DiscoverHow (The Hell) Did I Get Here?
How (The Hell) Did I Get Here?
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How (The Hell) Did I Get Here?

Author: Dr. Rachel MK Headley & Meg Kokesh McNeese

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This show is all about the journey and a pivotal moment in a person's life or career where they stopped and said "How did I get here?" either at the start or end of a significant transitional period.
31 Episodes
In 2004, as a freshman in college, Lanissa used Christmas break as an opportunity to obtain her real estate license. What began as a part-time endeavor quickly evolved into a passion that has since become second nature - guiding clients towards the best purchase for them and their financial future. In 2008 Lanissa joined REMAX, the experienced franchise cultivated her knowledge and led her to become one of the top agents in the area. Her passion for Real Estate prompted Lanissa to invest in her own portfolio and offered her the opportunity to purchase her own rental properties and ultimately establish a building company with her husband in 2016. Lanissa’s knowledge of the market and entrepreneurial spirit led her to open her own agency in 2017. Now overseeing 13 agents, Lanissa is proud to call 4 Seasons Real Estate home. Lanissa currently holds nine designations and currently serves on the Board of directors for the Realtor Associations on the local and state levels and has served on the Local, State, and National RPAC Committee helping to fight for private property rights. Her passions in life not only include Real Estate and Construction, but also being the mother to two stepchildren, 13 and 11, and an active 1-year-old who has followed in mommy’s footprints with plans to conquer the world each morning, but not before breakfast.Connect with Lanissa:LinkedIn: http://lanissafortner.comFacebook:
Aaron Flint is the host of  Montana's leading statewide radio talk show "Montana Talks." Aside from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan with the military, he also spent over two decades working in Montana politics and broadcasting. This included a stint as the State Director for Ryan Zinke’s Congressional offices in Montana, and as communications director for the gubernatorial campaign of now-Congressman Greg Gianforte. Prior to that, he grew a statewide radio show in Montana from 10 signals to more than 20 across the state. His work has been featured nationally by Fox Business, The Drudge Report, Huffington Post, Politico, and others. As an officer in the Army National Guard, he served four military tours overseas including time in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula. He enjoys combining his real-world background and Montana roots, to hopefully give listeners a side of the story they don't get to hear anywhere else.Connect with Aaron:LinkedIn:
Dr. Jeri V. Kurtz finished her career as the Director of Budget and Institutional Research at South Dakota State University. Born and raised in Sacramento, California, she moved to a farm in rural South Dakota after marrying her sweetheart (crazy husband of 52 years). She has degrees in Home Economics, Mathematics, and Education Administration with a Finance emphasis. She now focuses on supporting her four amazing children (Rachel is her favorite), nine adorable and brilliant grandkids, and the fine and fiber arts communities. 
Mitch Nachtigall (Night-en-gale) lives in Rapid City with his wife, Tracy, and two daughters, Sadie and Molly.  Mitch is the Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Elevate Rapid City and Director of the Elevate Rapid City technology start-up incubator.  He currently serves as a traditional South Dakota National Guard Soldier in the role of Battalion Executive Officer for the 109th Engineer Battalion and is the Community Ambassador for Bunker Labs Rapid City. Mitch also dabbles in strategic plan consulting on the side through his company, PB&J Solutions, believing that everything is best learned in the simplest terms.  Mitch and his family are active indoors and out.  He has logged a workout every day for over 630 consecutive days (as of March 1st, 2020) and reads at least 52 books a year, all in an effort to keep up with his amazingly talented wife and daughters.  Connect with Mitch:LinkedIn:
Lee DeLange is the Chief Operating Officer for GenPro Energy Solutions, a Black Hills based energy service organization with a global depth of experience in solar and energy efficiency technologies. Prior to coming to GenPro Energy, Mr. DeLange spent 23 years with Rapid City-based Black Hills Energy. He earned a Bachelor of Applied Technical Sciences degree from Black Hills State University, and a computer-aided drafting degree from Western Dakota Technical Institute.  His proven track record has led to him being highly sought after for various speaking engagements about leadership. He is a 2017 graduate of Leadership South Dakota, and a 2001 graduate of Leadership Rapid City. He and his wife, Amy, have three grown children and enjoy spending time in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota.Connect with Lee:Website: https://genproenergy.comLinkedIn:
