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It's Not Just Business Talks with Sonja

Business & Economics Podcasts

Welcome to It's Not Just Business Talks with Sonja where we get down to the real business of how great leaders dug through some of their own trenches and climbed some epic mountains to get where they are today.


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Welcome to It's Not Just Business Talks with Sonja where we get down to the real business of how great leaders dug through some of their own trenches and climbed some epic mountains to get where they are today.




A tale of two roads

In a world where success is often equated with a prestigious Ivy League education, and the allure of the "school of hard knocks" beckons those who carve their own way, which path truly leads to triumph? Join us in this thought-provoking episode as we delve into the lives and insights of extraordinary individuals who have navigated both worlds, proving that success isn't bound by the confines of traditional education. Our guest, Mansour Salame, is a dynamic tech executive, serial entrepreneur, and accomplished investor. His journey exemplifies the remarkable fusion of academic excellence and real-world experience. Mansour's illustrious career started with his groundbreaking startup, NextAge Technologies, which caught the attention of Alcatel and was eventually acquired. His second venture, Contactual, was equally triumphant and was acquired by 8x8. Now, as he spearheads his third startup, FrontSpin, Mansour's story is a testament to the power of innovation and perseverance. What sets Mansour's narrative apart is his dual educational background. Armed with a Masters of Science degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University, Mansour is an embodiment of the dual paths many contemplate. In this episode, we explore the value of an Ivy League education, the skills and connections it fosters, and how it shaped Mansour's career. Conversely, we unravel the lessons learned in the "school of hard knocks," where hands-on experiences and gritty determination pave the way. As an investor in various tech startups and the President of Petree Properties, a leading real estate investment firm, Mansour's wisdom extends beyond tech innovation. He's served on the Board of Directors of 8x8, and his insights into diverse industries provide a holistic perspective on success. Join us for an illuminating conversation as we uncover the threads that bind these two paths to greatness. Discover how Mansour's unique journey underscores the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all route to success. Whether you're eyeing those hallowed halls of academia or forging your path through the crucible of real-world challenges, this episode will inspire you to embrace the path that resonates with you. Tune in and redefine your understanding of success. To learn more, visit, or call (541) 633 4725.



Nathan Bettger is a board-certified hospital chaplain and spiritual director from Oshkosh, WI, where he lives with his wife (Kat), his two sons (Brendan Arthur and Owen Raine), his welsh terrier (Wendell), and Brendan’s service dog, Harley. Nathan is committed to nurturing connection and community through our relationships, our bodies, our sense of self, the land that we live on, and our experience of the Divine. Deeply grounded in contemplative and mystic Christianity and nature-based spirituality, Nathan seeks to consistently invite others into more unitive and loving life, whether it be through spiritual companioning, caring for those in the hospital, advocating for more natural earth keeping, caring for his honey bees and his native wildflower garden, or writing. Nathan has led community groups for many years focused on spiritual integration, conversations on death and dying, grief support, and men’s spirituality. He is also particularly passionate about living within our limits and frailty, being a parent of a son with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and walking alongside patients every day through their diagnoses, their loss of ability, and their illness. He received his Masters in Divinity from Bethel Seminary in St Paul, MN and Certificates of Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Direction from George Fox Seminary in Portland, OR. Nathan served on the founding board for the men’s spirituality non-profit, Illuman and is a graduate scholar of the Orphan Wisdom School, led by teacher, storyteller and author, Stephen Jenkinson. Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Learn: In This Episode: In this episode of It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, we get to meet Nathan Bettger, a spiritual director and hospital chaplain. Through Nathan’s work, grieving families have found ways to cope with loss. Grief is a powerful force, but it doesn’t have to be negative. Nathan has shown us that there is something good that can come from pain and suffering; that we should not be afraid to hurt because it means that we are alive. Bettger’s work is important because it gives us a glimpse into the various ways we lose people and how grief affects us. He has shown that not everything that hurts is bad, and by understanding the grieving process we can better support those who are going through it. His work allows us to see the beauty in life, even after tragedy. Resources Mentioned in This Episode: Bethel SeminaryGeorge Fox SeminaryCan-Do CaninesStephen Jenkinson, Grief SupportBeth Patterson, Grief Sponsor for This Episode: This episode is brought to you by zo agency, a tight-knit team of online and offline marketing pros. At zö, we serve as the marketing department for small to mid-sized businesses. We know that marketing and advertising can be demanding and time-consuming — that’s why we make the process so easy-breezy that you don’t have to sacrifice precious time to get the results you need. To learn more, visit or call (541) 633 4725.


