Levi McClendon is a serial entrepreneur in the mobile space, and 2013 founder of OptSpot. OptSpot uses tablet technology combined with text messaging to ultimately help collect customer data to help restaurant owners, car dealerships, retail stores stay connected to their customers with ease, and grow their businesses in new ways. No need to fuss with coupons, punch cards, apps or even a smartphone, as customers enroll at point of sale, check in upon return, and are reachable by simple text messages re special offers. In today’s crazy world of social media options, Levi is committed to ease the frustration of what and how to market to local markets.
Tom Wuelpernis President of Pure Build Homes, known for contributions to the historic renovation and preservation of areas such as Tucson’s eclectic Barrio and emerging Mercado Districts. As an architect, designer and neighborhood developer, Tom is known for true sustainable, green custom homes, quite often reclaiming and reusing unique materials and design features that few others would know how to integrate. Complete design appeal, inside and out co-created with his clients. Like the famous sociologist Jane Jacobs, Tom understands how multi-purpose buildings help regenerate and retain our urban vitality.
Dr. Manny Valenzuelais the superintendent of the 5,800 student Sahuarita Unified School District in southern Arizona, and a member of the Board of the Green Valley-Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce. Both leadership teams are engaged with private businesses to build strategic and sustainable partnerships to advance economic development. Manny believes that K-12 education is the foundation and the bridge from student success to the future of the region. SUSD has implemented programs at the high school level in conjunction with Pima Community College and the University of Arizona to accelerate 21st skills and interest in youth in science and math.
Mitch Shepard started her career leading senior management teams on outdoor expeditions to unit and push them past their perceived limitations. Trading tents for boardrooms, she created her own coaching and consulting firm in 2001 to navigate the wilderness of corporate America, helping leaders in businesses big and small to build awareness, relationships and achieve success. Mitch’s newest venture/adventure is a series of 28 webinars featuring noted thought leaders to specifically help women. The WiRL (Women in Real Life) Summit begins April 28th, and use promo code CirclesofChange20 for a 20% discount. Join us for the learning!
John Wittryis a business coach and consultant based in the greater Denver area. With a dual track business within Fortune 500 companies and marriage counseling practice with his wife, Donna, John helps people employ preventative maintenance techniques to maintain relationships for best results. Like the analogy of home ownership, where left unattended a house will deteriorate, John encourages clients to continue investing in their relationships through the gift of time to sustain the relationships over time. Our personal lives have an impact on our professional performance and require mindful prioritization, balance and focus.
Dennis Kenman is one of the co-founders of Tucson Embedded Systems, an aerospace software service solutions provider founded in 1997. At the onset of his career Dennis’ goal was to become a pilot, however the tables turned and more than once he has learned how change yields opportunity through hard work, flexibility and humbleness. Billing themselves as a “company of opportunists,” TES has diversified its services to contend with the winds of change in the often cyclical commercial and military aviation industry. Recently an exciting new product offering was successfully fielded in the shifting oil and gas exploration industry.
Lori Giovannini is the Executive Director of non-profit ReachOut Women’s Center in Tucson. ReachOut was founded over 40 years ago with the mission to provide loving support, education and resources for pre and post-natal women and their babies in a confidential and safe environment. In 2013 they had over 5,000 client office visits for counseling, performed over 1,000 pregnancy tests and 550 ultrasounds, and provided over 25,000 sets of baby clothes and 85,000 diapers. In addition to 15 years of counseling at other pregnancy centers, Lori is a former flight attendant, cosmetologist, owner of a cosmetic company, and worked over 35 years in various facets of real estate.
Merrill Mahaffey has carved his own path to become one of the leading Western artists of our time. An avid outdoorsman since youth, Merrill has climbed, skied, rafted, ﬁshed, rode horseback and strolled through the subjects of his paintings. The monumental landscapes from his palette and canvas reflect a high standard of craftsmanship, exploration and invention in a style that is ever evolving. Merrill’s works are in private, corporate and public collections and have been featured in art and popular print media venues in the US and abroad. His new book, Upstream Downstream is a collection of paintings and philosophical meanderings about art and life taken from 35 sketchbooks he journaled and drew within over 50 years.
Alexandra Levit wrote They Don’t Teach Corporate in College: A Twenty-Something’s Guide to the Business World ten years ago as a resource to help as she struggled in the real world of work. She learned how human relationship skills such as diplomacy, cooperation, initiative-taking, and networking are the key rungs on the corporate ladder, and can often trump singular work ethic. Now an author of six books, writing for national media, and becoming a thought-leader on career and workplace issues and trends, Alexandra adds insights into how to navigate the increasingly global, virtual, entrepreneurial and unpredictable shifts in business today for professionals of all ages and stages of their careers.
