S3 E1: Bonnie McKee: Singer, Songwriter, and Filmmaker
Bonnie McKee is a grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, filmmaker, and producer whose music has collectively sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. After scoring a record deal and moving to Los Angeles at age 16, she navigated "many lives" in Hollywood and faced setbacks when she was later dropped from the label. At a point in time, McKee was struggling to get by – with no running hot water or a cell phone – until the stars began to align and fortuitous introductions were made, like meeting Katheryn Hudson (who we know as Katy Perry) in a thrift store. She relaunched her career and went on to write 10 #1 hits, including "Teenage Dream," "California Gurls," and "Dynamite," and collaborated with some of the biggest artists in the industry: Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Taio Cruz, Kelly Clarkson, and Kesha to name a few. In 2020, McKee wrote, edited, and produced an award-winning short film, April Kills the Vibe, that has earned her over 40 awards. In this episode, McKee imparts valuable insight on her past struggles with comparison and staying relevant in the ever-changing music industry, shares stories of "getting back up and doing it again" despite experiencing failure, reflects on how her definition of success has evolved, and highlights the importance of collaboration. *Content Warning: Sexual Assault.
S3 E2: Mallun Yen: Founder/General Partner at Operator Collective and Serial Entrepreneur
Mallun Yen is a serial entrepreneur and the Founder/General Partner at Operator Collective: a community and venture fund for operators, founders and investors. As someone who grew up as an "outsider" and "happy being relatively invisible," Yen could not have predicted how her entrepreneurial career took her from an internship at the SEC in the Enforcement Division to becoming an expert in intellectual property law (despite not having an engineering or technical background) to co-founding multiple start-ups. In this episode, Yen, a self-proclaimed "late bloomer" who arrived to college unsure of what to study, opens up about her experience breaking into law, imparts valuable tips on how to make mentorship meaningful, highlights the importance of and power in community, and shares how her untraditional background has become her biggest asset.
S3 E3: Kim Pegula: President/Co-Owner of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres
As President and Co-Owner of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres, Kim Pegula is one of the most powerful women in sports. She made history as the first female president of both an NFL and NHL team and is now at the helm of the multi-billion dollar empire, Pegula Sports & Entertainment. A South Korean orphan adopted by Canadian parents, Kim grew up in Fairport, New York in a household where sports were constant. In this episode, Kim shares how her family's humble beginnings helped shape her outlook on empathetic leadership (she is known for treating her players like family), how she adjusted to the learning curve of working in a highly demanding job, heartwarming fan interactions, and the importance of maintaining an open mind.
S3 E4: Lale Topcuoglu: Managing Director and Head of Credit at Swiss Re
Lale Topcuoglu is the Managing Director and Head of Credit at Swiss Re, a role she landed after climbing the ranks at Goldman Sachs and sharing financial expertise on Bloomberg. An introverted Turkish immigrant, star basketball player, and openly gay woman from a liberal arts background, Lale began her career in finance with an unconventional background. After 17 years at Goldman Sachs, Lale left her day job for a much-needed break, and she learned valuable lessons about the importance of mental health and rekindled her love for sports. When she returned to work, she was reminded once again of how impactful a strong network can be. In this episode, Topcuoglu opens up about her struggles with burnout, highlights how her love of sports acted as an "equalizer" in the workplace, shares how her definition of success has evolved, and reflects on the financial industry's progression and shortcomings of creating a more inclusive space.
S3 E5: Lisa Granatstein: Chief Content Officer at Adweek
Lisa Granatstein is the Chief Content Officer at Adweek, the world's leading advertising trade publication. After moving to the United States to pursue her Master's in Journalism, Granatstein forged an extensive career in the industry, landing roles at well-known publications including Time and Newsweek. In this episode, she explains how her persistence – and a bit of luck – allowed her to get her foot in the door in journalism, shares inside details about her "mind-blowing" interview with Oprah Winfrey, and divulges her predictions for the future of marketing, emphasizing the ever-growing power of social media.
