Your Path to Happy: An Interview with Mario Costanz of Happy Tax
August 15, 2017
Hosted by Jody Padar and Liz Gold
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It's no secret that technology is changing how we do everything. Even tax. Join us as we talk with Mario Costanz, serial entrepreneur and founder of Happy Tax. We'll talk with Mario about his years of franchising experience and the benefits of that business model, how he came up with the idea of Happy Tax and how it will impact business owners.
Let’s Get Radical
Tuesday at 8 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Business Channel
Small business owners and creative freelancers, get ready. Let’s Get Radical is not your typical business radio show. Jody Padar and Liz Gold take a peek into your company’s financial underwear drawer with an insightful and compassionate eye. You’ll get tips and tricks, strategies and guidance and straight talk on how to get more radical with your practices and policies and reap the rewards. They talk technology, tools, attitudes and passion. They interview those who have done it and are learning to do it now. They talk about how business is changing and operating from the mindset of abundance. This show is for small business owners and creative freelancers like you who are looking for answers with a radical approach and fun. Jody and Liz dislodge the stodgy and energize you to take your business, whatever you do, to the next level. Let’s Get Radical is broadcast live every Tuesday at 8 AM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel.
Jody Padar and Liz Gold
Let’s Get Radical is hosted by Jody Padar and Liz Gold. Jody is the CEO and principal of New Vision CPA Group, a public accounting firm and author of The Radical CPA: New Rules for the Future-Ready Firm. Liz Gold is the founder of Rhino Girl Media, a communications and media company for radical business people and creatives.
Jody is one of the accounting profession’s foremost thought leaders advocating for progress and innovation in the business world. Jody brings her expertise in the area of taxation, small business accounting and consulting to all her customers while adopting best practices for cloud technologies. Jody has been named among the "Top 100 Most Influential to the Profession” for the last five years by Accounting Today and was named as one of 2015's Top 10 Money and Finance Writers on LinkedIn’s inaugural Top Voices list.
Liz has been a writer and editor for nearly 20 years, covering everything from art, small business, corporate culture, recruiting and retaining talent and technology. She is a former senior editor of Accounting Today and the co-founder of Accounting Tomorrow, a blog focused on intergenerational workplace issues. More recently Liz spearheaded the PR activity, brand messaging and thought leadership at a top-25 accounting firm. She works with a variety of clients and businesses of all sizes, helping them to find their voice and bring their essence out into the marketplace through compelling content.
- 8/22/2017: The Latest in AI: An Interview with Solon Angel of MindBridge Coming Soon
- 8/15/2017: Your Path to Happy: An Interview with Mario Costanz of Happy Tax Listen Now
- 8/8/2017: The Next Big Thing in Content Marketing: An Interview with Randy Rayess of Outgrow Listen Now
- 8/1/2017: Life. Elevated. An Interview with Deborah Hightower Listen Now
Whitney Beltrán, AKA “Strix"
Whitney Beltrán, AKA “Strix” is a writer and narrative designer for analogue and video games, scripts and features, and transmedia IP. She has written for studios including Undead Labs, Onyx Path, and Crackhorse Films. She is an expert in world building and narrative design, and holds a Master’s in Mythological Studies. She has published peer reviewed academic papers on psychology and narrative play, contributed a chapter to a university textbook on role-playing games, and has conducted research through Carnegie Mellon’s Human Computer Interaction Institute on technology and live action role-playing. Strix also heads up a minority advocacy group called Gaming as Other, meant to empower marginalized members of the gaming community. She recently finished up her own games, Bluebeard’s Bride. She believes that narrative games—games that tell stories—can be transformative and powerful tools for learning and growth. View Guest page
Nellie Akalp is a serial entrepreneur, small business advocate, speaker and author. Through the various “Do-It-Yourself” and “Business-Startup” services she has founded since 1997, she has formed over 200,000 corporations and LLCs for small business owners.
Her last company was acquired by Intuit in 2005. Today, she and her husband, Phil, operate CorpNet.com where they help entrepreneurs start a business, Incorporate, Form an LLC, set up Sole Proprietorships (DBAs) and maintain a business in compliance with state filing requirements for a new or existing business.
Nellie shares her tips with readers at Forbes, Entrepreneur and Mashable and is a regular guest expert on the Fox Small Business Center. She was named a Top 100 Small Business Influencer in 2012, 2013, and 2014 by Small Business Trends. View Guest page
Janelle Allen is a serial entrepreneur, writer and professionally trained online course and curriculum designer. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in English (Creative Writing) and a Masters of Science in Instructional Technology, from Georgia State University.
In 2012, Janelle quit her job as Senior Instructional Designer at Pearson Education to launch Learnwise, where she managed the development of online courses for corporations and universities alike. In addition to managing over one hundred online courses, she worked closely with stakeholders and guided Subject Matter Experts to ensure each course exceeded learning standards.
