Podcast Episode

Episode 031: Ron Kitchens | Southwest Michigan First
Episode 031: Ron Kitchens | Southwest Michigan First 150 150 America's Jobs Team

This Week on America’s Jobs Team Podcast:

Ron Kitchens, ceo and senior partner at Southwest Michigan First joins Carla Sones. Ron shares his insights on the need for learning faster than ever before, and why fearful leadership can quickly derail a career. Ron also has great advice relating to the distinction between coveting vs. calling.

Ron is the senior partner and chief executive officer of Southwest Michigan First. He also leads Consultant Connect and is a trustee of Western Michigan University. Ron is author/co-author of three books, including his most recent release Uniquely You, and he speaks globally on leadership, creating thriving, engaged, multi-generational teams and entrepreneurial cultures. Ron blogs and podcasts at ronkitchens.com and can be found on Twitter @ronkitchens.

Episode 030: Justin Bickle | Columbus 2020
Episode 030: Justin Bickle | Columbus 2020 150 150 America's Jobs Team

This Week on America’s Jobs Team Podcast:

Justin Bickle, managing director of client services and project management at Columbus 2020, talks leadership with Nick Riashi. Justin dives into why empathy and awareness are key skills in his leadership style. He also talks about how being unaccepting to change is a hindrance to good leadership, though he also makes the distinguishment of needing to make sure the change is for the right reasons.

Justin leads the activities of the project management team and the active pipeline of Columbus 2020 expansion projects, placing an emphasis on the strategic qualification of growth opportunities. He consults clients through the site location process to help them take advantage of the Columbus Region’s business advantages, and works with the project management team to provide best-in-class client service including real estate assistance, market validation and analysis, public and private partner connections, and state and local incentive negotiations.

Episode 029: Josh Bays | Site Selection Group
Episode 029: Josh Bays | Site Selection Group 150 150 America's Jobs Team

This Week on America’s Jobs Team Podcast:

Josh Bays, partner at Site Selection Group, joins Carla Sones on today’s show. Josh and Carla talk about the effect of the intense divisiveness in today’s society, and why Josh believes having a heightened sense of self-awareness is a pivotal quality for people in a leadership position.

Josh leads the industrial practice at Site Selection Group. He is a critical part of the executive team as well, where he helps provide and implement strategic direction. Josh has completed more than 750 projects for global clients, some of which include Adidas, Amazon, Boeing and many more. His candor and to-the-point honestly in today’s interview is refreshing and provides a ton of insight!

Episode 028: Margaret O’Riley | Duke Energy
Episode 028: Margaret O’Riley | Duke Energy 150 150 America's Jobs Team

This Week on America’s Jobs Team Podcast:

Margarety O’Riley, business recruiter for Duke Energy, joins Nick Riashi on today’s show. Margaret shares insight on why tariffs are challenging economic development right now. She talks about why the ability to collaborate alongside people with competing interests is crucial to leadership, as well as why she tries to never rest on her laurels.

Margaret is part of Duke Energy’s economic development team as a business recruiter; she is responsible for recruiting her target industries of automotive, chemicals and plastics to the six-state region which Duke Energy serves. Prior to this role, Margaret served the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for over 12 years in various capacities. She’s a deep well of insight, and we are so excited to share this interview with you!

Episode 027: Gray Swoope | VisionFirst Advisors
Episode 027: Gray Swoope | VisionFirst Advisors 150 150 America's Jobs Team

This Week on America’s Jobs Team Podcast:

Gray Swoope, president and CEO at VisionFirst Advisors, talks shop with Carla Sones. Gray talks why he sees today’s constant bombardment of noise as an obstacle to trust, and how curiosity can be a double-edged sword. He dives into the danger of complacency and how often he thinks reinvention should be thought about.

Gray launched VisionFirst Advisors in 2015, whic offers location advisory services, economic development strategy, organization design and much more. He is passionate about economic development, having served at all levels representing both urban and rural regions. A constant student of the profession, he never stops the pursuit of learning and applying this knowledge for success in today’s fast-paced economy, and that is evident in today’s interview!

