Andrew Gardner was born and raised in northeast Ohio before moving to Pittsburgh in 2014, graduating from Miami University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Leadership & Management. His passion for working in sports started when as a Box Office Associate for a minor league baseball team, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, a single-A affiliate for the Cleveland Indians in Niles, Ohio.
Andrew has also worked for Miami University's' Athletic Communications Department, planned, hosted, directed and coordinated a home ultimate tournament at my University, and even sold 50/50 raffle tickets for the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation on the side. He is motivated to bring that passion for ultimate and sports business to the city of Pittsburgh through the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds, a professional ultimate disc team he helped to create.
Anndrew’s Challenge; Undertake a project that you know nothing about.
Free Email at Zoho mail
Connect with Andrew
Graham Hill is the founder of LifeEdited, dedicated to helping people design their lives for more happiness with less stuff. When he started the company in 2010, it brought the ideas of his previous project, the eco-blog and vlog TreeHugger.com, into design and architecture.
Before Treehugger, Hill studied architecture and design (his side business is making those cool ceramic Greek coffee cups). His other company, ExceptionLab, is devoted to creating sustainable prototypes, like lamps made from recycled blinds and ultra-mod planters that are also air filters.
Hill is the author of a book called Weekday Vegetarian.
Graham’s THREE Challenges
Connect with Graham
Connect with LifeEdited
If you liked this interview, check out episode 183 with Oliver Luckett where we discuss the modern world of social media and tech.
Alex Chua works at Ecolab as a Manager in Finance Planning and Analysis. Alex began his nonprofit experience at various organizations including College Houses in Austin, Junior Achievement, The Woodlands Marathon, The Houston Rodeo, and the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston as a part of his MBA.
As a kid, Alex developed a love of chess and became a chess master. He enjoys guitar, travel, and healthy eating. Alex is a certified public accountant in the state of Texas. His current interests include issues related to civil rights, independent journalism, and government oversight.
SuperForecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip E. Tetlock
Anthony’s Challenge; This week, make a list of 5 causes you feel are most important to society. Cross out the cause you feel least passionate about. Keep crossing out causes until you have 1 or 2 remaining. Research existing local and national organizations that work on your cause and join.
Connect with Anthony
If you liked this interview, check out episode 162 with Kwame Christian where we discuss negotiation and making deals.
A friend of mine inspired me to do this episode. We were having coffee and I rattled off a few names of folks that I read or listened to and he hadn’t heard of a few of the names. He encouraged me to share my influences so that others could learn from their wisdom.
The point of the exercise is to hopefully enable you to discover new people to follow and learn from. So I’m not going to mention the countless individuals in my personal life who teach me the most.
If I did, my dad would be at the top of this list. There are many others who don't actively share their knowledge through media and prefer more private lives.
Culture & Vision
Health & the Natural World
Learning and Reading
I am also constantly on the hunt for more people from whom I can learn. Who are some of your biggest influences?
Tucker Matheson and Pichon Duplan are management consultants at PriceWaterhouseCooper. They are passionate about helping college students, and recent grads, understand how to get the most out of their degree. They’ve brought their diverse backgrounds together to create one voice in their first book.
The Challenge; Think of one thing you’ve been interested in doing and go make it happen.
Connect with Tucker & Pichon
If you liked this interview, check out episode 131 with Larry Gioia where we discuss how to make more quality connections.
“I was not able to fully appreciate the beauty of my detours until I was able to share them. As a performer, all I’ve wanted to do was give back to the world. But now I have an even greater gift to give: a story to tell.”
Amy grew up believing that her entire life would be dedicated to the performing arts. Now, she identifies as a survivor and “thriver” of sexual abuse, 27 surgeries, coma, organ failure, and the PTSD that comes from ten years of trauma – or what she now calls her “beautiful detour.”
