[Top Black Business Leader Series] Racial Inequality and Appalling Silence with Robert Wallace of BITHGROUP Technologies
Robert Wallace is a speaker, author, and a consultant with over 40 years of business experience spanning engineering, energy, and IT. He has a true rags-to-riches story that began in the Baltimore Projects amidst poverty and racial segregation before overcoming obstacles to establish three companies: BITHGROUP Technologies, Bithenergy, and EntreTeach.
Robert shares his innovative strategies for success in his books and workshops, which includes one of his books, Black Wealth: Your Road to Small Business Success. He partners with many different types of clients across a range of industries and some of his clients include Bank of America, Dartmouth College, IBM, Salvation Army, NIH, Toyota, Verizon, University of Pennsylvania, and many more.
[Venture Capital & Chicago Series] How to Use Data and KPIs to Drive Important Decisions with Haley Kwait Zollo, Principal at Starting Line
Haley Kwait Zollo is Principal at Starting Line, a Chicago-based, thematic early-stage venture capital fund focused on investing in consumer services and products that are cheaper and better. They’ve invested in companies like Cameo, Catch Co, SpotHero, and many more.
Before joining Startling Line, Haley was VP of Strategy and Business Operations at Mac & Mia and was Manager of strategy and analytics at Trunk Club. She began her career as a Transaction Services Associate at KPMG.
[Top Agency Series] How to Rebuild a Brand like RadioShack, Pier1, and Linens N Things with Rudy Mawer of ROI Machines
Rudy Mawer is the CEO and Founder of ROI Machines. ROI Machines is a digital marketing agency that helps companies get tens of thousands of leads with paid ads by setting up everything that a company needs from funnel design, development, copywriting much more. They help multiple 7 to 8 figure businesses generate over $150 million per year.
Rudy is also the CEO of Pier1, an online retail and home store chain specializing in imported home furnishings and decor. Pier1 is part of the Retail E-commerce Venture’s holdings, where Rudy is an investor and advisor. Tai Lopez and Alex Mehr run Retail E-commerce Ventures and their holdings include Pier1, RadioShack, Dressbarn, Stein Mart, Franklin Mint, Linens ‘n Things, and many more.
Before founding ROI Machines, Rudy was an elite sports nutritionist and trainer. He worked with Hollywood celebrities, elite athletes, NBA players, WWE, gold medalists, and more.
Ray Edwards is a famous copywriter, best-selling author, and keynote speaker. His direct response campaigns have resulted in an estimated $100 million in sales, and he has worked with high-profile clients such as Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, and Mark Victor Hansen. Ray is currently a copywriting consultant and the Founder of the Copywriting Academy Coaching Program and the Ray Edwards Copywriting Agency. He is also the host of the top-ranked podcast, The Ray Edwards Show.
Ron Popeil is a unique inventor and a legend of sales infomercials and direct response marketing. Over the last 40 years, Ron’s products have pulled in more than $2 billion in sales. He has created innumerable products and infomercials, such as the Showtime Rotisserie, the Chop-O-Matic, the Veg-O-Matic, and many more.
Ron is still going strong with his latest product, the 5-in-1 fryer which can cook a 15 pound turkey in 46 minutes.
Peep Laja is a former champion of optimization and experimentation turned business builder. He is the Founder and CEO of CXL Institute, the only skill-building platform for marketers that uses the world’s top 1% of practitioners as its instructors. With years of experience and multiple companies under his belt, Peep is considered the #1 most influential conversion rate optimization expert in the world.
Peep also hosts the annual CXL Live, a must-attend conference that features the best in online optimization and experimentation.
Joanna Wiebe is the Founder and Conversion Copywriter at Copyhackers, as well as the Co-Founder and Head of Growth at Airstory. As the original conversion copywriter with a career that spans almost 15 years, Joanna has worked with incredible companies such as BT, Canva, Glowforge, Prezi, and many more. In addition to writing top-notch copy, Joanna has also coached and advised more than 70,000 businesses of all shapes and sizes.
[Venture Capital Series] How Important Are Core Values When Investing in a Company? With David Mann & Derrick Smith of The Firefly Group LLC
David Mann and Derrick Smith are Partners at The Firefly Group. They invest in growth-oriented, lower middle market companies that include US-based companies with EBITDA of at least a million dollars.
Before co-founding The Firefly Group, David Mann co-founded Spring Mill Venture Partners, a venture capital firm. He previously worked with ServiceMaster Ventures and served as a founding member of the ServiceMaster home Service Center. David began his career as an Officer of the US Navy. He got his MBA from Harvard and is an Adjunct Faculty at the Indiana University, Kelley School of Business.
