The Ampersand: Unplugged is a podcast that explores issues of the day that impact our community, affect businesses large and small and explores issues that impact human capital and, more broadly, the human condition. We will tackle everything from leadership to diversity to post Covid office space. Our guests will be well known leaders of our community, political figures, sports celebrities and maybe even just a few fascinating folks you’ve never heard of. As with our monthly Ampersand blog post, which is fast approach 150 editions over the past 11 years, the podcast promises to be thoughtful, provocative, informative and above all, authentic.
Kate Spencer - A Sit Down With One of Our Own!
On this episode of The Ampersand: Unplugged, we visit with our very own Kate Spencer for a highly enjoyable conversation about her role at our firm, how she arrived at Pekarsky & Co. after having known Adam for 25 years. We share stories about the firm, Kate’s views on equity, diversity and inclusion and have a proper conversation about Taylor Swift. As you can easily tell from the banter among Kate and our co-hosts, Kiara Marika and Adam Pekarsky, the culture at Pekarsky & Co. is, indeed, our secret sauce. We hope you enjoy this light-hearted and fun convo.
A Sit Down with the Newest Member of the (expanding) Pekarsky & Co. Family: Shannon Leo!
In this episode of The Ampersand: Unplugged, we sit down with Pekarsky & Co.’s newest hire, Shannon Leo. Shannon will be leading and building the Toronto office of Pekarsky & Co. She listened to all of our podcasts as part of her due diligence on us; now’s your chance to listen to Shannon and learn about her background, her move out of law and her decision to join our humble enterprise. Join us, while we dive into issues such as diversity and inclusion, M&Ms or Smarties, and how we arrived at Shannon as an extroverted, wine-loving, dog-loving, chocolate preferring fan of summer. On the more serious side, we explore the correlation between leadership and empathy, the power of connection and the importance of saying “good job!”
Exceeding Expectations: An Honest Conversation with Wes Hall and Dr. Chika Onwuekwe
On this episode of The Ampersand: Unplugged, we were honoured to be joined by Wes Hall, Founder of the BlackNorth Initiative, Dragon and Founder of Kingsdale Advisors; and Dr. Chika Onwuekwe, Vice President, Legal, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Trican Well Services and ENMAX Board Member. Join us as Wes and Chika share their very personal immigrant stories, Wes from Jamaica and Chika from Nigeria as they landed in Canada, worked hard and excelled in a country that, though imperfect, gave them unparalleled opportunity. We dive into a personal and meaningful conversation about a broad range of topics, though never straying too far from the at times uncomfortable, though entirely necessary, discussion around systemic racism and what we can all do to end it. This is a very real and honest conversation. We can all learn from Wes and Chika’s work ethic, grace, passion and humility.
A Brief History of Alberta and Why it Matters
On this episode of The Ampersand: Unplugged we sit down with Susan Reckseider, Director of Interpretation at Heritage Park and Cheryl Foggo, Canadian author, documentary film director, screenwriter and playwright. We dive into a fascinating conversation about history, generally, and black history in Alberta, specifically. Where we’ve been, where we’re headed and why it all matters. As usual, we end off with our Ask The Expert segment which hopefully you’ll find more interesting that Kiara did! Enjoy the episode, and thanks for listening!
“Silence is Violence”
On this episode of The Ampersand: Unplugged, we sit down with Deborah Yedlin, President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Deborah shares with us her views on why “silence is violence,” why you can never take no for an answer and the irrevocable gift of education. We talk about breaking the “pale, stale and male” stereotype as both a Chamber and as a city and we talk about the future of talent in Alberta. And once we source that talent, how do we then make these “digital nomads” feel welcome here. Deborah shares her optimism around silos coming down and collaboration going up, the importance of tuning out the Eeyores and looking at what’s possible rather than fixating on the obstacles. She concludes her time with us making a bold prediction for 2022 so you’ll have to stick around until the end to find out! And, as always, our co-hosts finish this episode off with an Ask The Expert Q & A!
Three Middle-Aged White Guys (and Kiara) Talk Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
On this episode of The Ampersand: Unplugged, Kiara and Adam sit down with two of Canada's most respected and oldest professional services firms and their leaders. Brian Thiessen, Managing Partner of the law firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt and Kent Kaufield, EY Canada's ESG Markets Leader & Chief Sustainability Officer join the Pod to talk about all things EDI. They candidly share their own journey and experiences from PEI to rural Saskatchewan and points in between and how they arrived in Calgary and are now taking a leading role in changing the narrative around EDI. Venerable law and accounting firms aren't typically associated with innovation and leading change. We expect you'll have a different viewpoint after tuning into this great conversation. And stick around after the interview for our Ask The Expert segment, too 👊
Great content and format
Excellent work from Adam, Chiara and team! Just listened to the “Quality Over Quantity” episode with four Calgary legends and was both inspired and humbled. Well done and looking forward to hearing more episodes!
Love this podcast!!
If you are looking for a business focused, but fun podcast ... this is the one! The hosts are intriguing and have such a good connection with each other & their guests. I am always looking for easy listening while I work & this is definitely that, but they also open up your mind to differing perspective on hot and current topics! Give it a listen, you won’t regret it and you might even learn something 👍
I was an early adopter of podcasts and listen to various shows whenever and wherever. As a long time fan of Pekarsky & Co’s blog, The Ampersand, I was thrilled to hear that they were launching into the podcast space. They did not disappoint. Kiara and Adam clearly do their background work and select topics carefully with a wide appeal. Their questions are thoughtful and they have a natural chemistry engaging very authentically with their guests. I look forward to continuing to follow this podcast and the creative directions it takes. Bravo!