At 18, years old, a blood clot caused Amy’s body to go into septic shock. She was in a coma for six months, and after a total gastrectomy, was unable to eat or drink a drop of water for six of the past ten years. After 27 surgeries, she was miraculously reconnected with the intestines she had left. To persevere through those tumultuous years took great inner and outer strength.
She has learned that the human spirit feeds off of hope, and hope is fuel we can cultivate ourselves. Ultimately, she learned that with resourcefulness, creativity, and unwavering curiosity, we can transform any adversity into personal growth and a resilience that is uniquely ours.
Connect with Amy
If you liked this interview, check out episode 184 with the Drinking Partners Ed Bailer and Day Bracey, where we discuss comedy and the business of comedy.
Grant Oliphant is president of The Heinz Endowments. For nearly two decades, Grant held several senior management posts with Heinz family foundations, including vice president for programs and planning at the Endowments, his position before taking over the helm at The Pittsburgh Foundation in 2008. He also served as press secretary to the late U.S. Sen. John Heinz from 1988 until the senator’s death in 1991.
If there’s a major project happening in Pittsburgh, chances are that Oliphant is pulling the strings. His six-year tenure atop The Pittsburgh Foundation saw that organization increase its assets by a third in the middle of a recession; even more impressively, that foundation oversaw the recruiting and hiring of Mayor Bill Peduto’s senior staff through its Talent City initiative. Oliphant quickly has made his presence known at Heinz, which shortly after his arrival in May 2014 jettisoned a controversial connection to the Center for Sustainable Shale Development.
Since then, he’s overseen the P4 Conference on urbanism in April, became the primary force in development of the 178-acre Almono site in Hazelwood, brokered the sale of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture to Heinz and other foundations and forged close ties to the Peduto administration.
Grant’s Challenge; Work to move your worldview from “me” to “we”.
Connect with Grant
If you liked this interview, check out episode 107 with Bill Peduto where we discuss the evolution of Pittsburgh or episode 130 with Ray Gastil where we discuss the challenges of city planning and reorganizing Pittsburgh’s communities.
Head over to goingdeepwithaaron.com/callahan for more information.
Vote for Carl Morgenstern in 2017.
Kyle Crawford is the CEO & Founder of Fundraising Genius, where he combines his love of design, technology, and social good into one of the most innovative organizations for people raising money. He has advised leaders from universities, foundations, tech companies, and nonprofits. He’s also presented on design, data, and social innovation at conferences of all sizes.
In 2015, Kyle built the gamified social innovation community, Dwilly, where he personally curated more than 3,000 innovative solutions to pressing social issues from a global audience of fundraisers, entrepreneurs, engineers, social workers, and designers. Prior to that, he worked in healthcare philanthropy managing the design and data for an innovative and hugely successful 25-site statewide HIV care model that has since been replicated and funded as a national model for linking and retaining people living with HIV/AIDS in medical care.
Kyle’s Challenge; Set up a scheduled, anonymous donation. Don’t tell anyone that you’ve done it.
Connect with Kyle
If you liked this interview, check out episode 114 with Dan Bull where we discuss getting the previously incarcerated back to work.
Raised in the home of a Pittsburgh entrepreneur, Michelle Flynn developed an interest for new creative development leading her to burghTV – Pittsburgh’s Snapchat Story and 2017 Winner of Pittsburgh's PR Disruptor of the Year. She uses her training as a professional theatre and film actress to host the channel showing off Pittsburgh's hidden gems. When not snapping for burghTV, Michelle can be found chatting with her fellow sales and marketing co-workers at Truefit – a Pittsburgh-based software product innovation firm.
Prior to her involvement with Truefit, Michelle served as a student liaison for Kent State University (her alma mater) surpassing record quotas for reconnecting alumni to the University and leading to increased alumni involvement and donorship. A proud member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, Michelle continues to work in the hopes of sharing her story with this professional organization
Michelle’s Challenge; Do something different, outside your comfort zone, like an acting class.
