Impact Michigan

Impact Michigan

anchor.fm/impact-michigan
Who’s driving workforce and economic development in Michigan? Tune in as Host Leann Abad interviews the movers and shakers of the Great Lakes State and dives deep into why the comeback of Michigan’s economy is inevitable. Presented by Intermitten.


Andy Gutman, President The Farbman Group
Sep 15 • 25 min
Andy Gutman is a commercial real estate exec and songwriter/author combo. He may be the President of the Farbman Group during his 9-to-5, but for his 5-to-9 he’s chosen and pretty unique side hustle as a songwriter and children’s book author. We chat…
Chris Lambert, CEO Life Remodeled
Sep 14 • 23 min
Chris Lambert, CEO of Life Remodeled. Life Remodeled is an organization whose mission is to bridge people across divides to help transform each other’s lives. They do this by investing approximately $5 million in cash, labor and materials into one Detroit…
BONUS EPISODE: Pamela Moore, President/CEO DPSF
Jun 6 • 19 min
Pamela Moore is the President and CEO of the Detroit Public Schools Foundation, where they work to support the Detroit Public Schools Community District. In this episode, we discuss her background, growing up in Detroit and attending Detroit Public…
On Radical Inclusion
May 28 • 29 min
In today’s episode, we chat with Chanell Scott Contreras and Joanna Dueweke-Perez. They are Intermitten 2019 speakers and they are giving their talk on Radical inclusion. Listen in as we discuss community-centered economic development, courage in…
Marc Hudson, Rocket Fiber
May 23 • 27 min
Marc Hudson is the CEO and Cofounder of Rocket Fiber, the fastest internet out there, certainly in the Detroit area. We get to chat about the founding story of the company, how a submission to “The Cheese Factory” kickstarted it all, and what happens when…
Jim Tenzillo, Invest Michigan
May 21 • 26 min
In this episode of the Impact Michigan podcast, we host Jim Tenzillo of Invest Michigan. Invest Michigan is an investment fund that invests in early stage technology companies that are located in the state of Michigan. Jim started there a few years ago…
Beth Kirsch, NETSCOUT
May 16 • 29 min
Beth is an expert at navigating corporate cultures and has over a decade of experience maximizing organizational impact. She leads the community engagement initiative at NETSCOUT leading the charge on impactful community initiatives. In today’s episode,…
Jeff Epstein, Founder of Ambassador
May 14 • 47 min
Jeff Epstein is the Founder of Ambassador, the #1 referral marketing software platform. They were recently acquired by West Corp., and Jeff has since moved on from the company. We catch up with him a few months after the acquisition and chat about his…
Blake Robbins, Ludlow Ventures
May 9 • 60 min
Blake Robbins is a Michigan State grad who’s worked at Tesla, Nest, Google, and now Ludlow Ventures, Blake is one of the pioneers in the eSports industry when it comes to investing and even founding. He helped launch and cofound 100 Thieves, the fastest…
Lia & Christopher, Human Inclusive
May 7 • 44 min
Today’s episode features not one guest, but two! Lia James and Christopher Guest are the halves that make the whole of Human Inclusive, which is a podcast that curates stories of diverse communities amplifying voices and experiences of marginalized…
Laura Khalil, Force of Bada**ery
May 2 • 55 min
Laura Khalil is devoted to helping women embody the confidence and develop the clarity to speak up, get paid what they’re worth and lead mission driven lives. She has spoken to audiences at Creative Mornings, Zingtrain, Consumers Energy, Ladies Get Paid…
Rajiv Nathan, Startup Hypeman
Apr 30 • 30 min
Rajiv ‘RajNATION’ Nathan is Founder of Startup Hypeman, helping increase the success rate of startups by building messages that stand out to their audience and stand apart from their competitors. He was named an “Agent of Change” by Huffington Post, has…
Hunter Rosenblume, CEO Lunar Wireless
Mar 14 • 27 min
