Success comes in all forms and crosses all lines. So, what’s the common denominator? Learning how to Think Success. JBH goes there with successes from all sectors of life and brings their Thought protocols and life stories to you in ASK JBH.
Ask JBH #25: Chris Denson
Chris Denson is an award-winning innovation advocate, marketer, host, and humor-inspired content creator. As both a storyteller and practitioner, he is an expert at uncovering unique business insights, cultural touchpoints, technological applications, imaginative thinking, and the emotional intelligence required to bring groundbreaking ideas to life. From Fortune 50 brands to startups to government entities, he has applied his expertise to help individuals and organizations increase their innovation potential. He is the author of the 2018 Amazon #1 bestseller, "Crushing the Box: 10 Essential Rules for Breaking Essential Rules," creator and host of the Innovation Crush podcast series, and currently serves as the first-ever US Director of Innovation at MullenLowe, an award-winning IPG creative agency.
Ask JBH #23: Francine A. LeFrak
Francine A. LeFrak is the President of the Francine A. LeFrak Foundation and the Same Sky Foundation Fund. A successful social entrepreneur, women’s rights advocate, and philanthropist, Francine founded a trade initiative, Same Sky, to help women who were invisible become visible through the dignity of work. Her work with Same Sky began with survivors of the Rwandan genocide and continued in the US with women who were recently released from prison and needed a second chance.
As a social entrepreneur, she has helped hundreds of women and girls to use their talents to find opportunities for success. Through job training programs and providing access to education, her foundations have paved pathways for people to rise out of poverty. As a philanthropist, Francine uses what she has learned and witnessed firsthand to help all women rise up to use their talents. Her focus is on women’s empowerment through the development of financial muscles and self-confidence through access to education, training and microgrants. Francine is proud of her latest project, the Francine A. LeFrak Foundation Center for Well-Being at Barnard College that focuses on the three pillars of wellness (financial, physical and mental), the first of its kind in the country.
Before her work as a social entrepreneur and philanthropist, Francine had a successful career on Broadway and as a social issues film producer where she garnered multiple Tony, Emmy and Peabody awards. In recognition of her humanitarian efforts, she received the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor from the French Government, The Women Together Award from the United Nations, The Ellis Island Medal of Honor (2009), and The Human Spirit Award from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. Francine is a long-time member and Chair Emerita of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Women’s Leadership Board.
Ask JBH #22: Dr. J. Chris Ford
Dr. J. Chris Ford is an experienced serial entrepreneur, researcher, and expert in building inclusive innovation ecosystems and programs for intellectual property monetization for Federal agencies, universities, corporations, and investors. Currently, Dr. Ford is Principal Scientist and Research Faculty at Florida International University and University of Houston, respectively. Additionally, Dr. Ford is CEO of M2M Ventures, a firm specializing in patent monetization, grant capture, and venture capital services. From 2012-2017, Dr. Ford was Technical and Technology Transfer Advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Key results were analysis and valuation of DOE’s patent portfolio for novel monetization strategy (i.e. 20,000 patents with a present value of $77 billion); Assessed and aided more than 40 ventures for technology transfer and commercialization projects for DOE ranging from cybersecurity & information technology, renewable energy, energy storage, oil & gas, and biotech firms; Led the design and implementation of DOE’s Lab-to-Market initiative; and served on President Obama’s Executive 2nd Term committee for Economic Development. Most recently, Dr. Ford served as a policy volunteer on the Biden-Harris campaign. Dr. Ford received his BS, MS, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and BS in Mathematics and Dual Degree Engineering from Morehouse College. Currently, Dr. Ford resides in South Florida with his wife and daughter.
Ask JBH #21: Benita Fortner
Benita Fortner is the recently retired director of supplier diversity for Raytheon Company where she concluded her forty-seven-year career in the aerospace and defense industry. During her career, Fortner served on many government and industry councils, boards and chaired the National MED Week Planning Committee from 2002–2004. She was named Chair Emeritus in 2005. She is a past chair of the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s Chairperson’s Committee and WBENC - Women's Business Enterprise National Council’s Board of Directors. Fortner has received a myriad of awards and recognition including the Clarion Award from the National Minority Supplier Development Council, induction into the WBE Hall of Fame and the Bill Alcorn Award from WBENC.
Ask JBH #20: Adrienne Trimble
Adrienne Trimble is the President and CEO of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). She is a known thought leader for advancing corporate diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Trimble brings to this position the same executive vision and record of achievement that defined her remarkable career at Toyota Motor North America, where she served as General Manager, Diversity & Inclusion.
Ask JBH #19: Laurie Dowling
Laurie Dowling is President of The Dowling-Woo Company, a woman and minority-owned small business. Laurie is a consultant who works with non-profit organizations and for-profit enterprises on strategic issues including diversity, general management, fundraising, executive search, strategic planning, management development, and Board development. As a consultant, Laurie is Executive Director for the National Utilities Diversity Council, a national non-profit organization that conducts research to educate, develop best practices and guide efforts that will promote diversity in the utilities industry in the areas of governance, employment, procurement, language access/customer service, and philanthropy. Among her clients have been the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, the Museum of Latin American Art, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. For eight years Laurie was Executive Director of the Office of Executive Education Programs of the UCLA Anderson School of Management where she was responsible for oversight of all aspects of one of the world’s top executive education programs, from corporate relationship management and sales to curriculum design and program operation -- serving over 1,500 executives annually and taking the Department from #23 in the world to #11 (Financial Times ranking).
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