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Crazy and The King Podcast
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Crazy and The King Podcast

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Julie Sowash and Torin Ellis are serious about destroying the lame, losing and punitive Diversity and Inclusion narrative. A weekly podcast of talking truth, exploring the uncomfortable, and often ignored. Chasing solution and never hiding from behind lip service. They won’t always get it right, but they will always bring it real. Grab a latte and rock with Crazy and the King - ya heard! #crazyandtheking

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185 Episodes
Join Julie and Torin in welcoming the host of Living Corporate, Zach Nunn.
A fun episode celebrating friends, family, and our favorites!
Award-winning entrepreneur, author, and experienced chief human resources officer Shaara Roman is an expert on the role of company culture in driving employee and business success. She has held leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies and spent years advising companies on creating successful strategies for organizational design, values alignment in hiring and leadership, eliminating toxic stressors in the workplace, and fostering engaged and productive teams. In her new book, The Conscious Workplace: Fortify Your Culture to Thrive in Any Crisis, Shaara presents a global citizen perspective on the importance of workplace culture, and how it leads to a profitable business. Using high-profile examples from companies like yogurt maker Chobani, mattress company Leesa, and King Arthur Baking Company
Join Torin and Julie in welcoming Buffer Springs' Founder and CEO, Rob Arndt to Crazy and the King. Rob Arndt, United States Marine veteran, Founder and CEO brings his no bullshit approach to veteran hiring and engagement to Crazy and the King. An interview not to be missed. Learn more about Buffer Springs: Connect with Rob:
Join Torin and Julie in welcoming powerhouse Nikki Lanier to CATK Nikki’s experience includes serving as senior vice president –Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Personnel Cabinet Secretary for the Commonwealth of Kentucky (youngest and first black female gubernatorial appointee to this post), Chief Human Resources Officer for Charter Schools USA (FL), Vice Chancellor of Human Resources for Maricopa Community Colleges (AZ), Senior HR Executive, Philip Morris USA (VA) and Georgia-Pacific Corp. (GA) and other positions in both the health care and legal fields. Having eighteen years as an HR executive and employment attorney, Nikki is experienced in driving accelerated cultural change in public and private sectors, creating and implementing innovative organizational development, inspiring commitment to vision, experience in OD, Leadership Design and Delivery, EEO/AA, Labor Relations, Employment Law, Employee Relations, Training and Development, strategic planning, recruitment and retention, and labor negotiations. ​ She has worked in more than ten (10) sectors including manufacturing, consulting, consumer goods, health care, media, law, government, higher education, and banking, and has led organizations in both the public and private sector. Through her work and strong local and national board memberships, Nikki is recognized as an accomplished thought leader in progressive HR strategies and in advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism, corporately and civically.
Join Torin and Julie in welcoming Dr. Andrew Whitehead, one of the foremost experts on Christian Nationalism. As Americans head to the Thanksgiving table and we all head into the holiday season, we discuss the dissection of Christianity and White Nationalism as an expression of Christianity. Dr. Whitehead helps us re-center and takes the tone down for a lot of us without failing to call to and recognize the dangers of this ideology.
We had a technical issue on our upload this week - we are sharing a corrected version with our apologies. Join Julie and Torin to discuss the existential question we all ponder. Tell us your thoughts on our Crazy and the King Facebook, Instagram or on Twitter #CATK.
Torin and Julie are back this week with 5G towers taking over NYC, a conversation about anti-Semitism, Kyrie Irving and other Black celebrities in hot water over controversial decisions. Plus, Mastodon, are you in?
This week, Julie and Torin are back together again and they have plenty to catch up on. Elon Musk becomes the Twitter's Chief and all hell is poised to break loose. Does it matter? Julie thinks so. Wharton School of Management is now offering an MBA with a DEI concentration while Penn State "discovers" they are not as committed to their 2020 Racial Justice commitment as they thought in 2022.
In our final CATK NDEAM Takeover, Torin is joined by Amanda Burris, Director of Sales at Disability Solutions. As Amanda put it in a post recording message to Julie, "Torin got real. Or shall I say got me to get real real." - A skill we all know the King to have. What did you think of the CATK NDEAM Takeover? Email us, tell us on social, send us a carrier pigeon...whatever it takes. We want to hear from you!
This week it is all about neurodiversity! Theo Smith, once upon a time a professional actor, then a leading expert in the field of recruitment. He now uses his thespian skills to entertain his daughter and son and to inspire organisations and the world to the idea that neurodiversity is the future of work and beyond. Amanda Kirby is the founder and CEO of Do-IT Solutions, a tech for good company that provides tools, training and consultancy in the area of neurodiversity and wellbeing. She has written 9 books and more than 100 research papers in the field and her latest book published in 2021:'Neurodiversity at Work, Drive Innovation, Performance and Productivity with a Neurodiverse Workforce' has won the Business Book Awards 2022 for EDI. Amanda has a new book on Neurodiversity in Education coming out in first quarter of 2023.