S3 E6: Claire Hansen: Principal at Firebrand Ventures
Claire Hansen is a Principal at Firebrand Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund. After working at Capital Factory, an accelerator and micro-venture capital fund, and for the U.S. Army as a corporate ventures strategist, she used her untraditional background in organizational communication to break into venture. In this episode, Hansen explains how she effectively networked her way into her first "real job," shares her perspective on the progression that venture is making to diversify both those entering the field and seeking investments, and underscores the importance of limiting comparison.
S3 E7: Dr. Adaira Landry: Emergency Medicine Physician and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School
Dr. Adaira Landry is an Emergency Medicine Physician, Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, consultant, and published author. An advocate for greater diversity in medicine, Dr. Landry avoids the "toxic concept" of achieving perfection and, instead, uses self-compassion to navigate her packed schedule. Dr. Landry penned a viral article published in Vogue titled "One ER Doctor Reflects on a Career of Being the Only Black Person in the Room," that ignited powerful conversation on the importance of representation in medicine and beyond. In this episode, Dr. Landry imparts valuable advice on how self-reflection can inform meaningful mentorship, discusses challenges and disparities she has encountered as a woman of color in the medical field, highlights why she does not identify with the term "imposter syndrome," and shares how she "owns her day" by blocking off time for herself.
S3 E8: Two Recent Wharton School of Business Grads Discuss Resilience and Ambition – Part 1
Brittney Cummins, a Consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and former mechanical engineer, and Megan Duley, a Major in the United States Army Reserve and entrepreneur, set off on two completely different tracks before crossing paths at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. After spending years working in the energy sector (Brittney) and serving in special operations, communications, and intelligence units (Megan), they re-evaluated their career choices and decided to pivot, ultimately meeting in business school. In this first episode of a two part conversation, Brittney and Megan open up about the challenges they have experienced when reconciling their identities and workplace acceptance (Brittney as a woman in STEM and Megan as an openly gay woman in the military), how resilience has guided them through difficult situations, and their perspective on servant leadership.
S3 E9: Two Recent Wharton School of Business Grads Discuss Resilience and Ambition – Part 2
Brittney Cummins, a Consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and former mechanical engineer, and Megan Duley, a Major in the United States Army Reserve and entrepreneur, set off on two completely different tracks before crossing paths at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. After spending years working in the energy sector (Brittney) and serving in special operations, communications, and intelligence units (Megan), they re-evaluated their career choices and decided to pivot, ultimately meeting in business school. In this second episode of a two part conversation, Brittney and Megan share the value they have found in stepping outside of their comfort zones, reflect on how their own definitions of success have evolved – which include the "celebration of others' success" and "leading with humility" – and emphasize the importance of surrounding yourself with people that "share your values but have lived a different life."
S3 E10: Dr. Ellen Censky: Renowned Scientist and CEO/President at Milwaukee Public Museum
Dr. Ellen Censky, PhD is the President and CEO of the Milwaukee Public Museum: Wisconsin's Museum of Natural History. An acclaimed biologist, author of several books, and pioneer of the internationally-adopted BioBlitz program – which allows scientists to collaborate with communities to discover ecosystems "right in [their] own backyard" – Dr. Censky has forged an indelible scientific legacy. In this episode, Censky discusses how the BioBlitz program inspired young scientists to pursue interest in the field, shares entertaining anecdotes which were just "part of the job" while conducting research in the Caribbean Island of Anguilla, and emphasizes the importance of keeping an open mind and maintaining curiosity about our "amazing planet."
S3 E11: Dena Wimette: Head of Innovation at Ben & Jerry's
Dena Wimette is the Head of Innovation at Ben & Jerry's, the multi-million dollar, socially responsible ice cream staple that has championed causes ranging from climate activism to criminal justice reform. Wimette has spent over 15 years with the company, working in brand management and communications before becoming the driving force behind "all the new things" for the brand, as she puts it. She also teaches marketing part-time at Champlain College and manages a coffee brand and digital marketing service, both of which she founded with her husband. In this episode, Wimette peels back the curtain as to what the Ben & Jerry's creative process is like (from celebrity collaborations to the ice cream "Flavor Lab"), shares how she exercises her creative "muscle" beyond ice cream innovation, and explains the importance she placed on working with a company that "stood for more than the products."