Connect with Michelle
If you liked this interview, check out episode 88 with Sunny Lennarduzzi where we discuss Snapchat, YouTube and being your own boss.
Born and raised in Cleveland, OH, Ed Bailey’s family noticed his quick wit early on in life. While that wit sometimes landed him in trouble, it often was the source of great entertainment for those who bore witness. After high school, the University of Pittsburgh brought him to Pittsburgh, PA where he would make a name for himself as a comedian. During his brief career as a comedian, Ed has been able to capture the attention of some of the most recognizable figures in comedy such as Eddie Griffin and Hannibal Burress which is a testament to his ability to relate to anyone while on stage. His talents have also landed him a successful podcast that he co-hosts with comedian Day Bracey called Drinking Partners on the Epicast Network.
A polygamist, simultaneously married to bacon and booze, Day Bracey once led a mostly private life, in fear of persecution from a conservative right winged christian society who wouldn’t understand his inability to choose between two loves. Armed with his sword of common sense and shield of free thought, Day Bracey now roams the Earth, striking down ignorance and BS wherever they may rear their ugly heads. A guerrilla against a well established army of stupidity, his methods of attack have been described as surprising and borderline radical, but precise and well planned. Also, he tells poop jokes.
Ed’s Challenge; Go support a local artist.
Day’s Challenge; Read a history book day.
Connect with Day
Connect with Ed
Listen to the Drinking Partners Podcast
If you liked this interview, check out episode 123 with Tucker Max where we discuss writing NYT bestsellers and writing your own book.
Oliver Luckett is a bona fide tech mogul. Having starting multiple companies and worked for clients like Russell Brand, Steve Aoki, Charlize Theron, Mark Wahlberg, the Chainsmokers, and Pitbull, he knows branding online.
Oliver most recently sold his company theAudience, co-founded with Ari Emanuel of William Morris and tech entrepreneur Sean Parker. Prior, Oliver was CEO and co-founder of DigiSynd, a Walt Disney Company, and previously Oliver co-founded Revver, which helped kick off new media with their novel concept of the video rev-share.
Prior to Revver, Oliver took the Norman Lear "Declare Yourself" campaign to the Internet and gathered more than one million new online voter registrations.
Oliver still cherishes his bachelor's degree in French Literature from Vanderbilt University and recently moved to a home in Iceland.
Oliver’s Challenge; Reverse engineer the success that you hope to achieve.
Connect with Oliver
If you liked this interview, check out episode 123 with Tucker Max where we discuss the future of branding and how to write a book.
Teresa Chahine, the Program Leader for Social Entrepreneurship at Harvard, literally wrote the book on Social Entrepreneurship. Social Entrepreneurship is a revolution occurring around the world today, where people from all walks of life are developing and implementing innovative, effective, and sustainable solutions in response to social and environmental challenges.
These solutions include products, services, frameworks and interventions brought to market by both new startups and existing organizations, whether for-profit or non-profit. Her Book Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship summarizes the basic steps and tools needed to understand the challenge you are tackling, imagine and prototype potential solutions, build a business model, measure and grow your impact.
Teresa’s Challenge; Make a list of 3 things that really piss you off. Pick one to work on and join forces with others who share your mission.
Connect with Teresa
If you liked this interview, check out episode 134 with Gisele Fetterman where we discuss helping the less fortunate and transforming a town.
Reed Verdesoto’s business is ReedVerde. For the past 5 years he has worked in ministry creating music, film, and photographs for the Church. He has met many artists and students through collaboration who have imparted their wisdom and technical skills upon him and his work.
Reed enjoys the creative process, and being able to provide for his family. He hopes to create something that can be enjoyed and shared.
Reed’s Challenge; You have friends that do something amazing. Ask them to show you how they do it.
Connect with Reed
If you liked this interview, check out episode 68 with Wes Shonk where we discuss whiskey, bartending, and how to drink well.
Tom Corson-Knowles is an entrepreneur, blogger, and international bestselling author. Today, he teaches new and established authors and writers how to achieve incredible success by writing and selling ebooks on Amazon Kindle.
