Natasha Makhijani: Pioneering a Paradigm Shift in Recruitment

In the world of professional recruiting, where the tried and true frequently rule supreme, the winds of change are starting to blow. Traditional hiring strategies have long been in use, with interviews, resumes, and standardized procedures serving as the cornerstones of the selection procedure. However, these days, innovation is upending this traditional environment and giving the hiring sector new insights and efficiency. 

Natasha Makhijani, the Group CEO of Oliver Sanderson Group PLC, dared to be different. Her journey is a testament to how a single vision, when fueled by determination, can transform a one-woman venture in a living room into an international executive search firm working with FTSE 100, FTSE 350, and Fortune 500 companies, all within a decade. 

Natasha’s story is that of a dynamic recruiter, a visionary entrepreneur who felt the calling to chart her unique path. Despite finding success in her previous recruitment roles at Hays and Michael Page, she carried an inherent entrepreneurial spirit—a yearning for something more. Her roots in a community of trailblazers inspired her to step into uncharted territory. 

As she recalls, many questioned her decision to break away from the conventional and embark on her entrepreneurial voyage. But Natasha, driven by an unwavering belief, took that risk. She started Oliver Sanderson Group PLC from scratch with nothing but a dream and a passion for redefining the recruitment landscape. And it’s a risk she’s never regretted. 

Over the years, Natasha’s pioneering spirit has been vindicated by her remarkable achievements. She’s cultivated a formidable team, and together, they’ve steered Oliver Sanderson to new heights. Their remarkable journey has not only transformed the company but also garnered a collection of prestigious awards along the way. 

But Natasha is quick to remind us that their story is far from over. The journey ahead is as exhilarating as the path they’ve already traversed. As she aptly puts it, “We have a lot more to achieve together, and that is hugely exciting!” 

In a world where innovation and tenacity are the cornerstones of success, Natasha Makhijani exemplifies a new breed of leaders: those who dare to defy the norm, those who envision a future different from the past, and those who understand that risks are often stepping stones to greatness. 

Below are the highlights of the interview: 

Natasha’s Journey to Success 

Natasha, an Asian woman in the role of CEO within a predominantly male-dominated industry, faced unique challenges as she climbed the ladder of success. Her journey in this new world presented its own set of obstacles, but she viewed them as invaluable stepping stones for personal growth and leadership development. Natasha firmly believes that the lessons derived from failures and disappointments often outweigh those learned from success. 

Her aspirations go beyond personal success; she is determined to set herself apart and explore innovative approaches to elevate her business to new heights. She states, “My goal is not only to achieve success for my team but also to inspire young women from minority backgrounds—indeed, anyone who has ever faced doubt or felt different—that success is attainable by forging your own path.” 

Leading in Executive Search with Innovation and Diversity 

Oliver Sanderson is a distinguished executive search firm that specializes in identifying top-tier talent for executive and board-level positions within FTSE 100, FTSE 350, Fortune 500, and private equity-backed businesses. With a focus on both permanent and interim placements across a diverse array of sectors, the firm has earned a stellar reputation for its successful c-suite appointments. 

Natasha, at the helm of Oliver Sanderson, firmly believes that aligning exceptional individuals with outstanding organizations can foster a positive impact on society. Through its innovative suite of digital applications and robust diversity and inclusion initiatives, the company is at the forefront of discovering the future generation of business leaders. 

In a highly competitive industry, Oliver Sanderson distinguishes itself in several ways. As one of the few firms led by an Asian woman, the company possesses a unique perspective on the challenges confronting women and ethnic minorities in the job market. This insight is especially relevant today, with diversity and inclusion taking center stage in corporate priorities and Oliver Sanderson’s D&I consultancy considered industry-leading. 

Moreover, the firm stands out in its approach to technology and how it leverages digital tools for superior results. Beyond traditional methodologies such as targeted mapping, profiling, and headhunting, the research team at Oliver Sanderson harnesses the power of pioneering mobile apps. 

Oliver Sanderson is redefining executive search by integrating innovation, diversity, and technology to shape the future of leadership recruitment. 

Revolutionizing Digital Recruitment Solutions  

Natasha’s extraordinary leadership has brought Oliver Sanderson to the forefront by spearheading innovative digital recruitment solutions. One of her remarkable achievements was co-founding Snapp CV & Resume, the world’s first mobile job board featuring voice technology and Amazon Alexa connectivity. Currently, this app boasts a substantial database of over 25 million candidates in the UK and the USA, with more than 250,000 job listings on its mobile job board. 

Building on the success of the Snapp suite, which includes Snapp Resume US & Global, Snapp CV UK, and Snapp INView video interviewing software, the team recently unveiled the dedicated Oliver Sanderson Executive app. Crafted by their in-house tech experts, this app offers digital solutions at every stage of the appointment process. It includes features like candidate and client profile videos, secure online NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) signatures through fingerprint or password protection, digital candidate portfolios, integrated job applications, and video interviews. 

These groundbreaking digital recruitment solutions signify a significant leap in the field of executive search and have solidified Oliver Sanderson’s position as an industry leader.

How Oliver Sanderson Thrived Amidst COVID-19 

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented disruptions to daily business operations across industries. However, Oliver Sanderson not only weathered the storm during the first lockdown but also emerged as a more adaptable and flexible organization. Natasha credits their resilience and successful transition to remote working to the innovative Oliver Sanderson Executive app, which introduced video interviews as an alternative to in-person meetings that were no longer possible during lockdowns. 

The company’s suite of digital apps, including Snapp CV & Resume, Snapp Resume US & Global, Snapp CV UK, and Snapp INView, played a pivotal role in helping candidates navigate the job market during a period of extreme difficulty and uncertainty. The positive feedback they received highlighted the firm’s significant contribution to the economic recovery. 

The exceptional flexibility exhibited by Oliver Sanderson not only bolstered its revenue but also enabled efficient team expansion. As the world gradually recovers and undergoes transformation, the company remains well-positioned for a brighter future, aligning with evolving corporate and societal needs. 

Unique Days as the Group CEO of Oliver Sanderson Group PLC 

In her role as Group CEO of Oliver Sanderson Group PLC, Natasha experiences the uniqueness of each day. Her responsibilities span across various aspects of the business, working closely with the NED Board and finance team to manage the organization effectively. Natasha takes pride in providing unwavering support to her team, ensuring they have the necessary tools for successful project delivery.  

As a team leader, Natasha maintains a strong focus on fostering an inclusive culture and promoting a collaborative decision-making environment. Her approach aligns the interests of all stakeholders, be their employees, suppliers, clients, candidates, or the broader community. 

One of Natasha’s recent achievements is being shortlisted for the prestigious Agency Recruitment Leader of the Year award at the Recruiter Awards 2021. She views this recognition as a pinnacle moment in her industry, and she hopes it serves as an inspiration to others, particularly those who may not conform to the conventional mold, to believe in themselves and embrace their uniqueness. 

Recognizing the importance of work-life balance, Natasha has cultivated an inclusive environment where every team member feels valued and motivated. She empowers her team with autonomy and trust, maintaining both professional and social connections with them. Natasha acknowledges the challenges of nurturing these connections during the COVID-19 pandemic and has introduced innovative strategies. These include regular remote catch-ups devoid of work-related discussions and virtual team-building activities such as shared lunches, online yoga sessions, remote games, and other enjoyable endeavors. 

Exciting Growth Plans and Inspirational Message  

Natasha is brimming with excitement as she unveils her growth plans for Oliver Sanderson in the coming 5-10 years. She shares, “We are expanding our team, preparing for operational growth in Europe and the United States, and we’ve just launched an ambitious new charity with an initial focus on race equality and Black leadership.” 

For all the budding business leaders out there, Natasha has an inspiring message to impart: “Always believe in yourself while remaining open to constructive criticism—utilize it as a tool for learning and personal growth. Keep in mind that doubts and setbacks are an inherent part of everyone’s journey, and the path to success is never straightforward! So, cultivate resilience and never lose sight of your goals. I’ve faced skepticism in the past, but I harnessed those doubts as motivation to achieve even greater success. Regardless of who you are or where you come from, with hard work, a touch of serendipity, and a supportive team, you can achieve your dreams too.”


Mario Martinez, Jr.: A Modern Sales Trailblazer

In the 21st-century business landscape, innovation, adaptability, and a relentless pursuit of knowledge are the cornerstones of success. For individuals and professionals alike, these qualities are the keys to not just thriving but also excelling. Mario Martinez, Jr., known as the Modern Sales Evangelist, embodies these principles, making him a trailblazer in the world of B2B selling.

 As the CEO and Founder of Vengreso, the world’s largest digital sales training and technology company, Mario has reshaped the way sales professionals approach their craft. With over 1,050 companies served, including industry giants like Juniper Networks, Proofpoint, and Virginia Dare, Mario’s impact is nothing short of revolutionary.

 Vengreso’s digital sales training suite equips sales leaders, teams, and business owners with the strategies, tools, and systems necessary to excel in today’s digitally connected world. Modern buyers are socially engaged, mobile-oriented, and video-hungry. Vengreso focuses on arming B2B sellers, business owners, and entrepreneurs with the skills and technology needed to engage, connect, and create meaningful sales conversations.

 From multinational Fortune 1000 corporations to individual entrepreneurs, organizations turn to Vengreso to master unique digital sales prospecting techniques. Notably, Vengreso’s expertise was sought after by the iconic Miller Heiman Group, marking the first time in their 40-year history that they hired an external sales training company. This is just one example of the many accomplishments achieved under Mario’s leadership.

 As a three-time Stevie Award winner, Vengreso’s digital sales prospecting courses have generated millions in new sales pipelines and closed deals. Their tailored strategies, sales messaging framework (The PVC Sales Methodology), and cutting-edge sales productivity technology ( have consistently achieved a remarkable 95% recommendation rate from satisfied clients.

 Mario Martinez, Jr., is not just redefining sales for the modern era; he’s setting the gold standard for success in the industry. His passion, innovation, and commitment to excellence continue to inspire and empower sales professionals worldwide.

 Below are the highlights of the interview:

 Remarkable Journey

 Raised in a modest family of hardworking Latino parents, Mario’s path to success was one marked by resilience, innovation, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. His story began at the University of California, Berkeley, and later as a transfer student at St. Mary’s College of CA, where he paid his way through college, setting the stage for the remarkable career that would follow.

 Mario’s journey into the world of sales began almost by accident when he joined Ritz Camera Centers as a photo finisher. What set Mario apart was his uncanny ability to “help” customers through a personalized sales technique he had crafted. Despite not officially serving as a sales associate, Mario consistently outperformed full-time sales professionals at larger stores. His innate sales acumen and customer-centric approach soon caught the eye of the company’s District Manager.

 This recognition led to Mario’s transition to a role as a telemarketer (now known as a Sales Development Representative or Business Development Representative) at Premenos, an EDI software company. With his gift for connecting with buyers, Mario swiftly ascended to the position of an Account Executive, achieving six-figure earnings at just 22 years old.

 Fast forward to 2016. After 18 years in the corporate sales world, Mario has amassed a wealth of insights into how B2B marketing and sales operate. As the RVP of Sales at a software collaboration company, he recognized a pressing issue: the struggle to engage customers effectively and generate more sales conversations. The company’s outdated prospecting tactics, such as cold calls and email blasts, were failing to make an impact in an oversaturated marketplace.

 In response, Mario embarked on a mission to revolutionize sales. He created a digital sales program that introduced social selling and video selling to the sales team, forming a comprehensive digital sales curriculum. The program achieved unprecedented adoption rates and saw all reps add sales opportunities through social selling and video selling.

 Mario’s innovative techniques and outstanding results garnered significant attention. In 2015, he was invited to speak at LinkedIn’s annual users conference, a pivotal moment that catapulted his industry influence to new heights.

 Despite his success, Mario faced a crossroads when his company downsized. With a severance package in hand, he embarked on a new career adventure, unaware that his young son had already laid out his next move—inspired by Mario’s speech at LinkedIn’s annual users conference.

 Fuelled by his son’s wisdom and a burning desire to make the most of his expertise, Mario penned the blog “Dad, you said LinkedIn Would Make You Money.” The blog, published on LinkedIn, garnered massive attention, attracting requests for digital sales training and consulting from two Fortune 100 companies within just nine days of publication. Three weeks later, Mario established his first company, M3JR Growth Strategies.

 In under nine months, Mario became recognized as a top sales influencer. His extensive experience and practical knowledge as a real-world practitioner positioned him as a sought-after consultant for some of the world’s largest sales organizations.

 As his influence and vision grew, Mario began envisioning a way to scale his business to reach even more clients and sellers worldwide. This led to the creation of Vengreso through a multi-company business roll-up, uniting seven entities under a single umbrella.

 Redefining Sales Prospecting and Beyond

 Vengreso’s rapid journey to success has been marked by unique challenges and remarkable achievements. It all began with Mario’s vision to revolutionize the sales prospecting landscape, shifting away from outdated “spray and pray” methods towards a more deliberate, sophisticated, and personalized approach that leverages the omnichannel, including social and video selling. Mario’s goal was crystal clear: to create the world’s largest digital sales training company.

 With determination and a powerful question in mind, Mario reached out to leading digital sales and social media influencers from around the globe, asking, “What if you could create the world’s largest digital sales training company? Would you try to?” The resounding “yes” from six other entrepreneurial minds paved the way to reshape sales prospecting training forever.

 In April 2017, Vengreso emerged as the amalgamation of “ventas” (sales) and “ingresos” (revenue), reflecting the merger of seven highly successful sales and marketing agencies. This marked the birth of Vengreso’s market dominance.

Mario’s impact extended beyond the company’s success. He was featured in Salesforce’s documentary film, “The Story of Sales,” coining the phrase “sales is the art of helping.” Additionally, Mario co-authored a chapter in the Wall Street Journal’s best-selling book, “Human-Centered Communication.” Vengreso’s accomplishments were recognized with three Gold Stevie Awards for its sales prospecting training, implementation process, and renowned PVC Sales Methodology, a sales messaging framework for prospecting.

