Summary: From Sam Maule and 11:FS, Connection Interrupted is a weekly show exploring lives that were disrupted - or had their connections interrupted - pivoted, or rerouted through fault or design, the obstacles they had to overcome to get to where they are now - and the role that technology played in helping them reach it. Each week we’ll be speaking to people from all walks of life that have had their lives unexpectedly influenced, changed or completely re-written by technology. Connection Interrupted is produced by 11:FS. Building banks for the future. Learn more at 11fs.com.
Sam speaks to Ted Coine, a man who made his fortune as a CEO but has the heart of a teacher. Ted Coine has spoken at Ted Talks and inspired countless students young and old with his teachings. Now he's sitting down with Sam to share the secrets of his success and why he's able to do the things he can. Sam asks Ted about what he needs from his students, how business helped him even after he left to become a teacher and why he's a capitalist even if no-one believes him. This is Ted’s story...
Sam speaks to Gary Vaynerchuk, arguably the most prolific content provider on the planet. His GaryVee brand helped him establish himself as one of the most prolific social media users on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Sam spent weeks preparing for the interview. One thing that’s stayed consistent across all of Gary V’s 20 year body of work is his overall message. Sam and Gary discuss the reasons why he’s kept the same underlying message for all this time. Plus it turns out the two of them have met briefly once before. Gary V lets us in on the key priorities in his life, how they're rarely revealed to the spotlight, and explains the importance of a solid work/life balance no matter how hard your hustle. Of course, he has a few choice words about the Jets too. Sam grills Gary V on his shoes, Gary tells us all about the necessity of constantly expanding his line of brands and what’s next for the media giant. This is Gary’s story...Special Guest: Gary Vaynerchuk.
I sincerely appreciate the art of storytelling. I view this as a lost art, one in the digital age we are desperately seeking to reinvest in. This is why I’ve enjoyed getting to know Scott Monty so much. Scott is a master storyteller. He can “spin a yarn” as my grandmother used to say. Authenticity is at the core of Scott’s approach, not only to storytelling, but in everything. You’ll hear this theme repeated throughout this interview. Scott learned the importance of authenticity during his time as the Global Digital & Multimedia Communications Manager for Ford Motor Company from 2008-2014. You might recall this wasn’t exactly the most stellar time in the auto industry. Scott joined Ford as it was struggling to even survive as a company during the Great Recession. Luckily, Ford had Alan Mulally as their CEO at this time, one of the greatest CEO’s of modern times. Scott was able to witness firsthand the leadership qualities Alan consistently demonstrated throughout his tenure as Ford’s CEO and how these leadership qualities translated into business success for the company. We focus in on these leadership lessons throughout this interview. This is Scott’s story…Special Guest: Scott Monty.
I love Kabbage, the incredibly popular small business lending company based out of Atlanta. To be fair, I also love cabbage, a highly underrated vegetable in my opinion. One of the key reasons I love Kabbage, besides their outstanding product, is their founders. Both Rob Frohwein and Kathryn Petralia are inspiring leaders; both extremely funny, extremely bright, and extremely personable. I will be interviewing Kathryn (recognized by Forbes in 2017 as the 9th most powerful woman in finance) at a future date. I have to as Rob wouldn’t quit telling me how great she was during my interview with him. This little anecdote is a prime example of Rob’s character. He always looks to put others first, whether that be with his teams, his customers, or his partners. He is simply a nice guy. Our conversation is a masterclass in entrepreneurship, in what it takes to found a successful company, in how to build a strong company culture, and in how to maintain focus while still evolving the company’s products. This is Kabbage’s story…Special Guest: Rob Frohwein.
I first learned about Aaron Foley when I came across a CNN story on his role as the official Chief Storyteller for Detroit. I love the art of storytelling and I’m originally from Detroit so this profile on CNN resonated with me. I added Aaron to my list of targeted interviews and began my research. It didn’t take long for me to realize Aaron is a kindred spirit. We both have a complicated relationship with our hometown, we are both a bit of a smart ass (take a look at his book How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass), we both believe Faygo Red Pop is easily the best flavor they have, and we both believe it is important to balance a city’s regeneration while respecting and maintaining its history and culture. The role of a Chief Storyteller (CSO) isn’t a new concept. Microsoft’s Steve Clayton has held this role since 2010 and IBM’s Louis Richardson is always fascinating to listen to. Aaron is simply the first and only Chief Storyteller I’m aware of for a major city and appointed by a government official (Detroit’s Mayor Duggan). This is a move I applaud and one that I wish more cities adopt going forward. This is modernizing (or digitizing) the age old practice of telling a community’s oral history. Ages ago this happened over a fire or in a tribe’s communal space. The desire to listen to stories is an innate human characteristic, one we can’t afford to lose as we become more and more dependent upon technology in our everyday lives. This is both Aaron’s and Detroit’s story.Special Guest: Aaron Foley.