After three years of running Learnwise, Janelle decided to embrace a new vision: to share her knowledge of online courses with entrepreneurs. She launched Zen Courses, a resource for online entrepreneurs who want to make online courses that get results. Janelle lives in the great city of Chicago with her partner and is an avid cyclist. View Guest page
With multiple appearances on the Food Network, Food Network Canada, E!, Bravo, and morning shows on Fox, CBS, WNY, and ABC, Jordan Andino has slowly parlayed his culinary skills and vibrant personality into the prototype of this generation’s celebrity chef.Jordan was born in Toronto, Canada and began his foray into the culinary world at 9.
With ambitions to be a standout chef, Jordan gained valuable experience “staging” or interning at some the countries most reputable and respected restaurants such as Jean Georges in NYC, Spago in Beverly Hills, California and the prestigious, French Laundry in Yountville, California under Thomas Keller.
Jordan is currently the Executive Chef and owner of Invite Only and 2nd City West Village in New York City. The former being an American tapas supper club located in the Meat Packing district of Manhattan and the latter being a fast casual Filipino Taqueria located in the West Village. View Guest page
Rachel Anevski is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Matters of Management, LLC. Rachel has held executive roles in Marketing, Business Development and Human Capital for mid-size and large professional services firms. She has spent her career working alongside business owners and managing partners carrying out firm missions, acquiring talent and providing coaching to executives, management, and staff. She has provided organizational redesign of operations and infrastructure, personnel programming, senior talent acquisition, total benefit and rewards systems, policy and procedure manuals, and providing business development coaching training. She is certified in Human Resources, has a Masters Degree in Organizational Behavior from Fairleigh Dickinson University and an undergraduate degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Rachel is currently studying for six sigma black belt. View Guest page
Solon Angel is the visionary founder of MindBridge Ai. His time in Silicon Valley shaped his business philosophy of watching trends and building product-centric companies that solve massive market problems. Solon’s 16 years experience in high-tech firms ranging from venture capital to business analytics and deep knowledge of human fraud detection make him the perfect technology strategist to reshape how organizations around the world detect and prevent corporate risk while deploying capital. Solon is a regular speaker at the ACFE, IIA and ACFCS. View Guest page
Kasey Bayne heads up Customer Communications at Olark Live Chat, the most beautiful and effective way to talk to your customers for sales and support. With over a decade of marketing experience, Kasey's built the accountant channels at both FreshBooks and Kashoo, and was awarded the CPA Practice Advisor Top 40 Under 40 award in 2011 and 2012. When not at the office, Kasey can be found training for her next half marathon, outside with a good book, or off to the airport for her next travel adventure. View Guest page
Amelia Blakeman is an independent dress maker and owner of the Portland dress boutique that goes simply by her first name Amelia. After making and selling clothes as a side business for a decade, she quit her day job for good in 2013 and opened her store in Portland's Alberta Arts District. The store showcases clothing and jewelry made in the U.S. by independent female designers like herself, with a focus on feminine and vintage-inspired designs. Amelia believes strongly that your clothes should fit you, not the other way around, which is why most dresses come in plus-sizes and all come with complimentary in-store tailoring. Amelia lives a five-minute bike ride away from her shop with her husband Josh and their three senior rescue dogs Scout, Bambi, and Mitzi. View Guest page
In 2013 there was one vacant lot in Akron, Ohio, that supported a huge shift in imagining how an empty space can be transformed to breathe life into neighborhoods. Meet Wesley. In 2013, he went out on a whim, purchased a vacant lot in his own neighborhood, learned how to raise honeybees, and created Akron Honey Company. Wesley is a father, husband, musician, community activist, and an artisan. He learned how to perfect the highly skilled craft of Microbatching honey. Wesley rooted his enterprise in revitalizing people, community, activating spaces, strong social and family values, and innovation. Since 2013, his brand has received national recognition, with Akron Honey being a finalist on LeBron James' new reality show, Cleveland Hustles. Wesley's product portfolio has been mostly honey, until now. He recently announced a significant expansion into the world of skin care, that he describes as "highly disruptive to the landscape," and a "first of its kind undertaking." View Guest page
Rod Brooks, President & CEO of Stop Hunger Now, is a passionate leader dedicated to ending hunger. Stop Hunger Now’s meal packaging program, which provides life-saving meals to partner organizations in more than thirty countries, has expanded to engage more than 650,000 volunteers in twenty cities throughout the United States, as well as six countries internationally. As a measure of donor engagement, cash contributions have grown from $800,000 in 2006 to more than $18 million in 2015. Rod speaks frequently about the imperative to end hunger and has appeared on Bloomberg Television’s “Money Moves with Deirdre Bolton,” as well as in other news programs and publications. Rod received a B.A. in Economics and Spanish from UNC Chapel Hill in 1989, speaks Spanish fluently, and lives in Raleigh, NC with his wife, Terry Jasper Brooks, and daughter, Vivian. View Guest page