 Chief Master Sergeant Rochelle M. Hemingway is the Command Chief, 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. Chief Hemingway leads the wing’s enlisted force and serves as the primary advisor to the commander on all matters concerning the morale, welfare, warfighting effectiveness, operational utilization and professional development of nearly 3,200 enlisted Airmen who support the largest B-1 combat wing in the U.S. Air Force. Born at RAF Lakenheath, England, and raised in Kokomo, Indiana, Chief Hemingway entered the Air Force in August 1991. After completing basic training she began her career as a medical service technician. In 1999, she graduated from the Independent Duty Medical Technician (IDMT) program and deployed in support of various humanitarian missions in Jamaica, Curacao, Vietnam, Africa and Southwest Asia. Prior to assuming her current position, Chief Hemingway served as the superintendent, 56th Medical Group, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. Connect with Rochelle:Website: https://www.slaytosuccess.comLinkedIn:
What you believe affects your actions and, ultimately, your outcome. And because your beliefs are shaped by the narratives you tell yourself, they must be genuine, regardless of how offbeat they seem.But even the most experienced leaders need help finding their true personal brand story. When they do, they become more influential, generate more buy-in, and become the best version of themselves.Seasoned brand and leadership coach and consultant Cassa Grant shares how you can find your authentic rhythm at any point in your career, regardless of how “weird” it may be. Listen to her amazing journey!Connect with Cassa: LinkedIn: https://www.cassagrant.comTwitter:  @cassa_grant
From the front desk of an FBO in Minnesota, to the captain's seat of a commercial airliner, Erika Armstrong has experienced everything aviation has to offer.  During her piloting career, she was a Red Cross, charter, corporate, cargo, hazmat and air ambulance pilot and captain, flying 28 different aircraft before going to the airlines. She is also an aviation professor at MSU Denver, VP of Business Development at Advanced Aircrew Academy and author of A Chick in the Cockpit.  Erika has also been able to use the power of social media to educate and share the joys of aviation to 500,000 followers which help inspire the next generation of pilotsConnect with Erika:LinkedIn:
Brian Lassiter was elected president /CEO of the Performance Excellence Network (Minnesota Council for Quality) in the summer of 2001.  Before his election, Brian held positions with the following organizations: Ian Alliott Consulting (Managing Director), Norstan Consulting (Principal Consultant), The St. Paul Companies (Corporate Quality Consultant), Price Waterhouse (Consultant), and Boatmen's National Bank (Quality Manager).  In these roles, Brian has worked with hundreds of organizations in a variety of industries to help them improve their performance and competitiveness.  Brian has served nearly 25 years in various roles with the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, including Examiner, Senior Examiner, Alumni Examiner, and on the Board of Overseers (2012-15).  Before his appointment as president, he served as a volunteer Senior Evaluator for the Minnesota Quality Award (1996-97), served as a Judge for the Veteran’s Administration Baldrige-based Carey Award (2004-06), served as a judge on the Baldrige-based Army Communities of Excellence (2009-10),  and is serving on the Panel of Judges for the American Health Care Association’s Baldrige-based Awards (2013, 2016-20). Brian serves as Chair of the Alliance for Performance Excellence, the national consortium of all state/regional quality/excellence awards and is on the board and faculty of Communities of Excellence 2026, a nonprofit that is working to apply the principles of Baldrige to solve community challenges and improve community outcomes. Brian was on the Review Panel for the University of Minnesota Carlson School’s Juran Fellowship program (2003-08), served on the Benedictine Health System Board of Trustees (2009- 2018) serving as chair from 2011-15, and served from 1995-2003 and 2004-2014 on the Board of Directors for Goodwill/Easter Seals of MN. Connect with Brian:LinkedIn: https://www.performanceexcellencenetwork.orgTwitter:
