Stride 2 Freedom Speaker Series
Listen to the experts chat about the things you care about to move your business forward faster

We cover topics that impact your financial statements like raising capital, prioritizing initiatives, hiring great talent, entity structuring, accelerating sales and growth, mergers and acquisitions, insurance and much more!

Want to participate in our chats or have someone in mind to nominate for an interview? Give us the details by clicking the button below.

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Episode 1:
Talking HR and PEO's with Scott Tithof, Sequoia Consulting Group

In this chat…  Scott Tithof of Sequoia Consulting Group talks about payroll, benefits and the power of the Professional Employment Organization (PEO). Sequoia focuses on taking a lot of back-office HR challenges off the plates of its clients so they can focus on growth and profitability. Hear how they do it on this latest episode of Stride 2 Freedom.

Episode 2:
Navigating HR During Covid-19 with Julie Chendes, Next Level Strategies

In this chat…  Julie Chendes of Next Level Strategies talks HR strategy in the face of the Coronavirus. She shares how companies can respond in the face of the Covid-19 lockdown. We talk about creative ways to avoid strict layoffs as well as how companies can adapt to working from home. Hear how companies can navigate in tough times in this episode of Stride 2 Freedom.

Episode 3:
How to Use a Fractional CFO to Manage in a Downturn with Bob Worthington, San Francisco Practice Leader, Hardesty

In this chat… Bob Worthington throws down some helpful CFO guidance for companies managing during the Covid-19 scare. Learn how to cut “to the bone” but not “through the bone” of your business so that you can recover with the right people and partners in place. Hardesty provides fractional c-suite leadership with one of the largest CFO networks in the country. You don’t want to miss Bob on this episode of Stride 2 Freedom.

Episode 4:
Top Sales Strategies to Manage in a Downturn with Beatrice Stonebanks, Stonebanks Sales Management

In this chat… Beatrice Stonebanks, a professional sales management consultant, talks about the 5 ways to increase revenue which is still relevant in the face of economic uncertainty. While many companies are appropriately focused on expense reduction, finding creative ways to drive growth is important. Hear how everyone in your company can be a sales professional on this episode of Stride 2 Freedom.

Episode 5:
Legal Considerations for Business Owners During Covid-19 with Michelle Bomberger, Equinox Business Law

In this chat… Michelle Bomberger of Equinox Business Law talks about legal considerations for business owners in the face of Covid-19 and a downturn, how to think about breaching contracts, as well as workplace issues, as two of the biggest considerations that demand some legal perspective. She shares information on Equinox’s innovative business model and how they are not only general counsel to high growth companies but a strategic sounding board as well. Hear how companies are drawing on legal guidance to protect themselves as they think through the important strategic decisions for their business in this episode of Stride 2 Freedom.

Episode 6:
Start-up Navigation During The Coronavirus Lockdown with Reuben Ortega, Partner, Socius Law Group

In this chat… Reuben Ortega of Socius Law Group talks with us about how start-ups are navigating landlord conversations, investor negotiations, and employee layoffs. He shares some advice for entrepreneurs to get down to the “essential” team and preserve cash. We also talk about some bright spots out there (which there are!) in this episode of Stride 2 Freedom.

Episode 7:
Alternative Forms of Financing with Nabil Istafanous, SVP, Celtic Capital

In this chat… Nabil Istafanous of Celtic Capital talks with us about avenues for non-traditional bank financing. We’re all pretty focused on SBA lending right now but there are other instruments for companies that aren’t “clean as a whistle” to traditional banks. We learn about ABL (Asset Based Lending) and the types of companies that are appropriate for this type of financing. Nabil isn’t your traditional lender; he talks about a wide range of alternatives, creativity is important in times of uncertainty, and how a company is financed is no exception.