Bill Carlino serves as managing director at Transition Advisors where he oversees the New York metropolitan area as well as New England and regularly consults with CPA firms on M&A and ownership transition issues. In that role, he helps match Transition Advisors’ array of services such as succession readiness evaluations, new partner admissions, partner retirement and exit support, partner retreats and owner agreement evaluations and design, to the strategic transition and succession needs of CPA firms across the country. Bill came aboard Transition Advisors after serving for nearly 12 years as editor-in-chief and editorial director of Accounting Today and AccountingToday.com, where he was responsible for all content both in print and online. During his tenure as editor, Accounting Today won a number of financial journalism awards including Excellence in Financial Journalism from the New York State Society of CPAs and was a two-time finalist for the Jesse R. Neal Award. View Guest page
Chris Carroll is the owner and baked goods goddess at Sweater Box Confections. What started as a hobby has turned into a full time business inspired by her Grandma Carroll’s gifts of cookies each Christmas, delivered in a sweater box. She may be a baker but considers her treats to really be part of the setting that helps people celebrate the big and the everyday moments in their lives, to bring people together with the common purpose of slowing down and sharing stories. Hand made with quality ingredients Chris finds inspiration from her grandmother's recipes and anything with a story. Never dreaming of being a business owner Chris has gone from her home kitchen to a cooperative kitchen and is now looking into having her own space. The challenges of being a business owner have been quite a journey and she considers it her PhD program. View Guest page
Natasha Case received her Masters in Architecture from UCLA in 2008 and launched Coolhaus at Coachella Valley Music Festival in 2009. In just seven years, she has grown the company from one ice cream truck to 10 trucks in L.A. NYC, and Dallas, two scoop shops in Los Angeles, and pre-packaged sandwiches, pints and bars available in 5,000 stores nationally and internationally. She also co-authored a best-selling cookbook and has been named Forbes 30 Under 30, Zagat 30 Under 30 and Linkedin Under 35. View Guest page
Stemming from a Wall Street background, Debra is an entrepreneur and seasoned executive who cut her teeth on the trading floors of Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan. She has over a decade of success advising CEOs, board members and C-suite executives on their communications and investor relations strategy. In 2014, she founded Vanity + Trade, a destination platform for entrepreneurs and executives. Her work has been published in major financial media outlets that include Bloomberg, Reuters, and Barron's. She has interviewed and shared collaborative insight with some of the world’s most prominent female thought leaders from the Forbes MPW list through her ongoing Influencer series, and her love for fashion, finance, and design has led her to be featured in the New York Post, Korea Herald, Noobpreneur, NerdStalker and other media outlets. View Guest page
Saul Colt is the Founder and Creative Director of Saul Colt - The Idea Integration Company. In his career he has been named as one of the iMEDIA 25: Internet Marketing Leaders & Innovators as well as been called one of Canada’s best community builders/experiential marketers. NYT Best-selling author and Internet Pioneer In a previous life, Saul was the first international employee of Zipcar and the person responsible for launching Zipcar into the Canadian marketplace, was a key person in the growth of FreshBooks.com and even knows what it is like to work for a large corporation from his time in a leadership role at Rogers Communications. On top of all that Saul is also a Professional Speaker and Consultant specializing in Social Media, Customer Service, Community Building and Word of Mouth Marketing. View Guest page
Mario Costanz is a Stanford Graduate School of Business fellow, and an accomplished entrepreneur for over 20 years who has operated and sold 100 traditional tax offices across the country. He successfully sold those in 2014 and founded Happy Tax, an innovative business model that is shaking up the tax industry with technology, new ideas and specialized virtual agents. An expert in franchising and growing businesses, an inventor, a coach, an author and nicknamed The Problem Solver, Mario has defined his life by being an entrepreneur overcoming obstacles. High school dropout to garbage man to graduate school. View Guest page
Richard Davies was at the Berlin Wall in 1989, on President-elect Clinton's campaign plane in 1992, and in the streets of lower Manhattan on the morning of the 9/11 attacks. He’s reported from four continents and more than 20 nations, following wars, political campaigns, royal weddings and the global financial crisis on ABC News Radio, television and for abcnews.com. An expert storyteller and first-rate broadcaster, Davies can help your business boost its brand through podcasting.
For 29 years, Richard Davies was a staff correspondent at ABC News Radio. In the spring of 2015, he formed the podcasting startup, DaviesContent creating digital audio for businesses and non-profits. DaviesContent has worked with Solutions Journalism Network and Sageworks, a financial analytics firm.
