DiscoverCareer Curves
Career Curves

Career Curves

Author: Host, Beth Davies

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Real people telling real stories of real careers. A common perception is that careers move in straight lines, from first job to last, yet this is rarely true. Real careers have highs and lows, planned changes and unexpected ones. On each episode of Career Curves, we talk to someone who has had an interesting, curvy career to find out how they navigated the twists and turns. We focus on the opportunities and challenges that came their way, digging into key decisions they faced and how they made them. Listen in and walk away with inspiration and ideas to help you maneuver through the curves in your own career.
31 Episodes
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What role does learning play as you are building your career? Marcus Chung, VP of  Manufacturing and Supply Chain at ThirdLove, has learned from each and every one of his experiences, and he has continuously applied that information to move toward roles that better tap into his passions and strengths. Part of his career journey has included roles and companies that weren’t always a perfect fit, but he needed the learning from those experiences to truly discover his ideal path. By closing some doors along the way, he has opened windows to a more fulfilling and rewarding career.   Meet the GuestAn apparel sourcing and supply chain leader, Marcus Chung has held roles focused on delivering value through strategic supply chain management. Currently VP of Manufacturing and Supply Chain for direct-to-consumer women's intimates brand ThirdLove, Marcus's team is responsible for sourcing, production, product quality, logistics and fulfillment. His experience includes leading global teams to deliver exceptional product quality, cost and delivery results. In addition, he has developed strategies and engaged with the broader apparel industry to drive sustainability and protect garment workers' rights in the supply chain.Marcus earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Wesleyan University and an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He served as a Trustee for Wesleyan University and served two terms on the board of directors for Net Impact, a non-profit organization whose mission is to mobilize a new generation to use their careers to drive transformational change in their workplaces and the world.LinksMarcus recently wrote an article on the impact robots, 3D technology and artificial intelligence are having on the apparel supply chain. You can read it here. 
Gabrielle Bosché became addicted to achievement at an early age. Her incredible drive helped her achieve early success (including publishing her first book at 17!), but it came at a cost to her health and relationships. The unlock in her career journey was connecting her work to her life purpose. She intentionally crafted a career centered around her passions and founded two companies in the process – The Millennial Solution and The Purpose Company. She continues to share her learning with others and recently published her fifth book called "The Purpose Factor." Gabrielle tells people to "stalk success" and learn as much as they can from the wisdom and achievements of others. She has followed her own advice and has channeled it into an extraordinary and fulfilling career.  Meet the GuestRaised in an alcoholic household, Gabrielle became addicted to achievement because that was the only thing she could control. From self-publishing her first book at 17 to becoming an elite athlete to losing 20 pounds in 2 months to win a beauty pageant, Gabrielle found her identity as an "achiever." After extreme dieting caused her to lose chunks of her hair and most of her relationships, Gabrielle knew she needed a change. Her journey to discover her own purpose resulted in what is known as the #1 purpose discovery process in the world.  Gabrielle is one of the most booked Millennial motivators in the world. She has been called the "next generation of motivators" by Tom Ziglar and is a popular TEDx presenter, bestselling author, and co-founder of The Purpose Company. Her work has been endorsed by the likes of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Brian Tracy, Lewis Howes, and co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Marc Victor Hansen. Gabrielle has worked with everyone from presidential campaigns, the U.S. Navy and Air Force, and the top brands in the world. Gabrielle has been featured in major media outlets including NPR, Sirius XM Radio, Bloomberg Radio, Glamour Magazine, Business Insider, and Los Angeles Times.Gabrielle quit her job at 23 to launch her first company, consulting major brands and the government on how to reach Millennials. Her breakout moment came when at a networking meeting she introduced herself as a "Millennial expert" to someone who would end up being her first client (the U.S. Navy). Gabrielle has written 5 books ranging from Millennial motivation, next-generation entrepreneurship, and how to find your purpose. Gabrielle's approach to life, love, and business is the self-deprecating deeply wise and insanely practical solution we need right now.LinksThe Millennial SolutionThe Purpose CompanyThe Purpose Factor
“I have had an identity of being different from such an early age that it's never even occurred to me to try to fit in with those around me.” That’s how Adriane Armstrong, CEO of the nonprofit social enterprise Juma Ventures, explains why she chose a career in the nonprofit sector while her classmates were pursuing for-profit, high tech startups. For many, going against the grain isn’t easy. In this interview, Adriane tells her story including the early experiences that motivated her to want to help others and the strategic, deliberate steps she took to build a career where she could do exactly this. It’s an inspiring story filled with practical advice that anyone can use, especially those considering working in the nonprofit sector. Our long-time listeners know that every year around the holidays, we like to feature the career journey of someone making a difference in the lives of others. This year, we’re thrilled to have Adriane as our guest and to highlight the work of Juma Ventures. Juma operates businesses with the purpose of employing young people. Its mission is to break the cycle of poverty by paving the way to work, education, and financial capability for youth across America.Meet the GuestAdriane Gamble Armstrong has dedicated her career to the nonprofit sector, working on issues ranging from education and community development to public health and environmental justice. Common threads in her work have been the pursuit of social justice and serving underserved communities. Adriane found Juma as a volunteer in 2005, joined staff as Managing Director of Programs in 2011, and became CEO in 2017. Prior to her appointment to CEO, Adriane served for three years as COO, and oversaw the programs & partnerships, evaluation, finance, information technology, human resources and operations functions of the agency. Through Adriane’s efforts in team building, partnership development and strategic execution, Juma has grown from a $3M organization in three cities, to the current footprint of six markets serving more than 1,000 youth per year with a budget of $7M.Adriane serves on the board of the Hidden Genius Project, and sits on the Council of Nonprofit Leaders for Charity Navigator. She previously served on the board of Huckleberry Youth Programs, and is an alumna of the American Express Leadership Academy. Prior to joining Juma, Adriane managed a housing and social services program for youth aging out of foster care with Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Adriane holds an MBA with an emphasis in nonprofit management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, as well as an M.A. in social psychology and a B.A. in comparative studies in race and ethnicity from Stanford University. She resides in Oakland with her husband and two sons.LinksIf you’re interested in getting involved or donating to Juma Ventures, visit Juma.org. 