However, Vengreso’s influence expanded not only in-depth but also in breadth. In August 2020, the company ventured into the realm of sales productivity technology, introducing FlyMSG, a time-saving text expander SaaS application. With over 3,000 active users, FlyMSG revolutionized communication by providing automated speed writing for various occasions and roles. It has been proven to save professionals, both in sales and other domains, at least an hour a day by eliminating the need to type repetitive messages. FlyMSG allows sales teams to swiftly use “shortcodes” to access stored message templates, referred to as FlyCuts, thereby enhancing productivity.

What sets FlyMSG apart is its versatility. It has transcended sales teams, finding applications in Customer Success, Marketing, HR, Finance, the food industry, and even online digital pharmacies. Mario’s vision and FlyMSG have not only saved time but also transformed communication dynamics across diverse sectors.

 A Tale of Collaboration and Risk

 When Mario embarked on the journey of starting Vengreso, a venture that involved six other business partners, he faced the daunting challenge that often accompanies any founder. At the outset, Mario found himself the primary breadwinner for his family, which added a layer of financial uncertainty to the already complex equation of launching a new business. “Many times, our plans didn’t unfold as expected,” Mario recalls, “but it was the element of risk that made this period unique and truly special.”

 Navigating the intricate landscape of this business, which comprised seven distinct founders, each with their own personalities and approaches, presented Mario with yet another formidable obstacle. “People were fiercely passionate about their own methods being the right way, and there was a prevailing sentiment that their approach had to be the path forward,” Mario reflects.

 In the formation of a company, decisions typically emerge through consensus, but there’s also a vital need for someone capable of taking charge. Mario notes, “Not everyone thrives in a command-driven environment. Some prefer to reach decisions through consensus, but this method can have its limitations. Sometimes, our pursuit of consensus led to delays in decision-making.” The real challenge lay in striking a balance between the ethos of consensus thinking and the necessity of implementing decisions that might not be universally liked or wanted by everyone.

 Moreover, the complexities of amalgamating the intellectual property (IP) of each founder’s respective companies posed a significant hurdle. “When you bring together intellectual property, like training materials, everyone tends to have their own way of doing things. You believe your way is the right way, and I believe mine is superior. Convincing everyone to agree on a course of action proved to be exceedingly difficult,” Mario emphasizes. “It took nearly a year of effort to put pen to paper and finalize the development of our sales prospecting training IP.”

Nonetheless, the consolidation of seven influential sales training brands, including the globally renowned LinkedIn expert Viveka von Rosen and her company, Linked Into Business (who remains a co-founder to this day), yielded tremendous dividends. “Despite the challenges we faced, we managed to unite some major brands that wielded considerable influence in the marketplace. This gave Vengreso an astonishing level of visibility from day one, enabling us to achieve remarkable success in sales awards and recognition for our innovative sales training programs much faster than a typical merger scenario would allow,” Mario explains.

The founding journey of Vengreso was a testament to the trials and tribulations inherent in launching a business, underscored by the dynamics of collaboration, risk-taking, and the art of finding common ground among diverse minds.

The VILT Strategy

When Vengreso made its entrance into the market, it brought forth an innovative approach to sales training that was seldom seen before. Their Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) strategy was the brainchild of Mario, driven by the need for remote work flexibility for his team and a recognition of the declining effectiveness of in-person sales training. “I realized we had to break the mold. I delved into the neuroscience of learning,” Mario recalls.

He explains, “Consider a typical college course. It spans three to four months, offering various learning methods: textbooks, self-paced study, live instruction, and office hours. This has been the proven model of learning in higher education for centuries.” However, traditional sales training usually consists of just one or two days of in-person training before pushing sales representatives into the field to fend for themselves. As Mario notes, “Everyone was enthusiastic after the two-day event, but the very next day, they reverted to their old ways.”

“To truly change behavior or master a subject, you need to learn incrementally over time. This is what our VILT strategy brings to the table. Our live training courses run for about one to two hours per week, spanning from eight to eleven weeks. Research demonstrates that dedicating an hour per week for 62 days results in 85% of participants remembering and altering their behavior.”

Despite the science supporting this method, the adoption of VILT was sluggish until the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 hit. With widespread shutdowns and an urgent shift to online learning, Vengreso’s digital sales prospecting training and technology suite became an immediate solution. Sales leaders sought a way to improve seller-buyer engagement in a digital format through virtual sales training. Vengreso also introduced an on-demand version of its curriculum for small business sales teams, entrepreneurs, and solopreneurs. These developments propelled Vengreso to become the preferred digital sales training provider for numerous Fortune 2000 companies worldwide.

Balancing the Four Pillars of Success

Success, as per Mario Martinez, is an intricate blend of four interconnected facets. From his distinct leadership vantage point, success unfolds when a company attains its objectives, its workforce is engaged and passionate about their roles, customers take pride in doing business with them, and there is an ample allocation of time for loved ones. Mario’s daily commitment to these principles often involves going the extra mile to ensure his team not only fulfills their job responsibilities but also evolves into more adept leaders and professionals.

However, Mario offers a word of caution, emphasizing the imperative of maintaining a delicate equilibrium among these four success pillars. This equilibrium can be particularly challenging, especially for executive leaders and CEOs. He states, “We occasionally lose sight of what balance in success means, be it in our personal or business lives. It’s natural for things to fall out of balance, but it falls upon the CEO to recognize this and restore equilibrium.”

 Mario’s primary counsel for modern small business CEOs is to “constantly self-assess and manage all four elements of success—business outcomes, employee fulfillment, customer engagement, and personal equilibrium—to ensure that they are genuinely living their own definition of success.”

 No compilation of influential sales leaders would be comprehensive without acknowledging the transformative digital sales prospecting strategies of Mario Martinez, Jr. His story and the accomplishments of his industry-leading company, Vengreso, underscore the essence of redefining sales through the strategic use of technology, innovative thinking, and the foundational belief that “sales is the art of helping.”

Walt Leger III: A Trailblazer in Public Service

Navigating the Complex Landscape of Public Service with Integrity and Impact!

In the complex and ever-evolving landscape of public service, few individuals possess the diverse and extensive background that Walt Leger III brings to the table. As the President and CEO of New Orleans & Company, he stands as a true visionary, known for his pragmatic problem-solving and exceptional ability to build coalitions. Walt’s journey through various fields, from civil litigation and criminal prosecution to state legislation and nonprofit community involvement, has shaped him into a dynamic and influential leader.

Walt’s impressive career trajectory reflects his unwavering commitment to public service and his community. He began his professional journey as a civil litigator and criminal prosecutor, where he honed his skills in the legal arena. However, his true passion for public service was ignited when he entered the realm of state legislation.

As a State Legislator, Walt Leger III demonstrated a keen understanding of legislative affairs and strategic planning. His ability to bridge the gap between diverse interests and stakeholders earned him a reputation as a leader who could navigate the complex landscape of government and policy with grace and effectiveness. He cultivated strong relationships across the business community and all levels of government, from local to federal.

Walt’s areas of expertise are as diverse as his career path. They encompass critical sectors such as transportation, tourism, economic development, tax policy, healthcare, education, public safety, and the legal system. This comprehensive understanding of various fields has equipped him with the tools needed to drive positive change and progress within his community.

Behind Walt Leger III’s remarkable career is a foundation rooted in strong family values. Raised in St. Bernard Parish, just outside New Orleans, he was instilled with a deep sense of civic duty by his parents, Walter and Cathy. His academic excellence, which began at Jesuit High School in New Orleans and continued at Louisiana State University, was complemented by a burning desire to serve his community.

Walt’s passion for public service was evident even from an early age when he volunteered for a mock debate in the 1st grade, assuming the role of Presidential candidate Walter Mondale—a role that led to his first taste of defeat. But it was through these experiences that he developed the resilience and determination that would later define his career.

Today, Walt Leger III stands as a testament to the power of commitment, integrity, and leadership in the realm of public service. His journey is a source of inspiration for aspiring leaders and a reminder that true leadership is about service, community, and making a positive impact on the world.

Below are the highlights of the interview:

A Dynamic Leader Shaping New Orleans’ Future

Walt Leger III’s journey as a dynamic leader in Louisiana reflects his deep commitment to public service and his dedication to making a positive impact on his community. From his early education to his time as a prosecutor, legislator, and now as the President and CEO of New Orleans & Company, Walt’s career path has been marked by an unwavering commitment to leadership and service.

Walt’s educational journey took him from New Orleans to Dartmouth College, where he earned his undergraduate degree. Afterward, he returned to his hometown to attend Tulane Law School, where he demonstrated leadership skills as the business editor of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal and the Editor-in-Chief of the Tulane Environmental Law Newsletter. These early experiences laid the foundation for his future leadership roles.

Following law school, Walt worked as an assistant district attorney in New Orleans, focusing on prosecuting violent offenders and narcotics traffickers. It was during this time that Hurricane Katrina struck, a catastrophic event that profoundly impacted the city and its residents. The devastation of the hurricane further solidified Walt’s commitment to public service and his determination to make a difference in his community.

In 2007, Walt was elected to the Louisiana Legislature, beginning a successful and uncontested political career that spanned multiple terms. His colleagues recognized his leadership abilities by unanimously selecting him to serve as the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives, making him the youngest person to hold this position at the time. Throughout his legislative career, Walt focused on issues such as budget reform, early childhood education, criminal justice reform, coastal preservation, economic development, and infrastructure.

Walt’s pragmatic approach to policymaking, coupled with data-driven decision-making, led to several significant legislative accomplishments. These included the establishment of the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund, the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund, and the Criminal Justice Reinvestment Program. His ability to build partnerships and collaborate across party lines was instrumental in achieving these milestones.

After leaving the legislature in 2020 due to term limits, Walt joined New Orleans & Company, the city’s official destination sales and marketing organization, as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. In this role, he played a crucial role in navigating the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly impacted the travel and hospitality industry.

Walt’s leadership abilities and extensive experience in both public service and the hospitality industry positioned him as a top contender to succeed Stephen Perry as President and CEO of New Orleans & Company. On January 1, 2023, he assumed this role, becoming not only the youngest ever to hold it but also one of the few destination marketing organization leaders born and raised in the community they serve.

Walt’s devotion to his family, including his wife Danielle and their two young daughters, serves as a motivating force behind his commitment to improving the quality of life in Louisiana. His passion for making Louisiana a safer, smarter, and more sustainable place to live reflects his dedication to creating a brighter future for his community.

Walt Leger III’s leadership journey embodies the qualities of vision, collaboration, and a deep sense of purpose. His dynamic leadership continues to shape the future of New Orleans, making it a world-class destination and a thriving community.

Winning Philosophy

Walt Leger III’s leadership philosophy is rooted in a strong sense of teamwork and the importance of leading by example. He values the qualities of humility, persistence, and determination as essential drivers of success. Let’s delve deeper into these key traits that have been instrumental in shaping his leadership style:

  • Humility: Walt understands the significance of humility in leadership. It involves recognizing one’s limitations, being open to feedback, and acknowledging that no one person has all the answers. Humble leaders create an environment where team members feel valued and heard. They are approachable, willing to learn from others, and quick to give credit to their team for achievements. This trait fosters trust and collaboration among team members, leading to a more cohesive and productive working environment.


  • Persistence: Persistence is the unwavering commitment to achieving goals despite obstacles and setbacks. It’s about not giving up, even when faced with challenges that may seem insurmountable. Walt’s belief in the power of persistence means that he maintains his focus on long-term objectives and perseveres through adversity. This tenacity is crucial in leadership, as it inspires others to push through difficulties and stay motivated in pursuit of shared goals.


  • Determination: Determination complements persistence by emphasizing the willingness to tackle obstacles head-on and find solutions. Determined leaders are not easily discouraged by setbacks; instead, they view challenges as opportunities for growth. They inspire their teams to adopt a problem-solving mindset and approach difficulties with a can-do attitude. Determination is a key driver of innovation and resilience within an organization.

Walt’s approach to leadership centers on these traits, which are not limited to innate abilities but can be cultivated and developed over time. By embodying humility, persistence, and determination, leaders can set a positive example for their teams and drive collective success. These qualities not only contribute to personal and professional growth but also help create a culture of continuous improvement and achievement.

Elevating the City’s Status 

Walt Leger III holds a profound belief in New Orleans’ unique ability to host a wide range of major events, from trade shows and conventions to global conferences and sporting extravaganzas like the Super Bowl. He recognizes that executing complex events is a hallmark of the city’s residents, who excel in creating unforgettable memories for visitors. While New Orleans boasts unparalleled authenticity and cultural richness, it is the people of the city who truly elevate it into a world-class destination for both business and leisure travelers.

To further enhance New Orleans’ reputation and appeal, Walt places a strong emphasis on making the city an even better place to live and work. This commitment aligns with his vision of reinforcing core assets, such as the vibrant neighborhoods that define the city’s character. Preserving the unique landscape, architecture, and culture is vital, as these elements set New Orleans apart in a competitive environment. These distinctive features are not only a source of pride for residents but also integral to what makes the city so special.

Walt understands the importance of supporting community assets like the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, which is undergoing $557 million worth of upgrades. Additionally, the development of the 39-acre mixed-use River District along the riverfront adjacent to the Convention Center represents a significant investment in the city’s future.

The recent $450 million renovation of the Caesars Superdome is another critical milestone that builds on previous improvements, securing its status as an iconic venue. Walt emphasizes the necessity of staying competitive by modernizing and updating hotel offerings, recognizing that other cities are vying for the same tourism market. He firmly believes that New Orleans must remain committed to evolving its infrastructure to support and preserve its thriving visitor economy.

Under Walt’s leadership, New Orleans is poised to continue its legacy as a premier destination, captivating visitors with its unique charm, culture, and warmth while ensuring that the city remains a vibrant and attractive place to live and work.