Richard is the co-host of the weekly podcast, How Do We Fix It? on iTunes and other popular podcast sites. www.howdowefixit.me View Guest page
Paul Dunn is a 4-time TEDx speaker. He is a Senior Fellow in one of the World’s Leading Think Tanks and holds a Lifetime Service Award to the Accounting Profession in the UK. He was honored as a Social Innovation Fellow in his new home of Singapore; something he shares with film-star and philanthropist Jet Li. He is the co-founder and chairman of the revolutionary B1G1: Business for Good, a company that’s already enabled businesses to connect in new ways and create over 94 million giving impacts around the world. Paul was one of the first 10 people in Hewlett Packard in Australia. He then created Results Corporation where he helped develop and grow 23,000 small and medium scale business enterprises. Paul continues to push the boundaries. He recently featured in Forbes Magazine alongside Sir Richard Branson in a global piece on ‘disrupters’ in business. View Guest page
Mark Ellison is the owner of Play it Again Sports in Palatine, Illinois. After 30 years in retail management at powerhouse chains such as Target, Walgreen’s, Sports Authority and Venture, he decided to invest in a Play it Again franchise opportunity at the age of 50, spurring him into his first venture of business ownership. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a liberal arts degree in communications. View Guest page
Michael English is a 2013 graduate of North Carolina Central University where he majored in Exercise Sports Science. Michael worked two years for a locally owned Physical Therapy Clinic that was later acquired by an equity backed Physical Therapy chain. As a student, Michael's love for entrepreneurship led him to start two companies, GoldMined and Mic Check Productions. GoldMined has evolved into a design firm that has collaborated on projects with North Carolina Central University, The Art of Cool Project and American Underground. Mic Check Productions is an event services company that provides DJ-ing services. Michael's transition from the health field to the digital tech space has led him to see first hand the opportunities that exist for minorities in the tech industry. Michael's passion and experiences fuel him daily to excel in his latest project to create innovation spaces on the campuses of historically Black colleges and universities. View Guest page
Marwan Forzley is the Co-Founder and CEO of Veem (formerly Align Commerce) - a next generation platform that simplifies global business payments by using their unique multi-rail technology. Prior to Align Commerce, Forzley founded and served as CEO of eBillme, an online payments solution that extended online banking to the merchant’s checkout process. After selling eBillme to Western Union, Forzley joined the Western Union’s digital team as General Manager of eCommerce and Strategic Partnerships. With extensive experience and expertise in eCommerce infrastructure, mobile payments, content delivery, and alternative payments, Forzley is one of the premier entrepreneurs working to improving payment systems. View Guest page
John Garrett is proof that CPAs can be funny. Really funny. Tracks from his debut comedy album, “Outside the Box,” are in regular rotation on both SiriusXM Satellite Radio and Pandora. He’s also been heard on The Bob & Tom Radio Show, featured in the New York Times, seen in concert with Train, and has opened for Louie Anderson at resort casinos. Now he's on a mission to shatter the definition of "stereotypical accountant." Through his hilarious speaking events and Green Apple Podcast series, he's encouraging others to find and share the things that ignite them so we can all be reminded there's a human side of professionalism. View Guest page
Minda is the founder of The Memo LLC, a premiere career development platform for women of color. The Memo helps women of color prepare for their seat at the table with education, community, and access. In 2016, she was nominated as a Change Maker at The White House State of Women Summit. Minda is a member of the New York Junior League and volunteers at women's shelters across NYC; helping women enhance their resumes and interviewing skills. Minda has been featured in Essence Magazine and The Guardian. She also serves as a mentor at General Assembly. View Guest page
James Helms is responsible for overseeing the design and innovation of every user touch-point for Intuit’s professional tax and accounting products, from marketing to care, for Quickbooks Accountant Practice Management, ProConnect Tax Online, Intuit Link, Lacerte and ProSeries.
As a member of the ProConnect Group senior leadership team, James serves as a catalyst for innovation, championing and facilitating Intuit’s brand of design thinking: Design for Delight.
Prior to Intuit, James was Director of Experience Strategy at Bottle Rocket, an international, multi-disciplinary mobile studio that connects future-focused brands to their customers through mobile experiences. There he oversaw the strategy and development of iPhone, iPad and Android apps for Coke, Showtime, Starwood Hotels, BET, HGTV, Food Network, Bravo and Fox News.
James holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Visual Communications from the University of Delaware. View Guest page
Deborah Hightower represents a multi-faceted combination of success. Ranging from the financial arena in corporate America to writing and speaking, her approach is designed to prompt a rethink of thinking.
Deborah holds degrees in Business Administration, Communication and Management and numerous professional designations in the financial planning arena. Her first book, The Secret to Winning BIG: Top Strategies for Winning BIG in Life and Business, is a best-seller. The next book, Poised, Prepared and in HOT Pursuit™ of Your Best Success, is expected next year. Fly, beautiful. Fly!, a guided journal will release in August.
Deborah has been acknowledged by America’s Premier Experts® as a leading expert in her field. Her work can be seen in a variety of lifestyle blogs and magazines. She has been listed by INC. Magazine as one of America’s Trendsetters in Health, Wealth and Success. and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Morningstar, and more. View Guest page
Tom Hood, CPA, CITP, CGMA is the CEO of MACPA & Business Learning Institute.
Tom helped the CPA Profession create its vision for the future not once but twice, and he is on a mission to make CPAs “future ready.”
Accounting Today named Tom as the second most influential leader in the Accounting Profession in their annual Top 100 list (his eleventh time on that list) and said this about him,
“Hood's greatest attribute isn't that he consistently glimpses the future more quickly than the rest of us (though he does). It's that he's able to bring it back to the present and serve as its tireless, inspiring and effective champion.”