How do you gain the experience and skills you need to go out on your own as a consultant? In this episode, Tiffany Newhouse, CEO of Newhouse Project Consulting, takes us through her path to consulting which had plenty of curves, including a key decision to leave law school to pursue a career more aligned with her interests and passions. Throughout her journey, Tiffany gained experience and skills across a variety of industries and sectors, which prepared her to start and lead her highly successful consulting firm working with companies and organizations on transformational change initiatives. This episode is an excellent example of how careers take shape over time and how experiences and relationships can be fully leveraged to open the door to a career of your dreams. Meet the GuestTiffany Newhouse, CEO, Newhouse Project Consulting (NPC), has 25 years of experience as an Executive Consultant, Leader and Transformational Change Expert in the private and public sector. She has a proven track record for driving results and business excellence in multiple industries with dynamic and diverse workforces.Prior to founding NPC, Tiffany held a variety of executive and leadership positions with Fortune 100 companies including Microsoft, Genentech Inc., Chevron Texaco, Kaiser Permanente, and Pacific Gas & Electric. Her proven accomplishments span the areas of organization development, change management, technology implementation, leadership development, general program and project management, human resources, global deployment, and workforce planning.As a leader in Transformational Change, Tiffany’s been responsible for guiding many companies through enterprise-wide change initiatives and delivering comprehensive, industry standard change strategies. The key to Tiffany’s success is her unique ability to bridge gaps between her clients, labor unions and customers with measurable success in deployment, adoption, sustainment and ROI for the company.Tiffany formed NPC with the goal of helping clients deliver on their business goals and commitments through effectiveness and leadership skills. Leveraging her vast experience as a leader and consultant, Tiffany uses an inclusive approach to consulting that enables her clients to increase their competence in navigating the intensity and politics of the business environment, resulting in improved performance and achieved goals.Tiffany’s most recent passion is RESILIENCE, a Mental Health Literacy Program, under the NPC brand and delivered to over 7,000 people across the United States. The program data and client feedback have deemed RESILIENCE a success – reducing stigma, increasing knowledge and awareness, and finally increasing one’s confidence to support themselves and others in a mental health crisis.LinksNewhouse Project ConsultingRESILIENCE Mental Health Literacy Program
When Greg Stern graduated from college with a degree in Political Science, he certainly did not expect to eventually co-found and co-chair the award-winning creative advertising agency BSSP. He also didn't anticipate that he would eventually be named CEO of the renowned performing arts organization SFJAZZ. He calls his career inadvertent, but the steps he took along the way prepared him for the extraordinarily fulfilling career he has enjoyed. He also continually nourished his love of music and ultimately turned his passion into a vocation. Greg is an excellent example of someone who leveraged all of his unique experiences, including overseas assignments, to build a successful, rewarding and inspiring career.    Meet the GuestGreg Stern was recently appointed CEO of the non-profit performing arts organization SFJAZZ. Long a supporter, and previously a 3-term board member of SFJAZZ, Greg has been fortunate to be able to turn a passion into a vocation.He built his career in advertising and marketing services, and is co-founder and co-chairman of BSSP, an independent creative advertising agency. For over 25 years, BSSP has developed award-winning marketing solutions for clients including Blue Shield, Mitsubishi, Priceline, MINI Cooper and others.He served as Board Chair of the industry trade organization, the 4A’s from 2017-2020.Greg’s experience also includes multinational agencies, where he was based in New York, Hong Kong and Indonesia, working with clients including American Express, Unilever and Nestle. Greg has been featured in major media including CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC News, the New York Times, and the Wall St. Journal, and has guest lectured at many universities and graduate schools.Greg is an active angel investor and advisor to start-up companies. LinksTo learn more about SFJAZZ or BSSP, follow these links:SFJAZZBSSP
Since she was a young girl, Denise Young Smith has had a love for music and singing. Her career, though, took her into the world of Human Resources including executive roles at Apple. Did this mean she left the arts behind? Certainly not! Music and performing have always been in her life and are taking center stage now as she becomes Chair of the Board at SFJAZZ.In this episode, Denise shares her journey including how she developed her love for the arts, why it was important to her to attend Grambling State, an historically black college and university (HBCU), how she got into HR, and how she transitioned out of the corporate world. Her story proves there's more than one way to live a creative life.Meet the GuestDenise Young Smith recently closed a brilliant two-decade career with Apple and is currently serving as only the second executive-in-residence at the new Cornell Tech (Cornell Ithaca’s graduate school campus in Manhattan). At Cornell Tech, Denise is visiting scholar and a key cultural influencer at this unique institution on the imperative of true diversity, representation, inclusion, and humanity in technology, drawing on her passion to positively impact the next generation of business and tech leaders and entrepreneurs.Denise held a variety of executive roles at Apple, including building the talent machine for the company’s retail store initiative, taking the chain to over 400 