The Basics of Creating Culture
August 15, 2017
Hosted by Sima Vasa
According to Forbes, some of the benefits of company culture include contributing to your company’s identity and values, increasing retention, and adding to your brand identity. This week your host, Sima Vasa, dives deep into company culture with two companies from INC.com’s Best Places to Work for in 2016. First we’ll be hearing from Julie Strong, CEO at C1S, where her employees participate in team building events and social gatherings to build camaraderie. Sima also speaks with Leigh Gross, VP Business Development at CommonBond, where they offer a unique program to pay back their employee’s student loan debts. This feature has been effective in retaining and attracting millennials.
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Sima Vasa has founded several companies and invested in a variety of businesses. She’s ready to share her stories and tips with you. Show topics include basics of social media marketing, taxes, creating a personal brand, hiring practices, performance management, leadership, benefits of setting up 401k, insurance, technology, commission structures for sales people, management styles, creating culture and more! This is the place where people can “trust” the information and also connect with experts in an efficient manner and reliable manner. No sales pitches. We explore honest perspectives, tough choices, the wins and the successes.
Sima Vasa is a serial entrepreneur with a proven success record in starting and growing businesses. Her experiences include P and L Management, operations, business development, marketing, acquisitions, research design and analysis in global markets. Sima is accomplished in identifying opportunities and leveraging competitive advantages to gain market shares and acquire new customers. She combines market insight, business savvy ideas, and technology to build new products and services. Sima is also technology-oriented and innovation-focused to keep up with the ever-changing market place. Companies of experience include The NPD Group, International Business Machines (IBM) and a Founder of Paradigm Sample and Data Innovation. Sima sits on the Board of Directors of Paradigm Sample, Board of Advisors for Blink Insights and she is Vice Chair of SampleCon. Sima has earned her MBA in Finance from NYU’s Stern School of business and is a former member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO).
Kabeer is passionate about the intersection of retail and technology. He co-founded an in-store mobile experience platform and has also launched e-commerce and mobile applications for several start-ups. More recently, he managed global retail analytics for Michael Kors and played a pivotal role in their digital innovation team. Kabeer received a BENG from McGill University and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. From his hair to his shoes, Kabeer pays close attention to style, and insisted that Burrow sofas be equally as fashionable. Kabeer is often ashamed to be seen with his co-founder in public. Guest Kabeer Chopra
Kwayera Archer Cunningham
Kwayera Archer Cunningham’s roots hail from Jamaica, W.I. She is an award winning strategist, thought leader, keynote speaker and author. She travels the world sharing her insights on cultural intelligence, philanthropy, organizational development, leadership, and social entrepreneurship with more than 25 years of experience as a social venture leader. Kwayera can be seen or heard throughout international media (most recently in ESSENCE, Black Enterprise, Daily News, Ebony, Jamaica Observer, Today St. Martin, St Lucia Times, and Caribbean 360). In 2014 Kwayera’s work caught the attention of the Obama’s and she received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award at the White House. She enabled youth, families, and community institution leaders to gain heightened self-awareness and confidence, improved health and wellness, increased financial knowledge, and academic success to the benefit of both themselves and the communities in which they serve and reside. Guest Kwayera Archer Cunningham
Adwoa Dadzie is the Vice President of Human Resources for Comcast Cable’s Western New England Region. She leads all aspects of People Operations including employee engagement, leadership development, talent acquisition and development for a geography ranging from Connecticut to Vermont. Prior to Comcast, Adwoa worked for Nestle USA, Nestle Waters North America and PepsiCo. At Nestle, she was a key leader ensuring seamless transition during mergers and acquisitions, design and implementation of compensation structures and development of frontline and leadership capability building programs and tools.