Tom is the founder of TCK Publishing, an international trade book publisher that is leading the industry in providing advanced marketing support for authors. TCK Publishing specializes in marketing for both fiction and nonfiction authors to help get their messages and stories out to millions of readers all over the world.
Tom’s Challenge; Spend 15 minutes without any distractions (no phone or people) to think about the primary problems in your life and work on solutions.
Connect with Tom
If you liked this interview, check out episode 127 with Jim Miller where we discuss writing a 700 page oral history.
Matt DeSantis is a New York native, born & raised in Long Island. He picked up my first camera around age 10 to film skateboarding, snowboarding & cliff jumping videos with friends. After buying his first DSLR I also began my working on my passion, automotive photography. This translated to getting his first internship working for McLaren Philadelphia's Creative Dept, where he planned road rallies & assisted with advertising content creation, not to mention working with some unbelievably rare supercars.
He moved to Pittsburgh to attend Point Park University where my short-lived college career would begin. After 2 semesters he decided to drop-out. His McLaren connect offered me a job shooting inventory in studio for Auto Palace Porsche here in Pittsburgh while always keeping side-projects (jumpitapp.com) & freelance (hoping to turn full-time) afloat in the after hours and days off, utilizing public meetups like Unstuck PGH & Startup Weekend as educational substitute.
Currently, Matt is the co-founder of Art & Exotics, a traveling art pop-up connecting artists & auto-enthusiasts alike. He is also building a software startup for consumer electronic trade-ins called Loopitall.com , as well as running a digital content marketing agency with friends Daniel Massimino & Solomon Ilochi.
Matt’s Challenge; Spot a supercar. Take a picture. Post it to Instagram.
Connect with Matt
If you liked this interview, check out episode 124 with Baron Batch where we discuss art, entrepreneurship, and creative work.
Kaelon started working in the public school sector when he was 19. He pursued business management in IT in college, but, like some well-known entrepreneurs, always found himself too entrenched in my work to focus on school. Kaelon held almost every position there was to hold in IT, eventually broadening his reach by working with school districts around the world for a Student Information System technology company.
Having the opportunity to work with thousands of schools, Kaelon gained a deep appreciation for and understanding of the data collection needs school districts have. He used that experience to build partnerships with school districts who utilize his paperless platform - with a goal to fundamentally improve data collection processes through an integrated ecosystem and reduce paper, providing schools with more time to focus on student learning.
While not a native Pittsburgher, Kaelon has lived here most of his life and is proud to contribute to the city’s entrepreneurial spirit. Much like the shift Pittsburgh made from coal and steel to environmentally friendly and sustainable energy, school districts around the world are making that shift as well.
Going Deep with Aaron Watson is brought to you by Audible - get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at http://www.audibletrial.com/Aaron. With over 180,000 titles to choose from, you can enjoy from any mobile device.
Kaelon’s Challenge; Take one day and spend it thinking of time as an investment, paying attention to what gives you the greatest return. Things that last longer than the time invested will typically be a good example.
Connect with Kaelon
If you liked this interview, check out episode 8 with our friend Jason Miller where we discuss starting a website as a side hustle.
Happy Martin Luther King Day.
I am a 25-year-old journalist based in Harlem, NY. I was born in Trenton, NJ and got my start in journalism as the sports editor for The Pitt News. I have lived, studied, traveled or written all over United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Iceland, Israel, Egypt, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, China, Alaska, and West Texas, which I've come to consider a country of its own.
Over the course of eight years, I've reported on racism that drives sports fandom, how Harlem is combating gang violence, what harsh rhetoric and 9/11 security has done to our borders and the most unique home in America. My re-telling of the infamous murder of William Vassar won me a first place award in Pittsburgh's Neighborhoods in Transition writing competition. My endorsement of Hillary Clinton received over four million views and altered the conversation around millennial support of the Democratic nominee. Yahoo subsequently named me one of the 16 people who shaped the 2016 election alongside Khizr Khan, Bo Copley and others.