On October 25th, 2017 Javad Khazaeli wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times titled I Prosecuted Terrorists for President Bush. Now My Family in Iran May Be Banned From Visiting. Javad, one of the early hires for Homeland Security and who spent nine and a half years with the organization, wrote of his own family’s personal experience with President Trump’s travel ban. Dr. Sadegh Khazaeli; Javad’s father, American Citizen, and hero to the many students he influenced over the years; had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. His family back in Iran was repeatedly denied entry to the U.S. despite passing multiple background checks and Javad’s dedication and service to his country. We recorded this interview in early December 2017. Javad’s father passed away on Christmas Day 2017. Due to the White House Administration his family in Iran was never able to pay their respects and say their goodbyes. This is Dr. Khazaeli and Javad’s story.Special Guest: Javad Khazaeli.
I will personally pay anyone a finder’s fee of $50 if they can tell me what Bollywood movie Devika danced in when she was 17 years old. I couldn’t get her to tell me no matter how hard I tried during our interview. This is why I admire Devika so much. Her love of the arts and science is such a refreshing blend. Yes, she is an incredibly accomplished executive with IBM’s Watson team in NYC, but she also has channeled her love of dance and passion for working with kids in her support of @stemfromdance as a board member. This is her story..Special Guest: Devika Thapar.
I’ve know that Mary-Catherine Chambliss has “IT” since she was a child. “IT” being that special spark, that inner drive, that talent at the next level, that personality the size of Texas. Full disclosure - I’m Mac’s uncle. Yes, that does mean she calls me Uncle Sam. Both Mac and her boyfriend Ross Daniel are two of the most talented artists I personally know. Mac is the entire package: she can sing, dance, act, teach, choreograph, and make you laugh with a simple glance. Ross is one of the most talented young dancers and instructors I’ve run across. Both grew up in small towns in Georgia and have now moved to the Big Apple to make their mark on the world. And man, are they ever doing that… This is their story.Special Guests: Mary-Catherine Chambliss and Ross Daniel.Links: Manhattan Youth Urban Bush Women Lexington Children's Theatre Ross Daniel Dance Blog
I’d only briefly met Kate O’Neill in person once before doing this interview. We’ve “known” each other for a while now on social media channels but had never really spent a lot of time taking in real life prior to sitting down for this interview. My loss… It's easy to see why Kate, the founder of KO Insights, is such a popular speaker, author, mentor, and consultant when it comes to human centric marketing and design. It's because she’s so, well, human. She’s real. No pretences, no BS, simply real. And in this day and age that is a rare commodity. Please do me one favor before you listen to this interview. Take a good look at this pic of Kate (her guest profile pic). Trust me, it will make all the sense in the world after you listen to the entire interview. It just might bring a tear to your eye as it did mine.Special Guest: Kate O'Neill.
Computer scientist Dr. Sue Black is a force of nature. From working her way out of public housing with three young kids in tow, to earning a PhD in Engineering and becoming a professor at the University of Westminster in London, to publishing a book about how she helped save WWII code-breaking site Bletchley Park from ruin, to working tirelessly as an advocate for women in tech, she has accomplished more than most of us could hope to achieve in a lifetime.” This is the opening paragraph of Forbes magazines profile of Dr Sue Black that was published in Mar of 2016. “A force of nature” is an excellent description of Dr Sue. She earned her PhD studying the ripple effect, when you through a pebble into water and watch the ripples cascading outward from it’s point of impact. Dr Sue is that impact point. She’s proven that over and over throughout her career. She is the embodiment of George Eliot’s quote “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” This is her story.Special Guest: Dr Sue Black.
I first heard about Divine through Scarlet Sieber, a good friend of mine who said “you have to hear his story.” And I’m so happy I listened to Scarlet. Divine’s story is so unique and so compelling that he is actually the inspiration for this podcast. I’ve had the chance to interview Divine before and I realized his story was worthy of so much more than just ten minutes of my time. I’m not the only one who feels this way. Divine has been interviewed and profiled in multiple publications over the past few years. Personally, I think the Forbes article detailing how Divine came to meet and become introduced to FinTech through the Venture Capitalist Ben Horowitz is still one of my favorites. This will make a great movie one day (Yeah Divine, I’m going there again. Let me know we you’d like me to draft the screen play). “From crack, to rap, to FinTech” is the tagline Divine embraces. There is some much more to his life experiences though. This is his story… Follow us on Twitter at @connectint and don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode!Special Guest: Divine.