Episode 8:
Why Strategic B2B Social Media Matters Now with Josh Dirks, Founder, Project Bionic

In this chat… Social media veteran Josh Dirks, Founder of Project Bionic talks about the importance of social media in an overall marketing strategy. He discusses how environments with emotional connection matter more than ever (as in…RIGHT NOW) and targeted social media practices can deliver relationship-building results. And YES, this all ties back to conversions and revenue which I know you all care about! Project Bionic provides a full social media team for the fraction of the cost of in-house marketing overhead. Listen to how Josh thinks about social media for small to mid-sized businesses like yours and how you can take action to strategically build this pillar of your marketing plan, even during COVID.

Episode 9:
PR and Marketing Communications Drive Thought Leadership and Lead Generation with Bryan Scanlon, Founder, Look Left Marketing

In this chat… We are lucky to have Bryan Scanlon, Founder of Look Left Marketing, talk about the importance of content marketing and PR communications to drive both thought leadership and lead generation for B2B companies. What I really enjoyed learning from Bryan is his company’s (i) focus on industry segmenting and (ii) discipline to stay very committed to content and communications marketing vs. being all things to all people. Bryan is a student of the game and has navigated his clients through many downturns. Why is he successful? “Just call our customers,” he says. We talk a bit about crisis communication as well, a timely topic for this environment. Check it out and enjoy.

Episode 10:
How Business Owners Will Manage IT for a Remote Workforce, Michael Price, Founder, MPA Networks

In this chat… We are fortunate to have Michael Price, Founder of MPA Networks, talk about how remote workforces are changing the game for IT service management. The tools, administration, and governance required will be intense but it will also open up a future of work in ways we couldn’t have imagined before COVID-19. As owner of MPA for 37 years with loyal clients of 25+ years, Michael is a trusted tech advisor and I’m so glad he came on the episode today to share his wisdom with us. Check it out and enjoy.

Episode 11:
Managing Your Most Important Investment with Carey Ransom, President, OC4 Ventures

In this chat… We are fortunate to have Carey Ransom, President of OC4 Ventures, talk with us about his many years of experience supporting start-ups as an investor, board member, advisor, and operator. He is a passionate advocate for keeping founders focused on the necessary and urgent while providing capital and services to help in other areas. We talk about how CEO’s can think about their business as an owner vs. an operator and take a critical eye (“Would I hire myself as the CEO?”). Lots of provocative thinking from this seasoned entrepreneur!

Episode 12:
Using Behavioral Science to Drive Successful Marketing with Shirin Oreizy, Founder and CEO, Next Step Marketing

In this chat… I feel so lucky to speak with my dear friend, Shirin Oreizy, Founder and CEO of Next Step Marketing, an award-winning behavioral science-based marketing agency. What I love about Shirin is that she always comes from a place of data and science when talking marketing rather than just emotion and intuition. That must be her engineering background at work! We talk about key marketing strategies for businesses during COVID as well as how she has continued building her firm for the last 16+ years. You’ll walk away with immediate actions you can execute now!

Episode 13:
The Role of a Financial Advisor for Business Owners with Kelly Keydel, Managing Partner and Advisor, Private Ocean

In this chat… I had a chance to learn from Kelly Keydel, Managing Partner and Advisor with Private Ocean, about the role of sound financial planning and guidance for the business owner. We all have different relationships with money and Kelly did a nice job explaining the difference between emotion and fact. Most important, she impressed upon me the importance of planning and having a good guide to navigate business ownership and personal wealth management. Enjoy!

Episode 14:
Sourcing Talent on a Variable Cost Basis with Ashley Connell, CEO and Co-Founder, The Prowess Project

In this chat… I had a chance to spend time with Ashley Connell, CEO and Co-Founder of The Prowess Project. The Prowess Project supports women returning to the workforce and placing them into organizations based on both a skills and behavioral compatibility match. I wanted to talk with Ashley not only about gender diversity in the workplace but also how she is helping business owners source variable cost talent in order to reduce their fixed overhead. Ashley is super passionate and articulate about the impact she wants to make for thousands of talented women and the organizations they serve. Enjoy!