Innovative Marketing and Ambitious Plans

In 2022, New Orleans & Company achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first destination marketing organization to seamlessly integrate virtual reality (VR) technology into its Plus One advertising campaign. This innovative campaign invites viewers to partake in the world’s most exceptional dinner party, elevating the user experience through VR technology. However, for New Orleans & Company, this marks just the initial step in their journey of embracing cutting-edge technologies to craft unique and immersive experiences for enthusiasts of the city, connecting with audiences on both a domestic and global scale. This marketing initiative exemplifies the innate creativity of New Orleans’ residents, celebrating the fusion of creativity and innovation that defines the city.

Looking ahead, New Orleans & Company has ambitious plans to develop novel programs aimed at driving visitation, building upon the resounding success of the NOLAxNOLA event. Now in its third year, this event showcases the city’s vibrant music scene and venues, captivating audiences and fostering a deeper appreciation for New Orleans’ cultural richness.

Meetings and conventions remain pivotal components of New Orleans’ tourism landscape. Walt emphasizes their commitment to integrating the “Built to Host” messaging into all aspects of their efforts to attract meetings and conventions. Launched in 2021, “Built to Host” represents a comprehensive, city-wide approach to marketing and servicing, ensuring that every sales professional in the city, not just those at New Orleans & Company and the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, conveys a consistent and compelling message to the world. This campaign has already demonstrated its resonance, and the organization is poised to elevate it to new heights in 2023.

Perspective on Overcoming Obstacles

Life is inherently uncertain, filled with unexpected twists and turns that can disrupt even the best-laid plans. Obstacles, like uninvited guests, have a knack for showing up when least expected. Yet, in the face of life’s uncertainties, Walt holds a steadfast belief that individuals have a choice: they can either fixate on the obstacle or chart a new course forward, even if it means forging an entirely uncharted path.

Adversity and challenges, he contends, are not adversaries to be avoided but rather integral aspects of the human experience. Without them, growth would be stunted, and the sweetness of success would lose its flavor. While grappling with failure and setbacks can be emotionally taxing, they offer invaluable opportunities for learning and self-improvement.

For Walt, failure isn’t a dead-end; it’s a stepping stone on the path to success. Each obstacle that surfaces becomes a canvas upon which resilience and determination are painted. In the face of challenges, his unwavering conviction in finding a way forward serves as a powerful motivator, propelling him toward his goals and a fulfilling life.

Harmonizing Work and Family Life

Maintaining a sense of balance in life is an ever-present challenge, one that Walt has discovered can be partially addressed by incorporating his family into his professional world. By openly discussing his work—its challenges, triumphs, and the broader mission of his organization—with his wife and children, he seeks to bridge the gap between his personal and professional spheres. Through these conversations, he hopes to impart a valuable lesson to his children: the importance of finding joy and fulfillment in one’s labor.

Walt’s role at New Orleans & Company holds a profound purpose—he and his team serve as stewards of their beloved city, working diligently to strengthen the community they call home. This fundamental aspect of their work serves as a wellspring of motivation, infusing every member with a deep sense of responsibility and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Despite the weighty responsibilities and the pressure they entail, the prospect of contributing their best efforts each day to uplift their community serves as a powerful motivator.

The team’s success ripples outward, benefiting not only the community at large but also the member businesses within it. This symbiotic relationship fosters a sense of shared purpose and a collective drive to achieve excellence, making every day a rewarding endeavor for all involved.

Advocacy, Partnership, and Unity

Leveraging his extensive legal background and over a decade of legislative experience, Walt is determined to continue his advocacy for New Orleans by forging partnerships, dismantling barriers, and fostering unity. In an era where political disagreements often manifest as boycotts and travel bans, the convergence of politics and business has become more crucial than ever.

Walt’s deep conviction lies in the idea that by successfully promoting and marketing New Orleans as a welcoming destination for conferences, leisure travel, and business, the city can attract more people, stimulate economic growth, and create opportunities for all residents and workers. He instills in his team the imperative of optimism, underscoring their responsibility to discover innovative ways to bring people together in this vibrant city, inspiring them to achieve remarkable feats.

Every day, Walt draws inspiration from Mark Twain’s timeless words: “Travel is fatal to bigotry, prejudice, and narrow-mindedness.” His ultimate goal is to spotlight the boundless creativity and innovation that emanate from New Orleans’ streets, encouraging individuals from all corners of the globe to embrace inclusivity, compassion, and open-mindedness. Through effective communication and collaborative efforts, Walt firmly believes that people can accomplish remarkable feats, enhancing human interaction and enriching the lives of everyone in the community, including the city’s cherished visitors.

Katy Murray: The Catalyst for Change, Inclusivity, and Organizational Transformation

20 Years of Global Expertise in Shaping Culture, Training Leaders, and Fostering Courageous Dialogues!

In a world where diversity and inclusion have taken center stage, it’s important to recognize the profound impact these principles have had on various aspects of our lives. From business and education to social interactions and beyond, the call for diversity and inclusion has ignited positive change and transformation across the globe.

 Katy Murray stands out as a leading light in the field. Her commitment to shaping cultures, facilitating change, and championing dialogue that transforms lives has earned her recognition as one of the UK’s Top 50 Influential Diversity and Inclusion Leaders by Hive Learning. Katy is the Director of Catalyst Collective, bringing over two decades of invaluable experience to the table.

 With a master’s degree from both Cambridge University and the University of Westminster, Katy’s academic prowess is just the tip of the iceberg. Her practical expertise shines through her work, which spans 35 countries and encompasses a wide array of industries. From INGOs and grassroots community organizations to global commercial corporations, retail, engineering, financial services, and online entrepreneur communities, Katy has left an indelible mark wherever she’s been.

Katy’s journey is not just about accumulating degrees or clocking miles; it’s about affecting real change. Her work revolves around enabling change, training leaders, and, most importantly, creating spaces where courageous dialogues can unfold. These dialogues are not just discussions; they are transformative experiences that challenge power dynamics and redefine how people work together.

As an INLPTA-accredited coach, Katy brings a unique blend of skills to her leadership. She doesn’t just talk the talk; she walks the walk, fostering environments where everyone’s lived experiences are valued and respected. Her dedication to co-creating new ways of working together speaks volumes about her commitment to fostering inclusive cultures.

In a world where diversity and inclusion aren’t just buzzwords but essential facets of progress, Katy Murray is a visionary leader. Her work at Catalyst Collective and her recognition as a Top 50 Influential D+I Leader are testaments to her unwavering commitment to creating a world where everyone’s voice matters, regardless of who they are or where they come from. Katy Murray is a pioneer in the truest sense, leading the way to a more inclusive future for all.

Below are the highlights of the interview:

The Catalyst Collective Journey

Katy’s career journey is a testament to her commitment to fostering equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) within organizations. Her early experience in a people-focused role within a multinational corporation provided valuable insights into the workings of large global entities. However, it was her passion for leadership development and a desire for international exposure that set her on a new path.

Seeking opportunities to gain international expertise and deepen her knowledge of people development, Katy transitioned into consulting. Here, she honed her skills through additional training and certifications. Reflecting on her journey, Katy recognizes that her lifelong values of creating inclusive environments and championing justice and fairness have been guiding forces leading her into the realm of EDI work.

As the leader of Catalyst Collective, Katy is on a mission to support EDI leaders within organizations. These individuals often navigate complex and undervalued roles, working diligently to promote organizational equity and cultural transformation. Catalyst Collective collaborates with clients committed to cultivating more inclusive workplaces. Katy acknowledges that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all, quick-fix endeavor. It’s a multifaceted, sometimes messy journey that demands courage and a willingness to confront challenging moments. Katy emphasizes, “We hold a safe and brave space for these conversations—expect a compassionate challenge!”

Her team at Catalyst Collective empowers EDI leaders to bolster their resilience and expand their capabilities, from navigating complexity to strategic influence and tactical know-how. Katy finds fulfillment in witnessing the positive shifts in organizational cultures driven by their collaborative efforts. She notes, “Often as facilitators, we don’t seek recognition for the work we do—our goal is for our clients to experience the success of the work—that’s part of the deal! So, I love it when clients tell me what is shifting in their cultures and what they’re seeing change as a result.”

Katy’s journey has taken her from leadership development to a specialization in gender equity and intersectionality. She has embarked on a personal exploration of her own whiteness and actively anti-racist practices, both in life and business.

Her contributions to the field were recognized when she was named one of the top 50 D+I leaders by Hive in 2020, affirming her dedication to driving positive change in organizations.

Embracing the Beauty of the Present

In our relentless pursuit of the next big thing, we often overlook the beauty of the present moment. Katy passionately reminds us that life is a precious and fleeting gift. She advises, “Don’t squander it by trying to conform to other people’s expectations. Success, to me, means savoring every drop of joy in each day.”

According to Katy, society tends to prescribe a one-size-fits-all definition of success. However, she firmly believes that success is a deeply personal journey. It’s about discovering what truly brings you happiness, what ignites your passions, and what aligns with your unique talents. She challenges us to ask ourselves, “What sparks your interest? What stirs your frustration when you watch the news? What positive change do you wish to see in the world around you?” These inquiries, she explains, can reveal your individual path to success.

Katy emphasizes the profound truth that humans derive immense satisfaction from making meaningful contributions. It’s in the act of positively impacting others that we often find our greatest fulfillment. As Katy puts it, “Most of us yearn to feel that our contributions matter, that our actions make a difference, and that we’re doing good for others.”

Katy’s wisdom extends to the idea that life is a journey with multiple seasons and stages. Age is never a barrier, and it’s never too late to pursue what sets your soul on fire and fills your life with joy. She encourages us all to explore, discover, and embrace the passions that light up our lives. In doing so, we unlock our unique version of success, one that resonates with the essence of who we are.

Navigating Workplace Challenges

At Catalyst Collective, Katy champions a profound approach to challenges – one that prioritizes learning and growth over self-blame and doubt. She recognizes that dwelling on what we “Should” or “Ought” to do can erode confidence and well-being over time. Instead, she encourages processing the lessons from challenges, allowing them to strengthen us.

However, Katy goes beyond this individual perspective. She acknowledges that many employees grapple with daily challenges stemming from bias, barriers, and microaggressions, experiences others may never encounter. Katy asserts that simply relying on personal growth isn’t enough. It’s essential to confront the systemic issues that perpetuate these challenges.

Drawing from her own experiences, Katy highlights some valuable advice for navigating workplace challenges: 

  • Early Career: Seek out mentors and sponsors who hold senior positions. Their guidance can be invaluable as you forge your path.
  • Pregnancy: Don’t allow assumptions about your intentions during pregnancy and after childbirth. Pursue promotions and pay raises while keeping your options open.
  • Motherhood and Childcare: Set clear boundaries for yourself and remember that you are the primary guardian of those boundaries.

Katy emphasizes the importance of recognizing your own evolution in the workplace. As you progress in your career, acknowledge when you’re no longer the youngest or least experienced person in the room. Embrace your expertise and advocate for yourself and others. Use your privilege to uplift those around you.

In the face of microaggressions or a toxic work culture, Katy advises seeking support from others. If raising concerns doesn’t bring about change, don’t hesitate to explore new opportunities. You possess incredible value and talents, and there are workplaces that will genuinely appreciate your contributions.

Modern Leadership for a Complex World

In today’s world, marked by increasing complexity and volatility, Katy underscores the need for leaders who are not just efficient and competent but also resilient and wise. These leaders are essential to addressing interconnected and complex challenges like climate change, refugee migrations, and calls for racial, social, and environmental justice. Katy believes that businesses should actively seek individuals who bring diverse ideas and perspectives to the table, positioning them as a force for good in society.

Katy emphasizes that leaders recognize the importance of investing in their own and others’ well-being. This investment is crucial for driving the systemic changes they aspire to achieve. She eagerly anticipates a future where more women, non-binary individuals, and marginalized groups, who have historically been excluded from leadership roles, occupy senior positions in organizations. According to Katy, these organizations, guided by diverse leadership, will gain a competitive advantage. They will foster flexibility and inclusivity, supporting caregivers, individuals with mental health challenges, neurodiversity, impairments, and people from various backgrounds to thrive. These organizations actively combat microaggressions, promote inclusive behaviors, and create an environment where all employees can flourish.

Balancing Work, Wellness, and Impact

Katy’s workdays are as dynamic as the client projects she and her team are engaged in. Her routines are structured around weekly and monthly rhythms, allowing her to efficiently manage various aspects of her professional and personal life.

Her client interactions involve deep listening to understand their goals, needs, and aspirations, followed by collaborative planning through dialogues and workshops. These sessions are often conducted virtually on platforms like Zoom, where she ensures she’s prepared with drinks and snacks for sustained energy. Face-to-face meetings require her to travel to the venue the night before to connect with clients and her team.

Weekly commitments include leading group programs for EDI leaders and change agents. Katy also dedicates time to aspects like business growth, social media management, financial planning, and marketing, especially in the context of her recently released book.

Amid her busy schedule, Katy prioritizes self-care and wellness. She attends yoga and exercise classes, takes nature walks, and schedules meetups with coworkers and friends. Regular therapy sessions and monthly walking days with her partner contribute to her overall resilience and well-being.

To measure her progress and alignment with her life’s goals, Katy tracks three key metrics: joy, impact, and financial performance. These metrics help her stay focused on creating the life she envisions and making a meaningful contribution.

Daily and Seasonal Practices for Well-being and Balance

Katy’s commitment to daily and seasonal practices ensures she finds joy, maintains focus, and nurtures her well-being. These practices enable her to tune into her body’s needs, whether it’s nourishment, hydration, fresh air, or simply rest.

She embraces a cyclical way of living, recognizing the natural ebbs and flows of energy throughout the month. This approach allows her to align her projects with the energies of winter, spring, summer, and fall, rather than being in a perpetual state of “Always on.” Katy values disconnecting from her phone and social media every weekend to recharge. Additionally, she takes an extended vacation from her business once a year, emphasizing the importance of rest and rejuvenation.