“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” - Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789. This famous idiom summarizes the only to certainties in life; however, based on the never ceasing news lately, I recommend we edit this to state “… except death and taxes and any number of men in power positions harassing / coming on to women.” I originally described this concept of this podcast as a “Charlie Rose roundtable interview format”; a description I need to change immediately thanks to the recent news of his idiotic discretions. And I sincerely believe the Harvey Weinstein accusations were the catalyst the opened the floodgates. Story after story has been breaking of men in power using their position to intimidate, harass, and treat women (and in some cases men - looking at you Kevin Spacey) in a derogatory and threatening manner. The NYTimes list is a continuous running inventory of famous men forced to come to terms with their past actions. A few years back I helped author a study for Swift on the issue of gender parity in tech/banking. The statistics of the lack of women in leadership positions at the time were jarring for me. My friend Liz Lumley summed this up well when she stated “There are more CEO’s with the name ‘John’ than women CEO’s in the banking / tech industry.” In this episode I interviewed three friends and company CEO/founders on the topic of sexual harassment and the “bro-culture” in tech. They include Jane Barrett (Founder & CEO of Goldbean), Laura Spiekerman (co-founder of Alloy) and Gesche Haas (founder of Dreamers & Doers). Each of these incredible company founders and tech leaders have had to deal with multiple encounters of sexual harassment and just plain stupid behavior. This topic couldn’t be more timely and each of these company founders I consider to be mentors to me. Both Gesche and Laura have spoken out previously on this topic and their experiences; Gesche with Bloomberg and Laura with Megyn Kelly. Jane is a superstar and is a routinely sought after expert on finance and investing. This is their story. Follow us on Twitter at @connectint and don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode!Special Guests: Gesche Haas, Jane Barratt , and Laura Spiekerman .Links:The journey of going public (with sexual discrimination) Talking about what no one wants to talk about
The Baldwins were the classic American family living the classic American dream. John and Stephanie Baldwin raised their kids in the right neighborhood, attended church, were active in their community in Plano, Texas; and most importantly, were close to their kids. This isn’t a fictional setting either. I knew this first hand. John is a friend of mine and had been an active co-worker of mine for several years. If you asked me to describe someone that exemplified middle-class America I would have pointed directly to John and his family. Their experience focused on the events surrounding their daughter MacKenzie’s senior year of high school is a story you’d expect from a Hollywood screenwriter. It involves social engineering, potential human trafficking and kidnapping, the FBI, and a cat named Angel. But most importantly, it is centered on a father and mother’s unwavering love and commitment to their daughter. A willingness to do whatever it took to protect their daughter from a situation no of them ever saw coming. John and Mackenzie have written the book Almost Gone describing this experience and outlining the potential dangers technology and social media have for teens in today’s digital world. They’ve also become frequent speakers on this topic and have been interviewed on multiple media outlets including The Today Show with Megyn Kelly. This is their story. Follow us on Twitter at @connectint and don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode!Special Guests: John Baldwin and Mackenzie Baldwin.
I first learned about John when he was named Innovator of the Year for 2016 by American Banker. We’ve got to know each other over the course of a few phone and podcast interviews but never had the chance to meet in person until this interview which we recorded in his Atlanta Operation Hope office. John was running a little late so I had the opportunity to wander around the room a bit, peruse through the many pictures and awards presented to him over the years, check out the different books and trinkets he has collected; basically get a feel for the man. His office walls are filled with pictures of John with multiple U.S. presidents including George Bush Sr and Jr, Bill Clinton, and Obama. There are also pictures of John with world leaders such as the Reverend Desmond Tutu, Ben Bernanke, Andrew Young, the Reverend Martin Luther King’s family, and my daughter Alex’s favorite Michelle Obama. Perhaps the most personal and treasured token I discovered; however, was a simple note on John’s desk from Chelsea Clinton. The handwritten note is only two or three lines thanking John for the flowers he had sent her and for being such a thoughtful friend. This note and this gesture sum up my friend John. He thoughtfully and purposely touches the soul of people he meets and inspires. Including me. You can learn more about John, his interests, and his many endeavors on his website. I also highly encourage you to read his new book The Memo, available now on Amazon.Special Guest: John Hope Bryant.