Derrick Smith led the launch of a family office where he served as managing director before co-founding The Firefly Group. He began his career with CHV Capital, the healthcare venture capital arm of the Indiana University Health. He also helped start and led Indiana University’s Health International and Management Company while at CHV Capital. He earned his MBA from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, and serves as an executive business advisor at Rise Sports Advisors.
[Top Black Business Leader Series] Largest Black-Owned Security Firm in the Nation – Humble Beginnings to Over 1000 Staff with John and Dr. Denitra Griffin of AGB Investigative Services
John and Dr. Denitra Griffin are Co-Founders of the largest black-owned security firm in the United States, AGB (Always Giving Back) Investigative Services. John is the CEO of the AGB Investigative Services and Dr. Griffin is the President. John and Dr. Griffin founded AGB Investigative Services in 2001. They offer expertise in all aspects of security, including physical and cyber. Their mission is to eliminate economic inequities by delivering training and smart services to protect your people, property, and data.
Dr. Griffin is also the CEO and Founder of the AGB Foundation where they give out business internships and college scholarships to young people.
They also own and run The AGB Institute which provides training for people seeking to better themselves as professionals and enhance their life skills. They offer various courses related to security training, business security, professional development, and administrative support.
[Venture Capital Series] Early-stage Investing Hack and Emerging Opportunities with Matthew Le Merle of Fifth Era and Keiretsu Capital
Matthew Le Merle is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of the Fifth Era and Keiretsu Capital, one of the most active early-stage venture investors backing almost 200 companies a year. They’ve backed over 20 unicorns, including Airbnb, Spotify, Coinbase, and many more.
Matthew has advised leading companies, including Amazon, Cisco, eBay, Google, HP, Microsoft, on growth and innovation. He’s an economic value creation expert that has helped drive annual savings of over $2 billion at a leading retailer and $1 billion at a leading bank.
He has written several books with the latest one being The Intelligent Investor – Silicon Valley: Practical Wisdom for Investors and Entrepreneurs from 50 Leading Silicon Valley Angels and Venture Capitalists which he co-wrote with Alison Davis.
Ido Safruti is the Co-Founder and CTO of PerimeterX, a cybersecurity company that can detect and stop automated threats and helps to block malicious code. They began operations in 2014. Some of their solutions are PerimeterX Bot Defender™ and Code Defender, among others, which help to accurately protect companies’ websites across the digital enterprise, e-commerce, financial services, food delivery, travel and hospitality, and media industries.
PerimeterX helps protect these websites from all types of automated or non-human attacks at any scale, including protection from infected code that can leak personal information. They’ve helped some of the world’s largest brands, including Zillow, Bill.com, Skechers, Godiva, and many more.
[Venture Capital & Israel Business Series] Disrupting Major Industries with Technology and Taking 3 Companies from Inception to IPO with Elie Wurtman of Pico Venture Partners
Elie Wurtman is the Co-founder and Partner at PICO Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm headquartered in Jerusalem. Elie’s investments portfolio includes Vroom, a company that hit a market cap of $5.5 billion after its IPO, and Spot.io, which was acquired by NetApp for $450 million. Elie also has investments in Gloat, ChargeAfter, AutoLeadStar.
Prior to starting PICO, Elie was a General Partner of Benchmark Capital and he has taken three companies from founding to IPO. He was also the co-founder and CEO of Deltathree, one of Jerusalem’s first unicorns.
Elie’s other notable startups include Iron Source, where he’s an External Director and active mentor. He is also the Founder of PICO Kids, a social enterprise focused on child education in Jerusalem. Elie also owns and runs Bat Shlomo Vineyards, a boutique winery in Northern Israel.
[Top Chicago Business Series] What do Lobsters, Howard Stern, and Oprah Have in Common? with Dan Zawacki founder of Lobster Gram and 4 Mores [EOS]
Dan Zawacki founded Lobster Gram in 1986, a company that sold and delivered live lobsters and seafood around the U.S as gifts. He was the first person in the world to do this and by doing so, he was able to create a new market. As a result, he was featured in Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Oprah, and 500 other media outlets.
After three decades of running Lobster Gram, Dan sold the company. Dan now runs THE 4 MORES℠, where he helps organizations implement the Entrepreneur Operating System (EOS). As a Certified EOS Implementer, Dan helps owners and leadership teams gain more structure, growth, profit, and fun.
