Our Guests


Brief synopses, words of wisdom and guest contact information

Kent Barnett (Podcast #101)

Kent is the co-creator of KANDL and co-founder of Management Outsourcing LLC, a business and information technology (IT) Project Management consulting company.  (To learn more about Kent, you can check out his bio on our About Us page).  In this podcast, he speaks to us about the five C’s of Project Management best practice (Communication, Coordination, Cooperation, Control, and Coaching), the need to marry business strategy with IT initiatives, and those things that typically get in the way of successful project outcomes.

When asked about his list of Project Management DOs and DON’Ts, he provided listeners with this information:

Kent’s personal contact information is as follows:

E:  kbarnett@managementoutsourcing.com; M:  +1 703.926.4035 (Reston, Virginia USA);
: http://www.managementoutsourcing.com

Lorraine Warshaw (Podcast #102)

Lorraine is the co-creator of KANDL and owner of BusinessNext International, a business growth consulting and mentoring firm.  (Read more about Lorraine here.) In this podcast, she speaks to us about what makes a good leader and whether or not these qualities can be learned, the importance of valuing diversity and difference, and how it was she came to focus her life’s work on both the business of business and the human side of enterprise.

We asked Lorraine to list the few things she felt were critical elements for business success.  Here’s what she said.

Lorraine can be contacted in Auckland, New Zealand, as follows:

M: +64 (0)21.506.384; E: LWarshaw@BusinessNext.co.nz.

Marta Vago, Ph.D. (Podcast #103)

Marta is an exemplary advisor and business coach to entrepreneurs, executives, professionals, and business-owning families in the USA and abroad.  She enlightened us with her wisdom about the keys to success for family businesses and business families – two very different things even though most people don’t distinguish between them.

Marta discussed the importance of having guidelines around the process for family members becoming (or not!) part of the family enterprise.  Further, she highlighted the challenges that members of business-owning families face when trying to keep straight which “hat” they are wearing – that of owners, managers, and/or family members. This “millenary” dilemma often leads to role confusion, misunderstandings and chronic unresolved issues.  It isn’t all (potential) problems, though.  Marta did stress that working together in a family enterprise can be hugely rewarding and satisfying given the right combination of factors specific to family businesses and families in business.

Marta wrapped up the conversation talking about the value of developing a family constitution.  She enumerated that such a document provides these four important benefits.

  1. A method of ensuring continuity for the enterprise, within and between generations
  2. A tool for managing expectations of family members
  3. A means to promote profitability
  4. An effective mechanism for making critical decisions for both the family and the enterprise.

Marta can be reached in Santa Monica, California USA at:

P: +1 310.396.5034; E: MartaVago@aol.com.

Yvonne McLaren (Podcast #104)

Yvonne is the Managing Director of Valentine Addis, a successful venture catalyst firm which assists what she calls “high niche” companies raise private equity capital, develop sound growth strategies and manage their ventures.  Yvonne’s professional talents lie in deal procurement, business modelling, creative solutions, and sourcing high net worth and seasoned investors.

This conversation with Yvonne is very timely, as companies around the world are re-evaluating their business models, spending habits and underlying assumptions in response to rapidly changing economic realities.  Yvonne offers up sound advice about how to manage cash, cut expenses and lead through volatile times.   She discusses, among other things, the value of a solid team of advisors, straight talk and strict reality checks, and  examples of companies who have done it “right” and “not-so-right.”

Her closing words of wisdom were essentially these:

  1. You have to be willing to take advice.  Surround yourself with people who are smart, aren’t just “yes” people, and can provide solid support.
  2. Get on the phone; set up meetings.  Talk to as many people as you can.  Look for opportunities regardless of how much money you have in the bank.  Even if you don’t have a million dollars in your account, act (but don’t spend) as if you do.  Think big, outside the box, and shift out of desperation mode if that’s where you find yourself.
  3. Leadership is critical in these changing times.  Refresh yourself on what good leadership is – model it, read about it, listen to podcasts (like this one!), think back to those people who were good leadership role models for you.
  4. Look around you to see what successful people are doing.  See what you can learn from their behaviour and choices.  Model what makes sense for you.
  5. Have fun and take care of yourself and your family.  Do something nice for others; give something away.  There are always people worse off than you.  Do things to raise your “internal temperature,” your energy, so you can fuel the fires of creativity in yourself and others.

Yvonne is currently based in Auckland, New Zealand (and soon to relocate to the UK).  Regardless of which hemisphere she’s in, you can reach her at:

E:  Yvonne@va.co.nz.  To learn more about her and her services, visit her website at www.va.co.nz or check out her blog at www.think.flokka.com.