Episode 15:
Understand Unit Economics and Control Your Business with Simon Nicholls, Managing Partner, Weir-TS

In this chat… I had a chance to spend time with Simon Nicholls, Managing Partner at Weir-TS, a fractional CFO Firm. Simon works with a number of companies to provide strategic financial leadership, many of which are clients of Stride. I brought Simon on to talk about the importance of unit economics and why it is a gamechanger for business owners. Simon is great at talking about how to turn your financial statement knowledge into leadership and action, don’t miss it!

Episode 16:
The Strategic Value of a 401K with Pete Ravani, Advisor, CBIZ

In this chat… Pete Ravani, 401K advisor and Vice President of CBIZ, spends time with us chatting about the strategic value of a 401K for business owners. We discuss the rules of managing a 401K and the benefits to recruitment, retention, and long term wealth creation. The retirement plan industry is pretty opaque and Pete does a nice job helping business owners understand both the opportunities and risks.

Episode 17:
The Value of Insurance for Business Owners with David Fain, Insurance Specialist, MCM Insurance

In this chat… David Fain, an insurance specialist with MCM Insurance, spends time with us talking in plain English about life, disability, and long-term care insurance for business owners. David knows firsthand the importance of insurance and embeds that purpose into his entire professional being. Spending time with David isn’t talking about the what of insurance, but the why. You will enjoy our conversation and come away with some actions you can take today!

Episode 18:
Sometimes You Just Have to Work It Out! with Alan Chaffee, Founder and CEO, Turning Point

In this chat… Alan Chaffee, Founder and CEO of Turning Point, talks with us about how he helps companies work through issues in restructuring their borrowing with banks. When borrowers break their covenants, banks get nervous. Alan helps both parties put a plan in place to move forward. His team is not only made up of restructuring experts, but they also provide fractional CFO level support for their clients. Knowing that a firm like Turning Point is available to support small to mid-sized businesses should be of great comfort to business owners. And today, you’ll learn how they serve their community.

Episode 19:
Tackle your #2 Largest Expense - Healthcare with Dave Chase, Co-founder, Health Rosetta

In this chat… Dave Chase, the co-founder of Health Rosetta, shares with us the proven way that smart leaders are tackling healthcare in their organizations and how you can, too. Dave is a smuggler of ideas that are working, just not broadly adopted. The healthcare machine has a built-in resistance to the needs and wants of employers and employees. Dave is giving control back to those that are spending the money on care and in this podcast, you will learn how you can reduce your healthcare spend by 20% to 30% now!

Episode 20:
Reinventing Your Business with Avital Ungar, Owner, Avital Tours

In this chat… Avital Tours completely reinvented themselves during COVID and are hitting levels of growth they have never achieved in their 10-year history. In this chat with Avital Ungar, we talk about their massive pivot and how they are supporting groups and teams with virtual culinary and mixology experiences around the United States. You will learn about the power of leading with “why” and how they are strengthening bonds for companies working to keep everyone connected in a remote workforce environment.

Episode 21:
Supporting Nonprofits with CFO Leadership with James VanReusel, Owner, VanReusel Ventures

In this chat… James VanReusel is not your traditional fractional CFO. He came from the world of Wall Street and takes a very strategic view of the role of finance in fueling organizational growth. Interestingly enough, James has a specialty in working with non-profits, specifically those that are operating abroad to make an international impact. There are a lot of moving parts to manage remote personnel and offices around the world battling environmental and human tragedy. In this episode, we learn more about James, his work at VanReusel Ventures, and how he is supporting organizations navigating this difficult time.

Episode 22:
Transforming How Businesses Manage Expenses with Alex Bean, Co-founder and CBO, Divvy

In this chat… What a gift. We had the opportunity to interview Alex Bean, the co-founder of fintech juggernaut Divvy, for this worth-the-wait podcast episode. By all accounts, Divvy is disrupting traditional banks and software solutions, specifically in how they serve businesses. Today, Alex Bean is the Chief Business Officer and he did a fantastic job sharing what drives his team and how they are only getting started.