Gideon Irvinghas performed his blend of old time and bluegrass music on a variety of instruments – banjo, harmonica, shruti box, electronics, accordion, and glockenspiel – for audiences as small as three and as large as 100 in over 250 homes. Upon returning from a tour of homes in New Zealand via a bicycle towing his trailer of instruments, Gideon performed across New York City transporting his instruments on rollerblades in a shopping cart. He has traversed the continental US five times. Audiences are thoroughly entertained and surprised by Gideon’s cavalcade of eclectic songisms and theatrication, a multi-instrumental hybrid of vaudevillian flair.
Craig Zeutzius is founder of Slopejet, a firm that has developed the apartment industry’s most advanced decision support and business intelligence solution to improve leasing performance. Craig believes it is easier for entrepreneurs to start new technology enterprises in the US with the cost effective (many even free) open source software tools matched with global talent. An industrial engineer who moved from manufacturing and business services to work in real estate, Craig and his team at Slopejet see opportunities to move earlier in the customer cycle by helping their clients make sense of data, spot profitable opportunities, and reduce lease turnover. Big data, big decisions, big opportunities!
Tim Reckart is an intellectual property attorney with Rusing, Lopez and Lizardi, bringing a unique combination of scientific, engineering, business and legal knowhow into understanding the core issues that often are at the heart of transactions for his clients. Tim’s career has involved some unexpected departures from an original path, several times seizing opportunities in the face of external changes, as in entire industries being upended due to high profile catastrophes. The conceptual nuances of science and engineering are Tim’s first loves, and he considers it a joy to work with entrepreneurs and the technologies and products they seek to deploy into the marketplace. He advises us to live life now and take the opportunities as they come our way, whether from open or as a result of closed doors.
Mike Evans’s passion is working with leaders at all levels to design, architect and implement solutions that allow them to accelerate achievement of desired results quicker and with a great degree of impact – amidst heightened levels of employee engagement, ownership and accountability. Over a span of 25 years Mike has been involved from design through execution of change leadership and culture change solutions while working alongside thought -leaders such as Stephen Covey, Tom Peters, Dr. John Kotter, Jim Kouzes, Mark Samuel and Steve Farber. His focus is to help individuals,teams and organizations thrive and excel in the new world of work.
mike AT questmarkcompany.com February 15, 2014 20 minutes
Marcy Euleris the Executive Director, the first paid employee of the Tucson Festival of Books, in its sixth year and now a 99.9% volunteer organization with 200 year round contributors, and another 2,000 during the event. The fourth largest in the US attracting over 150,000 people, the two-day festival celebrates everything having to do with books – reading, writing, publishing, marketing – with the help of over 450 visiting authors and over 300 workshops and moderated panels. Proceeds benefit various literacy programs in Southern Arizona, including STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
Vince Redhouse is a two-time Grammy nominee and well known Native American flute musician. A jazz saxophonist, Vince stumbled upon the six-holed wooden flute of his ancestors, expanding the instrument’s versatility to a full two octaves. With eight CDs to his credit, several years ago Vince embraced a major shift is his career – a calling following the suicide of a teenager – to teach young Native Americans across the US how to play unique classical music interpretations on the flute, a journey that includes skills and confidence building, and coming home to their heritage. Vince’s newest CD, A Long Way Home, includes flute and saxophone compositions with a strong jazz influence. Winds of Change!
Dr. Peter Megaw is an international consulting geologist and president of IMDEX/ Cascabel, respected for major discoveries in Mexico and spurring the mining industry there. For over 30 years Peter has also been very involved in the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society, a non-profit which continues its 60-year tradition of being the nucleus for the acclaimed show, now with over 40 independent venues across 65 exhibition spaces. The multi-week event attracts scientific and commercial professionals from around the world to Tucson, with proceeds donated for geology and earth science programs for youth. Peter leads the exhibits committee, traveling the world to bring the best of prominent mineral museum and private collections together for the show.
Dr. Dawn Menken is a teacher, psychotherapist, and conflict facilitator. Her new book, Raising Parents, Raising Kids: Hands-on Wisdom for the Next Generation,introduces a fresh approach to the joy and wonder of the world of parenting, going beyond the conventional “how to” book, to being the ultimate guide to nurturing the emotional, spiritual, and social lives of children. PLUS parents’ own personal growth and the challenges within their new life/career/relationships change with the rest of the world. In other words, how parents are not only raising their children, but also improving their own lives and those around them.
