Kicking off Teachers Appreciation Month, Savannah Rountree sits down with Dr. Edward Podsiadlik, author of Anecdotes and Afterthoughts: Literature as a Teacher’s Curriculum, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Podsiadlik recalls his passion for education beginning as a page for the Chicago Public Library and its Preschool Storytime program, to working over a decade for CPS and teaching future educators in higher education. Being a native of Chicago, Dr. Podsiadlik holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from St. Xavier University, and has obtained M.A. degrees in English Literature and Writing from Purdue University, and Educational Administration from St. Xavier University. He later received a Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Podsiadlik has been featured in several professional journals for his admiral teaching scholarship, and has spoken about his teaching values at countless professional presentations. Be on the lookout, because this December, his second book. Grieving as a Teacher’s Curriculum: Relevant Prose and Postscripts will be hitting a bookshelf near you!
On this episode of the podcast, Nathan Ciulla sits down with Michael Edwards, President and CEO of the Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), an organization that aims to revitalize Chicago’s Loop to perpetuate the growth and development of its businesses and investments. As a native of Buffalo, New York, he attended Canisius College in his hometown where he received a BA in political science and history. After graduation, he went to the University of Pittsburgh where he earned a MA in Public Administration. He was also the former CEO and President of Downtown Spokane Partnership, and former president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. Being constantly on the move, he found himself working in multiple cities in the US, aiming to improve their downtown areas through fun and creative communal activities, and by developing structural plans in order to create an organized, interconnected, and secure community. Working with CLA, he hopes to have people “think of the Loop beyond 9 to 5.”
In the conclusion of our two part miniseries featuring Cara Chicago, Nathan sits down with Maria Kim, the nonprofit’s President and CEO. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a double major in Comparative Literature and French she found herself climbing the ranks at an insurance company for over a decade. Inspired by her mother, who was a nurse for over 50 years, Kim wanted to continue dedicating her life to service but in a new sector. She found herself at Cara Chicago, where she is guiding people to get and keep employment and rebuild their hope. Kim holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Kim has served as a fellow for both Leadership Greater Chicago and American Marshall. She was a part of TEDxMidwest Emerging Leader as well as Bank of America Neighborhood Builder, and recently also served on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s transition team.
In part one of our two part miniseries featuring Cara Chicago, Savanah sits down with Jesse Teverbaugh to discuss his life-changing involvement with the non-profit. From student to Director of Student and Alumni Affairs, Teverbaugh walks us through his life experiences which led him Cara Chicago. For over 15 years, Jesse has helped Cara students regain their confidence and find their spark to ensure a better life. A former student of Illinois State University, Jesse has been featured in The Reader as a Chicagoan to know and was chosen as the 2011 National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) Unsung Hero. Jesse’s civic engagement includes service as the President of the Greater Roseland Chamber of Commerce and 40+ years as a member of Omega PSI PHI Fraternity.
On this episode of the podcast, Nathan sits down with Thomas Dammrich, the President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, to chat about his background growing up in southern Illinois, coming to Chicago for school, and lessons he’s learned in his career. From starting his career in student housing, to working his current position as President of the NMMA, Thom learned how to wear many hats and discussed how vital it is to have good communication in order to build and grow collaborative teams. Thom recently received his doctorate in Business Administration from DePaul University, and has been an asset to the boating industry for 20 years by serving as an advocate and educator to keep boating a safe and enjoyable pastime activity for the public.
This episode of the Bridging Chicago Podcast features the father-son team of Ted Joseph and Justin Joseph, from Swap-O-Rama Inc. Ted Joseph spent more than forty years in the public accounting arena, and after a successful career, he planned on an equally as successful retirement. When a former colleague presented the opportunity to join Swap-O-Rama in his current role as COO and CFO, Ted jumped at the chance and asked his son, Justin Joseph to join him. Ted knew that Justin’s background in sales would be a great addition to the Swap-O-Rama team, and Justin agreed to come on board as the Vice President of Operations. Hear how Ted and Justin have helped grow the markets in their three Chicagoland locations, both of their Florida markets, and about how Ted and Justin have made their family ties work for both Swap-O-Rama and their families.