Episode 23:
Productivity - Creating Time and Space for What Matters with Alexis Haselberger, Founder, Alexis Haselberger Consulting

In this chat… Alexis Halsberger is an all-star productivity consultant at her namesake, Alexis Haselberger Consulting. She guides executives and teams for companies of all sizes with genius hacks and behaviors that will free up time for you to do what matters most. We all know we have room to improve our productivity and Alexis takes us there in a way that is actionable and impactful. Check out the episode now!

Episode 24:
e-Commerce Website Design and Development – It’s About The Story with Garrett Goldman, Managing Partner, State Creative

In this chat… Garrett Goldman talks with us about the importance of web design for small E-commerce companies that want to convert visitors to paying customers. The data tells the story and State Creative has shown a measurable impact on converting customers for websites it designs. How? Because they know that e-commerce is as much about how the story is told as it is the product that is sold. Listen to this episode to learn more!

Episode 25:
Employment Law – The Workplace is Forever Changed with Krista Mitzel, Founder and Managing Partner, The Mitzel Group

In this chat… Krista Mitzel is a dynamo, a great employment law attorney, and a master networker. We cover it all in this session and it’s time to face the facts, the future of work is changing on top of having many generations in the workplace. How we lead, communicate, and support our workforce is a new game, one that is changing every year. If you’re not proactive, you are vulnerable to risks (culture, regulatory, employee). The Mitzel Group is a great guide to help employers navigate these opaque waters. Listen now!

Episode 26:
Setting Entrepreneurs & Investors Up For Success with Mike Preuss, Co-founder & CEO of Visible

In this chat… Mike Preuss is a driven, compassionate entrepreneur on a mission to help founders like himself manage investor relations through his company, Visible.  In this episode, Mike talks about the importance of nurturing a relationship-driven business with your investors and explains why it’s so important to keep your investor updated on a monthly basis. You’ll get to learn how automated data integrations can help you send monthly updates to your investors in just minutes. Don’t miss this one, listen now!


Episode 27:
The Power of the Patent with Brooke Quist, Partner at Seed IP Law Group

In this chat…There is no one more equipped to talk the power of patents than Brooke Quist, Partner at Seed IP. We go on a journey with Brooke in this podcast to understand how patents can be valuable for protecting and unlocking business value. We also discuss how many companies may have intellectual property to patent but don’t realize it. Join us to learn about the role of securing intellectual property in the design of your businesses. Listen now!


Episode 28:
Wealth Management Gets Personal and Professional with Chris Welton, Northwestern Mutual

In this chat…Chris Welton, Wealth Management Advisor at Northwestern Mutual, is no ordinary Wealth Manager. Chris is a seasoned Wall Street banker who transitioned into wealth management in order to help entrepreneurs tackle tough questions. In this episode, we discuss the importance of legacy planning (estate agreements) and partnership agreements. We also talk about tax-advantaged strategies in our current environment. Step one for Chris, is listening and learning the needs of his clients. Your opportunity is to listen to Chris. Check it out.


Episode 29:
A Strategic Approach to Making Taxes Your Ally in 2021 with Scott Hoppe, Founder & CEO, Why Blu

In this chat…We dive into taxes with Scott Hoppe, founder of tax accounting firm, Why Blu. This isn’t one of those boring tax discussions, Nope. It’s actionable. Scott gives us some great tips to be more proactive in managing our tax status. Scott also shares some key insights into structuring your entity and where you can find worthwhile deductions in your business and personal life. Listen now and explore the world of tax management and financial security!


Episode 30:
Creating Team Culture Experiences in a Virtual World with Paige Buck, Partner & Chief Strategy Officer, Kennedy Events

In this chat…we get the chance to talk to one of my favorite optimists, Paige Buck, Partner and Chief Strategy Officer of Kennedy Events, an event planning company in San Francisco. Not only has Kennedy Events had to make a major business shift to stay alive, but they have inspired many companies to create moments of joy for their employees.  Paige shares with us the dual challenge of managing their own existential unknown while developing a new virtual engagement capability.  Amazing innovation is happening during  COVID, and Paige takes us there at Kennedy Events.  You won’t want to miss this episode!


