Never miss one of our best episodes by subscribing to the newsletter.
It was a pleasure to interview the 56-year-old co-owner of the Dallas Roughnecks. In their inaugural season, the Roughnecks won the 2016 AUDL championship in dominant fashion, beating the Seattle Cascades 33-27. The win capped a undefeated 17-0 season, and the birth of a potential juggernaut.
CHECK OUT E.R.I.C.'s national SPEAK UP tour.
Jim Gerencser is also the CEO & President of Nationwide Auto Services. Jim started the company in 1982 and has continually refined the process used in overspray removal and administering large scale claims.
Connect with Jim
If you liked this interview, check out episode 62 with AUDL Commissioner Steve Gordon where we discuss running the American Ultimate Disc League and the future of pro ultimate.
Mike was most recently the CEO at Green Building Alliance, and was previously the founder of Confluence, Venture Outdoors, and Kayak Pittsburgh.
For the past decade, the Room Leopard team has been searching for places to hold classes, meetings, networking events and lectures. We found this process frustrating and we often depended on our personal network of colleagues and friends. We also noticed the surplus of spaces around the city that owners could utilize more actively. RoomLeopard strives to make it easier to match these unused spaces with the people who need them.
As a guest, be it an hour or a day, RoomLeopard is the spot to connect you with affordable spaces for your next meeting or event.
As a host, be it a conference room, a lobby or an auditorium, RoomLeopard is the spot to put surplus spaces to work for you.
Mike’s Challenge; Invite some people into your home that you normally wouldn’t have over.
Quote from our Interview
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back — concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.“
Connect with Mike
If you liked this interview, check out episode 3 with Larry Gioia, another outdoorsman and entrepreneur.
Hershey Hilado is not your typical 24 year old. Her difficult upbringing enabled her to develop the resilience and natural drive to find success. Her father was murdered by her own uncle when she was 12. Her own mother traded her for money when she was only 15 and forced her to marry a man 3 times her age when she was 16.
After escaping that terrible ordeal she became homeless for 2 years and eventually moved to Australia. She started her own business 2 years later and now runs a Women's Fashion Label called Ohmagosh, currently sold in over 15 countries across the globe.
Her passion and purpose stretch beyond overcoming adversity and Entrepreneurship. As a philanthropist she is one of the Ambassadors for The Freedom Hub, a non for profit organization that helps rebuild the lives of survivors of Human Trafficking and Sex Slavery in Australia.
She speaks for those who needed a voice. She is a spiritual and passionate human being who chose to live LIFE with so much gratitude, positive intentions and a purpose to change people's lives through SERVICE, SURRENDERING herself to total selflessness and IMPACTING millions of lives.
Hershey’s Challenge; Identity one negative behavior or habit and focus exclusively on getting rid of it.
Connect with Hershey
If you liked this interview, check out episode 134 with Gisele Fetterman where we discuss helping those who are less fortunate or in need.
At age 20, Justin is an experienced entrepreneur, consultant, speaker, and best-selling author.
Justin began his adventure with the creation of Students4Students College Advisory, a full-service higher education consulting agency. Enjoying his experience helping youth maximize their potential, Justin wanted to further leverage the power of young people. Millennial Marketing Strategy has evolved into a boutique, digital media strategy consulting agency, assisting Fortune 500 firms, as well as select medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs, leverage powerful marketing tools to grow online.
Justin proceeded to launch Next Gen Summit, the premier community for millennial entrepreneurs. Since its inception over two years ago, Next Gen Summit was more than just a conference. NGS is a mission to bring together the world’s most talented young entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate, and inspire each other, and give them the resources they need to be successful.
In December of 2015, Justin published his best-selling book - What Wakes You Up?: Designing Kick-Ass Lives Through Entrepreneurship - choosing to donate 100% of launch profits to the Next Gen Foundation, a scholarship granting nonprofit organization.
Justin’s Challenge; Find someone in your network who’s done something cool and email them to set up a 30 minute interview to learn how they did it.
Connect with Justin
If you liked this interview, check out episode 46 with Taylor Pearson where we discuss the end of jobs and the need to develop entrepreneurial skills.
Babs Carryer teaches entrepreneurship, provides mentorship and coaching to early-stage companies, and writes about entrepreneurship. At the University of Pittsburgh, Babs works for the Innovation Institute, as Director of Education and Outreach. She teaches the Benchtop to Bedside technology commercialization course to clinicians, researchers.
Babs is a co-founder and past chapter chair of Women in Bio. She also teaches at Thrill Mill, educating their teams about entrepreneurship and how to build better businesses. She is also President of Carryer Consulting which provides strategic business planning services to technology companies.
Babs co-founded LaunchCyte, which currently has five life sciences portfolio companies, including Crystalplex, Immunetrics, Knopp Biosciences, and Reaction Biology.
Bab’s Challenge; Find 3 women in your life (one younger, one the same age, one older) and give them a hug.
Connect with Babs
If you liked this interview, check out episode 67 with Kit Mueller where we discuss Pittsburgh entrepreneurship.