Marilyn Finnemore & Aldo Bello – Mind & Media (Podcast #105)

Marilyn and Aldo are the founders of Mind & Media, an award-winning Washington, DC-based media strategy and full production services company. They combine the right media with the right messages to bring about measurable change and inspire action in organizations, communities and our world.

Since the company’s founding in 1994, Mind & Media has grown, changed and reinvented itself several times. Throughout all of this, Marilyn’s and Aldo’s values, passion, clarity, and purpose have guided their decisions and helped them to design a company that is extremely successful, fulfilling and fun for all concerned.

In our conversation with them, they highlighted the critical importance of embedding the company’s values into everything it does – processes, communications, staff selection, and company “rituals.” They talked further about the attention they have given to creating an intentional organizational culture that not only helps them live their values but also supports and enhances the organization’s performance and its relationships with staff and clients.

  1. Marilyn and Aldo highlighted these lessons learned:
    As a business owner, know what you stand for and don’t apologize for it. Be explicit about your values and hold people accountable to live up to them.
  2. By tolerating staff who don’t uphold the values, you do tremendous harm to the organization.
  3. Operationalize your core values and embed them in how you do business. This allows for creativity and prevents rigidity in upholding those values.

If you’d like to contact Marilyn and Aldo in Alexandria, Virginia USA or learn more about Mind & Media, please visit their website at www.mindandmedia.com.

Fred Maiden – Stop the Flares (Podcast #106)

Fred Maiden, a seasoned consultant in the energy sector, is the founder of Stop the Flares, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing awareness, research and results to the benefits of harnessing the natural gas deposits that get in the way of accessing oil in the ground. In this podcast, Fred speaks with us about Stop the Flares and how he has used sound business principles and practices to create and grow the organization’s outreach and impact.

In our conversation, Fred emphasized the importance of creating a solid business plan at the very beginning of his venture. It is a document that helps him keep the volunteers engaged and focuses his attention on those activities that will most leverage his investment of time and energy. Fred has also used “social networking” (e.g., Facebook and MySpace) to excellent advantage. These are extremely low-cost (free) solutions with great “tools” that help Fred build awareness of Stop the Flares and create linkages with people all over the world. He shared his success with these outreach and community-building tools.

To wrap up our conversation, Fred offered up these thoughts.

  1. His passion, excitement and energy are critical for the success of Stop the Flares – they keep him going and actively engage others in his cause. Use your passion to fuel your endeavours.
  2. As with any new venture – non-profit or commercial – get sorted with the paperwork at the very beginning, even if it’s your least favourite thing to do. It’s a huge help with preparation of the underlying documents, taxes and other government compliance requirements. Remain focused and organized as your enterprise grows.
  3. Bottom line – he finds it a great honour to be able to work on something that’s bigger than himself. Every day he wakes up excited to move forward the goals of his organization.

If you’d like to learn more about or participate in Stop the Flares, please visit their website at www.StopTheFlares.org. To contact Fred directly in Herndon, Virginia (USA), you can e-mail him at FredMaiden@StopTheFlares.org.

 David Tenant (Podcast #107)

David is President and founder of Windward Consulting Group David’s expertise includes process improvement, strategic planning, project rescue, management coaching, and company turnarounds. He has worked with such entities as Dow Jones, Lucent Technologies, the U.S. Navy, Exxon-Mobil, and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.

David talked with us about ways to successfully manage change initiatives, build organizational agility and foster an appetite for change. Key success factors in managing change include having support from upper level management, developing a clear vision and project plan, putting the right team in place, and engaging people through regular communication. David also shared with us his 8-step process for successful change.

As his closing comments, David offered the following advice:

If you’d like to contact David Tennant in the Atlanta, Georgia (USA) area or learn more about Windward Consulting Group, just follow these links.

Email: windward1@comcast.net

Website: www.windward.ws


Les Smolin (Podcast #108)

Les is the founder of the Executive Leadership Forum, a company that specializes in providing executive development, training and consulting services primarily to small and mid-sized organizations around the U.S. He is also leader of the Sales and Marketing Workgroup and a facilitator, coach and mentor to groups of CEOs through his affiliation with Vistage International.



Les spoke with us about the elements necessary for successful business growth. Among them were such things as clarity of purpose, inspiring leadership, performance and accountability, surrounding yourself with people from diverse perspectives who are willing to “tell you like it is,” and having fun. On the flip side, failure can result from under-capitalization, ineffective leadership and lack of ongoing innovation.



We asked Les for his parting words of wisdom, and this is what he shared.

