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Learn to Lead Honestly with Shay Howe, Episode #11

To become a leader, first get ready to do the grunt work Shay Howe is a man of many talents and has helped build some of the best-known tech companies in the Midwest, including Groupon, Belly and Codecademy. But before he became a leader in the field, he was a kid just out of college, living in Chicago, unsure of how to build his career. But, as a group of like-minded developers started to organize a Refresh Chicago meetup, Shay volunteered to not only take part, but do the little things...


If You Have the Ability to Help People, You Help Them, with Patrick Cullen, Episode #10

Anyone could tell you that while business owners and leaders are eager to serve their customers, they also feel the need to produce greater and greater profit for their company. But you’re about to meet a man who thinks differently about that assumption. Patrick Cullen has been leading The Bank of Cattaraugus for many years, and the bank sometimes only makes $5,000 in profit in a year. But profit is not why Patrick there. That’s not why the bank is there. He says the bank’s purpose is to...


Finding Your Strengths in Business and Entrepreneurship with Ryan Francis, Episode #9

Sometimes, entrepreneurship is in your blood. Take Ryan Francis, a developer and a partner in the Chicago web development shop Launchpad Lab. His grandfather was one of seven brothers who all started their own businesses, and then passed the startup gene onto Ryan. In this amazing episode, Ryan opens up about how his family influenced him, how mentors along his journey helped him discover his strengths and find success, and how he came to own two companies doing more than a million dollars...


A True Serial Entrepreneur and Life-Changing Business Coach, Dan Heuertz, Episode #8

There is a lot of talk these days about being a serial entrepreneur, and many times it’s overblown or exaggerated. But not in the case of today’s guest, Dan Heuertz. Dan is an amazing guy who started his first business while he was still in college and by the time he finished up his undergrad degree he had 3 separate brick and mortar businesses running successfully - and was being featured in national business media. His early success has driven him to become more and to give more back,...


Building High Growth New Business Models for New and Established Companies, with Joe Dwyer, Episode #7

Whether your company is a startup or an established Fortune 500 behemoth, you've got to stay up with the times. You need new business models to meet the new demands of our changing economy. Joe Dwyer leads a company that builds high-growth new business models for both new and established companies. In this episode of The Critical Shift, Tom speaks with Joe about his early life, how he got into design and tech in the first place, and why he has created a company that helps businesses stay...


Making a Difference in the Lives of Others Through Data Science, with Paul Bradley, Episode #6

We all want to feel that we are making a difference in the lives of others. It doesn’t matter what line of work you are in, you want to know that it matters. Paul Bradley is a data scientist - not a career field that you’d normally think of when considering world-changing work, but he’s found that there are many real-world problems his special skills are able to address in ways that are sorely needed. On this episode of The Critical Shift, you’ll hear Paul’s story, from life in rural...


Opening the Door for Others To Succeed, with Neal Sales-Griffin, Episode #5

All of us know people who are good at opening the door for others to succeed. They are the people who everyone wants to know and be around. Neal Sales-Griffin is one of those people. As an adjunct professor at Northwestern University, he’s had a tremendous impact on many students and has put his philosophies about helping others to the test by creating a nonprofit aimed at helping High School students learn how to solve problems through coding. There are a handful of people here at...


Building A Team Culture That Drives Success, with Mike Cruz, Episode #4

It’s becoming more and more obvious that the businesses that succeed these days are the ones that are able to assemble a great team and build a team culture that drives success. Mike Cruz had the opportunity to serve as part of the leadership team of Trunk Club as it was going through the iterations that have made it such a successful company. In this conversation, he talks about his personal journey and how it led him to the place where the well-being of the people on the team and the...


Great Things Happen When You Know What You Want, with Claire Lew, Episode #3

It’s really a hard thing to know what you want. It takes a lot of soul-searching and more than most of us want to admit, it also requires a lot of experience with things you don’t want. Claire Lew is one of those people who has traveled that journey of discovery. Her story is almost enchanting because as she tells it, you see the pieces that led toward her own sense of desire and purpose falling into place perfectly. On this episode of The Critical Shift, you’ll hear Claire tell about her...


The Ups and Downs of a Budding Venture Capital Career, with Guy Turner, Episode #2

There are many people who are curious how a person actually establishes themselves in a venture capital career. It’s kind of mysterious: How do you become experienced and adept at assessing companies for the purpose of investing other people’s money in them, to the tune of millions of dollars? Guy Turner’s story is one of great success so far in the VC world - he’s only in his 30s - but it’s demonstrative of the path that is required to get into and be successful in venture capital. The...


Creativity and Collaboration in Manufacturing with Bill Fienup, Founder of MHub, Episode #1

There are a handful of significant obstacles every physical products startup faces - financing, the learning curve (you don’t know what you don’t know), lack of proper facilities to test and tweak your product, and the need for collaboration in a competitive space. mHUB, an incredible collaborative manufacturing space in Chicago is making it possible for makers to overcome every single one of those hurdles for minimal monthly members. On this episode of The Critical Shift, you’re going to...