Katy actively seeks peer support and accountability by engaging in peer supervision and hosting monthly peer learning sessions with fellow EDI professionals. These interactions provide valuable guidance and solidarity in her journey.

Fostering Genuine Transformation

In Katy’s Change Makers Programs, profound and authentic transformations take place. These programs provide a personal space for individuals to undergo significant change and growth. Her EDI leader groups serve as vital resources for these exceptional leaders, offering a place to recharge and find the support they need for their crucial roles.

As the Catalyst Collective team witnesses these deep learning experiences and observes the powerful transformations occurring within these programs, they are committed to continuing their unique and impactful engagement with clients. Additionally, they will continue to host and convene spaces that foster growth, learning, and positive change.

Sherlaender Phillips: Fueling a Passion for Technology from an Early Age to Leading Digital Transformation


There’s an undeniable power in discovering your passions early in life, and sometimes, those passions have a way of finding you. In the remarkable journey of Sherlaender Phillips, known as Lani, Vice President of the US Channel Sales Organization at Microsoft, her lifelong love for technology was nurtured from a young age.

Lani’s journey into the world of technology began as a gift from her parents. They had the foresight to invest in the realm of technology, unwittingly setting the stage for their daughter’s future. The exposure to cutting-edge gadgets and the digital world ignited a spark within her, making technology more than just a fascination – it became a passion.

This early fascination with technology wasn’t just a passing phase. It evolved into a deep-seated interest that drove Lani to pursue academic excellence in the field. Her academic journey became a vessel through which she could explore the boundless possibilities that technology offered. It was a path she embarked on with unwavering determination.

Lani’s professional journey was a natural extension of her academic pursuits. Armed with her passion and expertise, she ventured into the world of technology, eager to make her mark. Her career has been marked by significant achievements, each contributing to her extensive knowledge and experience in the field.

As the Vice President, Lani holds a key role in shaping the digital landscape. Her expertise lies in the domain of digital transformation, a concept that has become more crucial than ever. She recognizes that every company has faced the imperative to accelerate its digital transformation agenda over the past year.

Lani’s leadership at Microsoft isn’t just about overseeing operations; it’s about steering the course of digital transformation. Her insights and guidance are instrumental in helping organizations navigate the ever-evolving digital landscape. Her vision extends beyond technology; it’s about empowering companies to thrive in the digital age.

In her journey, Lani doesn’t just embrace technology; she embodies the spirit of innovation and resilience. She stands as an inspiration for generations to come, showing that passion, determination, and a love for what you do can pave the way to success.

Join us as we explore her inspiring path from a childhood enriched by technology to leading Microsoft in shaping the future of the digital world!

The Path to Becoming a CEO: Navigating Challenges

The dream of becoming a CEO is something many aspire to, but is it an achievable goal for everyone? The journey is often complex, marked by the need to continually prove oneself, and it’s further complicated by the harsh realities of gender and racial disparities. These challenges can make individuals feel the need to armor up and hide their vulnerabilities.

Lani, sharing her own experiences, reveals the hurdles she faced in her pursuit of leadership. She encountered a scarcity of mentors who could offer transparent and valuable guidance. Despite these obstacles, she remained determined not to retreat into the shadows.

Early in her career, she grappled with issues of confidence and courage, leading her to second-guess her decisions and strive for perfection, which in turn slowed her progress. To overcome these personal barriers, she took proactive steps. Lani sought support within her organization’s employee resource groups, connecting with like-minded individuals who could help her navigate challenges.

Furthermore, she tapped into professional organizations with diverse networks in the tech industry, such as BDPA, ITSMF, and WIT. She attributes some of her success to these networks, where she found people willing to help her create a personal blueprint for navigating the corporate landscape and overcoming situational obstacles.

In essence, Lani’s journey highlights the importance of seeking support and mentorship, especially in the face of adversity, and leveraging professional networks to chart a course toward leadership roles, even when the path seems daunting.

The Cloud Computing Revolution

The rapid growth and evolving landscape of cloud computing are shaping the future of innovation. It’s not just about how computing is done; it’s increasingly about where it takes place. This revolution is driving fierce competition among cloud providers, each vying for a larger slice of the market.

To stay well-informed and gain insights into market trends and predictions, a valuable approach is to explore online technological and business resources. Platforms like VentureBeat, Wired, CNET, and Forbes Tech offer a wealth of information on the subject.

Lani highlights another crucial source of knowledge: listening to the voices of potential end-users and partners. These individuals are at the forefront, directly encountering challenges and evaluating solutions. Their feedback and experiences provide valuable insights into industry advancements and hurdles.

In essence, staying informed in the era of cloud computing requires a multi-faceted approach, combining insights from industry publications with the real-world perspectives of those engaged in the technology’s day-to-day use and implementation.

Fostering Leaders in the Era of Digitization and Cloud Computing

In the realm of leadership, the primary goal is not just to cultivate followers but to nurture a cadre of leaders. Lani sheds light on the evolving landscape of digitization and cloud computing, emphasizing a critical shift – the growing emphasis on prioritizing the employee experience. Recognizing that employees are the lifeblood of organizations, their satisfaction and engagement are paramount to preventing an organization from fading into obscurity.

Lani notes that organizations are increasingly embracing a hybrid work culture, charting a course toward the future of work. These changes are shaping the landscape of digitization and cloud computing. Moreover, she underscores the pervasive influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in our lives. To harness the potential of AI, it is imperative to infuse it with human values and trust.

Microsoft’s mission, as highlighted by Lani, is to “Empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more.” This commitment drives the development of innovative solutions aimed at empowering individuals and organizations in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

Navigating the Technological Landscape: A Vision for Tomorrow

In the ever-evolving technological landscape, Lani sheds light on three key focus areas: 

  • Consumerism in Healthcare: Drawing insights from the transformative impact of the pandemic, Lani envisions the integration of technology to empower individuals in actively managing their healthcare. This proactive approach aims to enhance personal health management, leveraging technological solutions.


  • Employee Experience Platform: Lani expresses enthusiasm for Microsoft’s “Employee Experience Platform,” an innovative initiative that brings together engagement, well-being, learning, and knowledge transfer into a cohesive and integrated experience. This platform is designed to support leaders, teams, and employees in their collective journey.


  • Technology for Good: In a world marked by technological advancements and the growing presence of Artificial Intelligence, Lani emphasizes the importance of addressing diversity and bias. She advocates for the removal of bias from algorithms and the infusion of human values into technology solutions, aligning with the belief that technology should serve the greater good.

These focus areas reflect a forward-looking vision for the technological industry, one that prioritizes the well-being of individuals, the empowerment of employees, and the ethical use of technology for the betterment of society.

Leadership in the Post-pandemic World

In the wake of the pandemic’s transformative impact on organizations, leadership takes on a new dimension. Lani underscores the role of a leader as one who not only charts the course but also illuminates the path for others to follow and envision. The pandemic, which reshaped the functioning of organizations, led to the emergence of sustainable alternatives for work. However, it also brought about a range of mixed emotions, from the absence of personal interactions to the challenges of teamwork and collaboration.

Lani shares valuable insight into maintaining motivation amid such challenges:

Empowerment and Self-Value: Lani emphasizes the importance of not undervaluing oneself and promoting empowerment. She believes that this mindset is crucial for both leaders and employees, serving as a source of motivation.

During the pandemic, she employed several methodologies to foster motivation: 

  • Regular Check-Ins: Encouraging employees to identify and express their emotions through two words allows for meaningful communication and understanding of their experiences.


  • Quarterly Fun Activities: Organizing virtual events focused on fun and enjoyment, such as games, creative workshops, happy hours, and themed gatherings.


  • Learning Circles: Prioritizing professional development through learning circles and investing in employees’ skills to foster continuous learning.

 In conclusion, Lani shares her optimism about Microsoft’s future, highlighting their commitment to reimagining the employee experience. Microsoft aims to leverage its extensive expertise in people analytics, culture, community building, knowledge sharing, learning, and teamwork to provide innovative solutions that benefit its customers.

Julie Camardo: Preserving Tradition and Nurturing Growth

Honoring Heritage, Leading with Innovation, and Defining Excellence!

In the fast-paced world of business, where trends come and go, and companies rise and fall, there are few stories as remarkable as that of Julie Camardo and Zweigle’s Inc. A journey that spans over five generations and more than a century, it’s a testament to the power of dedication, innovation, and the unwavering commitment to community.

Zweigle’s Inc., a revered name in the small meat manufacturing industry, has carved a unique place in the hearts of its patrons in Western New York. At the helm of this legacy stands Julie Camardo, a visionary leader whose passion for preserving tradition and embracing modernity has propelled the company to new heights.

For Camardo, Zweigle’s is not just a business; it’s a part of her family’s legacy deeply woven into the fabric of Rochester, New York. She proudly declares, “Zweigle’s is my family legacy, and I am proud to be a part of carrying on the traditions. We are part of the Rochester, New York timeline, and we help support the community to grow and thrive in any way we can.”

The story of Julie Camardo’s leadership at Zweigle’s is a testament to the delicate balance of honoring the past while propelling into the future. The company’s rich history is marked by its commitment to quality and authenticity. From its humble beginnings to its current stature, Zweigle’s has stood the test of time, becoming a symbol of trust for generations of customers.

However, Camardo’s leadership extends beyond preserving tradition. She understands the need for innovation and evolution to stay relevant in today’s ever-changing market. Under her guidance, Zweigle’s has embraced modern technologies and practices while staying true to its core values. This delicate dance between heritage and progress has allowed the company to maintain its loyal customer base while attracting new generations of consumers.

Julie Camardo’s leadership is not just about business success; it’s about community impact. The ties between Zweigle’s and the Rochester community run deep, and Camardo ensures that the company’s growth is aligned with the betterment of the community it serves. From providing local employment opportunities to contributing to initiatives that foster growth and well-being, Zweigle’s remains a driving force for positive change.

Below are the highlights of the interview:

A Legacy of Delicious Food and Strong Values

Since its establishment in 1880 in Rochester, New York, Zweigle’s, Inc. has remained a cherished family-owned meat and protein manufacturing company. Now in its fifth generation of ownership, Zweigle’s has maintained a steadfast commitment: creating lasting memories through the joy of delightful food and fostering flexible partnerships.

At the core of Zweigle’s operations is a diverse array of fully cooked products. From natural casing and skinless hot dogs to flavorful sausage links and patties, mouthwatering meatballs, succulent chicken breasts and strips, delectable deli meats, and even innovative plant-based proteins, Zweigle’s offers a wide selection to cater to the needs of retail, food service, and private label customers.

What truly sets Zweigle’s apart is its enriching corporate culture. Here, every employee is not only encouraged but also rewarded for upholding the company’s core values. Among these values, accountability takes center stage. It encompasses the principles of honesty and taking ownership of one’s actions, whether they lead to success or present challenges. Zweigle’s views mistakes as valuable learning tools, reinforcing this philosophy through comprehensive training and unwavering management support.

In line with its commitment to innovation, Zweigle’s recently introduced a new core value: continuous improvement. This reflects the company’s dedication to staying at the forefront of the ever-evolving food industry. Zweigle relies on its dedicated product development team and experienced R&D manager to craft inventive solutions for both its partners and internal projects. The company’s investments in plant enhancements, human capital, process optimization, and cutting-edge machinery underscore its commitment to adapting to the dynamic trends of the food industry.

Overcoming Challenges and Leading Zweigle’s into the 5th Generation

Leading a business is no small feat, and Julie faced her fair share of challenges when she assumed a leadership role at Zweigle’s. These hurdles encompassed issues of trust, company culture, and the recognition of the importance of acknowledging one’s limitations.

  • Building Trust: Julie’s initial goal was to foster trust among the employees. She wanted them to understand her deep commitment to Zweigle’s and its workforce. Trust served as the foundation for her efforts to connect with employees, share vital company information, establish strategic planning structures, and ensure that the right individuals were in the right roles to steer the company toward success.


  • Cultivating a Positive Culture: Trust, in turn, laid the groundwork for creating a positive and appreciative atmosphere within the company. Over the years, Julie has dedicated herself to defining, documenting, sharing, and encouraging the embodiment of Zweigle’s core values, both within and outside the workplace. Simultaneously, she has championed a flexible corporate culture that embraces change as the company expands. A critical aspect of this endeavor has been assembling a robust management team capable of supporting this evolving culture.


  • Embracing Continuous Learning: The journey of leading a business is a continuous learning experience. Julie acknowledges the time it took her to gain a clear understanding of her own strengths and weaknesses in running the company. She has consistently sought to hire individuals who excel in their roles, recognizing that their expertise complements her own. This strategy has resulted in the development of an exceptional leadership team that can be relied upon to steer and expand the business.

Julie’s professional journey has been shaped by her deliberate decision to return to Rochester early in her career, aiming to determine her true passion for the family business. With time, her love for Zweigle’s customers and her pride in upholding the family legacy grew immensely. Her most significant accomplishment, she asserts, is successfully guiding Zweigle’s into its fifth generation. Leading Zweigle’s beyond its 141-year history is a source of immense pride and accomplishment for Julie, as she continues to uphold the family’s enduring legacy.

Nationally Certified Woman-Owned Business

In an industry as traditionally male-dominated as meat production, the distinction of being a nationally certified woman-owned business is a rarity. Julie acknowledges this uniqueness and underscores the importance of staying informed and adaptable in this ever-evolving landscape.

  • Staying Informed and Building Relationships: Julie places a premium on understanding the needs of Zweigle’s customers, suppliers, and equipment manufacturers. Actively engaging with these stakeholders allows her to glean insights from others in the food manufacturing industry. By attending trade shows and industry events and expanding their network, Zweigle’s remains committed to continuous learning and growth.


