79 episodes

Sharing experiences, insights, and the drivers behind why my guests have built what they have built and how this applies to what drives you.

Driven By with Sam Coates Sam Coates

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 96 Ratings

Sharing experiences, insights, and the drivers behind why my guests have built what they have built and how this applies to what drives you.

    “Assets Happen” with Bob Fockler

    “Assets Happen” with Bob Fockler

    My guest today is Bob Fockler, former investment banker turned Community builder and asset allocator.

    Americans gave away just over 484 billion dollars last year, so I wanted to know what this looks like when it's done right.

    Bob is currently the President of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, which, as he says, is a billion-dollar financial institution.

    This is a great episode that covers:

    Running a non-profit like a business and why that matters to steward capital well.
    Paving your own path and leaving investment banking to take on this city's community foundation and why he never looked back
    Generational giving- who does well and what happens when it blows up
    Plus, much more!

    Please enjoy this week's episode with Bob Fockler, President of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis!





    • 1 hr 27 min
    We Were Built For This with Pat Lawler

    We Were Built For This with Pat Lawler

    My guest, today for the 2nd time, is Youth Villages CEO Pat Lawler.

    When someone has led an organization from less than 100 kids a year, a handful of staff, and evolved into an impact of more than 32,000 kids a year and over 3,600 staff and counting, they are going to have something to say that’s important to listen and learn from.

    It’s energizing how a dream can start small, with focus, resiliency, passion, and leadership, it can evolve to be a national thought leader decades later and just getting started.

    Children’s behavioral health and crime are crucial to our communities and the cities we live.

    It’s a privilege to release this interview on my podcast, where you will learn:

    What it takes to make a culture permeate all the way down to the front line
    Why being a front-line leader matters and the value it gives you to your organization
    How their recent national intercept recognition opens up even more tremendous opportunities across the United States
    Plus, much more!

    Please enjoy this week’s episode with Pat Lawler!

    This podcast was recorded for my work for Youth Villages on their own podcast Stronger Than You Think. So please check that out if you like this interview. This episode was such a great interview. I wanted to release it here on my podcast.



    Intercept recognition- https://youthvillages.org/youth-villages-intercept-program-model-receives-well-supported-designation-from-family-first-clearinghouse/

    • 48 min
    Life As An Underdog and Enjoying the Fight with Frank Cianciola

    Life As An Underdog and Enjoying the Fight with Frank Cianciola

    My guest today is Frank Cianciola. I’m fortunate to interview many people across the country for the corporate interviews I produce. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last few years, it’s that if something works in one market, those principles will work in every market.

    It’s an absolute pleasure to release today’s episode with Banking entrepreneur and industry veteran Frank Cianciola. Frank is the Founder of Bank3, headquartered out of Memphis, TN, and this isn’t Frank’s first rodeo. This is the third bank he has run after two other successful exits. You’ll hear on his latest bank how he took a struggling bank with less than 20 million in assets and today is at 425 million and shooting for 1 billion.

    In this episode, you will hear:

    Living a life as an underdog and loving the fight
    Putting it all on the line in your 40s when you’re given an opportunity to run your first bank
    How to pick talent and empower them to provide a level of service that a big bank can’t
    Plus much more!

    Please enjoy this week’s episode with Frank Cianciola!

    Frank Cianciola- https://www.linkedin.com/in/frank-j-cianciola-04113118/
    Bank3- https://www.bank3.com/

    • 1 hr 9 min
    She Didn't Take The Easy Way Out with Duncan Williams

    She Didn't Take The Easy Way Out with Duncan Williams

    My guest today is Duncan Williams. I wanted to have Duncan on this podcast because What started as a small regional municipal bond firm in 1969 grew to be one of the largest female-owned bond broker-dealers in the United States. In addition to this work, this family has a strong presence as a holding company in farmland, apartments, and senior living facilities in the southeastern part of the United States.

    This is great story that shows what one generation's risk and sacrifice can do for communities, people, and opportunities decades down the line.