Approach - Love One Another

Daron Jagodzinske is the founding pastor of Alive Covenant Church. Born in Welcome, Minnesota (that’s right, the sign said “Welcome to Welcome”), Daron spent his first 18 years growing up and working on the family farm. He and his wife, Kristin, have five children: Justus, Greta, Ella, Fia, and Kwame. Daron loves seeing God at work in people’s lives, sharing life with Kristin, being a dad, playing basketball, beating his buddies in fantasy football, laughing at Will Ferrell, fishing for seafood, and exploring the beauty of the northwest. Along the way, Daron received a BA in accounting, worked as a social worker, studied clinical psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, and received his Master of Divinity in Theology at North Park University. In this episode: Are you looking for a worship community that is mission-driven and focused on growing love for God — without the traditional aspects of a church? Daron Jagodzinske is doing just that at Alive Covenant Church. He is cultivating a community of forgiveness with the foundation of love — without the unnecessary jargon of traditional worship. His approach as a church leader is to connect God with the community through a welcoming language and understanding that you’re perfectly imperfect. In this episode of It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, Sonja Anderson talks with Daron Jagodzinske, Pastor at Alive Covenant Church, about how his work within the church and community is reshaping how religion is perceived. Daron discusses the ingredients of God’s love, following your instincts to discover a worship community that is right for you, and learning how to forgive and heal for a stronger connection with God.


Change & Meaning

Sally Kennedy is the Creative Director and Senior Graphic Designer for Red Barn Design. Her mission is simple — be real, be good. To Sally, that means being mindful of all stakeholders in whatever she does. It’s not only thinking about profit for shareholders, it’s also caring for staff, customers, the environment, and the community. In her spare time, Sally loves to experience new places, hike remote trails, eat ethnic foods, enjoy great movies and books, and play with family and friends. In this episode: Life can feel a little dull after working the same job for 25 years. How do you find renewed energy in your daily grind? Discover your purpose. When you know the “why” behind your work, everything else falls into place. Instead of just the bottom line, people who dedicate themselves to a mission find that their daily workflow has new meaning. So, how do you find your purpose? In this episode of It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, Host Sonja Anderson sits down with Sally Kennedy, Creative Director and Senior Graphic Designer for Red Barn Design, to discuss how her business changed after defining her mission. Sally talks about starting the business with her husband, how they hit the “refresh” button for their company, and finding her spiritual path.



Chris Dungworth is the Managing Partner at Ro Morrison & Associates, a speakers bureau designed exclusively for the financial services industry. Chris has over 20 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry. Before co-founding Ro Morrison & Associates, Chris held multiple leadership positions at Allianz Life, including Chief of Staff and Sr. Director of Sales. In this episode… You just attended a conference and walked away totally blown away. The speakers sparked inspiration inside of you that will carry through your work in the coming weeks. How did the organizers create an event of such magnitude? There’s a lot more at hand than just the presentation. Before the event, organizers ramp up the excitement and anticipation. They’re preparing the audience for an amazing experience. And following the conference, you can expect they’ll continue to deliver valuable content to cement what you learned at the event. It sounds like a lot of work and planning. What if your team isn’t prepared to orchestrate such an event? In this episode of It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, Sonja Anderson sits down with Chris Dungworth, Managing Partner at Ro Morrison & Associates, to discuss how he is changing the conference experience one keynote speech at a time. Chris talks about the process of planning dynamic events, how to create event anticipation, and how to create impact in the months following an event.


Science and Faith

Dr. Ted R. Anderson earned a BA in zoology from the University of Kansas and a PhD in biology from Saint Louis University. His primary research interests are community ecology and the reproductive biology of the House Sparrow. He retired in 2004 after teaching for 32 years at McKendree University as a Professor of Biology. Dr. Anderson is the author of two books, Biology of the Ubiquitous House Sparrow: From Genes to Populations (2006) and The Life of David Lack: Father of Evolutionary Ecology (2013). In 2014, he wrote a series of 53 weekly articles for the Bainbridge Islander entitled “A Year of Birding in Bloedel.” In this episode: Most people think that religion and science are polar opposites. In fact, fewer than 10% of scientists profess to have religious beliefs. Is it possible for them to intertwine? According to accomplished biologist Dr. Ted R. Anderson, it’s not easy, but it’s possible. His journey to reconcile faith and science has had its ups and downs. He even completely turned away from his faith at one point. Why did he return to his belief? Dr. Anderson realized his life wasn’t going so great. But when he returned to his faith, the Jesus story put a whole new spin on his life. Even though he didn’t have all the answers, Dr. Anderson learned that you don’t need to know everything to be a Jesus-follower. In this episode of It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, Sonja Anderson sits down with Dr. Ted R. Anderson, emeritus professor, biologist, and author, to discuss how he finds space for both his scientific and religious beliefs. Dr. Anderson opens up about his own struggles with faith, how science and religion can complement each other, and shares one of his favorite Biblical parables.