In 2017, based on her experiences in HR and Corporate America, Adwoa founded www.yesshestheboss.com, a career blog for Millennial women. Her mission is simple - to increase the ratios of female leaders in organizations of all sizes. Guest Adwoa Dadzie
Jason is the CEO of Get Lighthouse, a San Francisco-based startup. He’s on a mission to help everyone be great managers and leaders. Jason believes anyone can become a great leader and motivate their teams by following best practices and building the right habits. That’s where Get Lighthouse comes in to help through their research-driven leadership blog, 1 on 1 meeting software, Manager Score benchmarking tool, and more. Prior to Lighthouse, Jason ran product at web analytics company KISSmetrics, and cofounded Greenhorn Connect, which he sold to the Capital Network in 2014. He’s an avid reader and passionate about health and fitness. Guest Jason Evanish
Kara Goldin is founder and CEO of San Francisco based Hint Water, the fastest rowing flavored water in the United States. Kara started Hint when she couldn’t find healthy flavored water that tasted great without questionable additives like sweeteners and preservatives. Hint recently made its foray into beauty with a new naturally scented sunscreen spray with no oxybenzone or parabens. Kara was formerly the Vice President of Shopping and E-commerce Partnerships at AOL, where she grew AOL’s shopping business from startup to more than $1 billion in revenue in less than 7 years. In 2015, Kara was selected as winner of the prestigious Marketers That Matter award for Brand Building Small Company. Kara was also selected among only 10 other women as Fortune’s 2011 “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs,” and in 2012 as one of Ernst and Young’s “Entrepreneurial Winning Women.” Kara is also an active speaker and writer. Guest Kara Goldin
As VP of Business Development at CommonBond, Leigh is responsible for leading the BD team in both new partner acquisition and relationship management. Prior to joining CommonBond, Leigh spent three years as VP Business Development at CAN Capital, where he managed a partner acquisition team focused on strategic and digital partnerships. He was responsible for developing CAN Capital’s go to market strategy as well as leading the product team in building partner facing tools. Prior to CAN Capital, Leigh served as VP Business Development at Mimeo, a print technology company. Leigh has also spent time as a corporate law associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, and has a JD from NYU School of Law. Guest Leigh Gross
Carrie Kerpen is CEO and co-founder of Likeable Media, an award-winning content studio that achieved Crain’s 6th “Best Place To Work in NYC.” She is the author of the upcoming book titled WORK IT(TM): Secrets For Success From The Boldest Women In Business (2017) and as a regular keynote speaker, she has given talks at the Pearls of Wisdom Conference, Women in Strategy Summit, #140 You Conference, and the McGraw-Hill WINS Leadership Conference. A regular columnist for Inc. and Forbes, she provides a behind the scenes look at what it means to succeed– both as a female entrepreneur and for brands using social media. Follow her on Twitter @carriekerpen or visit her at carriekerpen.com. Guest Carrie Kerpen
Lisa van Kesteren
Lisa van Kesteren, founder and CEO of SeeLevelHX, has more than 25 years of experience in the Data Collection and Customer Experience industry. SeeLevelHX was founded in 2008 as a niche player in the mystery shopping space and operated primarily as an outsource option for research companies. Since then the company has experienced rapid growth, due to multiple acquisitions and also steady growth via organic sales. Although SeeLevel operates across virtually every vertical, the primary focus is on the QSR, Financial and Retail industries. Prior to founding SeeLevel, Lisa was Senior Vice President of the TNS North American Mystery Shopping Division. Throughout her tenure at TNS, Ms. van Kesteren had full P&L responsibility for the design, implementation, and execution of all mystery shopping programs in North America across all industries and sectors. Guest Lisa van Kesteren
Julian learned the ins and outs of travel loyalty programs while flying more than 200,000 miles a year as a TV producer and director for World Wrestling Entertainment (and yes, of course it's all real). He has appeared as a travel expert on multiple national media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, NBC News, Forbes, Travel + Leisure and numerous radio stations. Before coming to The Points Guy, Julian wrote about travel loyalty programs for U.S. News and World Report, Travel Codex and Frequent Miler. A graduate of the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Julian's work as a director has screened at many prestigious festivals throughout the world, including the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center, Cinequest in San Jose, and the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival presented by TBS. His feature film debut, The Brooklyn Heist, won Honorable Mention for the Christopher Wetzel award for Independent Film Comedy given by the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago. Guest Julian Kheel