  • The Need for Flexibility: Recognizing the inevitability of change, Julie understands that Zweigle’s must remain flexible and proactive. This adaptability is vital as they navigate shifting USDA regulations, embrace machinery and equipment updates, and respond to evolving buyer behaviors. Staying ahead of these changes ensures that Zweigle’s remains relevant and competitive in the marketplace.


  • A Legacy of Delicious Memories: Since its inception in 1880, Zweigle’s core mission has been to create enduring memories through delicious food. Looking to the future, Julie and her team have crafted a forward-looking 10-year plan. This plan encompasses expanding sales in private label and co-packing opportunities, diversifying their product offerings, and perpetuating the company’s legacy through branded growth.

Balancing Leadership, Motherhood, and Community Engagement

At the helm of Zweigle’s, Julie shoulders the weighty responsibilities of leading the executive team, spearheading strategic planning, and translating the company’s vision into reality. Her role also extends to nurturing critical relationships with accountants, financial institutions, and legal teams, which are essential pillars of support for the Zweigle’s brand. In addition to her corporate leadership, Julie is an active and visible figure in the community. She lends her expertise to various boards and committees, contributing to the betterment of her surroundings.

  • A Juggling Act: As a single mother of three, Julie faces the unique challenge of harmonizing her roles as a dedicated parent and a business leader. This delicate balancing act, though demanding, is of paramount importance to her. She is resolute in her mission to expose her children to the intricacies of her work at Zweigle’s and her active community involvement, all while making cherished family time a top priority.


  • Empathy and Understanding: Julie’s commitment to her team at Zweigle’s extends to recognizing the challenges that some employees might be encountering in their personal lives. She advocates for a workplace culture that values balance, flexibility, and open communication, understanding that these qualities can help employees navigate their own work-life equilibrium.


  • Self-Care and Resilience: Despite her demanding roles, Julie is keenly aware of her own humanity. To cope with the pressures of leadership, motherhood, and community engagement, she emphasizes the importance of self-care. For her, this involves practicing yoga, engaging in conversations with friends and family when feeling overwhelmed, embarking on long hikes, and finding solace in books and movies. Prioritizing balance and well-being is the cornerstone of Julie’s strength as a compassionate leader, both within her family and in her roles at Zweigle’s and in the community.

Pioneering Healthcare Solutions

Growing up in a household where healthcare challenges were a frequent topic of discussion, Aimée’s path to the healthcare industry felt like a natural progression. Her father, a physician, shared stories of patients struggling to access high-quality healthcare, which left a lasting impact on her. Aimée, the youngest of three siblings, was determined to chart her own course and diverge from her sisters’ careers in law. From a remarkably young age, she felt a compelling inner drive to tackle a specific challenge within an industry in her own unique way.

At just 12 years old, Aimée had a revelation that centered around the global healthcare crisis she had often heard discussed at the family dinner table. She decided to embark on a journey to establish her own health technology company, with the ambition of solving these pressing problems on a global scale. While she briefly considered the idea of becoming a doctor, the prospect of dealing with blood and needles didn’t quite align with her sensibilities. It was during her university years that Aimée had an illuminating moment. She realized that she could make a more substantial impact on the healthcare industry by leveraging technology solutions and dynamic strategic thinking, rather than joining the ranks of countless medical professionals worldwide.

Aimée recognized herself as a natural problem solver, a trait that laid the foundation for CliniShift. Her mind operates in an engineering-like manner, always probing and questioning existing processes. Her true passion lies in identifying significantly more efficient and cost-effective approaches to tasks within the healthcare domain. It’s this quest for innovative solutions that fuels her energy and drives her role. Aimée’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of determination, strategic thinking, and a relentless commitment to solving complex challenges in the healthcare sector.

Jeanniey Walden: Pioneering the Pay Experience and Empowering Workers

A Trailblazing Journey in Financial Innovation and Leadership!

Throughout history, the financial industry has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving from the barter system to the use of hard cash transactions. This journey reflects the significant changes and advancements that have shaped the way we conduct financial activities. From ancient trade and the exchange of goods to the establishment of currency systems, the world has witnessed a metamorphosis in the financial landscape, paving the way for modern financial systems, digital currencies, and innovative financial technologies that continue to shape our global economy.

In the realm of financial services, Jeanniey Walden stands tall as a trailblazer and an inspiration for women leaders everywhere. As the Chief Innovation and Marketing Officer of DailyPay, she has not only propelled the company to new heights but has also shattered glass ceilings in the male-dominated industry.

Jeanniey’s journey to success took an unexpected turn from her childhood dream of becoming a primary school teacher. While working at JCPenney, she found her true passion in data-driven marketing and technology, igniting a fire within her to drive innovation and create impactful solutions.

At DailyPay, Jeanniey’s dedication to her role has been nothing short of exceptional. Recognized as one of the most influential female leaders, she has set a precedent for work efficiency and enthusiasm, motivating countless women to embrace their potential and carve a significant place for themselves in the business world.

Jeanniey’s drive to address the challenges faced by hard-working Americans led to the inception of DailyPay in 2015. She recognized the struggles of employees waiting for two weeks or more to get paid, often putting them in financial distress. This realization sparked the vision for a revolutionary “Pay experience” that empowers both employees and employers alike.

In her own words, “DailyPay works with 80% of the Fortune 100 companies that offer on-demand pay.” Her innovative approach and unwavering commitment have attracted blue-chip firms and top talents to join the DailyPay team, further solidifying the company’s position as a leading force in the industry.

Jeanniey’s journey is a testament to the power of embracing change and turning challenges into opportunities. Her passion for driving positive change has not only transformed her career but has also positively impacted the lives of countless individuals who now have access to a better pay experience.

Beyond her professional achievements, Jeanniey’s journey serves as an inspiration to individuals aspiring to make a difference in the world. As she continues to lead DailyPay to new heights, her dedication to empowering workforces and creating a better financial future for all remains unwavering.

Let us delve deeper into her journey!

Navigating Success Amidst the Pandemic

Jeanniey and her company faced a unique and positive situation during the global pandemic. While many businesses were negatively impacted, her firm thrived and experienced significant growth during the lockdown.

Recognizing the importance of providing employees with the flexibility to choose their preferred mode of payment for their hard-earned wages, Jeanniey’s company partnered with DailyPay to offer this option. This decision proved to be highly beneficial for both employers and employees. Employees with access to the DailyPay benefit showed increased job retention, staying up to 50% longer in their positions. This resulted in substantial savings for companies, as they were able to reduce recruiting costs significantly.

As a forward-thinking marketing officer, Jeanniey’s innovative approach didn’t stop there. She and her team developed the Rehire America Index, a tool designed to track employee hours and hiring trends across key industries. This index provided valuable insights to business leaders, offering a comprehensive view of employment and hiring patterns. By utilizing this data, business leaders could make informed decisions and adopt effective strategies in their hiring practices.

Jeanniey’s ability to identify and address the needs of both employees and businesses during challenging times showcases her visionary leadership and problem-solving skills. Through her initiatives, she has made a positive impact on the lives of workers while enabling businesses to navigate the uncertainties brought on by the pandemic. Her commitment to innovation and forward-looking strategies sets her apart as a leader in her field.

Empowering Financial Freedom

Jeanniey’s firm is a prominent provider of financial services to clients across the nation. One of their pioneering partners is DailyPay, a leading company in the on-demand pay industry recognized with a gold standard badge for its exceptional services. DailyPay’s mission is to empower American workers by granting them unprecedented flexibility and control over their pay, offering a groundbreaking platform that goes beyond conventional expectations.

At the core of DailyPay’s innovation is their revolutionary pay experience platform, PayEx. This platform provides employees with unique products and rewarding digital experiences that contribute to their financial stability. Through PayEx, employers gain a competitive edge by reducing turnover, boosting productivity, and rebuilding trust with their workforce.

With a comprehensive suite of products and services, DailyPay has successfully transformed how people perceive payment systems and financial empowerment. Their exceptional offerings have earned them recognition and acclaim, making them a prominent player in the industry.

Through this partnership, Jeanniey’s firm and DailyPay are collectively making significant strides in revolutionizing the way employees access and manage their earnings, providing a positive impact on both individuals and businesses nationwide.

Transforming Employee Compensation

  • PAY: Employees can control how and when they get paid with instant access to earned income, transparent fees, and 24/7/365 access to up to 100% of their earned income.
  • SAVE: Employees can save their pay in three different ways: scheduled automatically, rounded up when they make a transfer, or directly whenever they choose. With DailyPay, all savings tools are 100% free.
  • CYCLE: Payroll teams can disburse digital, contactless off-cycle payments anytime, from anywhere (e.g., missed shifts/termination pay) anywhere (e.g., missed shifts/termination pay)

Through their dedication and innovative solutions, Jeanniey Walden and her team at DailyPay have not only scaled the heights of success but also revolutionized the traditional practices of wage payment. By offering their cutting-edge services and products to clients, they have ushered in a new era of financial empowerment.

Making a Positive Impact Through On-Demand Pay

Initially aspiring to become a primary school teacher, Jeanniey never imagined she would eventually find herself in the financial services industry. Yet, as fate would have it, unforeseen changes led her down a different path.

In the early days of her company’s establishment, there was limited awareness of its benefits and services. Jeanniey recalls, “When we would go to conferences and vendors, no one recognized us or knew about the on-demand pay industry.”

Despite the initial challenges, the first glimmer of hope came from their first client, who expressed optimism about the company’s potential. This positive reception fueled Jeanniey and her team to embark on their journey with determination and speed.

Since then, Jeanniey has remained resolute in her choices and embraced the opportunities that came her way. The on-demand pay industry has since exploded, and DailyPay has become a recognized leader, with companies seeking to learn more about its services.

With her marketing expertise and experience from starting her own startups and companies, Jeanniey has played a pivotal role in increasing DailyPay’s revenue by over 300%, solidifying its position as a top player in the industry.

The most significant accomplishment for Jeanniey is helping DailyPay support millions of individuals worldwide. She finds true fulfillment in positively impacting others’ lives through the company’s pay tool, making a tangible difference for employees and their families.

In addition to her dedication to DailyPay, she also seeks to inspire the next generation of leaders and foster innovation through career advice and speaking engagements. Her ultimate satisfaction lies in knowing that her work is creating positive change in the world and improving the lives of others.

For Jeanniey, the lifeline that DailyPay provides to employees and their families is incredibly rewarding, and it fuels her commitment to continue delivering quality products and services that make a genuine impact.

Revolutionizing Payroll Structures

Jeanniey’s ultimate wish is to positively impact the lives of millions of hardworking employees and alleviate their financial hardships. She aims to revolutionize the traditional payroll structure using her business resources, bringing about significant change in this field.

Expressing her vision for the company, she states, “Working with DailyPay for over two years now, I have witnessed how DailyPay serves hard-working employees and their employers. I want to continue building the DailyPay brand and help businesses nationwide understand how our unique differentiators can make a positive impact in the lives of their workers and on their bottom line.”

As the industry continues to flourish, Jeanniey envisions her visions turning into reality. The crisis period, brought on by the pandemic, contributed to DailyPay’s success and propelled it to reach its milestones. The value of payroll became evident during this time, leading more people to approach DailyPay for assistance.

The convenience and speed offered by DailyPay have led to an upward trend in its usage. An increasing number of companies are opting for DailyPay’s services to boost employee satisfaction and reduce operating costs, as it makes it easier for employees to access their pay and meet their financial needs. The benefits and rewards reaped by employees through DailyPay’s solutions serve as a bonus for their hard work and dedication.

Looking ahead, Jeanniey believes that offering a daily pay benefit will become essential for businesses to recruit quality new employees as some companies open up again in the coming months. Through her dedication and vision, Jeanniey aims to continue driving DailyPay’s success and positively impact the lives of both employees and employers across the nation.

Success Factors

According to Jeanniey, the key to success lies in self-awareness. By understanding not only their strengths and weaknesses but also future competitors, market trends, and opportunities, Jeanniey and her team stay ahead of the competition. This strategic approach has been crucial in avoiding potential losses and maintaining DailyPay’s leading position in the industry.

In addition to self-awareness, DailyPay prides itself on adopting innovative and cutting-edge technology, as well as having strong funding capabilities. This allows the company to scale and adapt to meet the unique needs of any organization. Furthermore, a dedicated and aligned team that shares the company’s mission and purpose plays a pivotal role in DailyPay’s ability to stay ahead and drive success.

Through this combination of self-awareness, strategic foresight, technology adoption, and a strong team, Jeanniey ensures that DailyPay remains at the forefront of the industry, offering top-notch services to its clients and making a positive impact on the lives of millions of hardworking employees.

Work-life Blend

For Jeanniey, achieving a harmonious blend of personal and professional lives is not only fascinating but also essential for success. She refers to it as a “Work-life blend” and believes that prioritizing self-growth activities and finding time to rest are crucial for maintaining this balance. DailyPay’s supportive work culture and benefits, such as unlimited paid time off (PTO), contribute to her ability to maintain this equilibrium.

Having a clear vision for the future, Jeanniey knows the roadmap to further success for DailyPay. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of flexible pay, and an increasing number of businesses are turning to DailyPay for its services. Employers have come to recognize that DailyPay is not only a lifeline for employees but also a necessity for businesses to thrive. Jeanniey cites a recent Harris Poll, which indicates that many employed Americans rely on financial assistance programs offered by their employers for financial guidance and advice.

With the growing demand for flexible pay solutions, Jeanniey envisions that in five years, at least 75% of U.S. businesses will offer a daily pay benefit. Her clear direction and determination have positioned DailyPay on a trajectory of success, and she now looks forward to expanding the company’s services globally shortly. With her passion for empowering employees and businesses alike, Jeanniey continues to drive DailyPay towards even greater heights of success.

