18 episodes

The Greensboro Chamber of Commerce brings you a podcast about leadership, small business, entrepreneurship and our community. New episodes released every Monday. Find us online at greensboro.org/podcast.

impact. The Boro Greensboro Chamber of Commerce

    • Entrepreneurship
    • 5.0, 7 Ratings

The Greensboro Chamber of Commerce brings you a podcast about leadership, small business, entrepreneurship and our community. New episodes released every Monday. Find us online at greensboro.org/podcast.

    Episode 17: History in the Making

    Episode 17: History in the Making

    On a recent Daily Action Call, the Chamber's Cecelia Thompson highlighted the Greensboro History Museum's History Happening Now project and the Westerwood Porch Portrait Project - two initiatives to preserve people’s stories, experiences and feelings about COVID-19. From the history museum, guests are Director Carol Ghiorsi Hart and Glenn Perkins, curator of community history. Also on the call were Betsy Blake and Anne Cassity, who are leading the Westerwood Porch Portrait Project along with Cecelia.Thanks for joining us!This episode is sponsored by Truliant Federal Credit UnionVisit Truliant here---------------------Today’s host is Cecelia Thompson, the Executive Director of Action Greensboro, a branch under the Chamber that works to strengthen collaboration in Greensboro and is a catalyst for public-private partnerships. 00:58 - Cecelia Thompson introduces the episode, which is a recording of a “Try This Tuesday” action call highlighting two projects that are documenting COVID-19 in Greensboro: The Greensboro History Museum’s History Happening Now Project and the Westerwood Porch Portraits project.   5:32 - Today’s theme is “History in the Making,” which covers how we are capturing what people are experiencing as we collectively go through the pandemic and quarantine. Today’s guests are Carol Ghiorsi Hart, Director of the Greensboro History Museum, and Glenn Perkins, Curator of Community History at the Museum. Additionally, Betsy Blake and Ann Cassidy join us, who are leading the Westerwood Porch Portraits project, which documents the family experiences of Westerwood neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic.  10:00 - Cecelia asks Carol and Glenn to share more about the Greensboro History Museum’s project, History Happening Now. Glenn explains how the Museum wanted to document this time in history from a community perspective, so they reached out to the Museum members to send in their experiences, insights, photos of what is happening in their houses and neighborhoods, in order to capture a snapshot of what the last few months have felt like in a very personal sense.  12:18 - Carol explains that the History Happening Now Project is inspired by communities across the country and by history captured by previous generations, where day-to-day experiences are recorded in letters, diary entries, photos, and recordings. This project is a way to record what is currently happening in Greensboro, how people are living through this pandemic, and how people have lived through and documented experiences like these in the past. 14:15 - Carol shares information about a video the Greensboro History Museum has created in connection to the project that highlights diary entries which documents one woman’s experience of living through historical moments.  15:03 - Cecelia shares a preview of the Greensboro History Museum’s video, which features passages from Mary Kelly Watson Smith’s diaries. Watson-Smith kept journals for her entire life, and her diary entries gives us a window into the experience of living in Greensboro during the 1918 Spanish Flu. 23:20 - Cecelia asks Glenn and Carol to share some interesting entries they’ve received from the current project about people’s COVID experiences. Glenn shares the range of letters and messages they’ve received, from how students and teachers are coping, to the creative neighborhood socially-distanced drinks in the evenings, to people pulling together to make masks for others, to hearing from the essential people who are working through the shutdown.  25:41 - Cecelia follows up with a question about the different media and formats that people can submit to the History in the Making project. Glenn explains that the Museum is working with UNCG to archive different types of media, including quarantine playlists to new running routes. Carol also speaks to how

