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Profiles in the American Dream

Business & Economics Podcasts

The Real-Life Struggles of American Entrepreneurs

The Real-Life Struggles of American Entrepreneurs


United States


The Real-Life Struggles of American Entrepreneurs




John McDonald -029

From his humble beginnings in local theatre productions to a stint at MTV and then to Broadway, John McDonald has always kept his roots in Quincy. His career in the performing arts have covered just about everything one could imagine. But it all comes back to first creation, as a teenager who dreamed big, JM Productions. Listen to the story of his roller-coaster life in the fast-lane, the slow-lane and sometimes the breakdown-lane.


Mindi Sokoloski -028

Mindi Sokoloski knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a photographer. What she didn’t know then was that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones, as they are commonly known, would be her ticket to a whole new and exciting world of photography. Hear Mindi tell us how her business, MS Aerial, literally “took off!”


George Brewster -027

George Brewster took the family vehicle for a ride at age 14. The family vehicle was an ambulance! George has lived an extraordinary life as the “main man” at Brewster Ambulance, working with his mother to save the company after the death of his father. Listen to him tell me about the ups and downs of building, selling and then rebuilding the business with his sons. And hear him dish on some of his famous “passengers”!


Jenn Ormond, Coffee Break Cafe -026

Who in their right mind would challenge Dunkin Donuts on their home turf in Quincy? Jenn Ormond and her team at Coffee Break Cafe, that’s who! Listen to how and why she decided to do battle with the large coffee chains and why she believes Coffee Break brews a better “cup of joe.”


Akash Savdharia, Patheer -025

Sometimes taking a risk and starting your own business will make your mother cry. But if you believe in yourself and you’ve found the path, like Akash Savdharia, you go for it! Listen to how Akash and his team founded Patheer, a better way to job search.


David Jensen, Lighthouse Media Solutions -024

How cool would it be to be in the pig roasting business (unless of course you are the pig!)? Thats how David Jensen got his entrepreneurial start, creating DMC Barbecue while in college. David’s business sense has taken him far and now he serves as the COO of Lighthouse Media Solutions. Listen to his inspiring story.


Jon Shubow, Serpcom -023

When he was working in the newspaper business he described it like “being a dinosaur and seeing the meteor about to hit the earth! Instead of becoming extinct, Jonathan Shubow reinvented himself as a “Google guru and SEO savant.” Listen to Jon’s moving life story and his professional transformation at SERPCOM.


Mark Rogers, Board Prospects -022

Ever wanted to serve on a corporate board or understand how they operate? Mark Rogers turned his fascination with that world into a successful business. Listen to Mark tell how he stumbled, failed and finally succeeded in turning Board Prospects, into the “LinkedIn” of the corporate board world.


Sifu Mai Du, Wah Lum Kung Fu & Tai Chi Academy -021

She came to America from Vietnam when she was eight years old—arriving on Halloween night! But that wasn’t enough to scare Mai Du. The dream began by teaching young students Kung Fu & Tai Chi in her driveway, eventually leading to her opening two studios. Listen to Sifu Mai discuss how she keeps her culture alive and helps others achieve healthy lifestyles.


Mark Forrester, Marcus Myles Media -020

If you think that radio is a dying medium think again! Not all advertising needs to be on Google and Facebook says media and marketing man Mark Forrester, of Marcus Myles Media. Listen as Mark tells us the secrets of the trade. Presented by The Quincy Chamber of Commerce.


Kevin Stoddard, Stoddard Financial -019

Are you worried about retirement? Kevin Stoddard of Stoddard Financial is the man with a plan! Listen to Kevin tell his story about how he found his true calling. Presented by The Quincy Chamber of Commerce.


Will & Mackenzie O’Connell, Marina Bay Management -018

When cousins get together to run a business watch out! Listen to Will & Mackenzie O’Connell tell their story about what it takes to bring the family business to the next level.


Ron Affsa, HPO -017

Back-to-back shows on hair! If you think I am still traumatized by the buzz-cuts my father inflicted on me as a young man you might be right. Ron Affsa, owner of HPO, has a different recollection of what it’s like to be obsessed with hair. Listen to his “hair-raising” story of growing up in the family business.


Sara Little, LittleField Salon -016

Hair is so important to a person’s well-being and self-image. That’s what makes cutting and styling hair such a great business opportunity. Listen to Sara Little, founder and lead stylist at LittleField Salon, explain why it’s all she has ever wanted to do, starting at age 15!


Margie Pierce, Achieve TMS East -015

Depression affects countless individuals all over the world, as we have been tragically reminded with the deaths of Kate Spade & Anthony Bourdain. Listen in as Margie Pierce of Achieve TMS East explains the remarkable new way to treat depression without drugs or side-effects.


Sara Stanton, Cara Group Travel -014

Sara Stanton never dreamed of starting her own business. After all she already won the lottery—immigration lottery that is! Listen to Sara’s lovely, Irish accent as she tells us how she made it in America, eventually opening Cara Group Travel.


Leo Keka, Alba Restaurant -013

As a teenager he swam across a freezing lake to escape communism. He came to America and realized his dream, opening Alba’s after years of hard work and sacrifice. Listen to the fascinating and emotional story of Albanian immigrant Leo Keka


Christina Bartkus & Lisa Trifone, Purefections -012

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Well, two sisters from Quincy put their love for chocolate to the test...and opened Purefections! Listen to Lisa and Christina tell their story of how chocolate changed their lives and the lives of so many other chocoholics!


Jimmy Liang, Fuji Restaurant Group -011

Jimmy Liang is the quintessential American success story. Find out how he made his dream of being a premier sushi chef and restauranteur come true. If you love sushi, you will love this story!


Victor and Octavio Carvalho, Dunkins -010

How would you like to own the original Dunkin’ Donuts? And then, almost 40 years later, open the newest Dunkin’ about a mile from the original? Brothers Victor and Octavio Carvalho will tell you how they went from Fred the Baker’s “it’s time to make the donuts” to “America runs on Dunkin!”