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!

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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!