    • 52 min
    Episode 16: First Launch Capital Fund

    Episode 16: First Launch Capital Fund

    First Launch Capital Fund is a pre-seed/seed-stage venture capital fund headquartered in Greensboro that focuses on capital appreciation, economic development and job creation through investments in companies with high growth and future funding potential. The fund recently announced the closing of an investment in ThreatSketch, LLC a Winston-Salem-based cyber risk management tool.Thanks for joining us!This episode is sponsored by Truliant Federal Credit UnionVisit Truliant here---------------------Today’s host is Lou Anne Flanders-Stec, the Chamber’s Executive Vice President of Launch Greensboro, where she is responsible for programming for early-stage entrepreneurs. Lou Anne is also the Fund Executive for First Launch Capital Fund, a seed stage venture fund based in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina. 00:58 - Lou Anne opens with an introduction of herself and First Launch Capital Fund. She is joined by Bill Soles, an investment banker turned private investor, and Rob Arnold, the founder and CEO of Threat Sketch, a company that provides cybersecurity risk assessments for small and medium businesses. 3:32 - Lou Anne asks Rob for more on his background and what prompted him to start his own technology company. He explains how his early career enabled him to learn about many different technologies, allowing him to turn to independent consulting, and then started graduate school to learn more about the growing field of cyber security. Rob explains how this all led to the formation of Threat Sketch. 8:58 - There are a few real keys to success in the entrepreneurial and investment world. Lou Anne asks Rob what his keys to success have been in developing his company, and what aspects he thinks provide continued success for the future of his business. Rob emphasizes the strength of the entrepreneurial resources in the Piedmont Triad, credits the Lean Startup Bootcamp put on by the Startup Factory for giving him a firm foundation, and local angel networks for continued support. 12:55 - Lou Anne asks Rob about why he decided to raise capital for his business and what made him choose First Launch Capital as his investor. Rob explains that accessing capital allows a small business to grow more quickly and with more stability, while also being able to try riskier products and markets. Good investors mean the business can have more shots to optimize the product market fit and maximize return on investment. 15:30 - Lou Anne asks Bill how he approached the fundraising process, as one of Threat Sketch’s key advisors. Bill gave the investor perspective and was able to clue Rob in to the need to “talk the talk” to investors, rather than speaking solely from an entrepreneur’s perspective. 17:10 - Lou Anne inquires why Rob accepted First Capital’s invitation for investment. Rob explains that First Launch is a bridge between the angel investment and the seed round that the company was planning later in the year. He wanted to signal to the investing community that Threat Sketch was growing and wanted to build a strong, very local company. 18:58 - Lou Anne asks Bill what his top considerations are when he makes an investment, and what he advises companies to think about when they start approaching investors. Bill explains that startups and early stage companies need a strong team with good entrepreneurial experience, ready to give 150% to the growth and success of the company. There also needs to be a big market for the product or service, multiple exit opportunities, and minimal capital to have the business succeed. 24:48 - Bill emphasizes the excellent management team that Threat Sketch has as another strong point of a good investment opportunity. A team needs to be able to pivot and adapt with strong leadership and good ideas. 25:30 - Lou Anne asks Bill what are the key goals and outcomes he has as an investor, bes