stores globally before being promoted to the Chief HR role, reporting to Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook. She served also as Apple’s first ever vice president of inclusion and diversity, leading the company’s efforts to see its full ecosystem become as inclusive as possible.Denise has been named a “Most Powerful Woman” by Ebony Magazine and Black Enterprise, has been named one of “100 Most Influential in Silicon Valley” by Business Insider, and has been featured in Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women” issue.Truly living at the intersection of technology, humanity and art, Denise has just been named Chair of the Board of SFJAZZ, the premiere arts organization featuring Jazz and Black American music, artists, and educational programming. Additionally, Denise is a classically trained soprano who has graced local and international recital halls, including Carnegie’s Weill Hall, Palace of Fine Arts, and SFJazz. She recently released a debut album under her own Blue Organza Productions & Studios, and continues to tell the stories that need to be told, through music.LinksTo learn more about SFJAZZ or to hear Denise’s album, check out these links:SFJAZZStream Denise Young Soprano on Apple MusicStream Denise Young Soprano on TIDAL
Sometimes reaching your destination means making moves that seem to be on different paths. That's what Brandon Hernandez has been consciously doing as he's built his career in Public Affairs while also volunteering his time and leadership within important nonprofit organizations. The journey hasn't always been easy or stress-free, but it has been rewarding.In this episode, Brandon shares how and why he made moves throughout his career including how he managed through high-profile incidents that occurred at PG&E while he was there: an explosion in San Bruno and some of the largest wildfires in California history. He also shares why serving on the Board of two non-profits has been important for him personally and professionally. It's an inspirational story told with compassion.Meet the GuestBrandon J. Hernandez, Founder & Principal, Reforma StrategiesBrandon is an award-winning communications leader, executive advisor, and political consultant with strong expertise in how to successfully navigate California’s political, legislative, and business landscape. Leveraging in-depth knowledge of both the public and private sectors, Mr. Hernandez advises corporations, non-profits, and political campaigns to succeed at the state and local levels. He has been named a “Top 20 Under 40” Environmental Leader by a leading San Francisco Bay Area publication, received multiple national awards for a groundbreaking Spanish language environmental campaign, and has been honored by then San Francisco Mayor and leading LGBTQ organizations for his leadership on LGBTQ issues.As the Founder and Principal of Reforma Strategies, Brandon Hernandez directs world-class client solutions in the areas of Political Strategy, Public Affairs, Media Relations, Government Relations, Reputation Management and Issue Advocacy. Regardless of the industry or challenge, he has helped organizations move past complicated events, protect reputations, and prepare for media and legislative appearances. With extensive insights, connections, and strategic leadership experience, Brandon helps companies establish or expand business operations in California, representing the fifth-largest economy in the world. For 13 years, Brandon served at PG&E most recently as Senior Director for External Affairs and Strategic Initiatives. In this role, he led a statewide team and oversaw legislative policy, collaborated with stakeholders and government agencies, and organized public affairs activities across the State and nation. He spearheaded PG&E’s strategic rollout of more than $6B in capital investments across Northern California, established the first Zero Net Energy substation in the United States, and led a partnership to make San Francisco the greenest city in America. Previously, Brandon worked as a policy advisor for the California State Assembly Speaker, managed Public Affairs for the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and was lead for various corporate and political clients at a leading media and political consulting firm. Mr. Hernandez holds a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley. Beyond his professional endeavors, he is involved with civic causes and non-profit organizations, including National Board Chair for Voto Latino and on the National board for the LGBTQ Victory Institute.LinksTo learn more about the organizations Brandon is involved with visit:Voto LatinoLGBTQ Victory Institute
“I channel the power of civil society movements to create enduring, positive change toward social and environmental justice for the underrepresented.”  That’s how Darryl Knudsen, Executive Director of International Rivers, describes his personal mission. While the actual mission statement was only crafted recently, the content of the mission has guided Darryl throughout his career, which spans many roles within the private and public sectors. Everything Darryl has done in his career has prepared him for his current, perfect-fit role. In this moving episode, Darryl also shares his battle with depression and the inspiring work he did to address it so that he could better lead and live a fulfilling and purpose-filled life.Meet the GuestDarryl Knudsen, Executive Director of International Rivers, oversees all aspects of International Rivers’ management – strategy, programs, operations, and finances.  He seeks to unleash the greatness of the International Rivers’ staff, Board, partners, and stakeholders to further our mission of healthy rivers and communities.  Darryl has 20 years’ experience in more than 30 countries channeling the power of civil society movements to create enduring, positive change toward social and environmental justice for the underrepresented. Having spent much of his career within the corporate sector at the nexus of business, human rights, and global economic systems, Darryl worked to transform the apparel and retail sectors’ supply chain practices on labor, human, and gender rights.  