Quartet Health: Transforming Mental Healthcare with Innovative Technology and Integrated Care

Bridging the Gap Between Physical and Behavioral Health for Personalized and Accessible Care

Numerous aspects of our well-being often get overlooked. While we prioritize physical health and societal achievements, one crucial element that should never be neglected is mental health. The importance of maintaining good mental health cannot be stressed enough, as it directly impacts our overall quality of life. From our relationships and productivity to our overall happiness and fulfillment. 

To change that, Quartet Health has emerged as a game-changing company, driven by a mission to enhance accessibility and integration of mental health services within primary care. Leveraging innovative technology and a comprehensive approach, it strives to connect patients with the right care precisely when they need it, fostering a network of healthcare providers and leveraging data to improve patient outcomes. Their focus extends to addressing key barriers to care, including limited access to mental health professionals, stigma, and insufficient insurance coverage.

It has developed into a powerful platform that transforms the delivery of mental healthcare, which is at the core of Quartet Health’s products, under the direction of CEO Christina Mainelli. Quartet finds patients who require treatment, connects them to qualified medical experts in their network or in its medical group, and supports them throughout their care through the use of this cutting-edge care delivery technology. By working with health insurance plans, health systems, community behavioral health centers, accredited community behavioral health clinics, and federally recognized health facilities in 36 states, it has built a national presence.

The impact of Quartet’s innovative approach is amplified by the support of top investors such as Oak HC/FT, GV (formerly Google Ventures), F-Prime Capital Partners, Polaris Partners, Deerfield Management, Centene Corporation, Independence Health Group, and Echo Health Ventures. This impressive backing reinforces Quartet’s commitment to revolutionizing mental healthcare and making a tangible difference in the lives of individuals across the country.

Let us explore how their technology-driven solutions and collaborative partnerships are breaking down barriers, delivering swift access to quality behavioral healthcare, and paving the way for a more integrated and inclusive mental healthcare landscape!

Transforming Mental Healthcare

By seamlessly integrating physical and behavioral health, Quartet Health collaborates with health systems to deliver personalized, accessible, and effective care to patients. With its cutting-edge platform, Quartet Health aims to simplify the healthcare journey for patients while empowering clinicians with innovative tools to enhance patient outcomes.

Connecting Patients and Providers

The core of Quartet Health’s strategy is its potent platform, which harnesses the potential of machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms. By identifying people who might benefit from mental healthcare services, this technology ensures prompt intervention. Quartet Health improves the referral process, lowering wait times and enhancing access to care by seamlessly matching these patients with qualified healthcare professionals throughout their vast network.

Empowering Collaboration

Quartet Health’s platform goes beyond connecting patients and providers. It equips healthcare professionals with a range of advanced tools to enhance collaboration and communication. Features like video consultations and secure messaging enable healthcare providers to collaborate more effectively, enabling comprehensive and patient-centered care. This streamlined approach fosters a stronger patient-provider relationship, resulting in improved outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Personalized and Effective Care

Quartet Health’s commitment to personalized care is evident in its innovative approach. By leveraging data-driven insights and sophisticated algorithms, the platform ensures that patients receive tailored treatment plans that address their unique needs. This personalized approach enhances the effectiveness of care, leading to better patient outcomes.

Providing Quality Care to Underserved Patients

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a surge in behavioral health care needs, creating a significant strain on clinicians as the demand for mental health services surpasses the available supply. This discrepancy is especially critical for high-acuity patients, leaving them underserved and in need of urgent care. Data reveals that over 129 million individuals resided in federally designated mental health care “Professional shortage areas” last year. Moreover, throughout the pandemic, 65% of mental health organizations had to cancel, reschedule, or turn away patients due to capacity constraints.

Addressing the Gap in Care

Quartet Health recognizes the urgent need for increased access to measurement-based, quality care for patients with serious mental illnesses. To meet this demand, they are thrilled to introduce their new clinic. The clinic aims to support a patient population that often struggles to find care outside of emergency departments. Christina Mainelli, President and Chief Operating Officer of Quartet Health, highlights the capacity constraints that hinder timely care delivery, emphasizing the shortage of in-network clinicians. Quartet Health’s providers will work in collaboration with existing networks to ensure all patients can access timely, high-quality care.

Comprehensive, Multidisciplinary Care

The clinic offers treatment delivered by a dedicated, full-time multidisciplinary care team with extensive experience in providing evidence-based care to complex patient populations. Led by board-certified psychiatrists, the team comprises psychiatric nurse practitioners, licensed clinical social workers, nurse care managers, and patient care coordinators. Together, they offer coordinated care, working alongside primary care providers and community resources to deliver comprehensive and high-quality care.

Ensuring Quality and Accessibility

Quartet Health’s clinic is committed to delivering quality care and addressing the gaps in the mental health care system. By providing a multidisciplinary care team, they aim to bridge the access divide and ensure that underserved patients receive the timely and comprehensive care they deserve. With its expertise in evidence-based practices, Quartet Health is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of individuals with serious mental illnesses.

Quartet Health’s launch of a dedicated clinic marks a significant step in addressing the mental health care shortages exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. By offering comprehensive care from a dedicated, multidisciplinary team, Quartet Health aims to provide quality care to underserved patients. With their commitment to bridging the access gap and delivering evidence-based practices, Quartet Health is poised to make a positive impact on the mental health care landscape, ensuring that individuals in need receive the care they deserve.

Care for the Whole-person Well-being

Being committed to providing comprehensive care that extends beyond traditional medical treatment, their services encompass a range of interventions, from biopsychosocial assessments and psychiatric evaluations to medication management, follow-up visits, and ongoing psychotherapy. In addition, the clinic’s dedicated nurse care managers offer vital support in essential areas such as food, housing, job training and placement, and access to medical health care. By taking a holistic approach, Quartet Health Clinic recognizes the importance of addressing the various factors that can impact mental health challenges.

Treating the Whole Patient

Dr. Michael Lipp, Quartet’s Chief Medical Officer, emphasizes their comprehensive approach to patient care, utilizing measurement-based care to understand each patient’s unique needs. This approach goes beyond the traditional fee-for-service model and focuses on whole-person outcomes. By tracking patient progress and outcomes consistently across all clinicians and patients, Quartet Health Clinic ensures that care is tailored to individual needs and that quality outcomes are achieved. 

Supporting Patients Beyond Medical Care

Quartet Health Clinic acknowledges that optimal mental health care extends beyond medical treatment alone. Their dedicated care team recognizes the importance of addressing social determinants of health, such as food, housing, and access to essential services. Nurse care managers play a vital role in assisting patients with these crucial areas, ensuring that patients have the support they need to thrive in all aspects of their lives.

Patient Engagement and Quality Outcomes

Engaging patients throughout their care journey is a top priority for Quartet Health Clinic. By providing comprehensive support and actively involving patients in their treatment plans, they strive to enhance engagement and improve quality outcomes. Measurement-based care allows for consistent tracking of patient progress, ensuring that the care provided is effective and aligned with patient goals.

Expanding Access and Quality Mental Health Care

Quartet Health Clinic has recently launched, marking a significant milestone in Quartet’s mission to enhance access and speed to mental health care. The company’s strategic acquisition of Innovative Telepsychiatry further strengthens its care delivery capabilities, enabling it to provide comprehensive services that complement its existing network of high-performing clinicians. With a growing team of over 200 clinicians, a robust platform with over 20,000 providers, and an annual patient count exceeding half a million, Quartet is poised for continued expansion and an even greater impact in the field of mental health care.

Expanding Access and Speed to Care

The launch of Quartet Health Clinic aligns with the company’s commitment to improving access and speed to care. By integrating innovative telepsychiatry solutions and leveraging their extensive network of in-network clinicians, Quartet aims to bridge the gap between patients in need and quality mental health care services. The clinic’s expansion plans for the coming year further demonstrate its dedication to reaching more individuals and communities across different markets.

Committed to Quality and Results

Dr. Sherry Dubester, Quartet’s Chief Clinical Strategy and Quality Officer, emphasizes the company’s focus on improving the quality of mental health care. The clinic’s establishment not only signifies Quartet’s dedication to expanding access but also its commitment to delivering exceptional care. As their clinical care population and data sets grow, Quartet aims to generate valuable insights and share their results to further advance the field of mental health care.

Continued Pursuit of Excellence

Quartet Health Clinic is proud of its accomplishments in improving access to and quality of mental health care, but they recognize that there is still work to be done. With its strong foundation and ongoing commitment to innovation, Quartet is determined to explore new markets and continue making a positive impact in the lives of patients. The clinic’s launch is just the beginning of its journey towards transforming mental health care for individuals across the nation.

Dr. Shellie Hipsky: Empowering Women Globally

Driving Transformation through Empowering Initiatives, Inspirational Media, and Personalized Coaching!

Empowering women is not just a catchphrase; it is an imperative for a thriving and progressive society. The journey toward gender equality has been a long and arduous one, marked by countless challenges and barriers. However, as we stand in the 21st century, the importance of empowering women has never been more critical. Empowerment is not just about providing women with opportunities; it is about breaking down barriers and shattering stereotypes that have long constrained their potential. It is about creating an environment where women can thrive, lead, and excel in every sphere of life, be it the workplace, academia, sports, or politics.

At the forefront of women’s empowerment stands Dr. Shellie Hipsky, an exceptional leader, visionary executive, and passionate advocate for women worldwide. With a remarkable career as a successful CEO, astute entrepreneur, and former tenured professor, she brings a unique blend of business acumen, academic excellence, and compassionate values, driving a wave of transformation.

As the Chief Executive Officer of Inspiring Lives International, she leads initiatives that uplift and empower women through various media platforms, impactful programs, and personalized coaching. Her literary contributions, including the globally recognized Common Threads trilogy and over a hundred publications, have earned her international acclaim. Notably, she has been honored as the Inspirational CEO of the Year and received the esteemed Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteer Service.

 With her captivating presence, Dr. Shellie has graced the stages of esteemed institutions such as Harvard, Columbia, Pepperdine, and The University of Oxford, delivering powerful keynotes that inspire and captivate audiences. The highly acclaimed EmpowerU Master Class, curated by her, is a transformative program guiding women on a journey of inspiration, empowerment, work-life balance, and abundance.

 As the Executive Director of the Global Sisterhood and Editor-in-Chief of Inspiring Lives Magazine, she leads a dynamic team dedicated to curating empowering articles and driving impactful programs for women in need. Pioneering innovative campaigns like the #PopUpGiving initiative, they provide swift and effective assistance to women and organizations seeking support.

 Deeply committed to fostering meaningful relationships, her efforts extend beyond business transactions. She forges partnerships with charitable organizations, supports essential nonprofit initiatives, and addresses unique challenges faced by women globally.

 Let us delve deeper into her journey of empowerment!

 Inspiring Lives and Empowering Women

 Dr. Shellie Hipsky, a trailblazer with a heart for empowering women, has carved an extraordinary path from her days as a tenured professor in education to become a television sensation with her show “Inspiring Lives with Dr. Shellie” on NBC. Drawing inspiration from incredible individuals who triumphed over adversity, she created a platform to spotlight those making a difference through their charitable endeavors.

 An award-winning author, Dr. Shellie penned the renowned Common Threads trilogy, drawing wisdom from the experiences of the top 100 women she interviewed on Empowering Women Radio. Within these pages, she masterfully covers the themes of Inspiration, Empowerment, and Balance, weaving together stories that inspire and uplift readers.

Driven by her passion to uplift women globally, she founded the influential Inspiring Lives Magazine. The magazine serves as a powerful showcase for the remarkable women of the Global Sisterhood, providing empowering content that resonates with women from all walks of life.

 An Inspiring Force

 Dr. Shellie Hipsky, a true force of inspiration, is a woman of many accomplishments and titles. As the CEO of Inspiring Lives International, the Executive Director of the Global Sisterhood, and the editor-in-chief of Inspiring Lives Magazine, she has harnessed her passion for empowering women and children around the world to create a profound impact.

 Recognized as a top entrepreneur in the U.S. by the American Chronicle and hailed as a “Fierce Woman” by the Huffington Post, Dr. Shellie’s accolades continue with titles like “The Entrepreneur of the Year” and “Best Woman in Business.” Her contributions to the business world have been widely recognized and celebrated.

 Beyond her achievements in the entrepreneurial realm, she is a sought-after international speaker, captivating audiences from Hollywood to The University of Oxford with her empowering keynotes on turning passion into profitable ventures.

 As an accomplished author, her 13th book, “Ball Gowns to Yoga Pants: Entrepreneurial Secrets to Create Your Dream Business and Brand,” has touched the hearts of readers worldwide, earning the status of an international bestseller.

 A familiar face on over 40 magazine covers and major television networks, her impact extends even further as a contributing writer for Forbes and a member of their esteemed Expert Panel of coaches.

 Passionate about giving back, she dedicates her time to extensive volunteer efforts, reaching out to help women and children in need both in the United States and across the globe. Through the Global Sisterhood, she has supported causes like Orphans Worldwide International and Final Salute, making a tangible difference in the lives of vulnerable populations.

 Her compassion for survivors of domestic violence and abuse led her to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge on Mother’s Day, presenting a heartfelt donation to Milagros Day Worldwide to sponsor life-changing retreats for mothers in need.

Currently, Dr. Shellie is booking her EmpowerU Master Class and providing world-class VIP 1:1 coaching to women entrepreneurs, guiding them toward their dreams and fulfilling careers.

 Hipsky’s Global Impact

 Dr. Shellie Hipsky’s dedication to supporting women and children is truly remarkable. Her commitment to making a positive impact knows no bounds, as she continues to uplift and empower those in need across the globe.

 One of her significant endeavors is assisting with transitional housing for single homeless mothers, providing them with a chance to transition back into the workforce and rebuild their self-esteem. Through toy drives and generous supplies, she ensures that children in places like the Goodwill Healthy Start House and HEARTH transitional homes for the homeless experience joy and comfort during challenging times. As a personal shopper at Treasure House Fashions’ retail space, she helps women in need find the perfect outfits, empowering them to achieve new opportunities and boosting their confidence.