On this episode of the Impact Michigan podcast, we chat with Hunter Rosenblume of Lunar Wireless. Hunter Rosenblume is the Founder and CEO of Lunar Wireless, a telecommunications company focused on providing cellular coverage to everyone. He was born and…
Melissa Butler, CEO The Lip Bar
Mar 11 • 13 min
On this episode of the Impact Michigan podcast, we talk to Melissa Butler of The Lip Bar. She is a Detroit native, Cass Tech and Florida A&M grad who left a career on Wall Street to solve a problem that she just had enough of. After being fed up with how…
Henri Pierre-Jacques, Co-founder Harlem Capital
Mar 7 • 32 min
In this episode of the Impact Michigan podcast, we chat with Henri Pierre-Jacques, Detroit expat and co-founder of Harlem Capital. I ran into him at last Fall’s Detroit Homecoming and was fortunate enough to grab him for 30 minutes as he was hustling…
Steven Mazur, Cofounder Ash & Erie
Mar 4 • 22 min
In this episode of the Impact Michigan podcast, we chat with Steven Mazur, Cofounder/CEO at Ash & Erie. A metro-Detroit native, Steven has grown to love the city and its people. So much so that he moved back to start his career and eventually found a…
James Chapman, Quicken Loans CIF
Feb 28 • 47 min
James Chapman is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund. He’s a serial entrepreneur, nationally recognized speaker, and author of #TheHustle. He prides himself in being both revenue-driven, and socially conscious. His…
Richard Sheridan, Chief Joy Officer of Menlo Innovations
Feb 25 • 37 min
Rich Sheridan is the founder of Menlo Innovations, made famous by its tours and workshops centered around how they maximize Joy in the workplace. Which makes sense, considering Rich himself has authored two books with “Joy” in the title. Which also…
Season 3 Announcement!
Feb 20 • 5 min
Well, well, well… We’re back friends :) Tune into this episode as I interview a special guest as part of our announcement for Season 3 and the future of this show.
Stella Safari, gener8tor
Oct 11, 2018 • 28 min
Stella Safari is one of Detroit’s busiest transplants. She moved to Detroit as a Venture for America fellow, working for Invest Detroit, an early stage funder of businesses. Her interest in startups led her to furniture maker Floyd, where she was director…
Richard Grundy, JOURNi
Oct 9, 2018 • 31 min
Richard is the CEO of JOURNi, an organization dedicated to bridging the diversity gap in tech. JOURNi is an organization dedicated to equipping urban communities with the skills and resources necessary to jumpstart their local economies. We strive to…
David Uze, Trillium Secure
Sep 27, 2018 • 30 min
David has over twenty-five years experience in the high-tech arena as a senior executive and has had extensive involvement in the field of cybersecurity throughout his career. Trillium Secure keeps your connected and autonomous vehicles safe and your…
Chris Thomas, Detroit Mobility Lab
Sep 25, 2018 • 28 min
Chris Thomas is a man on a mission. The former co-founder of Fontinalis Partners, he invests in and mentors companies in the fast-growing space of mobility. I think the most impressive part of his story is how he put himself in a position to cofound…
Nathan Labenz, CEO Waymark
Sep 20, 2018 • 36 min
Graduating from Harvard as part of the “Facebook class,” you could say Nathan Labenz is one smart guy. Which would be an understatement. As CEO of Waymark, he’s helping democratize video marketing for all businesses. They recently launched their new…
Marcus Collins, Chief Consumer Connections at Doner
Sep 18, 2018 • 49 min
A culturally curious thinker, Marcus Collins is one of the worlds’ premier minds in marketing. As Chief Consumer Connections Officer for Doner, he’s pioneering a new role to help Doner’s clients “get a deeper, more scientific understanding of consumers.”…
Dug Song, CEO Duo Security
Sep 13, 2018 • 25 min
“When internet security specialist Dug Song found out the company he worked for got hacked by a 17-year-old high school student, he didn’t alert the authorities. Instead, he hired him.” That’s how Dug met Jon, his eventual co-founder of Duo Security,…
Joe Malcoun, CEO Nutshell
Sep 11, 2018 • 46 min