[Top Black Business Leader Series] Confidence to Live Richly And Die Wealthy with Chris Gandy, Founder of Midwest Legacy Group
Chris Gandy is the Founder of Midwest Legacy Group, a boutique concierge insurance group for executives, professional athletes, physicians, business owners, and entrepreneurs.
Chris has spent the last two decades helping individuals reach their most important financial goals. His firm focuses on unique tax reduction strategies, retirement income optimization, generational wealth, and more.
Chris is a former pro-basketball player. He played for the University of Illinois, where he was co-captain before playing professionally for the Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, and France. He’s been featured in numerous magazines such as Crain’s Chicago, GQ, Black Enterprise, African American Career Worlds.
Chris has served on multiple boards including the Chicago Concussion Coalition, The Urban League, and he is currently serving as board member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, and the National Committee for Diversity Inclusion Task Force where he is the youngest member serving on the national board.
Marcel Petitpas is the CEO and Co-founder of Parakeeto, an agency profitability platform that modern digital and creative agencies use to scope and measure more profitable projects in record time. They help agencies and consultancies automagically create accurate and data-driven estimates for their projects in seconds. They utilize information gathered from the Harvest time-tracking data of their clients to get the results they need for their project estimations.
Harvest data allows Parakeeto to view all information from past projects to show you exactly how much time it’s likely to take you to complete your next one. Their methods also provide real-time feedback on any changes made to the project and gives an updated estimate that compares the current project to previous ones.
Fabrice Grinda is a Founding Partner at FJ Labs, is a stage-agnostic consumer facing-fund headquartered in New York City. They invest in ambitious founders solving big problems. They have investments in more than 600 investments around the world including Alibaba Group, Airbnb, Beepi, Fanduel, Dropbox, and many more, and have had over 300 million investment exits.
Fabrice was a Co-founder and former CEO of OLX, and drove the company’s business development, investor relations, M&A and product development efforts in his capacity as co-CEO. Prior to OLX, he was the founder and CEO of Zingy Inc., a mobile media startup which he successfully grew to $200 million in content sales in just four years. Fabrice was also the Co-founder and former CEO of Aucland, one of the three largest auction websites in Europe.
Forbes named Fabrice as the number one Angel Investor in 2018, which was measured by the number of investments and exits that he has done over the years.
Ryan Moran is the Founder of Capitalism.com, where he brings like-minded entrepreneurs and experts together to build brands and businesses that last.
Ryan has launched Amazon businesses that he eventually sold for over eight-figures. Today, he has a portfolio of brands and he documents and shares his entrepreneurial journey on his podcast, Capitalism.com podcast.
Ryan is also the author of the book 12 Months to $1 Million: How to Pick a Winning Product, Build a Real Business, and Become a Seven-Figure Entrepreneur.
[Top Women Leaders] How To Become a Better Communicator with Deirdre Breakenridge of Pure Performance Communications
Deirdre Breakenridge is the CEO of Pure Performance Communications, a company that fuses strategic communications with innovative technology to impact business communications from consumer interest to brand loyalty and advocacy. Deirdre has been in PR and marketing for over 25 years, helping senior executives in mid-and-large organizations better communicate with their stakeholders.
Deirdre also does reputation management and social media relations. She’s a LinkedIn Learning instructor and was an Adjunct Professor at NYU, and she has written many books including Answers for Modern Communicators, and her latest one book, Answers for Ethical Marketers.
Angela Lauria is the Founder of The Author Incubator, an $18 million business that provides guidance for aspiring authors on how to write and publish their books. The Author Incubator has succeeded in helping more than 1,000 authors write, publish, and promote their books.
Angela has published many books herself, including Make ‘Em Beg to Work for You, The Incubated Author: 10 Steps to Start a Movement with Your Message, and more. She most recently published the second edition of The Difference: 10 Steps To Writing A Book That Matters, which details her transformational ideas on the 10 steps to writing a book that matters.
This Top Giver Series episode features some of the best and biggest givers who are experts in customer service, business development, relationships, and direct marketing.
This episode includes recommendations and tips from amazing personalities such as Tony Grebmeier of ShipOffers, Brian Kurtz of Titans Marketing, Chris Dreyer of Rankings.io, Ian Garlic of StoryCrews, Joel Weldon of the Ultimate Speaking System, award-winning speaker and author, Joey Coleman, Mike Roderick of Small Pond Enterprises, Vinnie Fisher of Fully Accountable, Jeff Garnett of Clean Slate Laser Tattoo Removal Centers, Liran Hirschkorn of Incrementum Digital, and Justin Breen of BrEpic.