high­-tech hair company based in Atlanta, GA. Their first product, Myavana, is a personalized hair care service that recommends products and services based on scientific analysis of consumer’s hair type and texture. She was recently named on the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the category of Retail and E­-Commerce. She graduated from Georgia Tech in 2011 with a B.S. in Computer Science. Her technology background includes undergraduate research in IT security and human­ computer interaction. She’s a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and leverages her passion for education to inspire youth to pursue STEM fields. She’s worked for Fortune 500 companies such as Siemens and PepsiCo, yet after a year in Corporate America, she decided to follow her dreams and vision of becoming an entrepreneur. The company has participated in the top startup accelerators in the country, DreamIt Ventures and Flashpoint @ Georgia Tech, and placed 1st in pitch competitions at SXSW Interactive, Technology Association of Georgia Business Launch, Shark Pitch Atlanta, PowerMoves NOLA, DREAM Project 2013 Conference, and landed a finalist spot at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference and the Southland Conference sponsored by Silicon Valley publication PandoDaily. They have been featured nationally on ‘The Real’ daytime talk show, Forbes Magazine, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris ­Perry show, ESSENCE magazine, Ebony Magazine, Black Enterprise, and Business Insider. Here's a sneak peek into today's episode: #BlackGirlMagic @candyvmitchell a @forbes 30under30 CEO shares her brand @Myavanahairhttps://t.co/FAhUNWgX2S pic.twitter.com/H091rlDVQb — Trailblazers Podcast (@tbpod) April 21, 2016 In this episode, we discussed: 04:30 -  What inspired her to go from a degree in Computer Science, to getting into entrepreneurship and starting her own business 08:10 -  How Candace transitioned from a full time in  corporate to making her startup a full time commitment 11:20 -  How business and personal mentors have help her grow and keep on track 14:05 -  How Candace went about getting capital to start the business and her advice to other entrepreneurs on preparing for that 16:10 -  Candace discusses the process of knowing your market through customer discovery 18:00 -  She shared a failure in business that helped her growth as an entrepreneur and leader 23:20 -  Getting into the 2016 Forbes 30 under 30 and what that's meant for her brand 25:15 -  How she's managed to market the brand in cost effective ways 28:45 -  What young girls and women with an interest in STEM can do to equip themselves for success Links and resources mentioned: Myavana.com CandaceVictoria.com Candace on Twitter Indra Nooyi - Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo Candace's Fav App: Google Calendar Candace's Fav Book: Super Rich by Russel Simmons Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to get automatic updates! It’s free! Subscribe / Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn
Apr 11, 2016
C. David Moody, Jr, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of C.D. Moody Construction Company, Inc., a Black Enterprise BE 100s listed company for several consecutive years.  Mr. Moody is a graduate of both Morehouse College and Howard University.  Today, he runs one of Atlanta's top private companies, responsible for helping build several iconic landmarks. Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn In this episode, we also discussed: 04:30 -  Mr. Moody's experiences at both Morehouse College and Howard University 08:20 -  His plans and preparation before going into business for himself 09:35 -  The 10 lessons he learned while navigating the challenges and failures of running a business 10:20 -  How he overcame challenges of construction 12:45 -  What he attributes to his success and the success of his business 15:20 - What is success for him approaching 60 years of age 16:00 -  How he got his family to buy into his big dreams 18:00 -  What contributes to the high percentage of businesses today that are failing 21:00 -  What new business owners need to know to lay a better foundation to grow and succeed in business 22:30 -  Mr. Moody being abused as a child 23:30 -  How he fought through the decades of fear and finally got to a point where he could share his secret  with the world 29:20 -  His goals for Moody Speaks  32:10 -  An inspiring message of HOPE Mr. Moody was so humble and inspiring throughout this talk.  Here is a man who has accomplished so much, yet he came across as someone who felt blessed, and still appears to be hungry and eager to keep pushing toward his goals.  I especially loved his input on his idea of success as he nears 60, and how that's different than what he considered success in his 20s, 30s, 40s. Of course, this interview covered so much more than business, and I was delighted that I had this opportunity to help him share his platform for reaching out to the survivors of childhood abuse.  I learned a great deal in the process, and I firmly believe that this interview can and will help business professionals, business owners, survivors of abuse, and so many more. Links and resources mentioned: C.D. Moody Construction Company website Moody Speaks website David Moody on Instagram David Moody on Twitter David's Fav Book: The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge by Tony Dungy David's Bio Charles David Moody, Jr. is the President and Chief Executive Officer of C.D. Moody Construction Company, Inc. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Mr. Moody lived there until he was 14 years old. At that time, his family moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where the University of Michigan employed his father. Mr. Moody graduated from Huron High School in 1974 and received his B.S. in Psychology from Morehouse College in 1978. After receiving his Bachelor of Architecture and five year professional degree from Howard University in 1981, he returned to Ann Arbor to work as an architect/field engineer for Bechtel Power Corporation. While in Ann Arbor, he also taught structural design and mechanical systems at Washtenaw Community College. In 1983, Mr. Moody relocated to Atlanta. In 1986, he completed his first project at Dobbins Air Force Base for the bonding company, after the untimely death of his employer, George Brown. At that point, Mr. Moody decided to establish his own firm. The first project of C.D. Moody Construction Company, Inc. was a joint venture with Otis Bellamy, of Bellamy Brothers, on the Underground Atlanta project in 1987. Since then, C.D. Moody Construction Company has grown from $1 million to over $70 million in annual revenues. C.D. Moody Construction Company has been ranked in the Black Entreprise Top 100 list for several consecutive years as one of the Nation's largest black owned businesses. The company provides a wide range of construction services including design/build, new construction, renovation,
Apr 4, 2016
Professor Monica F. Cox Ph.D. is the Inaugural Chair of recently created Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn Summary Bio: Dr. Monica Cox is a Professor and the Inaugural Chair in the Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University Her research is focused on the use of mixed methodologies to explore significant research questions in undergraduate, graduate, and professional engineering education; to explore issues of intersectionality among women, particularly Women of Color in engineering; and to develop, disseminate, and commercialize reliable and valid assesment tools for use across the engineering education continuum. In 2011, she became the first African American woman to earn tenure in the College of Engineering at Purdue University In 2008 she also earned a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), which is the highest honor bestowed by the US Government on outstanding scientists and engineers Monica is the Founder and CEO or Prepared to Be A Pioneer, where she serves as a speaker and consultant Here's a sneak peek of what's inside today's episode: Prof Monica F. Cox Ph.D is such an amazing, yet approachable Pioneer for Women in #STEMhttps://t.co/ioadq3pWqj pic.twitter.com/nIZMgqVATA — Trailblazers Podcast (@tbpod) April 20, 2016 In this episode, we discussed: 04:00 -  The point she recognized her interest in S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) 05:00 -  Her early stage mentors, including her parents and professors at Spelman College 06:50 -  Her strategic approach to attaining the degrees she did and her desire to become a University President since the age of 19 07:45 -  We spoke about her new job at Ohio State and what her day to day there is like right now 10:15 -  We talked about perseverance and how she was able to push ahead through some of her road blocks as a pioneer 15:45 -  How often she looks at her goals and tracking them 17:20 -  We talked about what we as a community and for those of us as parents, can begin doing to expose our children to S.T.E.M. Links and resources mentioned: Prepared to Be a Pioneer website Monica Cox on Twitter Dr. Cox's Fav Book: Rework by Jason Fried Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to get automatic updates! It’s free! [Photo credit belongs to Brent Russell] Subscribe / Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn
Mar 28, 2016
Clarence Bethea is the Founder and CEO of Upsie.  The Upsie app and platform protects your devices and appliances at affordable prices. Their mobile app is revolutionizing the warranty industry. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn Clarence's Summary Bio: Clarence is the Founder & CEO of Upsie, which is a free mobile app that now gives us the power of making warranty decisions directly to the consumer Clarence has worked with several startups and Fortune 500 companies & previously helped launch other ventures, including 2nd Chance Staffing; 43 Hoop and Gravelick He had this frustrating laptop warranty experience, and realized there was a significant opportunity to reinvent the warranty industry. And so using his wealth of business knowledge and new found passion for improving the warranty experience, he worked to make warranty purchasing simple, fun and educational for consumers. Hear a sneak peak of Clarence in this episode: 'When you surround yourself with #winners you just start to win' @clarence_bethea @UpsieHQ https://t.co/XkDLKHEFJe pic.twitter.com/8JBowX09rZ — Trailblazers Podcast (@tbpod) April 24, 2016 In this episode, we discussed: What inspired Clarence to get into entrepreneurship What he was doing prior to Upsie and how his prior failure helped his start with Upsie His process to go about raising funds to get Upsie started Talked about a fear he had getting Upsie going and how Clarence overcame it How he's been able to bring brand awareness to Upsie The effect of family on his life and business How Clarence keeps motivated and out of comfort zones Why it's important to volunteer & give back  Much more Links and resources mentioned: Upsie website Upsie on Twitter Upsie Discount Code: Twitter15 Clarence's Fav Book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to get automatic updates! It’s free! Subscribe / Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn
Mar 21, 2016
Tyvi Small is the Director of Diversity & Community Relations, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn Tyvi's Summary Bio: My guest on today's episode is Tyvi Small, the Director of Diversity & Community Relations at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.  His advice in this session, will help you with building diverse connections, overcoming fears, developing relationships and he also shares the importance of blooming where you are planted and mentoring & sponsoring others in our community. Tyvi graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications and a Master's Degree in Education He's currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Prior to his time in Knoxville, he was the Education Coordinator and Assistant to the Mayor for the City of West Palm Beach, FL Tyvi is also very involved in his community: He serves on the board of directors of the Knoxville Area Urban League and Leadership Knoxville He's an active member and board member of the Knoxville Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. He's also a board member of the Development Corporation of Knox County   In this episode, we discussed: 03:30 -  What Tyvi does within his role at the University 09:15 -  His advice on getting a board of directors, mentors and sponsors 11:15 -  An example of how his sponsor, Phyllis Nichols, helped his growth by connecting him with others of influence 19:40 -  Tyvi's fear of public speaking and how he overcame it 21:00 -  Lessons he learned from Susan Packard, Co-Founder of HGTV at the Women in Business Summit 28:50 -  The two people he'd most like to have dinner with, alive or from the history books 33:00 -  How the decision to attend college turned into a defining moment on his journey 34:45 -  Dr. Samuel Wright's influence on us both attending the University of South Florida 35:25 -  Some of the things Tyvi does to keep from getting stuck in comfort zones 36:45 -  Setting, writing and looking at your goals and getting accountability partners to realize your goals 39:20 -  Fundamental lessons to lead his team 46:20 -  Why it's important to volunteer & give back 47:00 -  Blooming where you're planted [47:00] Links and resources mentioned: Tyvi Small - University of Tennessee page Tyvi's Fav Books: The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea Leadership Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to get automatic updates! It’s free! Subscribe / Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn
Mar 14, 2016
Craig The Barber® is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of TheMensRoom.com, and Hollywood's top source for men's grooming needs. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn Craig The Barber's Summary Bio: On this episode, I was thrilled to interview a dear friend, Craig Whitely, known to the world as Craig The Barber®. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of TheMensRoom.com. Craig the Barber® is Hollywood’s top source for men’s grooming needs. He's worked with several prestigious salons and barbershops in the Los Angeles area where his clientele grew to include many of Hollywood’s most famous faces and names He's lent his services to events such as Diddy’s annual 4th of July “White Party” and Michael Jordan’s Celebrity Golf Tournament He's a frequent contributor to Men’s Health magazine Craig has served as the spokesperson for two global brands, Lab Series by Estee Lauder and Philips Norelco, He creates, produces and hosts exclusive how-to videos for eHow™ Style, He is a contributing educator to the Paul Mitchell Schools and he has flown around the world to consult with corporations and host consumer events His baby though, TheMensRoom.com, is a site dedicated to the art of barbering and style for men Without a doubt, a very accomplished professional and an all around great person, who I'm excited to have had, to share some of his wisdom with us. In this episode, we discussed: 04:30 -  When he first discovered his desire to become a master barber 07:40 -  Why he didn't pursue barbering straight out of college 09:45 -  Whether he's more afraid of failing to achieve a goal he set OR being more afraid of the larger responsibilities that came if he achieved those goals 11:00 -  Something he feared on his journey that he had to overcome to experience growth in his business and what he did to overcome those fears 14:15 -  The point he moved from being a barber in a shop to becoming a registered trademark & grooming expert 19:30 -  How/why he built themensroom.com and his social media community 24:00 -  His routines and daily rituals 26:00 -  A failure on his journey, how he overcame it and got back on track 31:00 -  A defining moment on his journey 33:30 -  What social media has done for his brand 35:10 -  How he keeps from getting stuck in a comfort zone 37:30 -  How he manages goals & holds himself accountable to achieving goals 40:20 -  A book he's read in the past year that inspired him 40:45 -  Something small he's done that he's proud of 42:30 -  An online resource he uses everyday 43:10 -  Why it's important to volunteer & give back 44:10 -  His inspiring message to motivate us Links and resources mentioned: Craig The Barber website TheMensRoom.com Craig The Barber on Facebook Craig's Fav Book: Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant Thanks for Listening! We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to get automatic updates! It’s free! Subscribe / Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn
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