He provided leadership to win challenging human rights campaigns, such as ending pervasive forced child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry; helped to secure and distribute millions of dollars in support of trade unions and improved working conditions globally; and garnered powerful political support to protect local human rights leaders.  Darryl was appointed by two US Secretaries of Labor to serve on a National Advisory Committee focused on trade and labor rights issues and has served on numerous cross-sector boards, committees, and working groups to advance human rights.Darryl has a deep love of rivers.  He is an avid whitewater paddler of nearly 30 years and a former river guide. Darryl holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University and a BA from Dartmouth College.LinksTo learn more about International Rivers or make a donation visit:www.internationalrivers.orgFacebookTwitterInstagramProtect our Rivers today Help us build the movement for people, water, and life. #RiversUniteUSWe also recommend following Darryl’s blog where he shares his thoughts and call to action.
“All of the other things that I have done before just bubble up into this one particular moment in time.” That’s how Rodney Fong, President & CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, describes getting ready for the challenge he faces today – leading his 170-year-old organization during COVID-19, which has caused unemployment rates to soar and many businesses struggling to survive. Rodney shares his career and personal journey, including his lifelong challenges with dyslexia. Throughout his journey, Rodney has directly faced his fears, which has made him the person and leader he is today. It’s an inspiring story that reminds us of the importance of believing in yourself and being a strong, passionate leadership in times of crisis. Meet the GuestRodney Fong, President & CEO at San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and President of Fong Real Estate Company, is a native San Franciscan and a third generation operator/owner of the world famous Wax Museum at Fisherman’s Wharf, where he had served as President. He is also the President of Fong Real Estate Company, overseeing leasing and tenant concerns for the properties, such as the 100,000 square foot Wax Museum Entertainment Complex building in the heart of historic Fisherman’s Wharf and Broadway Apartments.Rodney has been working in the tourism and hospitality business since he was a child. Early in his career, he was responsible for the daily operations and management technique at the Wax Museum, a world-renowned tourist attraction. He eventually made marketing his main focus, gradually learning the concepts, strategies and procedures of that profession. Rodney not only directed marketing activities for the enterprises, but also came to oversee all operational and management issues. He eventually managed the successful sale of the Wax Museum in 2013.  Rodney still maintains ownership of the property and manages all leasing and property management activities.  Rodney has been active and held office in a wide variety of civic, tourist and travel-related organizations including currently serving as the President of the San Francisco Planning Commission and also formerly served as President of the San Francisco Port Commission. In 2009 he became Chair of the San Francisco Travel Association and continues to serve on the Board of Directors. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the California Travel Industry Association, the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, Fort Mason, Fisherman’s Wharf Merchant’s Association, Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District (in which he was a founding member), Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, and the Bay Institute.  Rodney is the Director of the Fong Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization created by his grandparents to benefit many worthwhile social services in the City, and was honored by the City and County of San Francisco as part of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.LinksTo learn more about the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, visit: SFChamber.com
Anyone who has faced job loss will tell you it can be scary, demoralizing, and confusing, raising questions like, “What do I do now?”... “How do I bounce back?”... and even, “Will I bounce back?” Unfortunately, this is what many people are experiencing now as a result of COVID-19.On this episode, we bring you a story of resilience... and success. Leah Swan has had her job eliminated as her employer shut down. She’s had new jobs that weren’t what she expected. She’s had roles that she loved suddenly change because of changes in company direction. Each time, she bounced back, not by accident but by design. By learning from her experiences and making strategic moves, she grew her career and moved into senior level positions, including her most recent role as Chief Administrative Officer of The Children’s Place. Leah’s story is filled with insights, advice and tangible actions that can inspire anyone that needs to – or wants to – make a career move. Meet the GuestLeah Swan is the Chief Administrative Officer for The Children’s Place, which is the largest pure-play specialty retailer of children’s apparel and accessories in North America.  She joined The Children’s Place in 2016 and has continuously expanded her role in the company, currently leading the Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal, Enterprise Transformation and Enterprise Risk functions.  Leah has worked in the retail industry for  over 25 years, holding senior roles at Ross Stores and Gap Inc., and earlier in her career working for Williams Sonoma and The Walt Disney Company. Leah is originally from Australia where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Canberra.  She has resided in the US for the past 20 years and has travelled extensively, managing global teams throughout her career. 