As the CEO of Nutshell, Part owner of The Blind Pig A2, and Cofounder of Cahoots, Joe is likely one of the busiest people in Ann Arbor. With 3 degrees from the University of Michigan, he started his career at GreenOrder. After getting his MBA at The Ross…
Workit Health
Sep 8, 2018 • 44 min
Drug Abuse. Addiction. Recovery. These are real problems and issues we face in our country, and we have to find scalable, equitable solutions to them. That’s why we interviewed Workit Health, an Ann-Arbor based private online service to help people break…
Justin Mast, CEO Bloomscape
Sep 4, 2018 • 19 min
Being both a creative and an entrepreneur can seem contradictory in some ways, but Justin Mast seems to have found the perfect way to combine the two. Taking over his family business over in 2006, he began to learn the operational expertise needed by an…
Jason Raznick, CEO Benzinga
Sep 4, 2018 • 23 min
Jason’s approach to life is simple: Get rid of Monarchy; Implement a Doerarchy. As Founder and CEO of Benzinga.com, he lives and breathes this mentality all throughout his organization, and it shows up in their success. Benzinga is a dynamic and…
Josh Luber, CEO StockX
Sep 4, 2018 • 25 min
Dubbed the “Stock Market of Things,” StockX is one of, if not the fastest growing startup in Detroit, and CEO Josh Luber is at the forefront of all that growth. Beginning as a passion project outside his time at IBM, Luber started StockX (then known as…
M2: Capital Appreciation Month; Doron York, Cityside Ventures
Jul 11, 2018 • 48 min
An Israeli Navy Seal, Doron spent the first part of his life in his native homeland of Haifa, Israel. After finishing his duty, he moved to the United States and settled down in Southeast Michigan. Actually, settled down is definitely NOT the right term,…
M2: Capital Appreciation Month; Jake Cohen, Detroit Venture Partners
Jun 27, 2018 • 34 min
Jake is a 3-time University of Michigan graduate who got both his MBA and his JD at the same time! During his undergrad years, he started his first company called Ugrub, which provided college students with an easy‐to‐navigate listing of restaurant menus…
M2: Capital Appreciation Month; Chris Rizik, CEO Renaissance VC
Jun 13, 2018 • 36 min
A Wolverine-Spartan hybrid, Chris is one of the pioneers in the venture capital ecosystem here in Michigan. After 13 years as an attorney, he went through a massive career change to transition into life as a venture capitalist. Alongside now-Governor Rick…
M2: Capital Appreciation Month; Doug Neal, Co-Founder, eLab Ventures
Jun 6, 2018 • 35 min
With 25+ years in the tech industry, it’s pretty safe to say Doug is a technology veteran. A graduate of Central Michigan University, he started his career at Hewlett-Packard as a Software Engineer and left after 4 years to become a Director at Symantec…
M2: Month of Mobility; Lisa Nuszkowski, Founder of MoGo Detroit
May 30, 2018 • 39 min
An advocate for and leader in transportation mobility, Lisa started her career at the City of Detroit office as a Business Analyst and shortly after became the Chief of Staff to House Majority Leader Steve Tobocman. A few years later, she went back to the…
M2: Month of Mobility; Mark de la Vergne, Mobility Innovation, City of Detroit
May 23, 2018 • 33 min
Mark is a transportation planning veteran, and he knew he wanted to work in mobility before mobility was even a term. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where he studied Systems Engineering (specifically focused on transportation) he started his…
M2: Month of Mobility; Jessica Robinson, Director of City Solutions at Ford Smart Mobility
May 16, 2018 • 32 min
An East Coast, to West Coast, to Midwest transplant, Jessica Robinson started out in the tea industry holding roles such as Head of Sales and Marketing, Product Manager, and Customer Relations. After dominating the tea market, she joined the team at…
M2: Month of Mobility; Lisa Seymour, Techstars Mobility
May 9, 2018 • 31 min