    In this episode, you will hear:
    Choosing not to sell the family business when unexpected events hit your family Building a holding company- how to pick the right people, give them what they need, and get out of their way How to build a brand- watching some of the best companies in the world and how they build theirs and learning from them along the way A passion for jobs- the new world order, and making sure people get what they need to flourish in the communities you are apart of Plus much more!
    Please enjoy this week’s episode with Duncan Williams!

    Duncan Williams INC- https://duncanwilliams.com/
    Duncan Williams- https://www.linkedin.com/in/duncan-f-williams-33972aa6/
    bond broker- https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bond-broker.asp
    new world order- link- https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2017/05/03/the-future-of-jobs-and-jobs-training/

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Beating the Odds and Building a 4th Generation Business with Scott Felsenthal

    Beating the Odds and Building a 4th Generation Business with Scott Felsenthal

    My guest today is Scott Felsenthal. I wanted to have Scott on this podcast because he and his family are obviously doing something right. Only 3% of companies make it to the 4th generation, and their company Whitmor is one of them. Scott is the CEO of Whitmor, and it's a privilege to have him on this podcast.

    Whitmor started in Brooklyn, New York, in 1946; over 75 years later, it is running strong.

    This is a great story that goes deep into this family's history of:
    Evolving from a manufacturer to an importer when Walmart changed the game, they, like many others, had to stay alive. Choosing not to take private equity to preserve their control for future generations of their family Building a company that connects the story of what they do to its own people to navigate the great resignation among the workforce  Strategic acquisitions that continue to position the company in a strong position Plus much more!
    Please enjoy this episode with Scott Felsenthal!
    Scott Felsenthal- https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottfelsenthal/
    Make it to 4th generation- https://www.johnson.cornell.edu/smith-family-business-initiative-at-cornell/resources/family-business-facts/#:~:text=About%2040%25%20of%20U.S.%20family%2Downed%20businesses%20turn%20into%20second,Businessweek.com%2C%202010).
    Whitmor: https://whitmor.com/
    Great resignation: https://fortune.com/2022/07/21/great-resignation-40-percent-want-to-quit-where-are-they-going/

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Building It From The Ground Up with Eric Barnes

    Building It From The Ground Up with Eric Barnes

    My guest today is Eric Barnes. Eric is the CEO of the Daily Memphian, the largest single market digital-only local news site in the United States.

    Starting his career as a staff reporter and worked his way up as an editorial assistant, editor, publisher, and now CEO, Eric has seen the downward spiral of traditional print firsthand and the digital growth of how news is consumed.

    What's fascinating about Eric's past is that he started working as managing editor of the internet division in the late 1990s
    Fast Forward 20 years later, and the Daily Memphian is the largest single market digital-only local news site in the United States.

    I hope you enjoy this episode with Eric, where you will hear:

    Why growing up in a blue-collar town never leaves you. How this has shaped his career and his ability to lead as an operator How he saw the shift to desktop in the late 90s and how traditional print has declined from its heyday. What New York Times got right and most everyone else didn't  What can happen when you go for something big with ample capital- how the Daily Memphian was launched and what it did from the start to build traction Why a local newspaper matters and how it's success affects the future of a city Plus much more!
    Please enjoy this episode with Daily Memphian CEO Eric Barnes!


    Daily Memphian launched- https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2018/jul/16/the-daily-memphian-to-launch-in-fall-as-citys-definitive-news-source/

    Traditional print declined- https://www.washingtonpost.com/media/2022/04/12/gannett-newspaper-print-days/

    • 1 hr 25 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
96 Ratings

96 Ratings

CameronRushing ,

Well done!

As a former Memphian who loves to keep connection to the city, I especially love hearing these stories from respected Memphis business leaders. Sam has a natural ability to drive free-flowing conversation and allow his guests to take center stage.

steve of the south ,


So impressed with Kat. Authentic, vulnerable and smart. So grateful to have listened

DeniseS77 ,

Highly recommend episode with Kat Gordon

Very thought provoking. Sam is so good at asking questions that get the people he’s interviewing to open up. His podcast with Kat Gordon would be beneficial for any of us in assessing our motivations in life. She is so honest about missteps and doubts she’s had along the way, yet was willing to adjust the course of her very successful business. Good lessons in life here!

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