Episode 31:
Unique Financing For Your B2B SaaS Company with Przemek Gotfryd, Co-founder & COO, Capchase

In this chat…we sat down to talk to start-up entrepreneur, Przemek Gotfryd, Co-founder & COO of Capchase. Capchase is changing the way that B2B SaaS (Software as a Service) companies are financing their growth.  Not all companies need to bootstrap or get venture funded.  Capchase is solving a financing problem for promising tech companies that don’t need or want to go the venture route.  You won’t want to miss this episode!


Episode 32:
Showing Up: How to Make the Best Impression on Zoom with Gia Goodrich, Youtuber, Director, & Photographer and Aaron Schmookler, Co-founder & Leadership Coach, The Yes Works

In this chat…We had two great guests for an engaging discussion about how we show up on Zoom. Thank you to Aaron Schmookler, co-founder and leadership coach at The Yes Works, and Gia Goodrich, a Youtuber, Director, and Photographer for their participation. As we head into month ten of this global pandemic, we discuss the new norm of working from home and how to be successful in communicating in our remote world. Aaron and Gia provide practical tips and tricks to become self-aware and confident in your daily Zoom life. Listen now!


Episode 33:
Wealth Management: The Metrics of Growing your Business Financially with Chris Rhyme, Partner, The Business Transition Group

In this chat…we had the pleasure of talking to Chris Rhyme, Partner at the Business Transition Group in Denver, CO. In this episode, we learn from Chris how to set up deferred compensation plans for high-value employees tied to performance metrics. As business owners, we all want to pay for performance and Chris explains exactly how to do that. Enjoy the episode.


Episode 34:
Showing Up: The Art of Growing Your Business with Isaac Rudansky, CEO, AdVenture Media Group

In this chat…We were graced with the one and only, Isaac Rudansky. He is not only a great entrepreneur, but an artist, philosopher, teacher, and student. We not only learn how Adventure Media Group supports its clients in paid search advertising but also how Isaac has taken his expertise to guide students to build their own businesses in the industry. You don’t want to miss this one.


Episode 35:
Exit Stage Left: Guiding Business Owners to Maximize the Sale of their Business with Tod Fiscus, Principal & Board Director, Transition360

In this chat…In this episode of Stride 2 Freedom, I had the pleasure of speaking with Tod Fiscus, a Principal at Transition360, a sell-side broker for businesses. Tod doesn’t just help sellers exit their businesses, he helps them prepare for the sale. Sometimes it takes 3+ years, but Tod will be your guide the whole way. His pearls of wisdom are terrific and if you ever think you might want to sell your business, you should tune into this episode.


Episode 36:
Unlocking Your Money Story with Emily Scott, Financial Guide, Navigator, Thought Partner, Emily Scott AND

In this chat…In this episode of Stride 2 Freedom, I had the pleasure of learning from Emily Scott about the role that our money story has to play in how we make decisions. Emily works with many business owners and executives to shine a light on how our views about money shape how we lead.  Emily brings all heart to this conversation and even turned the tables on me at the end a little bit. You will enjoy this conversation. Tune in!


Episode 37:
Creating Harmony At Home with Melissa Benaroya, Parenting Expert, Coach, Speaker, Author, Consultant

In this chat…On this episode of Stride 2 Freedom, we have the pleasure of spending time with Melissa Benaroya, parenting coach, and consultant.  Yes, she is my wife, but more importantly, she shares some secrets to creating harmony at home so that business owners can get and stay in their genius zones.  You’ll enjoy this fresh perspective on where parenting and entrepreneurship intersect.