A few weeks before COVID-19 swept across the world, we had a chance to sit down with Dr. Arpana Vidyarthi, to capture her career story. She specializes in hospital medicine and now is on the frontline of the pandemic, making this episode especially timely. The focus of the interview was on how she built a career that pulls together her passions and interests in internal medicine, quality and safety, teaching, and leadership. Because the interview was done just before the pandemic began, she wasn't asked any questions about the crisis. She recently gave us an update and we share this at the end of the interview.Meet the GuestDr. Arpana Vidyarthi, MD, Professor of Medicine, UCSF,  has two decades of experience as an Academic Medicine leader in the United States and Singapore with expertise in quality/safety, leadership development and education.She is passionate about enabling individuals and organizations to transform and thrive. She is a thought leader in hospital system transformation and has operational experience in creating and implementing novel care models and programs. As a seasoned leadership development expert and executive coach, Arpana cultivates the best in individuals and empowers teams to navigate effectively through change. Her deep experience in the US and Singapore over 20 years as academic medicine leader with involvements throughout South and Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Middle East make her uniquely able to navigate across cultures. Arpana received her undergraduate degree from Macalester College (Ethnic Relations) and her medical degree from the University of Minnesota. She completed Residency and Chief Residency in Internal Medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School, and a Fellowship in Hospital Medicine and Clinical Research at UCSF. She is a Diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine, with a Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine.  She holds a master’s degree in Individual and Organizational Psychology (Executive Masters in Change) from INSEAD. She is an alumnus of the Harvard Macy Program for Leaders in Healthcare Education, the California Healthcare Foundation Leadership Program, and the Global Health Leadership Forum. She has published more than 50 peer-review articles.LinksTo access articles Arpana has authored, follow these links:Understanding the Singapore COVID-19 Experience: Implications for Hospital MedicineUnderstanding Medical Students’ Experience with Stress and Its Related Constructs: A Focus Group Study from SingaporeBridging Leadership Roles in Quality and Patient Safety: Experience of 6 US Academic Medical CentersThe impact of duty hours on resident self reports of errorsTo donate to UCSF, visit: UCSF COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response Fund
Can you have a career in professional sports without being a pro athlete? Rick Welts, president and COO of the Golden State Warriors did just that. His career began when, as a teenager, he landed the job of ball boy for the Seattle Supersonics. His drive, commitment, and love for the game got him noticed and led to his being offered a job with the National Basketball Association when it was just getting off the ground. His career grew as the NBA grew as a league. In fact, he was instrumental in making this happen. It wasn't all fun and games though. He faced challenges, both professionally and personally. On this episode, he candidly shares his experiences, insights and life lessons that extend well beyond sports.Meet the GuestRick Welts, President & Chief Operating Officer of the Golden State Warriors, is one of the most respected executives in the NBA and a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018. Rick has 45 years of experience in the league and has spent the last eight seasons as president and chief operating officer of the Golden State Warriors. In this role, he oversees all business-related operations for the Warriors, including Chase Center and Thrive City, a privately financed sports and entertainment district in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood. The spectacular arena, which opened in September of 2019, is considered one of Welts’ finest accomplishments during a storied career and, in fact, led to his opportunity to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange during Chase Center’s opening month.He owns the rare distinction of being part of championship teams in the NBA (4), WNBA (2) and NBA G League (1).The 66-year-old Welts owns an impressive and all-encompassing résumé that includes a myriad of different capacities spanning virtually every level of an NBA operation. Prior to joining the Warriors in October 2011, he spent nine years as president of the Phoenix Suns. Welts’ responsibilities in Phoenix included the supervision of all business operations for the Suns, while also overseeing the team’s interest in the management of the US Airways Center and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.Prior to joining the Suns, Welts enjoyed a successful 17-year stint at the NBA league office where he ascended to eventually become the league’s third-in-command as the executive vice president, chief marketing officer and president of NBA Properties. His notable accomplishments at the NBA include the creation of NBA All-Star Weekend  and the marketing program for USA Basketball for the 1992 Olympic “Dream Team.” Welts was co-named “Marketer of the Year” by Brandweek in 1998 for his role in launching the WNBA. A native of Seattle, Washington, Welts began his NBA career in 1969, at the age of 16, as a ball boy with the Seattle SuperSonics. He spent 10 years with his hometown team serving a number of roles, including as the team’s director of public relations during back-to-back appearances in the NBA Finals (1978 and 1979) and the SuperSonics’ lone NBA Championship in 1979. In 2006, he was the recipient of the annual Splaver/McHugh “Tribute to Excellence Award,” which is given annually by the NBA Public Relations Directors’ Association to a current or former member of the NBA PR family who has demonstrated an outstanding level of performance and service during their NBA career. In May of 2011, in a front page story in the New York Times, Welts became the highest ranking executive in men’s professional team sports to publicly acknowledge he is gay. LinksCheck out Rick’s front page New York Times article, A Sports Executive Leaves the Safety of His Shadow Life.
