WE ARE AMERICA’S JOBS TEAM.

America’s future relies on people like you to foster a dynamic economy. It’s a big responsibility, but you are not alone in shouldering the weight. You are part of America’s Jobs Team!

You know—as do we—that the business of creating jobs is hard work, requiring more than just a little bit of elbow grease. You’ve got to have: deep industry knowledge; community and workforce familiarity; an ability to form deep relationships and create unity; perseverance; and the drive to keep growing.

Over the years, the Consultant Connect team has seen many amazing economic development warriors battling for their communities. We are connecting with these fellow community champions to dive into how they got to where they are, what lessons they have learned along the way, and what inspires them daily. We firmly believe that when leaders get better, communities thrive!

Listen to the America’s Jobs Team podcast below, or find it on iTunes.

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Episode 035: Steve Johnson | Alliance STL
Episode 035: Steve Johnson | Alliance STL 150 150 America's Jobs Team

This Week on America’s Jobs Team Podcast: Steve Johnson, president and CEO at Alliance STL, talks leadership with Nick Riashi. Steve shares why alignment within a team can be such a challenge, and how unquestionable integrity is a leader’s strongest asset. His authentic take on leadership development and advice for emerging leaders are both must-hear…

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Episode 034: Mike Bennett | Avenue Advisory Group
Episode 034: Mike Bennett | Avenue Advisory Group 150 150 America's Jobs Team

This Week on America’s Jobs Team Podcast: Mike Bennett, founding partner at Avenue Advisory Group, joins Nick Riashi. Mike dives deep on the importance of empowering others, as well as how the New Zealand All Blacks have taught him powerful lessons about humility and staying grounded. He also shares why he’s adamant about owning his…

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Episode 033: Tracye McDaniel | TIP Strategies
Episode 033: Tracye McDaniel | TIP Strategies 150 150 America's Jobs Team

This Week on America’s Jobs Team Podcast: Tracye McDaniel, president at TIP Strategies, joins Nick Riashi. They dive deep into the impact of technology and AI on today’s workforce, as well as why Tracye believes a 100-day plan is so important. She also shares her insights on mentors and why resilience and hope are defining…

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Episode 032: Kathy Mussio | Atlas Insight
Episode 032: Kathy Mussio | Atlas Insight 150 150 America's Jobs Team

This Week on America’s Jobs Team Podcast: Kathy Mussio of Atlas Insight talks with Carla Sones about her journey from the music industry to site selection. Kathy dives deep on the importance of culture and hiring the right people, as well as why listening is such an important skill to have as a leader and…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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