25 episodes

An unfiltered, real discussion and exploration into business, social, technological, and human centered topics from the perspectives of seasoned change agents, professional advisors or up and coming entrepreneurs whose passion it is to make an impact on other people’s lives.

Consulting Unplugged Podcast Andrew Pek

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

An unfiltered, real discussion and exploration into business, social, technological, and human centered topics from the perspectives of seasoned change agents, professional advisors or up and coming entrepreneurs whose passion it is to make an impact on other people’s lives.

    Ep 23: Manny Khoshbin | NEVER. GIVE. UP.

    Ep 23: Manny Khoshbin | NEVER. GIVE. UP.

    Lessons from a real life tycoon, self-made multi-millionaire whose motto “never. give. up.” will inspire you to follow your passion, stay true to your purpose and believe in your ability to live a rich and independent life. 

    Manny arrived in the United States from Iran in 1985 at the age of 14.   Manny spoke no English, had no friends, and knew almost nothing about America.  During his early years in the U.S., Manny was faced with many challenges - but he decided at a young age that he would not let his disadvantages hold him back.
    While in high school, Manny started selling used goods at swap meets on the weekends to make a few bucks.  At age 16, he was finally old enough to get a 'real job' and found a position as a cart pusher at Kmart in Costa Mesa, Ca that paid just $3.15 per hour.  
    Manny knew he wanted more than just a salary, so he started looking for other job opportunities and found a multi-level marketing firm selling bags of nuts and candies door-to-door. Manny applied for the job and in his first two months become the highest earning salesman in the company.  One day, while shopping at Price Club (now Costco) with his father, Manny realized all the goods he was selling were sold in bulk for much cheaper than what his employer was charging him... and his first business was born.  He was just 18, and still in high school, but Manny leased a small office and purchased a full pallet of nuts and candies along with polyester bags, labels, a scale, and a sealer. 
    Manny sold his nuts and candies to auto retail and service centers and did very well – until he realized (by notice from health department) he needed to have an approved facility for packaging food products.  He was forced to shutdown.  While disappointed to close the doors on his first business, Manny knew he was an entrepreneur at heart.  It was only a matter of time before he found his next venture.
    In 1991, at age 20, he was approached by one his dad's friends, a real estate broker, about purchasing a Mobile gas station.  Manny was told he could purchase the station with just a 10% down payment - he jumped at the opportunity!  Manny invested all of his savings and became a Mobile dealer, passing all the requirements, and even getting his Smog License.   Unfortunately, the loan company offering the low down payment funding turned out to be a scam.  Manny lost his entire savings and was unable to go through with the gas station purchase.
    With no money and no job, Manny obtained his real estate license in 1992.  He began working for a mortgage company as a loan officer.  Within 6 months, he broke out on his own and started his only mortgage and realty company so that he could invest in distressed and bank-owned properties. The rest was history.  
    Nearly three decades later, Manny is the President and CEO of The Khoshbin Company, a private real estate firm with holdings across the country.  
    Today, Manny is focused on guiding young entrepreneurs and investors on their journey to build wealth and secure their financial future.  He believes in hard work and encourages other to NEVER. GIVE. UP.
    Manny resides in Newport Coast, CA with his wife, model and actress, Leyla Milani and their two children.

    • 49 min
    Ep 22: Vanessa Colella | The Quintessential Chief Innovation Officer