Les Smolin can be reached in the Silver Spring, Maryland (USA) at:

P: +1 301.942.3785 E: LSmolin@comcast.net


Kimberly Wilson – Social Consciousness and Promoting Balance (Podcast #109)

Kimberly Wilson is the “Hip Tranquil Chick,” a hugely successful entrepreneur who has created a rapidly expanding group of businesses in just 10 short years.  Kimberly is the Founder and Creative Director of Washington, DC-based Tranquil Space yoga, voted by Travel and Leisure Magazine as one of the top 25 yoga studios in the world.  Ten years ago, Kimberly started teaching yoga classes in the living room of her one-bedroom apartment in Washington, DC.  Now she has three yoga studios, a spa, a boutique and a client base that has grown from 10 students to over 700 students per week.

In addition to Tranquil Space, Kimberly is the founder of and designer for TranquiliT (a line of eco-deluxe clothing), the founder of Tranquil Space Foundation, an author, a podcaster, a blogger, a facilitator of workshops, a keynote speaker, a mentor for other women entrepreneurs, and a huge proponent of social and environmental consciousness.

Kimberly outlined her five Words of Wisdoms:

  1. Start Small and Grow Organically
  2. Focus on Creating an Experience
  3. Be the Brand
  4. Seek Balance
  5. Set an Intention

If you would like to contact Kimberly for more information regarding any of her products or services, please visit her website at www.hiptranquilchick.com.

Kent & Lorraine – What We’ve Learned So Far (Podcast #111)

A number of recurring themes have emerged over the 10 podcasts we’ve done so far, and Kent and I found ourselves talking about them on a regular basis. We decided to record our conversation so you could benefit from, and consider for yourself, our thoughts and observations.

The major themes that have emerged so far are as follows:

  1. The importance of leaders surrounding themselves with people who are willing to tell them the truth, who bring different perspectives to the table and who will protect them from their “blind spots”
  2. The value of both formal and informal mentoring to both the organization and the individuals involved
  3. The power of intentionality in defining everything about a company–what it does, how it behaves, what it values, how it breaks decision “tie votes”
  4. The potency of identifying the senior leader’s core values and embedding them into the culture, structure, processes, attitudes and behaviors of the business
  5. The role played by passion in realizing one’s dreams and growing a business filled with people who are motivated, inspired, creative and productive

Final WOW (Words of Wisdom)

Harry Rauner – The Business Bank (Podcast #112)

Harry is the CEO and President of The Business Bank and Business Venture Capital Inc. of Northern Virginia, positions he has held since 1994. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Community Bankers Bank, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. He talked with us about “Understanding & Surviving the Current Economic Upheaval.”

Harry offered great input on what makes companies credit worthy in the eyes of their bankers, how to manage your relationship with your banker, what companies are doing right and wrong during these challenging times, and what tools you should put in your “survival kit” right now.

Highlighting the current economic situation, Harry pointed out that this recession is different from past ones as we now live within a global economic and financial system. He also mentioned that, traditionally, big banks lend us out of recessions. However, until banks can solve their own liquidity problems, money for new loans is scarce.

Harry’s “survival kit” included the following items:

Listen in to the podcast to get his parting WOW (words of wisdom). They’re great tips!

If you’d like to learn more about The Business Bank, please visit their website at www.BusinessBankVA.com.

 Cliff Hyra, JD – Hyra IP, PLC (Podcast #113) 

Cliff is the founder of Hyra IP, PLC, an intellectual property law office specializing in helping small businesses obtain and defend patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.  Based in Reston, Virginia (USA), Hyra IP, PLC represents clients across the country and internationally.  Cliff has worked with hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses, individuals and universities on a full range of intellectual property (IP) issues.

Cliff gave us a valuable overview of each type of IP, noting the process for protecting it, giving examples of what types of products or services might fall under each category of IP, reviewing the protection you actually receive from registering your IP, and highlighting the commercial benefits that can accrue to a business from this protection.  He also stressed the importance of building IP management into a company’s business plan.

Perhaps most important, especially in this era of employee mobility and easy accessibility and dissemination of information, was the discussion on how to protect trade secrets – things such as client lists, company know-how and non-patented processes and products.

Finally, Cliff provided suggestions on how to choose an IP attorney who is right for you.

Be sure to listen until the end when Cliff gives us his ideas about protecting your information on the Web and his list of DOs and DON’Ts for IP.

If you want to learn more about Cliff Hyra, the services provided by Hyra IP, PLC or the subject of intellectual property, you can visit these sites.

Website:  www.HyraIP.com      Blog:  www.Patents101.com   Twitter:  @Patents101