Whole Health

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy is a physician and digital health entrepreneur. He is the Founder and CEO of Motiv Health, a startup passionately focused on using human and AI coaching for health, behavior change, and prevention. He is an internal medicine physician who trained at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the University of California. Additionally, he was the first wireless digital health scholar at the Scripps Translational Science Institute, where he earned a master's in clinical translational investigation with a focus on digital health innovation. In this episode Most doctor visits play out like this: you describe your symptoms, and they give you a pill to take. It seems easy. But will it really fix your problem? Maybe it will. But maybe you need to get to the root of the problem — your lifestyle choices. Instead of reacting to problems as they crop up, what if you could take small steps every day to prevent disease and health issues? Health coaches, dieticians, and personal trainers often get pushed aside. But these are the people who excel at promoting lifestyle behaviors that have proven to prevent and better manage health conditions and, in some cases, reverse them. Because in the end, it’s not just about treating one problem — it’s about caring for your whole health. In this episode of It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, Sonja Anderson sits down with Dr. Ravi Komatireddy, Founder and CEO of Motiv Health, to discuss why paying attention to your lifestyle matters to your overall health. Dr. Komatireddy talks about taking a prevention-focused approach to your health, finding intrinsic motivation for change, and the positive impact of health coaches in the healthcare system.


Somatic Healing

Jennifer Jeffcoat is a PPN-Somatic Therapist holding space from preconception to family dynamics. Her works are interwoven with pre and perinatal birth psychology, attachment theory, polyvagal theory, somatic and spiritual psychology, neurosensorimotor reflex integration, cranial sacral therapy, mindfulness, and conscious studies. Jennifer has been serving individuals and families for over 28 years. In the last 10 years, she has embodied her works as a doula and midwife assistant, attending over 400 births. Her work opens to professional training as Awakened Somatic Therapist, Parent Educator, and Pre and Perinatal Practitioner. In this episode… Everyone experiences stress and anxiety from time to time. What happens when we ignore our feelings and let them build up over time? Our experiences affect more than just our emotions and mind — they also affect the rest of the body. We all have body stories. When you dig deep into those life stories and how you store them in your body, you’ll see that they can bring health, pleasure, joy, and wellness. You’ll also notice that some can cause dysregulation and fragmentation and feelings of sadness and isolation, sometimes manifesting into disease. How can you find healing from previous traumatic experiences? In this episode of It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, Sonja Anderson sits down with Jennifer Jeffcoat, a PPN-Somatic Therapist, to discuss how to find healing in your body. Jennifer shares how she was introduced to pre and perinatal psychology, how she helps patients find the right resources for healing, and how to repattern core beliefs.



Patrick Daugherty is a seasoned marketing and creative veteran. He has more than 20 years of experience leading and developing powerful CPG marketing teams and strategies across a variety of brands and channels. Patrick is the Principal at ​​BrandCraft Collective, a consultancy specializing in branding strategy for small to midsize CPGs. Dan Kiefer is a creative with deep experience on both the agency and brewery sides. He is the Chief Creative Officer and Co-founder of Ahead of the Curve Strategy. Previously, Dan was the Vice President of Creative at CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective. He helped create and launch brands including Wild Basin Boozy Sparkling Water and CAN-O-BLISS IPA Series. In this episode… As a creative marketer, it’s easy to get tired of your own ideas. You draw and redraw logos, write and rewrite tag lines. How do you know if your idea is worth pursuing? A little bit of data goes a long way. Data and insights are the perfect pairing with your guts and intuition. While data alone wouldn’t be enough for a creative campaign, it can give you insights into human behavior. With that, you can explore endless branding strategy possibilities. Your creative thinking can help you find a new angle to reach people — making a fresh, successful marketing campaign. In this episode of It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, Host Sonja Anderson is joined by Dan Kiefer from Ahead of the Curve and Patrick Daugherty from BrandCraft Collective to discuss creative marketing strategies for breweries. They talk about previously successful campaigns, why a welcoming agency culture matters, and how to handle constructive criticism from clients.