 Legend Suspensions began in 1998 when Jesse Jurrens introduced the first Air Suspension system for The Harley-Davidson Softail Chassis. Jesse invented the product and started the company in his parent’s basement in Watertown, SD. The company officially incorporated in 2000 and celebrated its 20-year anniversary in 2020.Legend Suspensions now manufactures three lines of suspension for Harley-Davidson and Indian motorcycles: an air suspension line, Legend Air, a coil suspension line, Legend REVO/REVO ARC, and Legend AXEO, a front-end suspension line. Offroad UTV air suspensions systems are also offered. The company distributes globally and is known for high quality products, a Lifetime Warranty, as well as outstanding customer service. Jesse lives in the Black Hills with his wife Tyna and their children Garet, Cole, Morgan, and Gresen. They enjoy spending their time on two wheels, biking, motorcycling and any activity that takes them outdoors. Website: legendsuspensions.comFacebook:
David K Richards is a dad-preneur, long time educator, change maker, and a movement builder. His life’s purpose is to be an ambassador to change systems of learning and human development. David is a leadership coach (, the founder of Growth Public Schools (, and most recently the Founder and CEO of Heart of the Matter, a movement to reform learning and human development ( David has seen schools and learning environments from multiple perspectives and angles as a teacher, principal, and a founder of multiple nationally ranked schools in the U.S. He intuitively knows that it is time for change. The pandemics of COVID and racial injustice are showing us that there needs to be a new way. It is a time for a paradigm shift in how we lead, how we educate our children, and how we heal forward together. David is being called to share his wisdom as an educator, dad, husband, innovator, a graduate of UC Berkeley and Stanford University, but most importantly as a student of life. His work on himself and finding his own intuitive leader within is what he is most called to share with the world. David knows that in this time of great change it is time for each of us to show up in our most authentic light, and build a better world for our children, together. The time for change is NOW.Websites: / / growthps.orgLinkedin:"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." - Aristotle
Jennifer is the Founder & President of LeaderShift Insights Inc., a firm known for helping leaders dealing with disruptive change who want to increase their organization’s capacity to adapt so they can emerge stronger and more effective faster. A consultant, coach, best-selling author and speaker, Jennifer has a passion for creating alignment and resilience so your team can do more with what you already have. She is a masterful facilitator known for creating shared agendas and unraveling tough issues that hinder results.With a unique ability to align diverse stakeholders and global experience in consulting and corporate roles, Jennifer’s integrated approach to creating alignment, develops leaders at all levels while enabling learning and productive dialog. She is the creator of RapidOD, a collaborative fast approach to organization restructuring, highly charged workshops on Influence, Resilience and Driving Sustainable Change.With over 20 years of Coaching Experience, Jennifer has coached entire leadership teams as well as officers and directors of many Fortune 500 companies. She is known for repositioning personal brands, driving behavior change and increasing senior leader’s ability to drive performance through others. Her book, Resilience: It’s Not About Bouncing Back is a #1 international best seller.Jennifer is a former Partner with Cambridge Leadership Group, Vice-President, Leadership Development & Learning for Bank of America and has held several other senior roles in Learning, Organization & Leadership Development at AutoZone and Coca-Cola Enterprises. She has designed and executed large-scale initiatives including mergers, enterprise restructuring, talent management, performance-management and team development. Her kitchen English approach and proprietary research backed solutions resonate equally well from the shop floor to facilitating complex strategy and issues resolution sessions with C-Level Executives. She is a Strategic Partner with University of Georgia Executive Education, an Advanced Practitioner in Adaptive Leadership, and a member of the Adaptive Leadership Network at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.Connect with Jennifer:Website: www.leadershiftinsights.comEmail: info@leadershiftinsights.comBuy the book:
Jennifer helps businesses thrive by avoiding lawsuits, designing business models, developing marketing strategies and everything in between. She is the owner of National Compliance Group, Omni21 Digital Marketing, TombCodes, McPherson Buzz and Flood Ventures. She has managed and/or owned businesses in the digital marketing space for many years and has shared the conference stage with Forbes, Lending Tree, Google and a host of others. She is considered an expert in digital compliance and has developed solutions for online trademark violations, marketing compliance and most recently, a solution for making the internet usable for people with disabilities.Connect with Jennifer:LinkedIn:
Coming of age during the civil rights movement, then attending college as anti-Vietnam war protests grew from whispers to claim a national voice, it is not surprising that change took root in Brian Gorman early and has never let go. For five decades, he has been engaged with change at the individual, organizational, and social levels. Today, Brian works as a certified professional coach. Through his business TransformingLives.Coach, he serves clients who are facing major personal and professional transitions in their lives. He is an International Coach Federation (ICF) certified professional coach; a member of ICF-New York City; a member of Forbes Coaches Council, and a Board member of the Gay Coaches Alliance. Brian addresses change in the workplace, and the leader’s role in change, in his articles for Forbes Coaches Council. In December he will be presenting at TEDx Hartford on the journey through change. Brian’s business, TransformingLives.Coach, is a Certified LGBT Business Enterprise.Connect with Brian:
Julie Anne Eason helps business people write and publish world-changing books that Inspire, Educate, and Sell.She is an author, speaker, and CEO of Thanet House Books—a boutique book production company that helps people through the entire process from early book development through writing, publishing, and distribution.She has ghostwritten multimillion-dollar books for senior leaders and founders in a wide variety of industries, including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today best sellers.Julie Anne’s passion is helping mission-driven business people change the world through the written word.Learn more about Julie Anne at
Jaime L. Wood joined the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in October 2014 and currently serves as the District Director for the South Dakota District Office. She is responsible for promoting small business resources across South Dakota including access to capital, counseling and training, government contracting, and disaster relief.Previous to her SD assignment, Ms. Wood served as the Deputy District Director in the SBA North Dakota District Office. She also previously served at SBA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., as the Director for Policy and Engagement, in the Office of Veterans Business Development, where her focus included SBA veteran related programs for active duty, National Guard and Reserve, service disabled veterans, military spouses, and survivors. While at SBA Headquarters, Ms. Wood participated in an interagency detail with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand veteran small business ownership in agricultural and rural areas.She began her U.S. Government civilian career in March 2006. Prior to joining SBA, she served with the U.S. Department of the Army in multiple military public affairs, strategic communication, and staff positions in U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command, in Stuttgart, Germany. Her duties included several deployments to Africa and within Europe. She is a U.S. Army veteran having served as a military broadcast journalist.Originally from Mobridge, SD, Ms. Wood is a Class of 2016 graduate of the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, where she earned a Master of Strategic Studies. She also holds a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland.
Evan Helle is a 4th generation sheep rancher from Dillon in Southwest Montana. The Helle’s are known for growing exceptionally high quality wool that’s used in their vertically integrated apparel company: Duckworth. Evan stays busy with the hustle of a startup company and gets hands on with every aspect of the business but when he gets a chance, he escapes the office to work out on the ranch. Listen to his entrepreneurial journey of manufacturing "sheep to shelf". Learn more about Duckworth here:
Tom Johnson is President and CEO of Elevate Rapid City.  Previously, he was the Director of Community Engagement and Economic Development at Colorado State University (CSU) with community and economic development responsibilities for all of Colorado.  At CSU, Johnson created several new initiatives and signature programs including The CSU Market Research Center, which specialized in helping decision-makers in industry, education, and government use data, including organizational network analysis, to make better decisions about policies that shape Colorado’s economic future. Johnson also helped employers and organizations use CSU’s online training resources to train and help upskill employees.  Additionally, he managed the Family Leadership Training Institute (FLTI), a unique leadership training program that targeted leaders in underserved communities across Colorado.  Previous to his work at CSU, Johnson was the Chief Performance Officer (CPO) for Wyoming Business Council (WBC), where he created a system for measuring the financial and qualitative impacts of every economic and community development program for the State of Wyoming.  Johnson led several initiatives on behalf of the state, including recruiting, business development, and community development.  