Carol Regalbuto has done what many women are being encouraged to do – pursue a career in engineering. She started down this path in high school and today has a successful career working on the latest battery technology. The journey though hasn't been easy. She's faced internal challenges like self-doubt and external challenges as the only woman on teams of men. On this episode, Carol candidly shares what she's had to do to thrive both personally and professionally. She also shares how she became passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion, and how she has incorporated this passion into her work.Meet the GuestCarol Regalbuto, Senior Battery Engineer, is a Mexican American engineer originally from the suburbs of Chicago but has called the Bay Area home since 2011. She has a Bachelor’s and Master’s in mechanical engineering and spent 3 years working at Tesla before moving to a battery materials startup called Sila Nanotechnologies.Since college, Carol has been a strong advocate for underrepresented groups in STEM and has taken that passion with her to her workplaces today, where she is committed to building gender and racial equity by diversifying corporate workforces. Carol now resides in Oakland and when not in the office or the lab, you can find her dancing bachata, looking for the next pair of sneakers to cop, listening to music and podcasts, or taking in a view.
What if you’re on one path – it’s a path you always thought you should be on – when an experience excites you about something totally different. Do you make the leap? Our guest, Jason Elliott, did just that.Since graduating college in 2008, Jason has worked in government and politics, currently serving as Senior Counselor to California Governor Gavin Newsom for Housing & Homelessness. This isn’t what he thought he’d be doing when he was getting started in his career. He grew up thinking he'd be a journalist and set off to study this in college.During our conversation, Jason explains why he left journalism for government, the difference between politics and government, and how he discovered which one plays best to his strengths. His candor and advice are relevant whether you're interested in government or an entirely different field.Meet the GuestJason Elliott currently serves as Senior Counselor to California Governor Gavin Newsom for Housing & Homelessness. Prior to serving in the Administration, Jason served as a Senior Advisor to Governor-elect Newsom’s transition and Newsom’s campaign for Governor of California.Prior to that, he served as Chief of Staff to the Mayor of San Francisco. Jason was first named to the position by Mayor Edwin M. Lee. Upon Mayor Lee’s untimely passing in December 2017, Jason remained as Chief of Staff to three subsequent mayors in quick succession, providing stability to a grieving City in turmoil. Mayor London N. Breed, elected in June 2018, retained Jason as Chief of Staff to lead her transition into her new Administration. Jason then departed City Hall in September 2018 when he was named a senior advisor to Gavin Newsom’s gubernatorial campaign. Prior to serving as the San Francisco Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Jason was Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for Mayor Lee, beginning in 2011 when Mayor Lee first took office. Jason’s city service also included two years in Gavin Newsom’s administration as Mayor’s Policy Advisor from 2008 to 2010. During his tenure in City Hall, Jason has provided leadership on a wide variety of key policy initiatives, including efforts to raise the City’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, building 30,000 new homes including 50% affordable, launching the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, opening Navigation Centers, seismically retrofitting tens of thousands of buildings, and creating neighborhood Fix-It teams. Jason is a graduate of Columbia University and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He grew up in Palo Alto, CA and lives with his wife, Nicole and their baby daughter, Lucy.
Many people assume that to work in a particular field, you have to have a degree in that field. Well, sometimes this is true but not always.   On this episode, we’re joined by Burak Cakmak who became Dean of Fashion at Parsons School of Design even though he didn't study fashion or have experience as a fashion designer. What he did have was a rich background in other aspects of the fashion business, especially supply chain and sustainability. Burak shares the deliberate actions he took to develop his expertise, gain exposure to all aspects of the industry, and build the credibility needed to rise to where he is today.It's an unforgettable story loaded with wisdom that can be applied in any industry.Meet the GuestBurak Cakmak, Dean of Fashion at Parson School of Design, has extensive experience in forging strong partnerships as a business strategist and sustainability expert for some of the largest, most prestigious retail companies and luxury brands in the world.He is focused on guiding the fashion programs at Parsons School of Design into a new era, where an emphasis on socially conscious and transformational design formulates the educational approach and training of the next generation of creators.Prior to joining Parsons, Cakmak worked at Swarovski Group as the company’s first Vice President of Corporate Responsibility. Before that, he acted as General Manager of MADE-BY Benelux in the Netherlands. As the first Director of Corporate Sustainability for Kering, Cakmak spearheaded innovation-driven sustainability strategies. His career began at Gap Inc., where he served as the Senior Manager of Social Responsibility for eight years.LinksCheck out these links to learn more about Burak and Parsons School of Design:The BFA Fashion Design program at ParsonsBurak on LinkedInBurak on InstagramTo access the the publications Burak wrote for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, follow these links:Biotrade designer’s toolkit 2 : yellow anaconda (Eunectes Notaeus) : sustainable materials for the fashion industry : biodiversity, ecosystems, community impact reviewBiotrade designer’s toolkit 3 : Morelet’s crododile, Crocodylus moreletti : sustainable materials for the fashion industry : biodiversity, ecosystems, community impact review