With a social follower base of almost 200,000, he is known for his prolific tweets and vast digital footprint. Tom was recruited by Linked-in as one of their Top 150 Influencers, and he was named to the Top 25 Influencers in Learning by HR Examiner. View Guest page
David Knoch serves as president for 1st Global, a premier research and consulting partner to select CPA, wealth management and tax planning firms. In this role, David guides the strategic direction and execution of major company initiatives that fulfill its purpose to enable intentional living among a diverse set of stakeholders. David’s purpose is to challenge others to create and lead purposeful lives. David currently serves on the Financial Services Institute (FSI) Board of Directors and was recently elected as chair of its finance committee. David is a member and serves on the board of the North Texas Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), as well as the advisory board of Conscious Capitalism Dallas Chapter. David has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is a Certified Investment Management Analyst℠ professional. View Guest page
With more than 20 years of experience in technology, SaaS and B2B offerings, Jay Krishnan, Automile’s Vice President of Marketing, brings deep expertise in small business and enterprise marketing to the rapidly growing company. Prior to joining Automile, she led product marketing at fast-growing startups, accelerating growth and market leadership. She also drove go to market strategy for mobile and was an innovation catalyst during her tenure with Intuit. An accomplished change agent and thought leader, she speaks at several leading industry events on technology trends impacting different industries. View Guest page
A fourth-generation entrepreneur, Rene founded Bill.com in April 2006 to transform how businesses pay and get paid. His goal was to eliminate paper from the entire payment process while automating the mundane, tiresome financial processes and transactions that have plagued and distracted accountants, finance leaders and CEOs for decades. Today, Bill.com is the nation’s leading business payments network, enabling over 1,000,000 users to pay and get paid millions of bills, worth tens of billions of dollars. Using technology to make life simpler has always been encoded in Rene’s DNA. Prior to Bill.com, he co-founded America's #1 online payroll service, PayCycle, which was acquired by Intuit in 2009. Before PayCycle, Rene spent five years at Intuit, leading a variety of fast growth small business services. A frequent industry speaker, blogger and guest columnist, Rene was recently honored as one of Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People. View Guest page
Leanne's the owner of Guerilla Catering, a San Francisco-based catering company with a mission to feed innovation, one taco at a time. She’s got a passion for lean operations and knowing the people, faces and stories behind small business. While she’s not feeding tech companies and filling their bellies and fueling their brains, she loves to travel, get inspiration in seeing, tasting, touching other places, lands and foods. Inspired by a cousin’s wedding where she had the chance to gift them a candy bar, she recently launched a sister company, Kharma Sucre, a catering company focused solely on the best part of the meal: the end...Dessert. View Guest page
Throughout a 25 year career in the retail business managing and buying for such operations as Ward Bros. a woman's specialty store, World Traders a retailer of international goods and Stan Lourie Furs a full line fur and leather goods shop, Stan enjoyed a hobby of buying and studying antiques. That interest brought him to antique shops, auctions, antique shows and flea markets across the country and occasionally abroad. He felt the experience he’d gained in retail management and his passion for antiques could be combined to serve the needs of people downsizing their homes or for family members disposing of their loved one's personal property. Today Stan Lourie Enterprises provides the entire range of services required to liquidate the contents of a home. View Guest page
Mindy Mackenzie – or the “Velvet Hammer” as she was known during her days at liquor giant Jim Beam – is currently a sought-after speaker and CEO advisor to Fortune 100 companies. She is the author of The Courage Solution: The Power of Truth Telling with Your Boss, Peers, and Team (Greenleaf Book Group; May 3, 2016). Which recently made the WSJ Bestseller List. Previously, Mindy served as Chief Performance Officer of Beam, Inc., where she was responsible for a team of 150 and was part of the executive team that led consistent outperformance and created tremendous shareholder value delivering double-digit earnings growth. Mindy also serves as a senior advisor for McKinsey and is a frequent guest lecturer for the MBA and Executive Education programs at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. View Guest page
Peter A. Margaritis, CPA, CGMA is an author, blogger, speaker, educator, humorist, and podcaster. Partnering with the Business Learning Institute, his firm "The Accidental Accountant" teaches CPAs and other business leaders how to apply the seven principles of improvisation to build respect, trust and support with their colleagues and clients. He is the author of Improv Is No Joke: Using Improvisation to Create Positive Results in Leadership and Life.