Space Between

Dr. Alan Nasypany has completed dozens of cutting-edge treatment intervention trainings and is a Master Instructor for Primal Reflex Release Technique. He was the first in the nation to develop a doctorate program in Athletic Training (Sports Medicine) at the University of Idaho, where he is the Director of two graduate programs. Dr. Nasypany has over 20 years of experience as a healthcare professional specializing in sports medicine, chronic pain, and unresponsive health conditions. Additionally, Dr. Nasypany has a private healing and transformation practice, Resource Energetics, where he helps people improve their energetic alignment in order to live their best lives. Through his consulting, workshops, and online courses, he helps clients who want immediate and easy change identify their deeper truths and discover how to follow their internal compass on a journey of satisfaction. In this episode: We live in a fast-paced world that feels like a competition to be busier, wealthier, and more popular. But what do people find once they finally reach the pinnacle? Loneliness and headaches. When the race is over, people realize that they didn’t take time to enjoy the journey. Instead of success and accolades, most people thirst for human connection and downtime. There’s no room for inspiration and creativity when your mind is filled with, “I need to get this done.” If you ignore the warning signals of stress and exhaustion, eventually, your body will override your drive and breakdown. As the saying goes, if you don't take time to be healthy, you will surely take time to be sick. So, how do you begin to find harmony and serenity in your life? In this episode of It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, Sonja Anderson sits down with Dr. Alan Nasypany from Resource Energetics to discuss the empowering practice of mindfulness. Dr. Nasypany talks about how he helps clients identify hidden sources of suffering to cultivate true healing, why taking time to rest is exponentially beneficial, and why our minds are constantly at war between creativity and survival, and so much more. You don’t want to miss this jam-packed episode!



Joshua Rood is the Co-founder and CEO of Dr Hops Real Hard Kombucha Beer. Dr Hops combines alcohol-tolerant kombucha cultures with the world’s finest organic, fair-trade ingredients for a great-tasting, health-conscious alcohol. Dr Hops contains no extracts, “flavorings,” GMO ingredients, glutens, or pasteurization. Before founding Dr Hops, Joshua was an Assistant Store Manager and Community Team Lead for lululemon Athletica and a Course Supervisor for Landmark Education. Joshua has worn multiple hats throughout his career, including musician, bartender, and chef at a yoga retreat center. In this episode… A beer with no extracts, “flavorings,” GMO ingredients, glutens, or pasteurization. Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? Dr Hops Real Hard Kombucha proves it is possible: a health-conscious alcoholic beverage with exceptionally wonderful taste. It’s magical and a bit mysterious, like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland or the children’s story The Velveteen Rabbit. How can something that tastes amazing also be good for you? Dr Hops shows that anything is possible when a community comes together to change the world — or at least the alcoholic beverage industry. In this episode of It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, Sonja Anderson sits down with Joshua Rood, Co-founder and CEO of Dr Hops Kombucha Beer, to discuss his path to creating a magical new beverage. Joshua shares the conversation that sparked the idea for Dr Hops, the rabbit who inspired the brand’s name, and why he is passionate about partnering with his community.


Financial Fear

Sharon Duncan is the Founder of Infinite Assets, a financial consultancy. Sharon combines 30 years of financial expertise with her practice as a yoga instructor to help clients develop healthier relationships with money. At Infinite Assets, they examine the personal history and triggers that feed negative money habits. They work through an honest assessment of the client’s finances and then build a new plan founded on hope, purpose, and meaning. Sharon offers multiple services, including one-on-one virtual coaching, group sessions, and seminars. She also writes a financial blog with advice on how to resolve your financial fears. Soon, Sharon will be offering online courses with step-by-step videos to guide you into financial freedom. In this episode… Figuring out finances can be a huge headache. But worrying about money is just for poor people, right? Wrong. Financial expert Sharon Duncan has worked with thousands of clients with incredible wealth and people who are deeply in debt. She found one common theme among them all — financial fear. People worry about having enough money, where to put their money, or if it might be stolen, or if they could lose it — just to name a few issues. What can you do to ease the stress and anxiety surrounding your bank account? In this episode of It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, Sonja Anderson sits down with Sharon Duncan, Founder of Infinite Assets, to discuss how to conquer financial fear. Sharon talks about why money creates stress for many people, how to re-frame the way you see budgeting, and why goals are essential for progress. Tune in to find out how you can conquer your financial fears.