S3 E12: Michèle Penzer: Attorney/Partner at Latham & Watkins
Michèle Penzer is a Managing Partner at the renowned New York City-based law firm Latham & Watkins. After attending Harvard University for her undergraduate degree and Yale University for law school, Penzer forged an impressive career in negotiation law and leveraged financial transactions, and was named as a leading woman lawyer in New York City by Crain's Business in 2017. In this episode, Penzer imparts advice on facilitating successful negotiations, opens up about how she harnessed confidence in high-pressure professional environments, shares how her definition of success has evolved over time, and highlights that "it is so important for women to recognize" the significance of networking.
S3 E13: Ola Wadibia: Vice President/Financial Literacy Lead of Women on the Move at JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Ola Wadibia is the Vice President and Financial Literacy and Community Development Lead of Women on the Move at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Throughout her career, including her time at Prosperity Now, a non-profit that champions economic opportunity for low-income individuals and families, Ola's work focused on advancing financial stability and literacy, and gender and racial equity. In this episode, Ola, who "always uses gender, race, and class as a lens by which [she sees] the world," opens up about the importance of financial empowerment, especially for women and communities of color, setting boundaries, combating tunnel vision, and finding what sparks joy.
S3 E14: Laura Liswood: Co-Founder/Secretary General of the Council of Women World Leaders
Laura Liswood is the Co-Founder and Secretary General of the Council of Women World Leaders, which is composed of women presidents, prime ministers, and heads of government, the author of multiple books, and an acclaimed speaker and advisor. The Council's mission is to promote good governance and enhance the experience of democracy globally by increasing the number, effectiveness, and visibility of women who lead at the highest levels in their countries. Her latest book, The Loudest Duck, is a business guide that explores workplace diversity to offer an alternate, nuanced approach to diversity to create a truly effective workplace for all. In this episode, Liswood opens up about the inspiration behind the founding of the Council, the intersection between DEI initiatives and leadership (and how they function in tandem to create a more equitable work environment), and what makes her most optimistic about Gen Z.
S3 E15: Sam Saperstein: Managing Director/Head of Women on the Move at JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Sam Saperstein is the Managing Director/Head of Women on the Move at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Host of the Women on the Move podcast. After beginning her career as a journalist, Sam quickly realized that she had other career interests and headed to Business school to make a change. Upon graduation, she held a number of leadership roles and rose through the ranks at McKinsey & Company, Mastercard, and, later, JPMorgan Chase & Co. In this episode, Sam highlights the key differences between sponsorship and mentorship (and the importance of both), shares how her definition of success has evolved over time, and opens up about her full-circle moment. "To me, ambition does not only mean getting to the top of something. Ambition might be having a well-balanced life, doing something that you really enjoy doing while also being able to do things outside of work like [having] a family or personal interests...that are just as important to you as work."
S3 E16: Arielle Patrick: Chief Communications Officer at Ariel Investments
Arielle Patrick is the Chief Communications Officer at Ariel Investments, a global asset management firm and the first Black-owned mutual fund firm in the United States. After graduating from Princeton University, she began her career at the renowned PR firm Weber Shandwick, where she skyrocketed to a VP role in under 6 years. She was eventually recruited by its competitor, Edelman, and rose to an EVP before landing her current role. One of Arielle's self-described "superpowers" is being a connector and developing meaningful relationships. In fact, her boss, Mellody Hobson, named by Forbes as one of the world's most powerful women, offered her a job after years of a mentor/mentee relationship. In this episode, Arielle discusses what her relationship was to "success" in the early days of her career, shares ways she stays present and practices self-compassion (she frequently reminds herself that she is kind, powerful, and strong), relays tough leadership lessons she has learned, and offers advice she would give to her younger self. We originally recorded this episode in the summer of 2022, when Arielle had added another title to her name: "Mom." Nine months later, Arielle vulnerably reflects on how motherhood has enabled her to find new purpose, meaning in her work, and outlook on leading with compassion.