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The Role Models Podcast

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#27 – Facebook’s VP of Product Design Margaret Stewart about leadership lessons and career advice

Margaret Stewart is the VP Product Design at Facebook. Margaret credits being the youngest child of 9, as well as having initially studied Theatre as incredibly useful tools in the collaborative nature of all her work today. She then did a graduate studies at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunication Program before starting her career at Tripod - one of the big homepage building sites in the first era - and rising up the ranks through the design teams at Google Search and...


#26 – How Ayse Birsel's creative process can help you design a life you love

Ayse Birsel is a designer based out of New York City, Co-founder and Creative Director of Birsel + Seck, the award-winning design and innovation studio, and creator of the workbook 'Design the Life you Love". Born in Izmir, Turkey, Ayse later attended the Pratt Institute in 1986. Since then she has been based in New York and owns the studio with life and business partner, Bibi Seck. Birsel + Seck have worked with Herman Miller, GE, Colgate-Palmolive, IKEA and Toyota, among others. Ayse was...


#25 – How life coach Lauren Handel Zander enables people to own their personal growth

Lauren Handel Zander is the Co-Founder and Chairwoman of Handel Group, creator of The Handel Method coaching methodology, and author of the book ‘Maybe It’s You’. Lauren has coached everyone from famous movies stars and business executives to everyday men and women who need support pushing through challenging life and career barriers. The coaching methodology that she created, the Handel Method, is designed to help people be honest with themselves and start taking action on the wishes they...


#24 – Megan Devine – How to best help someone who is grieving and in pain?

Megan Devine is a psychotherapist, grief advocate, and author of the book ‘It’s OK That You’re Not OK.’ For almost 20 years, Megan has dedicated her life to helping people live through things they never thought they’d face. Having witnessed her partner drown almost 9 years ago, today Megan is leading an effort to change the Western culture of grief by proposing new models for grief and by creating an online community and resource that helps people survive some of the hardest experiences of...


#23 – TED's Kelly Stoetzel on how to become a great public speaker

Kelly Stoetzel is TED’s Content Director and the curator of the TED Conference. At TED, Kelly and her team are responsible for all of TED’s programming, content, and editorial and in more than a decade, she has worked with hundreds of some of the best and most inspirational speakers in the world. If you’re looking to exercise your public speaking skills, this is a great episode for you. In the first part of the interview, Kelly and I talk about her background and how she started to work...


#22 – Lydia Denworth – What do you do when your son can't hear?

Lydia Denworth is an author, science journalist, and speaker. Lydia’s most recent book of popular science is I Can Hear You Whisper. The book is a memoir of her youngest son’s deafness and her subsequent exploration of sound and language and the brain. Reviewers called it “rigorous,” “enthralling,” “tender” and “luminous." She is working on her third book--about the biology and evolution of friendship--and writes regularly for Scientific American and Psychology Today. Her work has also...


#21 – How Alex Constantinople became the CEO of The Outcast Agency

Alex Constantinople is the CEO of The Outcast Agency and works with clients like Airbnb, Instagram, Spotify, Facebook, or Patagonia. Alex started her career as a publicist for CNN, NBC, followed by marketing and communications roles at GE before switching coasts to join Wired Magazine and eventually The Outcast Agency, first as their COO and then as CEO. Alex is based in San Francisco and the mother of 3. In this episode we talk about Alex's favorite books, how she prepared herself and the...


#20 – Beth Comstock – the most senior woman in one of the world’s biggest companies General Electric

Beth Comstock is the Vice Chair at General Electric, one of the largest companies in the world. At GE, she leads efforts to accelerate new growth. She operates GE Business Innovations, which develops new businesses, markets and service models; drives brand value and partners to enhance GE’s inventive culture. This unit includes Current, GE Lighting, GE Ventures & Licensing and GE sales, marketing and communications. In this episode, Beth and I talk about what makes a good leader, how to...


#19 – Robin Berzin – How would you redesign medical care?

Dr. Robin Berzin is a doctor and entrepreneur, and the founder and CEO of Parsley Health, a service that is redefining medical care. Robin believes that medicine should put nutrition, wellness and prevention on the front lines of health care, while simultaneously making care smart and data-driven to meet our needs in today’s world. Parsley Health, the company that Robin founded, is her answer to the question how she would rethink medical care from scratch. Parsley’s mission is to redefine...


#18 – Lesli Linda Glatter – the woman behind your favorite shows like Homeland, Mad Men, Good Wife

Lesli Linka Glatter is a film and tv director based in Los Angeles and known for directing tv shows like Homeland, Mad Men, The Good Wife, and The West Wing. Lesli Linka Glatter started her career as a modern dancer and choreographer before a series of (sometimes lucky) events led her to take a path towards film directing. Today, Lesli is an accomplished film and tv director and has directed countless episodes for shows like Twin Peaks, The Good Wife, Homeland, The West Wing, Gilmore...