Episode 38:
Finding Your Limitless Potential with John Kormanik, Executive Attorney Coach, Kormanik Coaching Services

In this chat…On the show today, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing John Kormanik, an attorney and coach to help other attorneys grow their business. What I appreciated about John was (i) his focus on supporting lawyers to build their business and not just their practice; and (ii) his decision to make a mid-career shift into law from healthcare. We cover both topics and I know you’ll enjoy the learning. Check it out.


Episode 39:
A Safe Space to Talk About Race with Akeisha Johnson, Leadership Coach at An Inspired Story

In this chat…In this episode of the podcast, I had the pleasure of learning from Akeisha Johnson, the founder of An Inspired Story.  Akeisha is a business coach and has also established a niche in a program she started called Safe Space to Talk About Race.  She shares with us some powerful insights around our stories about race and creating the future that we want.  In this episode you will learn:

  1. How racism is just a made-up construct that we can break
  2. What are microaggressions and how to become more aware of them
  3. The power that self-awareness plays in helping us lead in a changing world


Episode 40:
The Power of Visual Thinking with Eric Oakland and Marita Herkert-Oakland, founders of Relumed

In this chat…On the show today, I had the opportunity to learn from Eric and Marita about the power of visual thinking, a tool and discipline that helps business leaders and their teams turn thoughts in visuals that can be understood and acted upon. Words are ambiguous. Images promote discussion for clarity. And when it comes to a team executing (especially in a remote work environment), clarity matters. We cover a lot of areas of visual thinking today and you won’t want to miss this episode to learn how you can bring this capability into your organization.


Episode 41:
Growing Your Business Through Public Speaking With Arel Moodie, True Speaking Success Founder And Keynote Whisperer

In this chat…On the show today, I was lucky to interview Arel Moodie, a gifted speaking coach with incredible energy and commitment to the speaking craft. We covered a lot of territory on the power of effective speaking for business owners to grow their revenue. You don’t want to miss this episode (one of my favorites). If you didn’t think you had a good story or something to say or that people wouldn’t listen, then it’s time to change your tune. You will learn why speaking can be such a powerful tool and how to approach it in way that will inspire you and the people around you. Listen now!


Episode 42:
Winning Virtually — Successful Selling in a Virtual World with Nitya Kirat, Founder, YOSD Consulting and Author, Winning Virtually

In this chat…On the show today, Nitya Kirat and I had a great conversation about sales in a virtual world. What I loved was that for Nitya, it all comes down to human beings interacting with human beings. Virtual creates some complications and opportunities with connection and Nitya helped us wade through it. You’ll hear a lot of tips and tricks on this podcast. Enjoy learning from Nitya, the Sales Whisperer (my term, not his 😉)


Episode 43:
Work Is A Team Sport - The Evolving World Of People Ops And Management With Mikaela Kiner, Reverb Founder And Author

In this chat…On the show today, Mikaela Kiner and I talk about “on demand” people operations to support high growth companies that need HR when they need HR. From compliance to strategic consultation, Reverb helps business owners navigate the waters to create a workplace that can thrive for all. Mikaela also talks to us about her book, Female Firebrands, and why it is so important to create environments where women in the workplace can thrive.


Episode 44:
Things to Consider When Selling Your MSP with Randy Katz, Synesis Advisors and Business Broker

In this chat…On the show today, Randy Katz joined us from Synesis Advisors, an advisory firm that helps small business owners sell their businesses. Today, we specifically talked about selling your MSP and how to think about the factors that can maximize value upon a sale. Randy is a straight shooter and shares a ton of actionable information. You will learn how to be a deal maker and not a deal taker. You will also learn how to get clear on what you are selling and how to set up for success.


Episode 45:
The Emotional Side of Selling Your Small Business with Jamison West, co-founder of ConnectStrat

In this chat…On the show today, Jamison West, joined us to talk about his new book, The Emotional Side of Selling a Small Business. He shared his current work as the co-founder of ConnectStrat, a coaching company to help IT services entrepreneurs plan for and achieve their dreams. If you want to learn about an entrepreneurs’ entrepreneur, check out this episode where we cover everything from facing your fear to taking control of the life that you want to create.