Peter earned is his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Kentucky, a Master’s Degree in Accountancy from Case Western Reserve University and he is a licensed, non-practicing, CPA in Ohio. He has worked for companies such as Price Waterhouse, Victoria Secret Catalogue (not as a model), two large banking institutions and has managed restaurants in his day. Don’t be surprised – he is Greek. He was also an assistant professor of accounting at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, OH. View Guest page
Coss Marte is the founder of ConBody, a prison-style bootcamp workout that employs formerly incarcerated individuals as trainers. Coss, a former convict himself, transformed his life in prison by working out to lose what doctors warned was a dangerous amount of extra weight. Coss trained his fellow inmates to lose a combined total of over 1000 lbs. When he was released and was rejected from job after job for having a criminal record, he formed his own company, ConBody. ConBody helps people reach their peak physical fitness while also employing ex cons as fitness trainers. Coss has done talks around the country, including at TedX, sharing his story and advocating prison reform. View Guest page
Manjit Minhas, is a Canadian entrepreneur, television personality, and entrepreneur. She is the co-founder and CEO of Minhas Breweries & Distillery, manufacturer of such beer brands as Boxer Lager, Lazy Mutt Ale and Huber Bock. Manjit recently joined the cast of the CBC reality television series Dragons' Den in 2015 for its tenth season. View Guest page
Celeste Miranda is a successful entrepreneur, advocate and pioneer of the cannabis industry. In 2012, she founded The Cannabis Marketing Lab, the first digital marketing agency tailored specifically to serve startups in the legal cannabis industry. TCML has been a launching pad for several other endeavors, including The Cannabis Marketing Lab Radio Show and a cannabis magazine. Celeste also hosts the DIY Sesh, a traveling instructional seminar that educates cannabis entrepreneurs in a one-on-one or small group setting. Celeste also founded MC4MS, a non-profit with the mission to push policymakers to loosen federal restrictions on testing cannabis for its medical benefits in treating symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Celeste also sits on the advisory board for the Cannabis Cultural Association, a group dedicated to helping communities of color to become more involved in the industry and gain better access to medical cannabis. View Guest page
Jill is the owner and operating manager of Hot Diggity! Seattle. Born in Minnesota and raised in the Midwest where her family raised goats, sheep, ducks, horses, etc. Jill has lived all over the United States, but is happy to call the state of Washington home. She has owned show dogs as well as mutts of all kinds. Currently, she lives with her spouse and daughter, three cats and a dog named Lucky. She holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, an MBA and an M.Div. Prior to running Hot Diggity Jill has run several businesses, owned her own consulting business and served as an ordained minister for 10 years. She is an avid kite flyer, animal lover, business consultant and life coach; in addition to running Hot Diggity! Seattle. View Guest page
Mama Hen is a small business specializing in handmade clothing and accessories for babies and children with a few items offered in adult sizes as well! As a business owner, Natasha Nolan is focused on producing a well made, unique, functional and fabulous product with accountability and superior customer service. Every item is hand crafted with attention to detail in a cozy and clean studio in Maine. Natasha has been crafting and art-making for as long as she can remember, but it was becoming a mom that turned her focus to children's apparel and accessories. Dismayed by how gendered and stiff so much of the clothing available for babies and children is, Mama Hen set out to build a wardrobe of soft, welcoming and well fitting garments for her child. Natasha strives to reduce Mama Hen's environmental impact by re-purposing fabric scraps, using organic fabrics whenever possible and making products that will last a lifetime! View Guest page
Barb O’Neill, Ed.D. helps teachers, program directors and families with young children who are struggling with children’s behavior. She does this by helping them shift their beliefs and learn to use simple, yet transformative play-based strategies. Barb is the creator of the Transform Challenging Behavior Method, which she teaches through her trainings, coaching and consulting practice. She typically works with programs serving children from birth to five-years-old, including Head Start programs, child care centers, preschools and nursery schools. Barb is the co-editor of the book, Play, Performance, Learning and Development: Exploring the Relationship. She has also published several articles for early childhood professionals that focus on how to create inclusive classrooms using play, storytelling and the theater-arts. View Guest page
Since 2007, KUNJAN COLLECTIVE has been a streamlining management operation of DJ’s and Musician talent for the Resort, Hotel, Restaurant, Lounge, Festival, Conference, Hospitality, Corporate, and Private Industries. Founder and Managing Director, Kunjan Patel studied at the School of Audio Engineering (SAE) in New York City and began his career as a DJ back in 1993. He has since performed all over the globe and has received multiple prestigious accolades. In addition to fostering a company that prides itself on communication and its years of industry expertise consulting with respective talent management needs. KUNJAN COLLECTIVE has sought out some of the most unique DJ’s, Musicians, and Producers, in the industry, from all over the world. View Guest page
Byron K Patrick, CPA.CITP, CGMA, CCA, MCSE started his career in 1999 as a public practicing CPA. He eventually embraced his passion for technology and merged it with his experiences in public accounting and transitioned to the IT Director of a mid-sized CPA firm in 2004. Later, in July of 2008, Byron established Simplified Innovations Inc to focus on servicing the needs of CPA Firms, which he sold in 2016. He joined Network Alliance to lead their CPA Practice. Byron is known nationally as an industry thought leader and is a multi-year recipient of the CPA Practice Advisor’s 40 under 40 award. Additionally, Byron is a frequent speaker at many State and National conferences regarding various topics relating to technology in the accounting industry. View Guest page