CATK NDEAM Disability Takeover continues with Talent Acquisition Leader, Client Services Director at Cielo Talent, Ciji Gardner, sits co-host with Torin this week. Ciji has over 10 years of experience leading teams of managers, recruiters, sourcers, and recruitment coordinators (US and Global based) to meet and exceed TA strategic goals. She is experienced in diversity recruitment, client advisory, and change management and wait for it......she is also a person with a disability! Join Torin and Ciji to talk about living with and succeeding while experiencing anxiety.
This week, Dr. Yvette Pegues, Executive at Your Invisible DisAbility Group, jumps in as the FIRST CATK NDEAM Disability Takeover. She brings her story, expertise and a couple of special guests to this first of its kind CATK Takeover! A special take on Crazy and the King this week and all month!
Prior to founding Untapped, Tariq spent most of his career exploring ways to close the opportunity gap for untapped talent. The first Head of Diversity & Inclusion for both Lyft and Coinbase, Tariq continues to be motivated by his mission to enable companies to realize their full inclusion potential through technology solutions. Named The Root 100: Most Influential African Americans and a Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient, to his core, Tariq believes that people should not be defined by their life circumstances, but empowered to defy them. His work as Co-CEO of Untapped seeks to make this a reality.
Would you, COULD you, work 2, 3, even 4 full-time jobs? Is it is ethical? Does it matter? We dive into Reddit's Overemployment (OE) thread with more than 80,000 posts. Then Twilio and Patagonia CEO's take active stances on racial, social and environmental justice. Can big business meet systemic and social change? Only time will tell.
This week on CATK: Delta's diversity transparency report is out and we ask are they "closing the gap." We discuss the challenges of giving hard feedback to our teams and the many mistakes we have made as a people leaders. HR Executive puts out news on increase in late stage cancer diagnoses and we discuss how HR needs to prepare for the before, during and after to support employees with cancer. Finally, do you use the term anti-racism? Do these terms matter or do we get lost in our over use of always trying to get the language perfect?
Kicking off fall, Julie and Torin jump into the deep end. Women ascend to the executive ranks at Fortune 100 companies faster than their male peers, new research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School finds. Though women still make up just a fraction of these leadership positions—27% in 2021—they were promoted to these roles 3.5 years faster than men in 2001, with the gap narrowing to 1.5 years last year. Helpful or harmful? - Career choices. Women who delay motherhood or forgo it entirely see better career advancement and greater wealth. Single women without children had an average wealth of $65,000 in 2019, compared to $57,000 for single men without children and just $7,000 for single mothers. Canada's veteran journalist Lisa LaFlamme goes gray and gets the boot. Finally, robots are taking over the world.....and we somehow manage to tie ALL this together.
The last of our Summer Interview Series with the Man, the Master, the Tim Sackett. In his second visit to CATK, Tim helps Julie and Torin round out the CATK Summer Interview Series with a frank conversation on the state of DEIB in Talent Acquisition. How do we stop othering "diversity recruiting"? Have we lost our DEIB intensity in this post(ish) pandemic world? The WSJ CEO tells career seekers to get their asses back to the office or enjoy a good work life balance with remote job. Ummmmm....okay??
Stacy Bernal (she/her/hers) is a TEDx speaker, author, and DEI trainer at See Stacy Speak LLC. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Weber State University with a BA in Communication and earned a certificate for Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University. She is the Chair of the Ogden Diversity Commission, as well as the founder of Awesome Autistic Ogden, and the Bernal Badassery Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit.  Stacy is passionate about empowering individuals and organizations to live their biggest and most badass lives. An outspoken advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion and representation, Stacy is known to challenge the status quo on occasion. She has been featured on HuffPost, Thrive Global, Visit Utah, Scary Mommy, and Autism Parenting Magazine. In 2019, she published her first book, The Things We Don’t Talk About: A Memoir of Hardships, Healing, and Hope. Stacy lives happily with her family and fur babies near the mountains, where she enjoys all the amazing outdoor recreation Ogden, UT has to offer like mountain biking, trail running, and triathlons. An eight-time marathoner, Stacy is currently running in a completely different way as a candidate for her local school board. #sb4sb #SeeStacyRun2022
Orwell wryly noted, “Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it and wiser than one that comes after it.” Differences of any kind—whether they be race, religion, gender identity, point of view, or values—can make us or, if we let them, just as easily break us. Regardless of our generational identities, we all benefit from understanding where others come from and what they need to get their jobs done well. With wit and keen insight, organizational behavior expert Chris DeSantis delivers thoughtful, direct, and actionable guidance we need to better navigate generational friction that can drive misunderstandings both in life and in the workplace. DeSantis can discuss: Chris DeSantis is an independent organizational behavior practitioner, speaker, podcaster, and author, with over thirty-five years of experience working with clients in professional services firms both domestically and internationally. Over the past fifteen years, he has been invited to speak on generational issues in the workplace at hundreds of the leading U.S. law and accounting firms, as well as many of the major insurance and pharma companies. His new book is Why I Find You Irritating: Navigating Generational Friction at Work (Amplify Publishing, May 3, 2022). Learn more at
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