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conventioNOT Podcast

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Success isn't a linked to a dollar amount and happiness takes many forms. Many of us spend decades trying to figure it out which molds we are supposed to fit in. conventioNOT's co-hosts are longtime friends and experts at challenging and encouraging each other to follow their own true passion.

Join Mike & McD as they explore life's vulnerabilities, quirky challenges and interview guests with unconventional and successful lives. Both of the guys agree that over the years, we've realized humans are often programmed with ideas that becoming successful guarantees a happily ever after story.

Unfortunately, these two things aren't as closely related as we'd like and this show is designed to discuss the ways that real people are proving that pursuit of passion beats chasing cash every day and every time.

Both of our hosts are entrepreneurs and listeners of our podcast are intrigued by successful strategies and deep self-evaluation. Mike and McD lead conversations about unconventional routes of becoming happy.

By now, thousands of episodes have been downloaded and there are a few 'expert' episodes, where conventioNOT producers invite previous guests back to discuss subject that matter most to them.

Please don't forget to subscribe on your podcast channel - or request our episodes be published there if you can't find us. We can be reached on your favorite social media feed or by searching conventioNOT_Podcast.
84 Episodes
Michael Wayne Foster breaks molds. Foster was a teacher in the high schools of his hometown when he started life after college. Pretty normal, but this larger than life dude is far from normal.  It wasn't long after spending time in classrooms that he was presented with an opportunity for love... on season 3 of The Bachelorette. Earnestly, this dude packed up his things and moved to Hollywood.  He didn't find the romantic love of his life on NBC in 2005... she would come much later. What he did find is that his fascination with the entertainment industry was, well... fostered. Fast forward nearly 20 years, and he's appeared in countless movies and sitcoms by now and graced the cover of over 900 romance novels.  If that last bullet point interests you, take a minute to download this episode. It's one of the podcast instant classics and Michael shares some really thought provoking detail about the way that production is changing... for the worst.  Escape from Status Quo with Michael Wayne Foster is available on all major podcast platforms. Don't forget to subscribe to conventioNOT to hear every new episode.
Dan Sinnott Sr has experienced more in a single lifetime than most families. He was a young man when he realized that the life of a Detroit Police Officer - and the negative experiences life as a cop brought wasn't for him. Sure, lots of guys switch careers... but this guy, a man with a desire for adventure, decided to be an educator. You'll have to listen to the episode for the details, but Dan eventually moves halfway across the world, young family in tow. It's pretty obvious somewhere along the line, he also honed his talents as a storyteller.  Mike and McD appreciate everyone who comes on the show. Dan, however, is a little more than a guest. He's Mike's dad. Interviewing your father is truly a special gift and pops presents story after story from very interesting times in America's history. Any listener that knows Mike can clearly hear where his personality and love for details was born. Listen to this instant conventioNOT classic now, available wherever you listen to podcasts. 
When Taylor Duerr first stepped onto the professional fight scene, he was already kind of a big deal. Not just because of his size, because of his heart. He's had plenty of nicknames in his career and Duerr, a former cruiserweight champion is the star of a newly released documentary, "We Can Be Heroes." Taylor joins the guys just before the launch of the film and the "Machine Gun" fires on about some of the cool stuff that happens when promoting a movie, his true love for his family and opens up about the real struggles he's faced as a recovering addict. Yea, you read that right, one of the Detroit's biggest and baddest fighters faces more than opponents in the ring. He carries a monkey on his back too. And he made a movie about it.  You'll have to download the episode to hear more... but if you like stories about work ethic and comeback kids, let this dude inspire you. Check out all of conventioNOT episodes wherever you listen to podcasts. Like our stuff? Subscribe. We'll keep serving it. 