#17 – Birchbox co-founder Mollie Chen on what it’s like to leave the company you co-founded

Mollie Chen is the co-founder of Birchbox, a subscription service for makeup and beauty samples. Mollie shares what it’s like to start and grow a company like Birchbox to millions of customers and 300 employees and also what it’s like to decide to leave the company that you co-founded after 6 years. We talk about the early days of Birchbox and the moment Mollie decided to join her friends from college Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna to turn Birchbox from an idea into a real company....


#16 – Kara Swisher, how did you become so fearless?

Kara Swisher is the co-founder and Executive Editor of technology news website Recode, host of the Recode Decode podcast, and Co-Executive Producer of the Code Conference. In her career as a technology journalist that spans over more than 20 years, Kara has become one of the most respected and prominent journalists who cover the business of Silicon Valley and is known for her insightful reporting, hard work, and straight-shooting style. She has interviewed thousands of people – most...


#15 – How Megan Quinn went from building products to investing in companies that build products

Megan Quinn is a General Partner at Spark Capital, a venture capital firm that has invested in companies like Twitter, Postmates, Tumblr, and Slack. Megan grew up in Los Angeles surrounded by 4 sisters and first didn’t intend to enter the technology sector. After moving up north to graduate from Stanford, she took a job at Google and helped the then-small company go public. As an avid collector of historical maps, she found her perfect dream job in Google’s Maps division where she has held...


#14 – How film producer Debra Martin Chase launched Anne Hathaway and Blake Lively’s careers

Debra Martin Chase is a television and movie producer and known for having produced movies like ’The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’, ‘The Preacher’s Wife’, and ‘The Princess Diaries’, amongst many others. Debra graduated from Harvard as a lawyer and practiced law before eventually moving into the movie business to pursue her passion for film and television and fulfill her dream to entertain. She says: “Movie and television need to entertain but if along the way you can be given...


#13 – What is life and work like as a ballerina, Kathryn Boren?

Kathryn Boren is a professional ballet dancer and member of the corps de ballet at the America Ballet Theatre in New York City. Kathryn started dancing at the age of 3 and decided that ballet was her thing at the age of 5 and for the next 20 years she never lost the drive to push forward to master and perfection the art form. Kathryn spent a few years in Berlin, then moved to New York at the age of 15 for a scholarship at the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School where...


#12 – Cindy Gallop on why female role models are just as critical for men as they are for women

Cindy Gallop is a former advertising executive turned startup entrepreneur, consultant, and public speaker. With a background in brand building, marketing, and advertising, Cindy founded the co-action software company IfIRanThe World and is currently focused on building and funding MakeLoveNotPorn, a venture in the emerging #sextech category, a category in tech that she says is ready for disruption. Before starting her own companies and growing her consulting and public speaking business,...


#11 – Elisa Goodkind & Lily Mandelbaum of StyleLikeU and The What's Underneath Project

Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum are the co-founders of StyleLikeU, a company that creates the documentary-style video series “What’s Underneath” that explores how style is not about trends, money, or presenting a facade of photoshopped perfection. Rather, true style is the result of radical self-acceptance. In this episode, Elisa and Lily — who are mother and daughter — share how and why they started StyleLikeU in 2009, and how it has evolved from an idea to a video series that has been...


#10 – Dakota Weiss is the Executive Chef of Estrella and Sweetfin Poké in Los Angeles

Dakota Weiss is the Executive Chef at Estrella, a modern American restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. She’s also the Executive Chef of Sweetfin, a series of California-style poke restaurants. Having learned the first basic cooking skills from her mother and grandmother, Dakota found her way into cooking instead of becoming an international business woman. She studied in culinary school in Arizona and worked all over the United States to learn from some of the best chefs in the...


#9 – Ana Guerrero – Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti

Ana Guerrero is the Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti. Daughter of Mexican immigrants (her dad came to the United States as part of the guest worker program), Ana has devoted a large part of her career to community organizing and in helping people mobilize to create collective power. She has been working with Mayor Garcetti for 16 years, more than half of those as his Chief of Staff. In this episode, Ana talks about the role of Chief of Staff–what it entails and...


#8 – Kim Vandenberg – Competition Swimmer, Olympic Medalist, Swim Coach, and Mentor

Kim Vandenberg is a competition swimmer and won an Olympic medal with the U.S. swimming team. Kim started swimming at a young age and always loved competing. The road to the Olympics is hard and long, and Kim shares the journey to two of the highlights of her career: a silver medal at the World Championship in 2007, and the bronze medal at the Olympics in Beijing in 2008. Kim's story is a story of persistence, determination, and hard work. It’s a story of transitions, overcoming self-doubt...


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