Is it possible to make your voice heard around important issues of our day, like healthcare, water resource management and climate resiliency? Our guest, Susan Leal, has done just that in both the public and private sectors. She's worked as a lawyer for the US House Energy and Commerce Committee, been an elected official, and been a founding leader in a successful health care startup. She then became an expert in water management and now consults on water and waste water issues related to climate change, resiliency and sustainability. Her career has been curvy!  In our conversation, Susan connects the dots between the many curvy moves she’s made. She also shares how she moved into areas that were completely new to her. Her story is interesting, inspiring and a great example of the positive impact one person can make on the world. Meet the GuestSusan Leal, Principal & Founder, Urban Water Works, is a water utility expert and author specializing in identifying realistic and creative solutions to the water-related challenges.Currently, she is Principal and founder of Urban Water Works a consultancy firm that advises public and private sector clients on water and waste water issues related to climate change, resiliency and sustainability. She also is an Associate with Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. In that appointment, she is concluding an innovative water conservation project in the Middle East. She recently concluded three years as the Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President for Water, the Americas at AECOM.Previously, she was a two-year Senior Fellow at Harvard University. As part of her fellowship, she co-authored Running Out of Water, a proactive book focused on solutions to our looming water crisis. She is currently under contract with Harvard University Press for another water related book. The focus of the upcoming book will on the food, water and climate change nexus: how to feed 9.5 billion people by 2050. She is a member of the advisory board of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley, where she also received her BA and JD.As former General Manager of San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission, Susan led the charge for a dramatic upgrade of the Bay Area’s water system and outdated wastewater system. She previously served two terms as the elected Treasurer of the City and County of San Francisco and as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.As a recognized thought leader on water issues, Leal speaks regularly at water, sustainability, investment and infrastructure conferences. She is interviewed and mentioned in print and online articles including Bloomberg News, the New York Times, Boston Globe, Foreign Affairs, San Francisco Chronicle, Harvard Gazette and Wall Street Journal.LinksFollow this link to find Susan’s book on Amazon. You can probably find it at Barnes & Noble or your local library, too.Running Out of Water: The Looming Crisis and Solutions to Conserve Our Most Precious Resource
What if a voice inside you is telling you to take a different path than the one you're on? Beth Davies has heard this voice many times and she always took action.On this episode, Beth is taking her turn as the guest and sharing her career journey. She openly shares why she left law for human resources and how she eventually became the host of this podcast. She tells her story hoping to inspire you. As you'll hear, inspiring others is how she defines success.Meet the GuestBeth Davies is typically the host of Career Curves but this time, she's the guest.For over 25 years, Beth Davies has delivered cutting-edge talent management and learning solutions as an employee of Tesla, Microsoft, Apple, and Gap, and as a consultant for clients like LendUp, Livongo, Visa, Oracle, Breakthrough Group, Coaching Right Now, and Tommy Hilfiger. She has acquired expertise in culture-focused onboarding, leadership development, sales and product training, manufacturing training, compliance programs, media-enabled learning, and new learning technologies.Currently, Beth hosts the Career Curves podcast and teaches at IE University in Madrid. Recognized as an industry expert, she’s also been a featured speaker at conferences in the US, Singapore, Austria, Mexico, Colombia, and the United Arab Emirates.Beth earned a bachelor’s degree at Indiana University and a law degree from Stanford University. In 2016, IU named her a Luminary as a distinguished Alumna, an honor bestowed on just 12 people before her.Beth lives in California with her husband, Kevin. On weekends, she often can be found doing jigsaw puzzles while he watches something with balls and athletes on television.