Lisa is a Wayne State Warrior, she started her career in the sports industry, wearing a variety of hats at her alma mater’s athletic department. Soon after, she joined the team at DUO Security heading up People and Culture. When she realized she couldn’t…
M2: Month of Mobility; Amanda Roraff, PlanetM
May 2, 2018 • 33 min
Amanda Roraff has produced and planned events and trade shows for multiple companies for over 20 years. After getting her Bachelor’s Degree from the James Madison College of Public Policy at Michigan State, she started out as a Programs Manager in the…
M2: Marketing and Advertising as a Superpower
Apr 25, 2018 • 35 min
A New Orleans native and graduate of Tulane University, Molly McFarland launched her career in Marketing and Business Development at an architectural design firm in Ann Arbor. During her time as Marketing Director at another Ann Arbor startup, she and a…
M2: How A Writer Turned Entrepreneur Is Building Detroit’s Startup Community
Apr 18, 2018 • 30 min
Amanda Lewan is an award-winning writer and entrepreneur. After getting her Bachelor’s in professional writing from Michigan State University and her Masters in English from Wayne State, she launched into the marketing world as a content marketer at Sunny…
M2: Jason Mendelson on Michigan’s Startup Community
Apr 11, 2018 • 23 min
Jason Mendelson has some serious street cred. A 2-time graduate of the University of Michigan, he started out as a software engineer at Accenture, and after realizing he wanted to be a lawyer, got his law degree, became a lawyer in the Bay Area and now…
M2: How Medtech is Impacting Michigan’s Economy and Focus
Apr 4, 2018 • 35 min
Paul Riser is a lifelong Detroit native. He started his career at Sun Microsystems at its peak and currently his main gig, among a litany of other commitments, is serving as TechTown Detroit’s Managing Director of Tech-Based Entrepreneurship, a role…
M2: Detroit Tours, Experiences, and Stories
Mar 28, 2018 • 34 min
Jeanette Pierce is a lifelong native of Detroit proper, and she is what I would call the human encyclopedia of all things Detroit. After studying abroad in Spain, she was inspired to help create the same small-town, know your neighbors across the street…
M2: Venture School Part 2 - Redefining Student Success
Mar 21, 2018 • 20 min
This episode is a continuation of “How Venture School Is Reshaping Entrepreneurial Education in Detroit.” (From Venture School website) The mission of VentureSchool is to empower students to become capable, curious, and courageous leaders, innovators, and…
M2: How Venture School Is Reshaping Entrepreneurial Education in Detroit
Mar 14, 2018 • 26 min
Venture School’s mission is to empower students to become capable, curious, and courageous leaders, innovators, and agents of change in their community through groundbreaking educational opportunities. Equipped with an entrepreneurial mindset, their…
M2: How To Attract Talent To A Growing Startup Ecosystem
Mar 7, 2018 • 31 min
Deirdre Groves is a self-identified social entrepreneur, having founded multiple nonprofits. A graduate of both Michigan State AND the University of Michigan, she has degrees in both Construction Management and Urban Planning. She’s a Crain’s 40 Under 40…
M2: From Life on the Run to Immigrant Entrepreneur
Feb 28, 2018 • 30 min
Edi Demaj’s story is one that will impact everyone who listens to it. A childhood riddled with hardship, he never had a real education from 1st to 7th grade since his family lived life on the run. Having to dodge bullets most of their life in Kosovo, his…
M2: How To Keep Your Entrepreneurial Dream Alive
Feb 21, 2018 • 34 min
Shelly Sahi is a first-time founder, yet she’s already been making waves across not only the Michigan startup scene but the global fashion and beauty industry as well. Starting out as a researcher at the Univ. of Michigan hospital, she made a career…
M2: How To Build An Early Startup Team
Feb 14, 2018 • 35 min
Ryan Landau is a serial entrepreneur, having started his first company at the ripe age of 14 years old, ran it during his high school and college years with his brother before eventually selling it to a competitor. A Michigan State alum who got his…