    Ep 22: Vanessa Colella | The Quintessential Chief Innovation Officer

    Insights and inspirational perspectives on the role of a chief innovation officer and how to use social, business and technological systems combined to drive customer excellence. 
    Vanessa Colella is Citi's Chief Innovation Officer and leads the Citi Ventures and Citi Productivity teams. Vanessa's goal is to accelerate and discover new sources of value by championing innovation so that Citi can compete more effectively in a world of technological, behavioral, and societal change. The Citi Ventures team drives innovation by exploring, incubating, and investing in new ideas and partnering with category-defining startups to help people, business and communities thrive. The Citi Productivity team works to transform the employee experience by leveraging the power of process simplification, operating model redesign, and new technologies to help Citi increase efficiency and effectiveness.
    Before assuming the role of Chief Innovation Officer, Vanessa ran marketing for Citi's North American Consumer Bank. She joined Citibank in 2010 from U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), where she was an entrepreneur-in-residence. Prior to USVP, Vanessa was Head of NA Marketing and then SVP of Insights at Yahoo, where she was responsible for developing and executing the company’s consumer data strategy. She was previously a Partner at McKinsey & Company and a junior high and high school science teacher.
    Vanessa was named a 2021 BIG Innovation Award Winner, was recognized by Innovation Leader as one of the “Most Influential Innovators” in 2021, and received a Silver Stevie Award in 2020 for her work as a champion of innovation. She has been recognized on the Global Corporate Venturing Powerlist in 2017, 2018, and 2019, and was named to Institutional Investor's Fintech Finance list from 2015 to 2018. Her work conceiving and launching CitiBike led Citi to win Advertising Age’s 2013 Creativity Award and the Gold Pencil in 2014.
    Vanessa sits on the Board of the National Venture Capital Association and serves as a member of the Corporation’s Visiting Committee for the M.I.T. Media Lab. She recently joined Chief in San Francisco as a founding member of the local chapter. Vanessa received her Ph.D. from M.I.T.'s Media Lab as well masters' degrees from both Columbia University and M.I.T and an S.B. degree in molecular biology from M.I.T. A charter member of Teach for America, she is a published author and lecturer, taught courses at the Santa Fe Institute, and previously served as a research fellow at Rockefeller University. She resides in San Francisco with her husband and son.

    • 46 min
    Ep 21: Daniel Goleman | Redefining What it Means to Be Smart

    Ep 21: Daniel Goleman | Redefining What it Means to Be Smart

    In depth conversation about all things emotional and social Intelligence and some of the challenges that leaders face in todays world.

    Daniel Goleman is an internationally known psychologist who lectures frequently to professional groups, business audiences, and on college campuses. As a science journalist Goleman reported on the brain and behavioral sciences for The New York Times for many years. His 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence was on The New York Times bestseller list for a year-and-a-half, with more than 5,000,000 copies in print worldwide in 40 languages, and has been a best seller in many countries. Apart from his books on emotional intelligence, Goleman has written books on  topics including self-deception, creativity, transparency, meditation, social and emotional learning, ecoliteracy and the ecological crisis.
    The Harvard Business Review called emotional intelligence— which discounts IQ as the sole measure of one’s abilities — “a revolutionary, paradigm-shattering idea” and chose his article “What Makes a Leader” as one of ten “must-read” articles from its pages. Emotional Intelligence was named one of the 25 “Most Influential Business Management Books” by TIME Magazine. The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and Accenture Insititute for Strategic Change have listed Goleman among the most influential business thinkers.
    Goleman is a co-founder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (www.casel.org), originally at the Yale Child Studies Center and now at the University of Illinois at Chicago. CASEL’s mission centers on bringing evidence-based programs in emotional literacy to schools worldwide.
    He currently co-directs the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations (www.eiconsortium.org) at Rutgers University. The consortium fosters research partnerships between academic scholars and practitioners on the role emotional intelligence plays in excellence.
    Goleman is a board member of the Mind & Life Institute, which fosters dialogues and research collaborations among contemplative practitioners and scientists. Goleman has organized a series of intensive conversations between the Dalai Lama and scientists, which resulted in the books Healthy Emotions, and Destructive Emotions. He is currently editing a book from the most recent dialogue on ecology, interdependence, and ethics.
    Goleman’s work as a science journalist has been recognized with many awards, including the Washburn Award for science journalism, a Lifetime Career Award from the American Psychological Association, and he was made a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in recognition of his communicating science to the general public.

    • 40 min
    Ep 20: Jim Hackett | Becoming a Design Thinking Executive

    Ep 20: Jim Hackett | Becoming a Design Thinking Executive

    From cutting edge technology to the future of the workplace, insights from one of the top, most innovative CEOs in the world, Jim Hackett. 

    Jim Hackett is special advisor to Ford Motor Company and retired as Ford President and CEO.  He served from May 2017 to October 2020 and was also a member of the company’s board of directors.  He retired from Ford on April 1, 2021. 


    Under Hackett’s leadership, Ford moved aggressively into the new era of smart and electric vehicles and drove a deeper focus on user – centered design methods.  At the same time, Ford improved the fitness of the base business – restructuring operations, invigorating the product portfolio and reducing bureaucracy.