When Jim Baudino first told his friends that he was leaving his acclaimed automotive career to get into the cannibis business, his friends undoubtedly wondered what he was thinking. The thing is, he'd always been looking for something more than traditional route for a kid from metro detroit who went to the University of Michigan and UCLA.  Then he got into busines with Snoop Dog. No seriously, Baudino jumped from branding Toyota Camry's to helping a gernerational icon reframe an industry. What listeners will find is that the dude still hasn't looked back and carries his inspiration through to his family, passions and lifestyle.  These days, the US consumes more than $15 billion in recreational pot and neither Jim, or the industry are slowing. Today, he spends his time searching and building trends. You'll have to listen to the episode to hear the guys and Baudino get into financing and what he's most excited about in the world of weed in the next decade.  conventioNOT is available on all podcast channels, YouTube and LinkedIn. First time listener? Take a minute to dig into our archives and hear 100+ hours of interviews with humans like Jim's.   
Dana Frost wakes up every day feeling life’s full effect. As a young person, she lost her spouse, Brad to cancer, fought her own battle with the disease and faced the realities that most people don’t see until much later in life. Thankfully, this cheerful guest found time to sit with Mike and McD on this host-favorite episode. The thing about Dana is that she’s channelled the tragedy and has learned to be vulnerable in ways that we thing most listeners should pay attention to. Her husband left her 100 days after he was diagnosed and her inspiration afterward is unbelievable. Frost started the Forced Joy Project as a way to help herself… and others find happiness after loss.  She never thought she was cut out for grief and this hour with Dana doesn’t just focus on the sad things - the guys are able to hear about her new and exciting endeavors, throw around coping strategies and more.  We’re really proud to have met her and experienced her attitude, smile and shining light. You'll have to push play to find out more.  conventioNOT is available on all major podcast channels, the gram and all the spots you look for quality content. Subscribe or browse our archives for more great conversations just like this one. 
Matt Allen lovingly recalls the days when his work was as simple as cleaning up oil spills. This lifelong scientist and creative thinker has now moved on to larger pastures, so to speak. Mike was excited to reconnect with Matt and to introduce Ryan, who he knew would instantly be interested by this guest.  Certainly the episodes of conventioNOT lean toward science, data and nature - and this one touches all of our pillars quickly. Growing up in Canada, Matt talks about setting up an executive career that he enjoys today and shares infinite wisdom about traveling the globe from his home outside Toronto. These days, he leads his organization.  That doesn’t lessen the dedication and ethic that he brings every day. Matt carries the same diligence over to his hobbies, including a somewhat functional farm that includes pigs, goats and plenty of detail oriented tasks to keep everybody wondering…. what will this guy do next?
Just like that, conventioNOT is nearing 100 hours of content. Funny to think that through all those interviews, teary stories and podcast bliss - Mike & McD have never recorded in the same room. After almost a decade of residence in Hawaii, Ryan finally made it out to share some sun and surf in the Aloha state.    We spent the week consuming all that Oahu has to offer, from Honolulu's Kith Store to Kona beans and somehow Mike convinced Ryan to be on the hot seat and relive his best moments on the island. After poking some fun, we get deep on linking culture, satire and cynicism. Ryan’s low-lites and critique gets hilarious quick, picking apart island tourists and agriculture.    McD's bourgeois outfits and style gets a little poke and Mike informs Ryan that he actually threw him in the surfing deep end when the couples took their vacation to the beach. Longtime listeners get more about the same but different personalities of our hosts, up to owning basically the same truck.  Don’t worry - this isn’t just an episode about a dope vacation to make you jealous. There are some valid travel tips for Hawaii if you’re considering a visit. We cover inner-island travel, volcanoes and many of the coolest things you can see there. We threw some extra pics of the vacation up on the instagram channel if you want to explore further. Don’t forget to look us up and follow @conventioNOT_Podcast everywhere. 