Marlys Hanson is an organizational development consultant, researcher, and trainer on job fit, leveraging a story-based system for identifying motivated abilities to help individuals and their supervisors identify best fit career and job matches. She is author of Passion and Purpose: How to identify and leverage the powerful patterns that shape your work and life. In a world where more and more HR decisions seem to want to be made by computers and “big data”, getting in charge of your own data about you is quintessential. We must lead the decision process vs. fall prey to multiple choice competency tests which are not valid predictors of behavior, nor the likelihood of successful, sustainable performance.
Sally Chavez and Gillian Drummond are professionals involved in the interior design industry, specifically an upcoming 2014 Design Week with a series of workshops open to the public on desert dwelling, both indoors and out.Gillian is the editor of 3 Story Magazine and a public relations consultant, and Sally’s clients include commercial companies looking to enhance their brand and public image, increase business traffic, and employee morale and productivity. ASID is dedicated to increasing public awareness and demystifying the role of interior designers as invaluable resources to partner with home and building owners. In addition to envisioning options, they save time and money by handling the many details to keep projects under control.
Alicia, Arlene, Dorothy and Caitlin represent the YWCA Tucson and a nearly 30 year old offering, Your Sister’s Closet. It is a unique boutique comprised of clothing, shoes, accessories and toiletries donated for disadvantaged women entering or reentering the work force. Over 1,000 women a year participate in a series of career and skills building seminars to earn the opportunity to shop one-on-one with a volunteer who is sensitive to their special needs. Alicia is a former client of Your Sister’s Closet, Arlene and Dorothy are sisters who have volunteered together for over six years, and Caitlin is the Director of Development for YWCA Tucson. A call to professional women to clean out our closets NOW and donate to help others!
Laura Sinclair is a photojournalist whose passion for the intersection of people and art dates back to high school. Two years ago at age 55 she set out to deliberately change her life following an accident that left her bedridden for months. A former marathon runner, Laura lost and has kept off 80 pounds that she had gained over a 12 year period (she is 5’1”), she has become an entertaining and inspiring public speaker, and wrote her first book, Over 50, Overweight & Out of Breath: A Year of Going From Super Fat to Super Fit! Laura is an advocate and role model for healthy aging, personal empowerment and life reinvention.
Manny Teran and Eric Smith are with Aztera, a technology company that has pivoted from its founding in 2011 into growth mode. Their team offers concept-through-product execution services to other startups, plus engineers specialty measurement equipment co-created with client companies who are struggling with unique technical problems. As CEO, Manny is very involved supporting young entrepreneurs with mentorship, guidance, and pragmatic leadership tips and tricks. Eric is Business Development Manager and an ambassador between the City of Tucson and the University of Arizona to help build a network of domain experts to reveal commercial opportunities for the University’s various endeavors. The goal – economic development for the region and beyond.
Wendy Melillo is a Pulitzer Prize nominee journalist and professor of Public Communication from American University in Washington DC. Her new book is How McGruff and the Crying Indian Changed America: A History of Iconic Ad Council Campaigns. Wendy researched how the collective power of the advertising industry through the non-profit Advertising Council helps enable social and individual behavior change, from backing America’s war effort during World War II to neighborhood crime watch and preventing forest fires. Today’s public service announcements face significant challenges due to the diversification of channels, the addition of the Wild West of the Internet and social media to conventional print and broadcasting.
Kelly Fryeris the Executive Director of the YWCA Tucson. An ordained Lutheran minister, author, public speaker and assistant professor of leadership, Kelly has been involved in non-profits dedicated to electing women in public office, advancing interfaith worker justice, and serving multiple religious congregations. The YWCA Tucson is focused on building a community of change makers through its programs, exhibits and forums that span workforce readiness to leadership training. Over 60% of the programs were new in 2013, the center is evolving as a hub for women and men committed to promoting, peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
John Dennis and Eli Larrivaare seasoned consultants from Strategy1 Services in Tucson, a firm dedicated to driving strategic alignment for their clients through people, plans and processes. John brings diversified industry experience in marketing, from solar energy, speech technology and voice processing to computing applications for telecommunications and financial institutions. Eli is a third generation Tucson entrepreneur and leverages his blended expertise in finance, business development, tax, and process improvement. His early experience included expanding a niche entertainment company. Strategy1 is a member of the Arizona Technology Council.