Caitlin Pearce is Director of Member Engagement at Freelancers Union, the nation's largest group representing the growing independent workforce. Overseeing advocacy, education, and community growth for the 300,000-member union, Caitlin is a guiding force in the union's drive to help the new workforce build a more sustainable, mutualistic society. She leads the national Freelance Isn't Free campaign to put an end to nonpayment, which just won its first major victory, passing first-of-its kind legislation to protect New York City freelancers from nonpayment. Caitlin holds a Master's Degree from Johns Hopkins University in Sociology and Comparative and International Development, and a Bachelor's degree from Bard College. She lives in Brooklyn and moonlights as a freelance musician. View Guest page
Kelly Phillips Erb
Years ago, Kelly Phillips Erb found herself sitting in law school in Moot Court wearing an oversized itchy blue suit. It was a horrible experience. In a desperate attempt to avoid anything like that in the future, she enrolled in a tax course and loved it. So she signed up for another. Before Kelly knew it, in addition to her JD, she earned an LL.M Taxation. While at law school, Kelly interned at the estates attorney division of the IRS. At the IRS, she participated in the review and audit of federal estate tax returns. At one such audit, opposing counsel read her report, looked at his file and said, "Gentlemen, she’s exactly right." Kelly nearly fainted. It was a short jump from there to practicing, teaching, writing and breathing tax. Just like that, Taxgirl® was born. View Guest page
Living her dream life since her late teens, Ariana is a relatable, inspirational role model who has created her incredible entrepreneurial story of inspirational lifestyle products, blogs and events. She leads six hugely successful businesses including the well-known nail polish company, SuperstarnailLacquer.com, thriving online accessories company, Styleshoppe.com, and a busy publishing business. Pierce motivates thousands to grow their businesses, change up their lifestyles, and create incredible futures with her lively, straightforward and actionable recommendations. View Guest page
Adam Smiley Poswolsky
Adam Smiley Poswolsky is a millennial workplace expert, internationally renowned keynote speaker, and bestselling author of The Quarter-Life Breakthrough: Invent Your Own Path, Find Meaningful Work, and Build a Life That Matters. Smiley has inspired thousands of young professionals and entrepreneurs to find fulfilling work, through speaking at Fortune 500 companies, colleges and graduate schools, and TEDx events, and by collaborating with organizations like the Hive Global Leaders Program, the Bold Academy, the StartingBloc Institute for Social Innovation, The Passion Co., and General Assembly. His writing has been published in The Washington Post, Fast Company, and GOOD, and his new book was published by TarcherPerigee (Penguin Random House) on October 4, 2016. View Guest page
Maria is the creative leader and architect of Undefined Creative, a boutique motion graphics agency based in New York City.
Blessed with nearly 20 years of success, she's a serious pay-it-forward give-backer – through teaching, mentoring, writing and public speaking. She's taught at NYU, NYU Continuing Education and University of the Arts. She regularly contributes her thoughts on entrepreneurship and creativity to the likes of 99U, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Fortune, and professional organizations, like AIGA and Promax/BDA. The studio donates 300+ hours a year in pro bono work and mentorships. Define Your Path, her new consulting platform, helps creatives at all levels to develop careers and companies that accurately express their personalities and goals.
A near-native New Yorker, she lives in Brooklyn – but gets out often, with sixty countries on six continents under her belt, and counting. View Guest page
Shane Ratigan began his career as a self-employed business owner. After 10 years in the motorcycle business, he returned to college to gain a Bachelor’s in Accounting and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration. He went on to earn his Juris Doctorate at Syracuse University College of Law in New York and his LLM Masters of Taxation at the University of Washington in Seattle. Shane has spent several years counseling small business owners on tax and succession planning. He is a licensed attorney in Oregon and Washington. Shane currently works in sales tax law and sales tax compliance with Avalara, a leading provider of tax compliance automation for businesses of all sizes. View Guest page
Randy Rayess is the cofounder of Outgrow, a growth marketing platform focused on increasing customer engagement and boosting demand generation through highly converting calculators & viral quizzes. He is passionate about demand generation, content marketing and personalized marketing. He also cofounded VenturePact and previously worked in private equity at SilverLake Partners, in machine learning and in payments. View Guest page
Suma Reddy is an entrepreneur with over of a decade of experience starting and growing startups in several industries. She's currently the COO of Circle Optics, a 360-degree camera and Virtual Reality company. Prior, she served on the management team of a venture-backed Microfinance unicorn in India, helping scale the company from 100 employees to 2500 during its first two equity raises. She’s also co-founded a renewable energy technology company and local discovery digital media platform, worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, and currently is a co-director of an award-winning LGBTQ arts & film non-profit. She is a graduate of the Flatiron School (iOS), General Assembly (UX Design) and The Wharton School (MBA). View Guest page
Tracey is busy. She is an award-winning storyteller, producer of a bi-monthly storytelling show, Now You’re Talking, a workshop leader, public speaker and a member of the board of directors of the National Storytelling Network. She also heads the Marketing department at a professional services firm in New York. While she discovered storytelling later in life, she has since embraced it with the fervor of an evangelist, and it is her mission to spread the transformative powers of storytelling far and wide. View Guest page
Brad has had the privilege of leading organizations in their customer centric transformation at Symantec, Yahoo! and Sage. Across his 20+ years of leadership Brad has led global support and service functions for Oracle, Openwave, and Verisign as well as small start-ups. Currently, Brad is the president of the board of directors for the Consortium for Service Innovation and through the work of the Consortium has helped 100’s of customer service organization better deliver deep value to their customers as well as better engage their employees. Brad is also an active member of the Forrester Chief Customer Executive Council, a member of the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) council and a member and recognized innovator of Customer Experience Professional Association (CXPA). He is currently the founder and president of Vector Business Navigation, A customer experience / customer success transformation consulting provider. View Guest page
Hannah Tarkinson is the Portland, Maine-based founder and designer behind the brand, Ponomo.