Flint Mitchell is a unique guest who is busy stacking perspective. He’s an engineer, scientist, surfer, podcaster… and now author. What’s really cool about this guy is that he’s humble about the way opportunities arrive in his world. Listeners will find that this guy’s world started in a place that most of us are familiar with, but don’t really understand: the San Fransisco Peninsula, AKA Silicon Valley.  He shares a bit about the very real perspective that growing up in the Valley can create. Just like the factories of Detroit, it’s not all roses. Mike and McD are somehow surprised by this, leading to insights and a marvelous self investigation from Mitchel. It’s easy to see that this guy is more interested in improving the world than anything else - even if he does like the Giants more than the Oakland A’s.  Recently,  Flint published his first book, Seeking Authenticity. Much of this episode talks about his journey and excitement to release his thoughts and expand his world. The guys go all over the globe of subjects with this interview and we think our listeners will dig it.  conventioNOT is available on all podcast channels, YouTube and LinkedIn. First time listener? Take a minute to dig into our archives and hear 100+ hours of interviews with humans like Flint. 
Eric Mannix is a competitor. Lots of senior leaders at big companies are. The CFO of Blue Water Systems is dedicated to growing the success of the manufacturing plants that he now runs. But there’s something a little different about Eric’s story. What a lot of guys like Eric don’t share when walking the halls of facilities are why they do what they do. This episode sets that old-school mentality aside. Eric operates his life on a really cool philosophy: try something hard every day. When he found himself in a misaligned internship just after college, he deployed that Detroit-bred idealism to start building bridges between factory floors and offices.  Mannix shares with Mike and McD that he sees humility as a birthright after growing up a kid of Zug Island worker who spent his nights and weekends playing defense for the legendary Little Caesar’s youth hockey club. When he got cut from the team at age 16, he didn’t give up his lifelong sport… he adapted it.  Now, nearly twenty some years later, Eric instills that do something hard everyday mentality in his kids and shares how he competes in ultra endurance sports today. You read that right, this guy doesn’t just get up hours before dawn for a workday, he trains and competes at the highest level in events like the Leadville endurance series and can teach you how to drive a Zamboni machine.   If you just found conventioNOT through this episode, make sure you check out out our other episodes, just like this one on all podcast platforms.
Michigan State Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein joins the guys and holds court about issues near and dear to heart, career and his strong faith. Sure, the guy has been elected to one of the highest courts in America, but that’s only happened over the past few years and this conversation is very special.  Prior to his current gig, Bernstein became a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Michigan and earned his law degree from the Northwestern University School of Law. Justice Bernstein has also been elected for an eight-year term on the Board of Governors at Wayne State University.  He also has served as an adjunct professor in the political science department at the University of Michigan. Luckily, he chooses to forego listing his resume for listeners during the episode, rather diving into his fire and the reason he drives so hard to create peace and opportunities for humans on earth.  He continues to be a tireless advocate for disability rights as an attorney and runs marathons. That’s right, this blind guy, who stacks recognition and accolades like pancakes also runs thousands of miles.  Mike and McD are left speechless more than once as Richard talks about how he stays motivated. Truly something to hear, straight from the Judge’s chambers.  If you haven’t subscribed to conventioNOT or found your way to us through Richard’s camp, you can quick-launch your favorite podcast app at The show is available anywhere you listen to media. 
Lacey Trost is clearly one of our favorite guests in recent history. Her story and humility are one of a kind as far as conventioNOT guests go. After growing up in Florida, she and her wife undertook one of the biggest goals of many youngsters in America: moving away from home.  The thing is, Trost was just getting started down her list of personal goals  then and she hasn’t looked back since. She opens up with Mike and McD about the struggles of Imposter Syndrome and her drive to succeed. Unlike many of our guests - she isn’t dedicated with her title or her salary. She’s focused on doing the right thing and helping others around her.  And she’s serious about it.  Lately, she’s turned her focus to fertility and some of the policies that trouble same-sex couples who are trying to have a baby. There are plenty of people in the world who react to atrocities like those she’s discovered… but Lacey isn’t wired that way. She decided to act.  This episode isn’t all serious sperm speculation though… our listeners will love Lacey’s kind heart and hear some really funny stories about Beer Pong tournaments and the growing up in Florida. If you haven’t subscribed to conventioNOT or found your way to us through Lacey’s camp, you can quick-launch your favorite podcast app at 