Joe Dolce is the founder of Joe Dolce Communications, a media and presentation training company established in 2012 to help people speak to the media or any audience and keep them engaged. Joe has multi-faceted media leadership experience, having been Editor in Chief of Details magazine and Star magazine, a contributing editor to Gourmet magazine and senior editor at Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. In 2002, Joe co-founded Fashion Wire Daily, one of the first online news services. His focus today is working one-on-one with clients ranging from the seasoned CEOs to managers facing first-time encounters with the media or the often daunting task of delivering impactful presentations.
Mandy Retzlaffis a lifelong horse lover and African farmer. She and her husband, Patrick, enjoyed a beautiful life in the wilds and farmlands of agriculturally-rich Zimbabwe with their three children. In 2001, however, the government began to violently reclaimed land. Under threat of death, the Retzlaffs were forced to flee leaving behind a lifetime's possessions – multiple times – to become exiles within the only country they had ever called home. Mandy’s new memoir, One Hundred and Four Horses: A Memoir of Farm and Family, Africa and Exile chronicles the story interwoven between humans and majestic horses, illuminating the importance of how not to let living life get in the way of living.
Kelli Soetaert Pratt of One Source Staging wrote the book Stage to Sell as a user-friendly guide on how to stage your home to sell quickly at a price you feel you deserve, despite the current topsy-turvy real estate market. With a lifelong interest in interior design and décor, Kelly has a natural eye for visual appeal and formerly led Beautiful Walls, a faux finish and mural residential service business. The methods in Stage to Sell came from her own harried yet successful experience of selling her family’s home in record time due to a sudden out-of-state career relocation. Necessity can be the Mother of Invention!
Charles Casey andGregg Johnson are with the Pima County Workforce Investment Board, Casey as lead administrator, and Gregg as Chairman. The WIB works with thousands of businesses and more than 400,000 workers in the county. A trained workforce fuels the community’s economic well-being, and in today’s climate the Board’s role to provide local employers with skilled and qualified employees has never been more important. The affiliated Pima One-Stop Centers help dislocated workers identify educational opportunities and to find the right match opportunities. Programs are funded by federal, state and other grants.
Carlos Venegas is the principal of Lean Office Innovation, a Seattle-based organization that helps businesses and government entities at every level to reinvent the way they bring value to the public. He has been on the vanguard bringing the tools and methods of Lean manufacturing into the office environment for 15 years. Carlos helps teams tap into their potential through a unique kaizen workshop focused on eliminating all forms of waste to better serve their business strategy. He is an expert in identifying common breakdowns which with close loop learning ensure not just value, but value-added activity.
Paul Bailo is the founder of Phone Interview Pro and author of The Essential Phone Interview Handbook. Recognizing how the telephone interview is often overlooked in navigating the job-search process, Paul created a 250-plus point evaluation system from which to assess interviews and coach clients for success. Telephone interviews should NOT be treated as preliminary screens, but rather as opportunities to create visual pictures in the mind of the hiring manager of the candidate performing in the job. Paul’s book offers 50 simple tips – prepare, perform, ace – to lead to a face-to-face interview. Creating a script of accomplishments relevant to the position, posing thoughtful questions, and professionally staying within the allotted time can help advance an interviewee forward.
Gregg Trubeegrew up playing competitive sports and having an appreciation for music, the performing arts and museums. After a stint in manufacturing and trying out engineering, his love of design and freestyle creativity lead him to a 10 year culinary career, including being a chef at 4 and 5 Star establishments across the US. Over 20 years ago Gregg’s entrepreneurial energies pulled him to an "outdoor design job," founding Rainchaser Landscaping. He and his team run a flourishing, full service business – designing, planting/maintaining desert plants, rock and patio sculpting, and changing the look of properties organically. Gregg has a remarkable intuitive sense of the land. Thanks for sponsoring our show since its 2008 inception!
BJ Bischoff founded an organizational development consulting practice in Indianapolis which for over 20 years took her to 30 countries serving over 100 organizations. When her husband decided he wanted to retire in the California wine country, she shifted to create Bischoff Performance Improvement Consulting in 2010. Operating out of an office in quaint downtown Sonoma, population 9,000, today BJ has shifted from success to significance, concentrating on planning, fund development and technical assistance to North Bay nonprofits and government agencies. She advises those who transition to a new location to create an inventory of their strengths and passions, look for what the local market needs, and move forward to fill the gap.