Paul Kirch is the host of BOSS Academy Radio, a show catering to business owners and entrepreneurs, where he shares his experiences and expertise, while bringing in guests who provide high-value messaging to give support to the listeners. BOSS stands for business ownership success strategies, which is the focus of every episode. Kirch is also known as an accomplished sales and sales management professional. He also currently serves as the President/CEO of Websites and Leads, a digital marketing agency. His firm helps take static business card web pages and turns them into lead conversion tools, driving more leads, sales, and success. Since 2009, he has also the CEO of Actus Sales Intelligence, a sales coaching and consulting agency, known for helping its clients “sell smarter.” Kirch is a regular contributor to the business learning application called Audvisor. Featured among experts, he provides insights on sales, business management and entrepreneurship. Guest Paul Kirch
Stephen developed a passion for building companies when he co-founded an international education consulting startup out of college. He gained experience growing well-known brands as a strategy consultant at Accenture. More recently, he invested in several high-growth businesses while at Commonfund Capital. Stephen received a BS from Cornell University and his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. After herniating two discs in his back while rowing in college, Stephen appreciates great support while sitting down. He made sure Burrow sofas are ergonomically perfect for multi-hour Netflix binges. Guest Stephen Kuhl
Kristin Luck is a serial entrepreneur turned growth strategist. She most recently served as a partner and President/CMO of Decipher until its acquisition in 2014 and currently works as a growth strategy consultant, specializing in nontraditional sales and marketing strategies, for early and mid-stage companies preparing for global expansion, funding or acquisition. Kristin is consistently ranked as one of the top 100 sales and marketing experts to follow on social media. Guest Kristin Luck
Ben Martinez helps people through change to integrate technology with human resource, talent acquisition, marketing and organization development practices to solve business problems and get results. Founder and CEO of Sumato Coffee Co. - Reimaging coffee in the workplace, VP of HR at HireVue, blogger and podcast host, Secret Tech Sauce with Ben Martinez. Since 1999 Ben Martinez has successfully worked in various HR leadership roles around the US and Mexico for Fortune 500 companies (specifically Pepsi, Sears, Honeywell, and Energizer Holdings Inc.). Currently the VP of HR at HireVue and also Founder and CEO of Sumato Coffee Co. Strong promoter of technology to enhance HR administrative systems and help people stay better connected. He believes everyone can be a marketer and enjoys helping people in business become more profitable and more successful in their lives. Typically does his meetings over his freshly roasted quality coffee. Guest Ben Martinez
Leonard “Lenny” Murphy has been in the Market Research industry for close to 20 years in various senior level roles, most notably as CEO of full service agency Rockhopper Research, CEO of tech-driven start-up BrandScan360, and Senior Partner of strategic consultancy Gen2 Advisors. A major aspect of his work focuses on collaborating with multiple organizations to help advance innovation and strategic positioning of the market research industry, most prominently as the Editor-in-Chief of the GreenBook Blog and GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report, 2 of the most widely read and influential publications in the global insights industry. Mr. Murphy is a key consultant to numerous insight-focused organizations on both the supplier and client side and an advisor to several technology focused start-ups via his consulting practice. He is involved with multiple organizations including the Insight Innovation Exchange, The ARF, NY AMA, NewMR & others. Guest Lenny Murphy
Bobbi Rebell an award winning financial journalist and author of the best-selling self-help/personal finance book “ "How to Be a Financial Grownup: Proven Advice from High Achievers on How to Live Your Dreams and Have Financial Freedom,”. It combines unique personal financial stories from inspirational leaders with targeted specific actionable advice to help readers take charge of their money. "Financial Grownup" has been featured in AARP Magazine, Well + Good, Oprah.com, The NYPost, US News and World Report, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Refinery 29, the Tony Robbins blog, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance and many more. She is TV anchor and personal finance columnist most recently at Thomson Reuters. Her business videos have been seen on hundreds of broadcast and online channels, and her Reuters column on personal finance was syndicated to newspapers and websites worldwide. She lives in NYC with her husband, 3 kids and her morkie Waffles. Guest Bobbi Rebell