134 Gisele Fetterman, Rebuilding a Community through Food Rescue, Friendly Street Signs, and a Free Store
Gisele was born in Rio de Janeiro and immigrated to the U.S. at age eight with her mother and was undocumented for many years. Growing up in the cities, she was acutely aware of the vast inequalities between Brazil and the United States, and between the working-class community that she lived in and the more affluent communities where her mother secured work as a housekeeper.
These days, you can probably find her at the Free Store – a brightly painted converted storage container that Gisele Fetterman stocks with donated or surplus clothing and necessities for her neighbors in Braddock and nearby communities in Allegheny County. The concept was something she imagined as a kid and new immigrant in New York City. Gisele was frustrated by how easily people were willing to throw things away. Now, three years into the endeavor in Braddock, it’s a full-fledged enterprise run entirely by volunteers and serves 1,600 folks monthly.
In Braddock, Gisele is a force in her own right behind the good works and progressive change she and her husband, Mayor John, are sowing in their home town.
In addition to the Free Store, Gisele co-founded the 412 Food Rescue, which aims to fight hunger by collecting fresh, healthy food scheduled to be wastefully discarded and distributing it to community organizations that serve those in need.
Gisele’s Challenge; Connect in some small way with 5 strangers every day.
Connect with Gisele
If you liked this interview, check out episode 48 with her partner at 412 Food Rescue Leah Lizarondo where we discuss food deserts and community service.
Squonk has created and toured our outdoor spectacles around the world, with reviews that include “insane majesty" from The Scotsman, “surreal and poetic” from USA Today and “ingenious, hallucinatory, hypnotic" from The New York Times. Squonkwork is fast, funny, and shameless: our first show was performed in a Pittsburgh junkyard, with choreographed cranes and roaring earthmovers. Squonk creates post-industrial outdoor performances for major civic venues and festivals and have toured to 39 states and 3 continents, and have received 7 N.E.A. grants.
Jackie Dempsey (Artistic Director/Composer/Pianist/Accordionist) has created twelve multimedia productions with Squonk Opera and has been touring nationally and internationally for over two decades. Last year, she was awarded an Investing in Professional Artists grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation and Heinz Endowments. She has worked as composer and sound designer for Quantum Theatre through a Heinz Endowments’ Creative Heights grant and has been awarded five Interdisciplinary Arts fellowships from the PA Council on the Arts. She has produced all nine of the group’s recordings, one of which was Squonk’s major label debut for Capitol Records.
Steve O’Hearn (Artistic Director/Artist/Wind Player) contributes environmental and product designs, and theater productions to the group. He had a solo show of work at the Andy Warhol Museum, where he was Heinz Artist-in-Residence. He has also received the American Theater Wing’s Hewes Award for his work on Broadway, three International Design Awards and five PA Council on the Arts fellowships. His work has been published and exhibited internationally, and he has been invited three times to exhibit his designs at the Prague Quadrennial. He has designed for a score of theater productions, including the multimedia Macbeth with the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Marc Masterson, and also for the Hawaii Theater in Honolulu.
Sqonk’s Challenge; See the art in the everyday.
Connect with Sqonk
If you liked this interview, check out episode 124 with Baron Batch where we discuss the melding of art and entrepreneurship.
Sean Douglas is a veteran of the United States Air Force, a certified Master Resilience Trainer, and a professional Motivational Speaker. He enlisted in the Air Force in 2001 right after 9/11, has been deployed to multiple locations, and performed a multitude of duties all over the world. Sean gives many speeches throughout the year on various topics, such as Developing Leaders, Leadership Principles, Team Building, Stages of Team Forming, Self-Defeating Behaviors, Decisions, and much more. As a Master Resilience Trainer, he teaches the following skillsets: Counting Blessings, Accomplishing Goals, ABC (Activating Event, Brain's Interpretation, Consequences), Check Your Playbook, Balance Your Thinking, Acceptance, Capitalizing On Strengths, Physical Resilience, Spiritual Resilience, Interpersonal Problem Solving, and Good Listening & Active Constructive Responding.
Sean's passion is Resilience and inspiring others to succeed. His love for helping others achieve their dreams and instilling in them that extra motivation to finish strong is at the forefront of every speech and presentation he delivers.. His main goal is to save at least one person from a self-defeating behavior, and to inspire change in their lives. Sean is also a published author of a book titled, "Decisions: The Power To Overcome Self-Defeating Behaviors".
Sean’s Challenge; Pick one of your values and review how much money & time you’ve actually put into your “priority” over the last 30 days.
Connect with Sean
If you liked this interview, check out episode 70 with Michael Port where we discuss public speaking and stealing the show.
Larry Gioia’s philosophy “Always Be Connecting the Dots” infects all of his relationships. In this episode, we discuss how to grow and connect a network with actionable tactics that he’d recommend to anyone.
Check out Larry's "To Who" List!
Larry and Aaron’s Challenge; Join Connection University to continue to learn and grow.
Connect with Larry