The guys catch up one on one for their annual summer-ending episode. It gets a little deep, including a how-to-travel guide when living out of state, new show formating and some really deep discussion about recent losses in Mike's life. It's not all heavy-hearted, Mike and McD save space to dive into seeing boobs on a plane, couples travel ideas and even a secret or two that longtime listners  will probably pick up on. We're committed to publishing more of these 1:1 style shows over the next year.  If you haven't subscribed yet, click the button on whichever podcast chanel you prefer. We're on all of them!
Graham Meriwether started his career as a filmaker in an interesting way, chasing bodies around the streets of Detroit. Even though the young documentatian hadn't found his calling, he knew that he was inspired enough to create content that mattered.  By the time he turned his focus to his bigger films like American Meat and Farmers For America, he'd filmed countless dead bodies and foraged the Detroit Police Department's Delta Zones and produced content for The Julliard School of Dance.  American Meat eventually became his first theatrical release and It contrasts industrial feedlots with Joel Salatin's Polyface Farms, a model where rotational grazing and local distribution give hope that a different, more humane and environmentally conscious way to farm may indeed save the day…and our future. In 2010, Meriwether founded the non-profit organization, Leave It Better Foundation, whose mission is to empower youth to make the Earth a better place. They have helped build 10 gardens in New York City schools, and taught over 2,000 students compost, plant and harvest through their own community garden in the Bronx. They even distribute cameras to schools so students can document their journeys. It's an incredible story that Meriwether tells - and it's pretty inspirational. If you are new to conventioNOT or our guests, be sure to listen to the end to hear about his upcoming work and a few other exciting interviews featuring Mike and McD. conventioNOT is available wherever podcasts are. Subscribe today. 
Johnny Gillespie is a true revolutionary. To state it simply, he has developed a system to teach people how to move more efficiently and safely. He also has has a decorated educational career and even runs and Yoga Certification Program at his facility, Empowered Wellness Studio in Wilmington Delaware. The thing is... he doesn't fit the mold. And he's proud of it. Mike and McD are eager to get their questions out about how and why he's followed the path that he has. It's easy to see how Johnny inspires people - and he's kind enough to talk about the journey.  The episode is about more than just yoga and Johnny gets deep about his desires, his drives and the types of humility that he teaches. A hardcore Philadelphia original, his love for all things Philly keeps him grounded and he shares about the battle to stay that way - even while suiting up and heading out on the ice week after week.  Subscribe and listen to the show wherever you download podcasts. We're on that platform :) You can also click on to launch your favorite show app.    
Dave Regan has been able to experience more than one life in his years. Growing up in the times and neighborhoods that built the America we walk in today, Dave’s journey includes nights on horseback, saddling up a chopper and logging trip after trip.  The thing is - he was doing these things while spending his days building the ads that spread Detroit's auto industry across the country. After living a full life as an adman, he turned his trail toward becoming an educator, helping to lead the industry into the next frontier. Today he spends his hours teaching advertising students at Michigan State University, where he's been for nearly 20 years. Guess what? He touches on all these things in the episode - and we've left a couple things out in this written synopsis. You'll have to listen to hear the full story. Listeners who stick around til the end won't be disappointed. conventioNOT is on all podcast channels. Quick launch your favorite app by clicking here. 
Our love for food and flavors is pretty evident in the conventioNOT episode archives. Mike and McD have interviewed cookbook authors, pit masters and chefs more than a few times.  The only thing tough about bringing chefs Chris Warsow, Lawrence LaPianta & Will Branch for this expert roundtable was narrowing them down for the episode. We even pulled this one off without a technical hitch.  Those familiar with the show have heard their origin stories and these three showed up ready to break down all things food and even get a little personal about the challenges facing their businesses, insight for the future and their favorite gadgets.  Mike and McD talk a lot about expert episodes - and this foundational collection of food guests lives up to the hype. Available now anywhere you stream podcasts. 