Chellee Siewert has more than 20 years of experience working with corporations, sports entities and non-profits in marketing, public relations and event execution. Since founding Capture Marketing in 2012, Siewert has focused her efforts in sports marketing and helping clients advance their cause marketing initiatives. She partnered with the JJ Watt Foundation, launching its inaugural fundraising event in 2012. Now in its fifth year, she and her team have raised over 4.6 million with the Charity event. Over her career, Siewert has helped raise 24 million for organizations nationwide. Siewert is a Milwaukee Business Journal 40 Under 40 award recipient and has been involved in presenting at PRSA, UW-Whitewater, American Marketing Association, Tempo Waukesha, Kiwanis Club of Milwaukee, Rotary Club of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Business Journal and the Lutheran College of Wisconsin. Guest Chellee Siewert
Julie Strong has more than 18 years of experience in the mechanical design and construction industry. She is CEO at C1S, a leading construction and engineering firm, based in Dallas. At C1S, she is the management team leader, responsible for finance, business administration, and human resources. She has managed construction projects across a wide variety of market segments demonstrating success on over $25M of projects from initial estimate through design, construction and commissioning. Prior to joining C1S, Strong was the controller of a design and construction firm in Dallas where she managed corporate finances, insurance, and job cost accounting as well as all aspects of human resources, including hiring, benefits management and payroll. Strong earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from The University of Texas in Austin and received her Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas. Guest Julie Strong
Shannon Swindle is the Director of Operations for Utter Nonsense, overseeing marketing and strategic partnerships for the organization. As a result of her self-taught PR efforts, Utter Nonsense caught the attention of a buyer at Target, leading to its distribution in all 1,800 stores nationwide. Leveraging her background as a mom and former teacher, she managed the development of the newest version, Utter Nonsense: Family Edition, with her brother Tim. She previously worked in higher education for Valparaiso University, has a background in international studies and has lived in several different countries. Shannon is passionate about play-based learning and would like to develop new games for children based on this concept. Guest Shannon Swindle
Tim Swindle is an entrepreneur who began his journey at PointDrive, first as an early investor and then as one of its three initial employees. Leading operations and sales, Tim helped build the company before it was acquired by LinkedIn in July 2016. During this time he also pursued a passion project that turned into something much bigger. Tim created Utter Nonsense, a card game with a simple yet entertaining concept. Exceeding its Kickstarter goal in August 2014, Utter Nonsense was soon carried by several game stores and ultimately nationwide within all of Target's 1,800 stores. Utter Nonsense continues to be one of Target’s best sellers and led to the development of a second edition of the game, which is now carried exclusively at the retailer as of June 2017. In addition to this, Tim’s latest endeavor is the formation of Hubbard Street Capital, where he serves as one of four Managing Members investing in early-stage technology companies. Guest Tim Swindle
Adam Tichauer is the Founder and CEO of Camp No Counselors, a sleepaway camp for grown-ups. Recently appearing on ABC’s “Shark Tank”, Camp No Counselors organizes year-round, all-inclusive weekend camp getaways for adults across North America. Each camp weekend is filled with land and water sports, arts ‘n crafts activities, nightly theme parties, an open bar, delicious meals and, of course, all the classic camp activities.
In just three short years, Camp No Counselors has rapidly grown from a small gathering of friends to hosting over 40 camps in ten cities across the United States and Canada. At CNC, their motto is “Play like a kid, party like a grown-up.”
Prior to founding Camp No Counselors, Adam served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Playbutton, a music technology business, where he led the company in raising $7.5MM in funding as well as securing contracts with some of the music industry’s top artists (Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Florence + the Machine, the XX etc.), Guest Adam Tichauer