Episode 026: James Chavez | South Carolina Power Team
Episode 026: James Chavez | South Carolina Power Team 150 150 America's Jobs Team

This Week on America’s Jobs Team Podcast:

America’s Jobs Team is back after an amazing Independence Day holiday! On this week’s show, Nick Riashi interviews James Chavez, president and CEO at South Carolina Power Team. James shares some very personal stories with deep leadership lessons. His authenticity and thoughtfulness shine through the entire interview, particularly when James talks about how he learned to listen more than talk as a leader.

James has over two decades of experience in economic development. Upon joining the South Carolina Power Team in the fall of 2013, James ventured out to personally meet with over 130 stakeholders within his first six months.  His ability to develop and maintain relationships and his track record of success of maximizing opportunities for developing rural areas and mid-sized communities are part of what makes him so successful in his role.

Episode 025: Kimm Lauterbach | REDI Cincinnati
Episode 025: Kimm Lauterbach | REDI Cincinnati 150 150 America's Jobs Team

This Week on America’s Jobs Team Podcast:

Kimm Lauterbach, president and CEO at REDI Cincinnati, talks with Nick Riashi about leadership. Kimm talks about how you’ll know it’s time to move on, and she shares some amazing insight about the importance of determination and compassion. Kimm candidly talks about the struggles in today’s work environment, as well as the delicate balancing act of having the confidence to lead without letting ego take over.

A founding member of the REDI Cincinnati leadership team, Kimm engineers practices and strategies that stregthen the three-state, 15-county Greater Cincinnati region to compete globally. Kimm to the helm of REDI Cincinnati in September 2018, following five successful years as Vice President of Business Development and Project Management for the organization.

Episode 024: Chris Strayer | Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
Episode 024: Chris Strayer | Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce 150 150 America's Jobs Team

This Week on America’s Jobs Team Podcast:

Chris Strayer, senior vice president at Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, talks with Nick Riashi about his insights on the importance of building the right team, as well as always being open to guidance and mentorship. Chris shares his thoughts on why having a plan is one of the most important things, not just in your career, but also life in general.

Chris joined the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce as the senior vice president of business attraction, retention and expansion in February of 2018, where he leads one of the four pillars of their 4-year strategic plan Fortify. Prior to joining Fort Worth, Chris was part of the team at Columbus 2020, where he oversaw more than 180 projects to success. 

Episode 023: Mike Harvey | Northwest Arkansas Council
Episode 023: Mike Harvey | Northwest Arkansas Council 150 150 America's Jobs Team

This Week on America’s Jobs Team Podcast:

Mike Harvey, chief operating officer at Northwest Arkansas Council, joins Carla Sones on today’s episode. Their conversation dives into the advice Mike has for people that are in a leadership position for the first time, as well as why Mike thinks today’s pace of work can be a challenge. He shares some amazing stories from his 24 years in economic development.

Mike has been with Northwest Arkansas Council for 8 years and has over 24 years of experience in the economic development field. Throughout his career, Mike has successfully built one-stop operations that deliver site selection assistance, existing business services, entrepreneurial support, and workforce development solutions to job seekers and employers alike. He’s a great source of advice and insight; tune in now to hear more!

Episode 021: Vivian Howard | A Chef’s Life
Episode 021: Vivian Howard | A Chef’s Life 150 150 America's Jobs Team

This Week on America’s Jobs Team Podcast:

Ron Kitchens had the chance to do an interview with Vivian Howard of the TV show “A Chef’s Life.”  Vivian’s determination to make the community where she grew up a better place to live is incredible. In today’s interview, she shares how she went from wanting nothing more than to leave her eastern North Carolina hometown to coming home to open a restaurant and helping to grow the community. 

On June 20, Vivian is coming to speak at Catalyst University in Kalamazoo, MI! If you are interested in attending, you can register here. You can follow Vivian’s journey on Twitter @chefsouth and on Instagram @chefanthef.