 Dr. Shellie firmly believes that with the right support and mentorship, any woman can overcome obstacles and reach the next level in her life. Over the past two decades, she has been actively involved in organizing fundraisers and performing in fashion shows and galas to benefit various charities, including “The Go Red Campaign and the Homeless Children’s Education Fund.”

 Her impact extends to African communities, where the Global Sisterhood has donated educational resources and supported the establishment of a college for entrepreneurs in Tanzania. In Ghana, she earned the affectionate title of “Soccer Mom” for championing a cause close to her heart. The Global Gala, organized by her non-profit, made a significant difference in Pakistan, transforming the Zephaniah Free Education Center into a thriving brick-and-mortar school with books, technology, and proper facilities.

 Nepal, too, felt the profound influence of her compassion. She played a pivotal role in providing clean water and education to over 80,000 formerly illiterate women through the efforts of Dr. Meena.

 Through her non-profit, the Global Sisterhood, a 501(c)(3) organization, and her motivational multimedia company, Inspiring Lives International, Dr. Shellie leaves a lasting legacy of empowerment. As the CEO and editor-in-chief of Inspiring Lives Magazine, as well as a Global Empowerment Coach, she continues to inspire and uplift countless lives, proving that her commitment to making the world a better place knows no bounds.

 From Educator to Entrepreneur

 When questioned about the genesis of her entrepreneurial journey, Shellie candidly revealed that she hadn’t always envisioned herself as a business owner. Her background was rooted in education, and she had always been a teacher at heart. However, as life unfolded, she discovered an innate talent for problem-solving and brainstorming innovative solutions for others.

 As the years passed, this natural ability blossomed into a finely honed skill set, aligning perfectly with the demands of entrepreneurship. Recognizing that businesses and coaches essentially exist to address people’s challenges through their products and services, Shellie found her true calling. This revelation propelled her to take that bold first step into the world of entrepreneurship and forge her own path as a successful business owner.

 Secrets of Success

 When reflecting on her success habits, she revealed, “My morning routine is paramount. I begin each day with meditation to center my mind, followed by journaling to clear my thoughts. Yoga allows me to connect with my body and start the day with positivity. And of course, a healthy breakfast fuels me for the day ahead.”

 She emphasized the importance of continuous learning and research, always seeking new perspectives and insights. To validate her ideas, she confides in trusted peers and experts within her field, valuing their feedback and guidance.

 For Shellie, the family takes precedence, especially as a devoted ‘Mompreneur’. She ensures that her children receive the quality time and attention they deserve, cherishing those precious moments with loved ones alongside her thriving entrepreneurial journey.

 A Turning Point

 When asked about pivotal moments in her career, Shellie shared a profoundly impactful experience. Initially, she had worked extensively on pro-bono projects with a bank sponsor for her television show, and all seemed set for filming at a prestigious multi-million-dollar NBC studio. However, unexpectedly, the original sponsor withdrew their sponsorship due to uncertainties about the return on investment.

 In the face of this challenging setback, Shellie’s determination and resourcefulness came to the forefront. Undeterred, she decided to take a different approach. She reached out to a competitor bank, bravely sharing her story and vision. To her delight, this new sponsor believed in her and her show’s potential.

 With the support of the new bank, she secured the necessary line of credit, and this pivotal moment marked a turning point in her career. She established her LLC and arranged financing for the studio, ensuring the first season of “Inspiring Lives with Dr. Shellie” became a reality.

 A New Venture

 Amidst an air of excitement and anticipation, Shellie finds herself deeply immersed in an exhilarating new venture, a brand launch that she has chosen to keep shrouded in secrecy for now. The project holds the promise of creating a significant and lasting impact, as it aims to provide essential resources, nurture a supportive community, and deliver valuable education to an underserved population. Driven by her unyielding determination, she pours her heart and soul into bringing this visionary endeavor to life, never losing sight of the mission’s profound positive influence on those in need.

 With passion and purpose as her unwavering guiding forces, Shellie embraces the challenges with unrelenting vigor and focus. Her commitment is unwavering as she steadily progresses towards her goal, seeking to uplift and empower those she is dedicated to serving. As the world eagerly awaits the unveiling of her transformative initiative, it is undeniable that Shellie’s unyielding drive and compassionate spirit will once again create a remarkable impact, leaving a trail of inspiration and change in her wake.

 Transforming Challenges

 Undoubtedly, one of the most significant challenges that Shellie confronted was the formidable impact of COVID-19 on her cherished magazine, which heavily relied on print circulation and advertising revenue. As the pandemic brought unprecedented disruptions and uncertainties, the distribution of printed copies came to a standstill due to the closure of stores, resulting in substantial losses for the publication.

 Amidst this trying period, Shellie displayed her resilience and adaptability, making a pivotal decision that would alter the course of her magazine’s journey. With foresight and ingenuity, she chose to integrate Inspiring Lives Magazine into the Global Sisterhood 501(c)(3) with Charity Spotlights, transforming the publication into a fully non-profit entity. This strategic shift liberated the magazine from its reliance on advertisers, easing the financial strain and ensuring its mission of inspiration and empowerment continued to thrive.

 By taking this bold step, Shellie not only safeguarded the magazine’s legacy but also solidified its commitment to serving the community with unwavering dedication. With the stressors of print concerns effectively alleviated, the magazine now stands as a beacon of hope, spreading its impactful message far and wide, unburdened by the challenges it once faced. Shellie’s ability to navigate through adversity and make transformational choices reaffirms her position as a visionary leader, capable of turning obstacles into opportunities for greater success and positive change.

 Embracing Passion and Purpose

 Shellie has no regrets about her journey. She loves what she does for her family and clients. Embracing her flexible entrepreneurial lifestyle, she finds joy in inspiring and empowering women worldwide.

 Multi-faceted Force of Positivity

 Shellie’s zest for life extends beyond her remarkable achievements in the business world. When she’s not making a profound impact on the lives of others, she indulges in activities that keep her fit, happy, and energized. A true fitness enthusiast, Shellie finds joy in a variety of exercises, including Pilates, yoga, and weightlifting. Her enthusiasm for an active lifestyle doesn’t stop there – she is also a certified kickboxing instructor, exuding strength and confidence in everything she does.

 But that’s not all; Shellie’s vibrant spirit is evident on the dance floor as well. She dances up a storm, and her passion for music takes center stage with her single on Spotify and iTunes, where she showcases her impressive vocal talents by belting out the iconic “And All That Jazz” from the beloved musical Chicago.

 In every aspect of her life, Shellie radiates positivity and determination. Whether it’s empowering women, transforming her magazine, or pursuing her love for fitness and music, she embodies the spirit of inspiration and resilience. Shellie’s multifaceted nature and boundless energy continue to inspire those around her to live life to the fullest and embrace every opportunity for growth and fulfillment.

 From Power Suits to Yoga Pants

 When she was a professor, Shellie always wore power suits and heels. However, her daughter’s comment about her 13th book, “Ball Gowns to Yoga Pants: Entrepreneurial Secrets for Creating Your Dream Business and Brand,” hinted at her transformation. Now, she can be seen dressed formally for charity events or in comfortable yoga pants, making business deals from her cell phone. Shellie has embraced a flexible and dynamic lifestyle as an entrepreneur, balancing her professional and personal lives with style and grace.

 Adapting to Technology

 In this fast-paced and technology-driven era, Shellie recognizes the paramount importance of staying up-to-date and adapting to the ever-evolving landscape of apps and platforms. As a savvy entrepreneur, she understands that effectively managing her business requires a keen eye on technological advancements. Emphasizing the need to stay current, she ensures that her company stays ahead of the curve or hires experts who can handle the tech aspect with finesse.

 With a sense of pride and fulfillment, Shellie witnesses how women within her organization truly embody the spirit of inspiration that “Inspiring Lives” represents. She firmly believes that the success of her company lies in the hands of its employees, and therefore, hiring decisions carry immense significance. Selecting the right individuals is a strategic process for Shellie, as she recognizes that bringing the wrong person on board could lead the business astray or cause setbacks that hinder its progress.

 Leadership Philosophy

 Shellie values creative thinkers and believes in fostering a culture that encourages brainstorming and dreaming big. She recognizes that some of the best ideas come from her team, especially during research-based discussions and collaborative sessions. For Shellie, great ideas are born from the dedication and investment of her team members in the organization’s goals.

 Taking the leap from a secure, tenured professor position to start her own venture was the most significant risk she ever took, despite having limited business experience. However, it turned out to be a positive move, and she embraced the challenges with determination.

 For aspiring leaders, Shellie emphasizes the importance of understanding the difference between leading and micromanaging. She believes in hiring the right team, delegating responsibilities, and trusting their abilities, as this approach fosters a productive and supportive work environment.

 Living the Values

 For Shellie’s company, staying mission-driven is of utmost importance, and it aligns with the core values that are communicated and lived daily. By exemplifying these core values, she sets an example for her team and creates a cohesive and purposeful work environment.

 Shellie attributes much of her success to the support of her amazing friends and family, who believe in her. She emphasizes the significance of having a strong support system, especially in the challenging journey of entrepreneurship. Surrounding oneself with loyal and kind individuals in the inner circle can provide the encouragement and strength needed during tough times.

 Empowering Advice

 As a seasoned entrepreneur and CEO, Shellie shares invaluable advice: “Be the CEO of your own life, not just your company. Pour into yourself kindness, self-care, and respect, and do the things on your Bucket List. If you are a happy and fulfilled leader, it will reflect on the organization. Make sure that you find the perfect coach or mentor to support you as you level up your career and create your own dream life! If you sense that I may be the person to support you in your mission, please learn more at”


ADVI Health: Navigating Complex Healthcare Challenges with Data-driven Solutions

Revolutionizing the Healthcare and Life Sciences Landscape! 

Healthcare and life sciences sectors are the most important to have in our world today. They are responsible for the well-being of millions of people, and without them, we would see a decline in life expectancy, health and safety standards, and quality of life. 

In this growing sector, Marc Samuels, President and CEO of ADVI Health, identified a significant opportunity to establish expertise in key public policy and market access domains. With a background in state and federal policy, Marc recognized the need for a firm that could effectively address the complex challenges faced by organizations bringing innovative healthcare therapies and technologies to market. It has emerged as a nimble, creative, and influential player in the industry, providing impactful data, analysis, and strategic guidance. 

His profound knowledge of significant decision-makers and the political processes that drive healthcare policy served as fuel for his vision for ADVI. He came to the conclusion that there was a gap in the consulting industry for data-driven insights and analysis that might guide judgment and influence the direction of the healthcare and life sciences sector. In order to assist clients in navigating the intricacies of the healthcare business, ADVI was formed on the concepts of using data, commercialization skills, and in-depth policy understanding. 

The use of data-driven solutions to solve difficult problems is a specialty of ADVI Health. By responding to crucial access, reimbursement, and data questions, they offer insightful information to leaders in the life sciences and healthcare sectors, assisting them in accelerating growth and adding value. With a distinctive and substantial dataset at their disposal, ADVI equips businesses to make wise choices from the pipeline to the patient and from the bench to the bedside.

Their knowledge spans several facets of the healthcare industry, with a concentration on fields including cell and gene therapy, oncology, rare diseases, and vaccines in particular. ADVI assists clients in navigating regulatory barriers, comprehending market dynamics, and creating effective strategies that address their particular needs by providing thorough insights and strategic counsel in these specialist sectors. 

The data-driven methodology of ADVI makes them stand out in the consulting industry. They offer clients useful data and analysis that produce outcomes by utilizing their special dataset. Their in-depth understanding of market access dynamics and knowledge of policy enable them to design strategies that maximize patient access to cutting-edge treatments while assuring the profitability of their customers’ businesses.

Let us delve deeper into their journey! 

Visionary Leader Driving success

ADVI has received the prestigious “Best Places to Work” award in Washington, DC, for two consecutive years. This achievement can be attributed largely to the leadership of its Founder and current CEO, Marc Samuels. Marc is a highly accomplished individual with a track record as a serial entrepreneur, speaker, author, teacher, mentor, and advocate for both the ADVI team and various charitable and educational initiatives. Marc’s expertise is recognized by his involvement as a visiting fellow and advisory board member at Duke University’s Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy, as well as his advisory board membership at the University of California, San Francisco Rosenman Institute. At Rosenman, Marc has played a pivotal role in the establishment and growth of two programs: ADAPT and BUILD. The Build program specifically supports aspiring women and minority entrepreneurs in the medical technology sector. Additionally, Marc has been instrumental in the creation of the first Young Investigator Award focused on health equity, sponsored by the NCCN Foundation. 

The Boston Globe has acknowledged Marc as one of the most influential figures in advocating for Medicare. He is also a sought-after speaker on topics related to business strategy and policy, and his insights have been featured in various publications, including STAT News, The Pink Sheet, Fierce Healthcare, In Vivo, the Journal of Oncology Practice, Medical Economics, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Dallas Morning News, and Texas Medicine. Marc has contributed to esteemed publications such as the third edition of the Managed Care Answer Book and the second edition of the HMO and Capitation Answer Book, both published by Panel Publishers in New York.

Having been involved in multiple political campaigns, serving two Administrations, and working as a former lobbyist, Marc is often found either in the air at 30,000 feet, engrossed in a phone call or a book, or enjoying his time at the beach, equally accompanied by his trusty phone. 

Strategies for Success

Utilizing efficient measurements, learning about their business, and being ready for a variety of eventualities are all ways that people can deal with uncertainty. It is essential to use measures that evaluate current performance while also predicting future performance. To keep key staff and clients, it’s critical to develop and nurture relationships, keep an eye on rival businesses, and stay current with industry changes. Given the importance of public perception, it is crucial to regularly assess rival positioning and market strategy. It is possible to be flexible and successful in the face of change by being ready for several circumstances.