Leap of Faith

Dr. Matthew Smitley is the Clinical Assistant Professor and MSAT Program Director for the Athletic Training Program at the University of Idaho. The University of Idaho’s 24-month Athletic Training Program places students in real-life clinical situations to give them the needed experience to hit the ground running after graduation. Dr. Smitley first joined the faculty as a Graduate Teaching Assistant while pursuing a Doctor of Athletic Training in 2017. After receiving his degree in 2019, he joined the faculty full-time. Previously, Dr. Matthew Smitley worked with Mission Health, named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems, and a full-time high school outreach athletic trainer. While there, he organized, coordinated, and provided health care for over 300 student-athletes across 28 teams and 16 different sports. In this episode… Have you started down your career path but feel like you’re going in the wrong direction? Do you feel like there’s more out there for you, and it’s time for a change? Dr. Matthew Smitley worked at a great company in Northern California where he enjoyed his work and employers — but something was missing. His friend and mentor, Dr. Baker, had recommended pursuing a doctorate degree three years earlier, but he had dismissed the notion. Finally, something within Dr. Smitley snapped into place — he handed in a two-week notice at his office without any new job guarantee and plowed full-steam ahead into a doctoral program. From there, he found a passion for education and new clarity as a clinician and arrived in a position he loves: teaching at the University of Idaho. In this episode of It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, Sonja Anderson sits down with Dr. Matthew Smitley, Clinical Assistant Professor and MSAT Program Director of Athletic Training at the University of Idaho, to discuss the leap of faith that led to his current position. Dr. Smitley talks about why he chose to pursue athletic training, the mentor that inspired him to reach his full potential, and what is unique about the University of Idaho’s Athletic Training Program.



Dean Newlund is the Founder and CEO of Mission Facilitators International, a boutique training and development firm. The team at MFI helps organizations become more connected to their purpose and their people. Founded in 1992, MFI is home to more than a dozen professional coaches, trainers, and strategic planning facilitators. Unlike most other firms where consultants work with their clients, MFI members work as a team in facilitating growth for leaders and organizations. Dean Newlund has over two decades of experience in executive roles. Previously, Dean was President of ASTD Phoenix and the President of Quantum Leap Unlimited. He was also an Adjunct Professor within the Faculty Network Group of the Thunderbird School of Global Management. In this episode… According to a study by Gallup University, nearly 50% of all employees are actively looking for other work. How do you create a company where people want to stay? Dean Newlund specializes in making companies “sticky.” Company culture has to be top-of-mind for the leadership in order to retain employees. Some key factors include competitive wage and benefits, onboarding process, training, flexible schedule — just to name a few. How do you know where to start? In this episode of It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, Sonja Anderson sits down with Dean Newlund, Founder and CEO of Mission Facilitators International, to discuss building a company culture that retains employees. Dean describes seven focus areas for CEOs, why a CEO needs a brand along with the company and the lessons he learned the hard way.



Sonja Anderson is the Director and CEO of zo agency. zo agency acts as the marketing arm or extension to a marketing department for small to midsize businesses. They are a full service agency and offer every manner of skills including branding, logo, web design and development, social media, SEO, paid digital, public relations, traditional media buys, production and so much more. zo agency helps America’s businesses grow from small to thriving organizations that serve, employ, nurture, and contribute to their communities. When zo helps business grow, we help the backbone of America grow. Sonja Anderson started her career in the 90s in radio. Though Sonja was thriving, she realized that some businesses she consulted would be better served using another medium for marketing. Pitching just one medium fell short of full service consulting and definitely fell short of Sonja’s vision. Her first agency was born. In this episode… Sonja Anderson has dedicated the last two decades of her career to small to midsize businesses with 1-100 million in annual revenue. This group represents over 90% of business in our country and gets the least amount of traction. Face it, building an entire marketing department from the inside is costly and a huge responsibility for any company. But how does a small business play in the big field without one. That’s where zo agency is the differentiator - the marketing arm that business needs without the payroll expenses, management and costs. In this episode of It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, John Corcoran talks with Sonja Anderson about the adventures along her journey of creating zo agency. Sonja discusses her unusual childhood in Scotland, why she wanted to come to the US, how she learned to excel in radio sales, and her vision for zo agency.