In 2015, my investigative piece on predatory payday loans changed public policy when it was cited by Maxine Waters in a letter to congress urging Universities and retirement plans to divest from certain lending services. After losing several classmates to heroin overdoses, I took a deep dive into what caused our country's epidemic of opioid addiction. I have covered everything from gay rodeos to why G-d doesn't care about football.
When I left The Huffington Post, where I started my professional writing career, I worked alongside Ashton Kutcher and a talented team to build A Plus, one of the world's largest positive news outlets. We are home to the silver lining. My work has appeared on CNN, The Huffington Post, Medium, The Daily Mail, A Plus and more. A Plus was recently acquired by Chicken Soup for the Soul. You can check out my weekly column "A Grain of Saul" on A Plus every Tuesday morning. You can follow me on Twitter here, where I spend an inordinate amount of time tweeting angrily about America.
Connect with Isaac
If you liked this interview, check out episode 17 for the first interview with Isaac.
Josh Moore founded the American Ultimate Disc League in April 2012.
The American Ultimate Disc League is the first and largest professional ultimate league in the world. It strives to maintain the sport’s rich history, and its 24 franchises embody the robust spirit of ultimate's players, fans, and community alike.
Connect with Josh
If you liked this interview, check out episode 164 with Don Grage where we discuss running the Washington DC Breeze and recruiting talent.
Robert Scoble is an American blogger, technical evangelist, and author. Scoble is best known for his blog, Scobleizer, which came to prominence during his tenure as a technology evangelist at Microsoft. He later worked for Fast Company as a video blogger, and then Rackspace and the Rackspace sponsored community site Building 43 promoting breakthrough technology and startups.
He currently works for Upload VR — a new media site covering virtual and augmented reality — as its entrepreneur in residence, where he develops new shows, events, and works with other entrepreneurs in the Upload Collective, a coworking space for virtual reality-focused startups.
Fragments Game on Microsoft Hololens
Robert’s Challenge; Get VR. Use it to connect with others. If you don’t, you’ll be out of business.
Connect with Robert
If you liked this interview, check out episode 118 with Kevin Kelly where we discuss the inevitable forces that will shape our future or episode 111 with Kash Dhanda where we discuss virtual reality and building a digital marketing agency.
Jacob Zax’s company, Edify, develops technologies that make learning more fun, creative, and accessible for people around the world.
Their current focus is music, with a new app, MusiQuest, that inspires beginners to love and understand music by teaching them to compose their own songs in styles from pop to classical. MusiQuest is an educational expansion of their first app, Sketch-a-Song, which has been used by over 300,000 people to create over 2,000,000 pieces to date.
Jacob’s Challenge; Diversify the media sources that you are consuming.
Connect with Jacob
If you liked this interview, check out episode 151 with Matt Keener where we discuss telemedicine and delivering brain health.
Calvin Wayman is an author, speaker, sales expert and social media entrepreneur. In his early twenties, being awkward and shy, he held a company record for the WORST performance a sales agent ever had. After almost being fired, he found a mentor and went on from having the worst performance to the best. He attributes his tenacity of “never giving up” to lessons he learned going out and knocking on random households, selling door-to-door.
In 2016 alone, Calvin Wayman started a social media management business, wrote his first book, and was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Social Media Examiner, The Huffington Post. He was also named one of “The Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under The Age of 30” by Influencive.com.
Calvin’s 4 C’s of Social Media
Content - Show you Exist
Context - Know the Platform
Consistency - Build Trust & Brand
Connection - Create Real Relationships
Calvin’s Challenge; Take a legit cold shower. It toughens your psyche and helps you focus on success.
Connect with Calvin
If you liked this interview, check out episode 144 with Clinton Senkow where we discuss global entrepreneurship, influence, and developing your writing skills.