Setting the Standards

ADVI has gained recognition as an industry leader for more than ten years, offering valuable insights and thought leadership. It strongly emphasizes the importance of delivering high-quality products to gain customer loyalty, as customers are willing to pay for perceived value. The fact that over 95% of ADVI’s revenue comes from repeat business demonstrates the consistent satisfaction of their clients. Notably, many of these clients have remained loyal since the early 2000s, which speaks volumes about the long-lasting positive impact of ADVI’s advice and solutions on their financial success.

Empowering Better Decisions

Their expert team of consultants and advisors, which includes physicians, pharmacists, payers, data scientists, policymakers, and industry veterans, serves as the leading provider of market access data, analytics, and policy and business insights. They offer predictability, candor, color, and confidence to help their clients make better decisions.

Driving Growth and Innovation

ADVI is currently experiencing a period of growth, which brings about a sense of excitement. It is actively expanding its presence in various buying centers that are recognized as leaders in the fields of life sciences, emerging cell and gene research, oncology, rare diseases, vaccines, and digital therapeutics. Moreover, ADVI has made notable advancements in terms of global capabilities, particularly in the areas of health technology assessment, real-world evidence, and advanced analytics. These developments further solidify ADVI’s position as a trusted consulting firm within this highly competitive industry.



AddingZeros for GCI Cover

Monte Wyatt is the CEO of Adding ZEROS and Best-Selling Author of “Pulling Profits Out of a Hat.” Monte is among the top executive coaches and facilitators in the realm of organizational development and holds over 25 years of remarkable leadership, business, and personal development experience. Monte’s experience includes time as CEO, an executive leadership coach and facilitator, in marketing management, sales management, sales training and in sales.

AddingZEROS was founded by Monte in 2019. While launching his best-selling (Wall Street Journal and USA Today) book “Pulling Profits Out of a Hat.” AddingZEROS helps mid-market (revenue from $10million to $1billion) companies bring clarity to how they lead and manage their organizations. We guide trainers, coaches, consultants, HR professionals, and executive teams worldwide to drive greater alignment, engagement, culture, and results-oriented outcomes.

In a Conversation with Monte Wyatt, CEO of AddingZEROS

What factors influenced or motivated you to start this venture? 

Over the past few years, we have noticed a vast need for team development, organizational discipline, and executive engagement. There certainly is a need for employee engagement; we have seen that there is a gap in executive engagement. We focus on developing the executive team to be the best they can be. When the executive team is working at a high-performance level, they train and motivate their team to function the same.

How do you charge for your services?

Our process helps us be a long-term 10x+ investment for our clients who are in mid-market organizations. Our facilitators work with clients ranging from several months to several years because of our strong relationships and reliable results. I have consistently been following the   AddingZEROS process for over 17 years and my average ongoing clients have used my services between 4 and 9 years.

What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your business congruency? 

I firmly believe I must do for myself and my business what I teach my clients and facilitators. Often in management it is “do as I say,” instead of “do what I do.” People do what people see. I choose to influence through congruent leadership.

What do you feel are the reasons behind your company’s reputation?

We believe in focusing on Strategic Thinking and Execution Planning. Strategic planning no longer works. In strategic planning you go away for a couple day retreat, play golf, get ideas on the walls, dream a little, and someone types up the notes. Later, the notebook remains on your shelves because you get back to work and focus on what is right in front of you. That’s how strategic planning normally looks.

On the other hand, Strategic Thinking and Execution Planning takes a different approach. We concentrate on the big picture, choosing our direction and priorities, while discussing what needs to be accomplished and how we will get there.

Our process and approach creates alignment, transparent communication, and complete team engagement to ensure implementation and execution of our priorities.

Imagine having your whole executive team clearly aligned and supporting your organization’s long-term success and agreed upon priorities? Everything starts with the executive team, then cascades throughout the entire company.

What’s so different about AddingZEROS’ training and why should someone participate?

The AddingZEROS approach concentrates on two important areas, Organizational Development and Executive Development. This is how we create an impact on the organizations and the executives with whom we work. Organizational Development incorporates Five Disciplines that every organization must possess. Executive Development concentrates on individual and team discipline. We drive a development approach for both organizations and executives that builds discipline for focus and success.

Through this approach, we add zeros in every aspect of an organization, for this reason, our company is named AddingZEROS. We add zeros not just in revenue and profit, but engagement, employee acquisition and retention, customer acquisition and retention, efficiencies and effectiveness, and ultimately community involvement.

How can 5 Disciplines help organizations grow exponentially?

We define a great business as one that is sustainable, predictable, stable, consistent, and has an emotional connection.

To achieve this definition, organizations must also satisfy Five Constituents: 1) the Company, 2) the Customer, 3) the Team, 4) the Stakeholders, and 5) the Communities they do business in.

There are 5 Disciplines that every business must have to be successful while satisfying its constituents. The 5 Disciplines are:

1) Strategy, 2) Business Development, 3) People, 4) Execution, and 5) Mission.

The Strategy Discipline defines how we will win. Every team member should know what our strategy is. If you can’t state the strategy clearly in one sentence, it is not clear enough. Everyone must know their role and expectations to support your organization’s direction. When we have discipline in following and fulfilling our strategy, we build long term stability.

The Business Development Discipline keeps focus on how we attract, gain, and retain our clients. Who are we attracting? What are we promising them? How are we meeting the demands to retain our customers? How are we managing our client relationships for the long term? Each of these questions need to be answered and each of our team members are part of business development, whether they realize it or not. Staying disciplined in business development generates predictability for future success.

The People Discipline aims to strengthen and develop our team members to be the best they can be for their current and future role in our organization. We believe that everyone in an organization can and should be a leader. Each organization must have ongoing leadership development to ensure we are building strong leaders for the future. Developing our people builds stability inside and outside your team.

The Execution Discipline is how we get things done or accomplished. It includes our ways of working, our best practices, and our processes. We must lead people and manage processes. Execution is normally where organizations fall down. When we manage our processes, we build consistency for our clients and team members.

The Mission Discipline is not about a mission statement. It is about why we do what we do and our organizational behaviors. Each organization must intentionally choose and build their culture. Defined behavioral core values should be taught, discussed and lived out on a daily basis. The discipline of mission creates an emotional connection.

What is the USP of your company? What makes AddingZEROS different from its competition? 

We have a threefold brand promise –

1) Advance your career

2) Transform your company

3) Achieve incredible results

When your executive team develops and makes progress, your organization grows. It exerts organizational discipline, focus, and ongoing executive development to create a comprehensive long-term business. Our facilitators are experience and trained to fulfil our brand promise and help executives grow in their leadership and management skillsets.

Both Leadership and Management are needed today more than ever before. They are two different actions and behaviors. At AddingZEROS, we define leadership as influence through passion and focus. Our definition of management is creating competent and productive team members. A manager is responsible for ensuring that their team is skilled in their respective function and capable of completing their responsibilities efficiently. Leadership and Management are learnable skills.

We bring awareness, education, implementation, and discipline to our clients to help them be the best leaders and managers they can be.

As a question on sustainability, where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

Our 10-year goal is to influence and have impact on 1,000,000 executives by assisting them in being better leaders and managers. In the next three years, we will focus on training facilitators and executives globally to ensure we have this impact.

What are your messages for budding entrepreneurs/young generation?

I want to say the most important aspect of life is learning. The more you learn, the easier and more prosperous your job gets. The more you learn and execute knowledge in your work, the easier your success and achievement become. Learn how to lead, learn how to think, learn how to handle, conduct, and control yourself, your work approach, and processes. Your future self will appreciate you with a bright smile.

CLARA Analytics, The Leading Provider Of AI-Driven Worker’s Comp Claim Space

Heather has more than a decade of executive experience and leadership in data, analytics, and AI. She was Enterprise Chief Data Officer of AIG, Global Head of Innovation and Advanced Technology at Kaiser Permanente, and Enterprise Chief Data Officer of Citigroup. She sits on Equifax’s Board of Directors and is a member of the Audit and Technology Committees. While at AIG, she was named the Insurance Woman of the Year by the Insurance Technology Association.

In Conversation with Heather H Wilson, CEO of CLARA Analytics

CLARA was started in 2016. Our initial focus was on helping our clients direct their claims to healthcare providers that would obtain the best outcomes: highly effective care for the injured worker and cost effectiveness for the insurer. We also analyze claims as they evolve to help insurers identify when what starts out as a simple claim suddenly turns complex and needs to be handled by a specialist. Those were our original products. Now, we also offer products that help our clients optimize their provider networks and manage attorneys assigned to their cases and are piloting a commercial auto claims management product. We try to stay one step ahead of our clients by anticipating what else we can do to help them with the data they already provide us and what we could do with other types of their data.

How do you manage to offer rapid-turnaround data quality service for insurers? 

The key to our success here is leveraging the knowledge and experience we’ve acquired over years of working with what is now a repository of over $70 bil worth of workers comp claims. Workers comp claims data is vast and complex, and every company’s data is different. The time and resources it can take a company to prep their data for internal use can be enormous. Many companies try to do this on their own and throw up their hands midstream. Some of our clients have even asked us to give their data back to them once we’ve organized, cleaned and standardized it.

What is the future of AI in Insurance?

The future of AI in insurance is very bright, but most companies are finding it harder to build an implement than they anticipated. They are finding that AI isn’t a “magic wand” that can solve problems just by waving it at them. There’s a lot of hard work involved in the trenches before you are even ready to build AI models and systems.  And once they are built, if they haven’t been developed to easily plug into insurance production systems, the road to implementation and value creation becomes very long. CLARA has solved those problems in the workers comp claim domain. Our models work and are utilized by our clients right now.  We can get a company up and running in as little as twelve weeks in most cases. In the insurance industry, that’s fast!

How are you managing to collaborate the different worlds of science and commerce with each other?

This is a big challenge for all companies. We start by hiring people who can navigate in both worlds effectively from the start. I am a big believer in assessing how a new team member will affect the dynamics of the team and ultimately our company culture. I look for individuals who will honor our success and strengths and at the same time help us move forward by bringing new ideas and skills to the table. At an operational level, our data scientists are on a lot of our client calls and we encourage them to build relationships with our clients.

What made you get into the world of analytics and artificial intelligence?

I’m a geek at heart. In the first phase of my career, I wrote a lot of code and loved it.  Starting on the front lines, so to speak, allowed me to see the value of data and its enormous potential. I am intellectually curious about most everything, so it wasn’t long before I wanted to understand the application of data to solve problems which led me more often to the “business” side of things. And then, for me, it became all about maximizing what I could contribute through larger and larger teams and organizations. I have really enjoyed bringing together all the functions in a company necessary for analytics and data science to be successful.  IT, Operations, Sales, Marketing, Claims, and Data Science are often siloed and not used to working closely together. My biggest thrills have come from bringing those functions together to achieve big results as a unified team.

What is special about your program metrics that can help customers successfully?  What services do you provide?

We, like many others, saw the profound opportunities AI and machine learning offered to improve predictions with data; to identify patterns that are not apparent to humans. We chose to focus on insurance, a space that has lagged most industries when it comes to utilizing innovative technology. Years of tuning and refinement, combined with subject matter expertise that is critical to interpret the data, have elevated CLARA to become best of breed when it comes influencing and improving claim outcomes. Our product suite offers end-to-end claim management comprising customer data, cutting-edge AI models, and a fully integrated UX.

What is the most important key to your success? Share the experience.

Customer data shows that application of CLARA tools results in greater insured satisfaction, faster claimant recovery, and carrier cost savings. The key to that success is in the application. Our customer teams provide comprehensive training to ensure proper use of the tools and establish widespread adoption. However, all the insight in the world is useless unless the user takes action, so the CLARA suite is designed to direct users to the target risk areas, and we additionally educate users on the value of specific actions so as to influence behavior. We then deliver ongoing analysis of the effectiveness of the tools, tracking behavior, and quantifying impact.

What are the biggest challenges your company has faced in the initial years?

Today we are the leading provider of AI-driven intelligence in the workers comp claims space. From the beginning we have been pioneers. As such, we’ve tackled many challenges along the way.  From selling people on the notion of building an end-to-end system that not only identifies the best providers to use, but does so in a way that makes their adjusters happier and more efficient, to convincing them to help us build it, to working with their claims, data and IT teams to make it real, we’ve overcome some tough obstacles. Creating tangible value from AI isn’t just about building models, it’s about integrating models into an effective business process and system.  The obstacles to overcome are technical and cultural and we’ve been adept in handling both.

What do you feel are the reasons behind your company’s reputation?

I think it’s pretty straight-forward: CLARA delivers results and does so with high integrity. We retain all of our clients because after they’ve started using our products they see improvement in their measures of success quickly.  Another thing is that we don’t just focus on the AI…we focus on the claims adjuster…on making his or her job easier to do and allowing him or her to share in their company’s success.  Our tools automate some of the decision making involved in adjusting claims and I think there are many more opportunities to do so that we’ve not yet touched.  We love that everyone from chief claims officers, to individual claims adjusters sing our praises.

What are your plans about the future of Clara Analytics?

Right now I am focused on further strengthening the bond with our customers. I am asking them how we can be better and do even more for them.  We want to strengthen the ROI we are delivering and find new sources of it for our customers. I also want to penetrate the workers comp base further. There are a few hundred workers comp insurers in the US, plus hundreds of companies that self-insure, so the opportunity is very large. All these companies struggle in some way with becoming AI-enabled. We enable them to say they are. I think that’s a compelling message.

Anything else you want to say? (Heather & Tom)

These are challenging times for everyone. COVID threw a monkey wrench into people’s lives and the economy. Right now, employers are struggling to find workers. The workers they eventually hire may not have much relevant experience which will lead to more work-related injuries. And workers that were injured previously may not have pursued their treatment as actively as they should have and will require more care. We are proud to play a part in helping workers get the proper care they need to get healthy faster, which ultimately leads to a more efficient economy and everyone benefits from that.