As summer wedding season continues in full swing, Kate Lerman, the Owner and Lead Planner of Chicago Vintage Weddings joins us on this episode of the Bridging Chicago Podcast. Kate talks about her roots in the Chicago area, her dream of going to veterinarian school, and the experiences that brought her to starting her own wedding planning business. Wedding planning allows Kate to use her creativity and organization skills in a way that helps her clients have the day they’ve always dreamed of! Hear how Kate went from renting vintage pieces, to providing full-fledged wedding planning services, and successfully growing her business since 2012.
Teresa Ging, owner of Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique and Sugar Bliss Patisserie, joins us this week to share how she went from working in the financial services industry, to moving to Paris to attend the Le Cordon Bleu Patisserie School, to opening her own cake shop! Teresa’s experience as a minority female business owner in the famed Chicago Loop district, provides a fresh perspective that our listeners will enjoy. Teresa recently received the Enterprising Woman of the Year award and continues to expand her business by opening multiple locations in the downtown area. Don’t miss this episode as Teresa shares what she’s learned during her journey in starting and growing her business.
Our next guest to join the Bridging Chicago podcast is Allan Kaplan, Principal of a third generation family-owned business in Chicago. As an insurance professional, Allan has extensive experience in providing his clients with services offering consultation on business continuity plans, estate planning, life insurance, and retirement planning. Joining his family’s firm AKORP, in 1995, Allan merged his firm with Coordinated Financial Programming to form New Century Planners, LLC. He recently joined the Robinson Financial Group, another family owned business that offers solutions for long term-individualized life, health, and disability insurance. Listen up to learn more about the ways these corporate and personal financial services can be beneficial for you and your family.
Continuing the tech theme presented in last week’s podcast, our next episode features Dugald Hamilton, the founder of the Australian based law firm “23Legal.” As an innovator, Dugald focused on creating a law firm that provided traditional commercial legal services along with incorporating newly emerging technologies. Specializing in litigation, dispute resolution, restructuring and insolvency, Dugald establishes the most efficient services by combining his passion for technology and contemporary advancements, with concepts of legal traditions. Listen up to learn more about the ways Dugald finds solutions to age-old problems by using technological and modern approaches.
Our first guest to join us this month includes the Founder and CEO of Entara, Linda Maclachan. Growing for over 17 years, her firm provides high quality technological support services to clients working in the electronic trading market. As a prominent figure of the IT community, Linda initiated her career after receiving a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Iowa State University, and her Masters of Management degree from Northwestern University. Her passion for IT allows her to continuously discover and work with the latest technologies and provide solutions for clients requiring consultative technical support. Give this podcast a listen to learn about the ways Linda unconventionally pursed her interest in STEM, and how her analytical and innovative mindset brought her to becoming a CEO of a thriving IT service management firm.
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Our next podcast shares an inspiring, uplifting, and heartfelt message from our guest, Priya Shah. As the founder and Executive Director of a non-profit organization “The Simple Good”, Priya explains her innate desire and quest for helping underprivileged communities, and empowering the youth. Her organization aims to connect the youth through art and discussion to help individuals share their experiences, spread positive messages, and portray the similarities that show the ways humans are inherently connected. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Priya utilized her skills in business to build and manage her own organization, while also incorporating creative approaches as an artist. Volunteering at several orphanages and charities, she also traveled to many countries around the world and embraced a variety of different cultures and lifestyles. Tune in to listen to the ways Priya finds the “Simple Good” moments in every situation!
Are you a first time home buyer or someone looking into selling property? If so, it’d be beneficial to give a listen to our next podcast episode featuring Kathy Kwak, the Director of Title Operations and Counsel at Proper Title. After receiving her B.S. from Indiana University in Bloomington and her J.D from Valparaiso University School of Law, Kathy exposed herself to a variety of different career paths such as being the Senior Real Estate Advisor for the Chicago Board of Education, and working as an associate that handled residential real estate transactions. Introduced to the title industry, Kathy used the experience she obtained from her diverse professional background to manage the underwriting and closing of residential and commercial real estate transactions. Be sure to tune in if you’re interested in seeking key advice that’ll come in handy when purchasing or selling your property.
If you’ve ever purchased or sold property, you probably understand how stressful the process can be. Our next podcast guest, Mike Frain, has dedicated his work to making this transaction easier for his clients. After studying at Northwestern and DePaul, Mike progressed to becoming the Vice President of Commercial Marketing for Old Republic National Title Insurance Company. Having decades worth of experience in the industry, Mike explains the significance of owning title insurance and the ways his services help individuals protect their property rights and secure efficient real estate transactions. He also elaborates on the transformation of this industry and how technological advancements have impacted its efficiency. Listen to this podcast to further understand the various ways you can uphold your property rights.