It’s the holidays, a time when many of us think of giving, both to our loved ones and to those in need, making this the perfect time to share our interview with Daniel Lurie, who has spent his career in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector focused specifically on supporting low-income individuals and breaking the cycle of poverty. In 2005, Daniel along with three other co-founders created Tipping Point, the San Francisco Bay Area’s leading poverty-fighting organization. Since its inception, Tipping Point has invested almost a quarter of a billion dollars in early childhood, education, employment, and housing programs, reaching over 600,000 people in need. In our conversation, Daniel shares the story of his career and offers advice for anyone interested in working in nonprofits.Meet the GuestDaniel Lurie founded Tipping Point Community, a nonprofit that aims to break the cycle of poverty in the Bay Area, in 2005 at the age of 28. Since then, Lurie has led the organization as CEO, helping to raise more than $220 million to support the most effective front-line interventions in education, employment, housing and early childhood development. Tipping Point’s board covers all of its fundraising and operating costs, so 100% of every dollar donated goes where it’s needed most.Based in San Francisco, a city that has become a symbol for the country’s economic disparity, Lurie has positioned Tipping Point as the leading philanthropic organization tackling poverty in the region, including its bold commitment announced in 2017 to reduce chronic homelessness in San Francisco by 50% in the next five years. He has convened the best of the business world to join in the fight and in 2014 partnered with Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, to raise more than $10 million in 60 days from top companies in the region towards Tipping Point’s poverty alleviation efforts.And, after the historic fires broke out Northern California, Lurie rallied the region’s corporate community to step up in response. More than 60 corporate partners stood by Tipping Point’s side to host two benefit concerts, raising more than $20 million for Tipping Point’s Emergency Relief Fund, established to support the low-income communities hit hardest by the fires in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties. To date the fund has raised more than $32 million, making it the largest philanthropic response to the fires.In addition to his role at Tipping Point, Lurie served as Chair of the Super Bowl 50 Bid Committee, helping to bring the game to the Bay Area during its historic 50th anniversary year. After the successful bid, Lurie became Chairman of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, using the platform to put a spotlight on game-changing nonprofits in the region and helping to raise more than $13 million for community efforts, the largest philanthropic contribution in Super Bowl history. The Super Bowl and its surrounding events attracted over 1 million people to the region and had a net positive economic impact on the Bay Area of more than $240 million.Prior to founding Tipping Point, Lurie worked for the Bill Bradley Presidential Campaign and the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City. He earned a BA in Political Science from Duke University and received his Master’s in Public Policy from the Goldman School at UC Berkeley. Daniel serves on the Board of Directors for the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, and the Levi Strauss Foundation.LinksIf you’re interested in getting involved or donating to Tipping Point, visit:TippingPoint.org.Chronic Homelessness InitiativeInitiative to support transition-aged foster youth: www.tippingpoint.org/betterfutures 
How do you take opportunities and experiences early in your life and use them to shape your career so you can make an impact? And how important are the relationships you form along the way? On this episode, Wade Crowfoot, California's Secretary for Natural Resources, takes us through his curvy journey from early roles as an intern to where he is today, leading 19,000 people responsible for natural resources across California. His fascinating story is full of insights and lessons that extend far beyond government and politics. Spoiler alert: strong relationships make a big difference. Meet the GuestWade Crowfoot, California Secretary for Natural Resource, was appointed California Secretary for Natural Resources by Governor Gavin Newsom in January 2019. As Secretary, he oversees an agency of 19,000 employees charged with protecting and managing California’s diverse resources. This includes stewarding the state’s forests and natural lands, rivers and waterways, coast and ocean, fish and wildlife, and energy development. As a member of the Governor’s cabinet, he advises the Governor on natural resources and environmental issues.Wade has over two decades of public policy and environmental leadership, with expertise in water, fisheries, climate and sustainability issues. He most recently served as chief executive officer of the Water Foundation, a nonprofit philanthropy that builds shared water solutions for communities, economy, and the environment across the American West. In that role, he developed innovative partnerships among a broad range of partners including agricultural leaders and environmental conservation groups.Prior to joining the foundation, Wade served in Governor Jerry Brown’s Administration as deputy cabinet secretary and senior advisor to the Governor. In that role he led the administration’s drought response efforts and spearheaded several of the Governor’s priority initiatives to build California’s resilience to climate change. He previously served as West Coast regional director for the Environmental Defense Fund and a senior environmental advisor to then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, where he helped to lead many of Mayor Newsom’s nationally-recognized environmental initiatives.Wade received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996 and earned a master’s degree in public policy from the London School of Economics in 2004, where he graduated with honors.A native of Michigan, Wade grew up spending his summers outdoors. Now, he spends his down time camping and hiking with his wife, Lisa, and their young daughter.
Suppose you step away from work for awhile for personal reasons. Does this have to set you back? The answer is NO! It actually can propel you forward.  On this episode, Hydra Mendoza shares how she used time away from work to develop skills, cultivate a new passion, and find her voice. All of these, especially her ability to speak truth to power, led to big opportunities she never dreamed of for herself.Meet the GuestHydra Mendoza has served Mayors Gavin Newsom and Edwin Lee in San Francisco, and Mayor Bill de Blasio in New York City as their Senior Education Advisor, Deputy Chief of Staff for Education and Equity, and Deputy Chancellor for the Division of Community Empowerment, Partnerships and Communications, respectively.Hydra was the first and only Filipina ever elected to office in San Francisco. In 2006, 2010, and 2014, Hydra successfully won a citywide bid and re-elections for a seat on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education where she was elected by her peers, twice, as the President and Vice President.Hydra has been honored by many local, state, and national organizations including Pin@y Educational Partnerships, College Track, Mission Economic Development Agency, San Francisco State University, California Association for Bilingual Education, Filipina Woman’s Network – 100 Most Influential Filipinas, and Donor Network West.Hydra is the current Chief of Strategic Relationships for the Chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce.Hydra has two adult children and lives with her husband in the Bayview community in San Francisco.
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