Founded in 2001, Ponomo initially consisted of a line of one-of-a-kind, hand-tooled, leather handbags. After developing street credibility and responding to the demands of a loyal customer base, the line evolved to include fine jewelry, belts, and leather accessories. The unique nature of these collections continues to attract a client base as diverse as the materials used to create them.
What began in Tarkinson's small basement studio has expanded to include placement in museums, galleries, specialty boutiques throughout New England, a dedicated e-commerce site, and a busy studio in Portland, Maine’s thriving East Bayside.
Tarkinson is also a musician and fronts two Maine bands: isobell (rock) and Port of Est (electronic). View Guest page
Ronald Thomas is a Senior Sales Trainer for the technology company, Sage. Over the past 11 years, he has facilitated many training sessions and has trained many of the top sales people at Sage. When he isn’t glued to a computer screen, he likes to spend time talking tech, unapologetically embracing his inner geek, and working hard to be the best man he can be for his wife and teenage son. He is currently working on a session he’ll be facilitating at Sage Summit in Chicago. View Guest page
Gina Trimarco, Chief Results Officer of Pivot10 Results, (P10) is an international speaker, trainer, business strategist, certified sales coach and serial entrepreneur who helps businesses shift from "people problems" to performance results. Her philosophy is that performance pays and people need to be trained to perform on the stage of business to achieve results. With 20+ years of experience in a variety of industries, Gina has worked in most areas of business including as a Marketing Director, Sales Director, PR Director, Publicist, Operations Manager, Media Buyer, Video Producer and the all-so- important “General Manager”. From training and developing employees to analyzing profit and loss statements, she understands business and how to scale one. As the Chief Results Officer, she designs, develops and delivers strategic training programs that address overall company culture, integrating leadership, sales and customer service skills with a focus on fixing “people problems." View Guest page
Judy Clement Wall
Judy Clement Wall is the author/illustrator of the creative self-love journal, Find Your Awesome. She has illustrated several coloring books in the popular Inkspirations series, including Marci Shimoff’s Inkspirations For Women, and Jack Canfield’s The Power of Positive Inking, due from HCI Books May 30, 2017. Judy is dedicated to exploring the intersection of fearless love and wild creativity, and her art can be found on everything from wine labels and lampshades, to book covers and greeting cards. Her writing has been published in literary journals and on websites such as Huffington Post, Mind Body Green, BeliefNet, and The Rumpus. To see more of her art and read her published work, visit her website at: www.judyclementwall.com. View Guest page
John F. Weber, vice president of risk & compliance and COO for DIS, is responsible for risk management, technology, business operations and consulting. John is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and was elected to the Board of Regents for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). He received the ACFE’s “Outstanding Achievement in Government Award” and is featured in the association’s “Effective Communications Video.”
As a member of the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) John earned the Certified Protection Professional (CPP) credential, making him Board Certified in Security Management. He was also co-winner of ASIS' “Excellence in Performance Management” award. View Guest page
Marilyn L. Weber, president and CEO of DIS, is a certified sign language interpreter and has an adult daughter who is deaf. Marilyn has been working for more than 25 years promoting accessible communication and advocating for the rights of the deaf community. She has interpreted in thousands of professional situations, and conducts deaf awareness workshops, cultural diversity training and ADA Compliance Consulting. Marilyn has over 2,900 hours of related professional training.
Marilyn has received several awards from various local and national organizations recognizing her work and dedication to the deaf community. View Guest page
Dan is founder and owner of Zephyr Media Group, a recognized leader in full service direct response television, media planning, buying, TV Advertising Sales & Syndication for nearly 30 years. He founded Vibrant TV in 2011 and continues as President of both companies. Prior to founding Zephyr, Dan was instrumental in the growth of Classic Sports Network, which was sold to ESPN, and Universal Sports Network which sold to NBC and became the NBC Sports Network. He was active in the early development of Showtime Network and helped to start A&E Network. He subsequently held key executive positions with Blair Television, Universal Pictures/MCA-TV, CNBC, WGN-TV/Tribune Company, and Western International Media and Syndication. He was involved in shows such as Showtime at the Apollo, Charles in Charge, Lassie remakes and many, many more. He was involved in co -productions with Germany, France, UK, Spain, Italy and other countries. View Guest page
"In a visual storytelling career spanning 25 years, Perpetual Motion Graphics founder Declan Zimmermann has created work for leading brands as well as titles and visual effects for feature films. His roles span strategic consulting, creative direction, project management, design and animation."
Recent creative obsessions include navigating the transition from freelancer to agency principal, and educating the next generation of animators at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He has previously directed theater, independent film and even live TV at a home shopping network.
His avid explorations of photography, storytelling, songwriting and performance have contributed to the breadth of expertise he brings to narrative and visual problem solving.
When he’s not trekking in Patagonia or hiking a glacier in Iceland, Declan contributes articles on the art and adventure of freelancing for the Freelancers Union Blog. View Guest page