To shed some light on professions that consistently utilize art and creativity, our next podcast guest is Kristen Onesti, Owner and Senior Graphic Designer at KO Design Group. With over 20 years of experience, Kristen illustrates her journey to finding a career that allowed her to integrate artistic and technical concepts. While working for high-profile law firms and retail industries, she learned how to create print communications, web designs, and marketing campaigns for a diverse client base. Being a part of a competitive and fast-paced field, she expands on the importance of releasing fresh and unique content, and the overall tactics she uses in order to stand out and appeal to potential clients. Give this podcast a listen if you’re interested in learning more about the ways Kristen tackles creative challenges to deliver distinctive and interesting work for her clients.
This week’s podcast hosts our guest Dr. Alex Lickerman, the Founder and CEO of ImagineMD, a direct primary care practice in Chicago. Having attended the University of Chicago for both undergrad and medical school, Dr. Lickerman has over 20 years of experience in academic medicine, teaching generations of medical professionals, and writing books on the topics of resilience and happiness. Dr. Lickerman uses psychological and personalized approaches to help his patients solve their medical issues, educate them on preventative health measures, and provide them with higher quality care and accessibility to health care services. Be sure to tune into this podcast to learn more about the innovative and unconventional ways Dr. Lickerman provides optimal services for his patients.
In honor of National Volunteer Week, this week’s podcast hosts the Directors of LIFT-Chicago, Sol Anderson and Sarah Spunt. LIFT is a national nonprofit based in Washington D.C. with offices in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. LIFT’s mission is to help parents break the cycle of poverty by providing services that not only stabilize their families economically but increase their personal well-being and social connections.
Sol, the Executive Director of LIFT-Chicago, is responsible for creating regional strategy, building and maintaining relationships with donors and board members, and expanding LIFT-Chicago’s operations. Sol’s partner in crime is Program Director Sarah Spunt, a licensed clinical social worker, responsible for implementing the organization’s program goals, analyzing data, training staff, and building partnerships.
LIFT’s secret sauce is focusing on building economic stability in parents in order to put their children on a path to economic mobility. LIFT pairs parents with professionally trained volunteers who work alongside the parents to create goal-oriented plans that build a strong financial, educational, and social foundations in order to break the cycle of poverty. Be sure to listen to Sol and Sarah share the impactful and inspiring mission behind LIFT and more about how nonprofit organizations are providing a helping hand for families in need.
Covering topics including gender gaps in the workplace and the lack of representation and recognition of work completed by women, we have PR and marketing expert Amy Dardinger. Amy is a PR Manager working for public relations agency SSPR, and she specializes in providing media training and strategic advice to executive professionals in B2B companies. She focuses specifically on building plans and training clients in industries like human resources, healthcare and technology. Transitioning from an all-women’s environment at Saint Mary’s College to a co-ed law school at the College of William & Mary showed Amy how important it was for women to express their opinions and show their capabilities. She combined the skills and knowledge obtained from law school and her passion to learn new and challenging material to pursue an alternative career path, one not necessarily associated with law. Amy discovered that marketing and PR allowed her to brainstorm fresh and creative ideas, while also helping people thrive within their businesses. Amy encourages women to practice building their voices, take on strong leadership roles and dive into fields that are conventionally pursed by men.
Committing yourself to regularly working out and maintaining a healthier lifestyle may seem daunting at times. Whether you are freshly starting out on a fitness journey, or you’re struggling to continue it, being comfortable and confident in your workout clothes can definitely make the process easier. Our podcast guest, Jenny Gresla took these feelings into account and created selafit, an activewear clothing brand which focuses on producing an inclusive size range that caters towards all body types and sizes. Her inspiration behind launching this company arose from her own observations and frustrations in realizing that many activewear clothing brands did not carry plus sizes, and usually accommodated to specific body types. Along with being the founder of selafit, she also partners with Girls in the Game, an organization that offers health/wellness and leadership based programs which allow young girls to learn about body positivity and ways to obtain healthier lifestyles. With “Sela” translating to “rock” in Hebrew, Jenny aims have her brand serve as a foundation for women and encourage them to “See their potential, Embrace the journey, Live with intention, and Act with perseverance”.