Closing 2020, an idea was born: to let our listeners hear some of the behind-the-scenes commentary about the many guests who decide to share their time and record stories about the details of their lives. This episode is the second rendition of our favorite clips from previous guests and conversations. You'll find some really cool snippets from the detailed stories we get to hear nearly every week.  New conventioNOT listener? This one is a nice primer to the other episodes of our show. Make sure you subscribe and review us on your podcast channel.  You can find us anywhere you listen to podcasts - or by quick launching your favorite app at  
Jay Shuang is one of the most humble social media influencers  you will meet. @shanghaisole is his handle on Instagram and if you think this guy is just another sneaker head, think again. A fifth-grade teacher and stellar guy, Jay uses his network and late-budding shoe addiction started as an obsession during undergrad to connect and inspire with his students and the world.  McD is again enthralled with the depth of this guy's knowledge and Mike takes a couple swipes at the hobby of stacking sneaker boxes. Neither of them are phased and Jay goes on to explain how and why he does what he does.  The international school that Jay teaches and coaches at comes up - and we learn a bit about where Mike's roots came from as well as the background on these types of learning institutions. Even thought he might have been the youngest teacher when he got hired, Jay has brought his influence and love for all things shoe to his people. It's truly an amazing tale.  To Jay, it's all about relationships. To our listeners, you'll have to tune in to hear these awesome stories and details about Jay becoming who he is.  Subscribe and listen to the show wherever you download podcasts. We're on that platform :) You can also click on to launch your favorite show app.
Brett M Cooper's early career in global businesses is nothing to shake a stick at. He focused on process, lean organizations and the actions it takes to be highly profitable. Through his time, he noticed that something was often overlooked: the social skills required by leaders to motivate people.  Fair warning, McD and Brett start to really nerd out on their commonalities before Mike interrupts and brings the two back from outer space - and some kind of deep space nine discussion. Thankfully, this makes space for Brett to talk about his passions as a dad, an author and the person who is responsible for thousands of professionals who have worked with his business, Integris Performance Advisors. conventioNOT listeners don't need to be part of a big company with deep pockets to take advantage of Cooper's teachings. After listening to the show, you'll find that he gives a FREE offer to get an e-book or audio book copy of his new book, Solving the People Problem: Essential Skills you Need to Lead and Succeed in Today's Workplace.  The book, co-authored with his business partner, Evans Kerrigan, is chock full of real advice from experienced people. Mike and McD learn pretty quick that Brett's patience, candor and demeanor are all part of his superpowers.  Subscribe and listen to the show wherever you download podcasts. We're on that platform :) You can also click on to launch your favorite show app.
Just typing out Neel Agrawal’s resume would burst the character limit on most Podcast platforms that stream conventioNOT’s episodes. Thankfully, the Lord Huron collaborator joins Mike & McD in an exhilarating biography that spans Neel’s youth, lugging a violin case in cold Michigan winters, hustling through law school, becoming a world-class musician and even playing on stage at Coachella. Hard to believe that this social justice warrior can make time to do what he does - until you hear the details about what fuels him. Intersectionality is a newer buzz word that Agrawal explains well and embodies even more passionately. It’s not just another cheesy title invented by the conventioNOT production team. Neel has spent his life battling the challenges of intersectionality. His calm passion and unbelievable effort to stay disciplined is really something special.  Our listeners who love a name-drop or two might be shocked on some of the musical accolades that his network has acquired. It seems that Neel’s life isn’t so much focused on the things he’ll acquire on this earth. He explains with incredible candor on why that’s true and how he keeps his contributions to the world. Fair warning… this episode gets very deep. Neel’s not your typical jurist doctor turned professor turned researcher turned rockstar. There really isn’t a typical bone in his body. Tune in or click on to launch your favorite show app.
Comments (1)

Mark Rhodes

Excellent job guys! 3 years sober, living and working on call as a railroader.

Mar 18th
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