He specialized in recruiting to rural areas, incentive negotiation and tax modeling and was instrumental in bringing Weatherby Inc., one of the nation’s leading rifle manufacturers, to Sheridan, Wyoming from California.  Johnson has significant experience in New Market Tax Credits, business valuation, workforce development, and entrepreneurship.  Johnson also created the Economic Development Building Blocks model used by the Wyoming Economic Development Association (WEDA) to explain economic development to constituents, stakeholders, and elected officials Johnson is a former planning commissioner and small business counselor with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). He also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Wyoming (UW) in community and economic development and was on the advisory board for UW’s College of Business. He is a past board member for The Wyoming Humanities Council and is a 2016 Graduate of Leadership Wyoming. Johnson regularly gives talks on economic and community development issues regionally and nationally and has spoken to numerous groups about placemaking and using social network analysis (SNA) to blaze new trails in economic development recruitment. Johnson grew up in rural central Wyoming and is a former college baseball player. He received his bachelor’s in English literature from the University of Wyoming and his Master’s in Finance and Accounting from Regis University. In his free time, Johnson is a published poet, with over two hundred poems published in the last decade in various literary journals and magazines. 
As director of South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO), Michelle provides business counseling and resource guidance to aspiring and established entrepreneurs. She and the SD CEO team bring outstanding workshops, networking opportunities and conferences to professional women across the state while promoting entrepreneurship, leadership and thinking outside the box. Prior to joining SD CEO, Michelle owned Black Hills PR, a public relations firm she launched in 2011. Headquartered in Spearfish, Black Hills PR designed marketing, social media and PR programs for local, regional and national clients including three years traveling with a professional rodeo association.Michelle’s experience as a small business owner fuels her ability to help entrepreneurs define and grow their business. Her experience as an employee, project manager, people manager and now an intrapreneur shapes her ability to encourage, lead and inspire those who work for someone else but still want to do big things by accessing the entrepreneurial toolbox of creativity, resilience, grit and innovation.She earned her bachelor’s degree in Advertising from San Jose State University and is a fourth-generation Californian who says that she “found her spot” moving to Spearfish in 2005.Michelle believes that there is a room in the workplace for focused kindness, gratitude and self-care along with hard work and getting results … and that THIS is the intersection where becoming a successful intrapreneur begins.Married to Mike for 29 years, they have one son, Jack, and live in Spearfish.QUOTE:“While a company can support real innovation and growth, being an intrapreneur starts with you. What you think is what you become so think big and look to create real change in your workplace!”  – Michelle Kane
Three years after receiving a set of paints from his wife, Sharon, for Christmas, Scott became the first officially licensed Harley-Davidson artist in 1993 after Harley representatives saw his work at an art expo in New York City.  He still proudly holds his license as well as many others he's acquired along the way. Licenses including Chevrolet, Ford, Mattel, Marilyn Monroe Estates and Elvis Presley Enterprises.Although Jacobs drew pen and ink illustrations for his school newspaper, Scott began his career in the art industry not with his painting, but by purchasing a failing gallery at nineteen with money he saved from working odd jobs. At twenty-one, Scott had the cash and customer base to open the doors of Reflections On Canvas in Westfield, NJ; a gallery that was met with much success.In 2004, Scott and Sharon decided to open Scott Jacobs Studio, their own publishing company."The decision to become self-published was the best decision we ever made for our family and our future as a company", said Scott.In 2016, they moved their operations from CA and opened Jacobs Gallery in Deadwood, SD.  You can see original paintings and a large collection of vintage Harley-Davidson's on display in this historic, western town.Scott’s images can also be seen on many objects from limited editions graphics to Franklin Mint Collector Plates, coffee mugs, beach towels, clocks, and many others. In 2010, he released his second coffee table book, The Art of Scott Jacobs — The Complete Works which showcases works as early as the late 80s.
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