    Prior to serving as CEO, Hackett was Chairman of Ford Smart Mobility LLC, a subsidiary of Ford formed to accelerate the company’s plans to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services.  He was named to the position March 10, 2016.


    Before joining Ford Smart Mobility, Hackett was a member of the Ford Motor Company Board of Directors starting in 2013.  As a member of the Sustainability and Innovation committee, he was actively involved with the Ford senior leadership team in launching the company’s Ford Smart Mobility plan.  He also served on the Audit and the Nominating and Governance committees. 


    Hackett was vice chairman of Steelcase, the global leader in the office furniture industry, from 2014 to 2015.  He retired as President and CEO in February 2014, after having spend 20 years leading the Grand Rapids based office furniture company.


    As a consumer-focused visionary in the office furniture industry, Hackett is credited with guiding Steelcase to becoming a global leader.  During his 30 years there, he helped transform the office furniture company from traditional manufacturer to industry innovator broadening the definition of work to include education and healthcare.  Hackett is recognized for forecasting that the office landscape would shift away from cubicles to open space team environments, which enabled new age work cultures to emerge. 


    Hackett is well known for his creative management approach to business.  Through an equity investment by Steelcase in IDEO, and international consulting firm, Hackett forged a unique business relationship with its CEO, David Kelley, to foster design innovation at the office furniture company.  At that time in 1996, IDEO specialized in the design of a number of consumer products, office equipment, medical instrumentation, furniture and computers including design of the first “mouse” for early Apple computers.


    He was interim director of athletics at the University of Michigan from October 31, 2014 to March 11, 2016 where he led the search for a permanent athletic director appointed in January 2016. He played center on the University of Michigan football team prior to graduating from the University with a bachelor’s degree in 1977.

    • 45 min
    Ep 19: Dr. Michael A. Baston | President of Rockland Community College

    Ep 19: Dr. Michael A. Baston | President of Rockland Community College

    Dr. Michael A. Baston is a national thought leader amplifying the role community colleges play in redefining educational success, leading diversity, equity, and inclusion campus-wide reform efforts, and developing executive leadership teams. Dr. Baston has led Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York, as its president since 2017. Under Dr. Baston’s leadership, he helped RCC launch a Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center, a new guided pathway influenced academic school model, Career and English Skills Academies to address middle-skills workforce needs, and secured $30 million in grant, capital, and other fundraising efforts, including back-to-back Title V Developing Hispanic-Serving Institution awards, the largest grants in RCC history. Dr. Baston’s Steps Beyond Statements Initiative has helped to signal specific steps that educational institutions can take to foster inclusive excellence. He was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the primary advocacy organization for the nation’s community colleges. Dr. Baston is also a contributing author to Race, Education, and Reintegrating Formerly Incarcerated Citizens, and the Handbook for Student Affairs in Community Colleges.

    • 45 min
    Ep 18: Dr. Cathy L. Greenberg | The First Lady of Happiness

    Ep 18: Dr. Cathy L. Greenberg | The First Lady of Happiness

    Cathy Greenberg is a former Managing Partner for a CSC and later was a Managing Partner with Accenture.  She is the perfect blend of high powered consulting, motivational speaking and best selling author who knows what makes people tick and how to maximize what people have to offer in work and in life.  Cathy is one of those special people who when she walks into the room or takes the stage, people immediately turn their heads and want to listen to what she has to say.    
    In this podcast you will go deep on understanding the dynamics of building successful consultative relationships through chemistry, capacity and capability.  Provocative and inspiring, her insights stem from her early work  work with primates, later with top executives and now extensively with special forces and ops and military leaders in the United States. 

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

Joewilly97 ,

Extremely Insightful

There’s always great guests and great conversations! I feel inspired every time I listen in. Love it!

amk3198 ,

Inspiring podcast

I love this podcast! I love hearing the journeys and perspectives of Andrew’s guests. They’re truly refreshing and inspiring to hear as an aspiring entrepreneur!

amagansett1968 ,

Full of practical and excellent information

No matter where you are in your life and career, these podcasts nail it every time. Andrew does a great job asking questions to draw out the salient points with those he interviews. And boy does he pick awesome people to speak with! Everything from business knowledge to better sleep! Practical tips for my entire life. Keep ‘em coming!!

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