    • 35 min
    Episode 15: Campus Greensboro

    Episode 15: Campus Greensboro

    The Campus Greensboro Fellows Program is a competitive, 10-week summer program that includes a paid industry internship and opportunities to build your network, enhance your professional development, engage in the community and explore Greensboro as a place to thrive as a young professional.Thanks for joining us!This episode is sponsored by Truliant Federal Credit UnionVisit Truliant here --------------------- Today’s host is Lizzy Tahsuda, the Director of Campus Greensboro, an initiative of Action Greensboro and part of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce. 1:00 - Lizzy kicks off the episode by introducing two guests, Crystal Tehada, a UNCG graduate,  and James Dunell, an Elon graduate. Both guests have participated in Campus Greensboro and Lizzy shares some background about how the program helps students like them. 3:00 - Lizzy asks Crystal to share about her internship experience through the Campus Greensboro Fellows Program. Her internship with Cone Health gave her incredible access to many different learning opportunities and pushed her to grow professionally. 4:22 - James has participated twice in the Fellows Program, in 2018 and 2019. James shares about both of his internship experiences with the City of Greensboro. He was able to work in the City Manager’s Office and gain important civic leadership experience.  5:27 - Lizzy asks Crystal and James how the Fellows Program had an impact on them. James shares how Campus Greensboro helped him build his personal brand by connecting, networking, and working with local leaders. Crystal agrees that pushing herself to make big networking connections and leveraging those people to learn what she wants to do with her future.  7:55 - There is discussion around how the Fellows Program strives to provide equity to all students with all opportunities. Both James and Crystal are first generation college students, and this year, ⅓ of the Greensboro Fellows were first generation college students. 9:25 - Lizzy invites James and Crystal to share about their learning experiences with the Center for Creative Leadership. They explain how the CCL training gave them the tools they needed to communicate effectively, learn how to build relationships, work with others, and get the most from their internship experiences.  12:25 - James and Crystal share examples of how networking as a tool has worked for them to improve their connections, ability to build professional relationships, and stories of how those experiences have been so important for them. 15:55 - Lizzy asks Crystal and James what advice they would give to younger college students who are navigating career exploration? James advises taking internships early, getting experience, building your personal brand, and having a strong resume! Crystal agrees, adding that taking risks are okay, saying yes more, and attending more events to get out there.  18:25 - One of the aims of Campus Greensboro is to help young professionals love Greensboro. James and Crystal share how and why they have connected with the Greensboro community, from the corporate headquarters here to the special GSO-only gems.  21:37 - Lizzy asks James and Crystal how the Greensboro community can best support young professionals and recent grads during the COVID-19 crisis. Crystal emphasizes empathy over sympathy, to not minimize the accomplishment of graduating from college, and realize the fear in young professionals of lost professional opportunity. James agrees that more support and flexibility in keeping opportunities open for young professionals is extremely important.  --------------------- Learn more about Campus Greensboro.Find them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CampusGreensboro/And on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/campusgreensboro/Learn more at campusgreensboro.orgRemember to subscribe for new episode notifications each week.

    • 26 min
    Episode 14: Greensboro Strong

    Episode 14: Greensboro Strong

    During what was supposed to be Small Business Week, our member engagement team shares the stories of two local companies that have had to change the way they do business because of COVID-19.Thanks for joining us!This episode is sponsored by Truliant Federal Credit UnionVisit Truliant here---------------------Tracy Myers, the Chamber’s Executive Vice President for Member Engagement, introduces us to today’s hosts: Stephanie Rivers, Member Engagement Retention Specialist, and Heavenly Walker, Member Engagement Specialist.  00:24 - Today, our hosts are joined by Nino Giamio, owner of GIA: Eat, Drink, Listen. Nino shares some background about GIA, which he calls Greensboro’s “most visible speakeasy.” 01:21 - Stephanie asks how GIA has had to pivot their business model since COVID-19 has hit. Nino explains how the shared plate concept of GIA had to completely change, but they were able to adapt to offer family-style meals and wine sales to keep the business open. 3:20 - Stephanie asks about any lessons that the team at GIA have learned through this process. Nino explains that they will probably keep the family-style, to-go option that has become central to operating during COVID-19, especially because “normal” will look different once the crisis has calmed down. 5:20 - Nino shares information about the GIA’s Mother’s Day package for partners and children to purchase to give mom a great Mother’s Day meal, which will also benefit Family Services of the Piedmont. You can get a fantastic meal, some bubbles, and make mom happy while helping the community too.  6:50 - You can find GIA on Facebook, Instagram, and their website. If you’re looking to change it up for dinner, menus are posted every afternoon on social media. Call Nino to put in your order and set a pickup time! 7:55 - Heavenly introduces herself and her guest, Bill Norman, the master distiller at Fainting Goat Spirits. Bill kicks off with an introduction of his family business and how they have adapted in the COVID-19 pandemic. Early on in the crisis, Fainting Goat received permission to create hand sanitizer, so they stopped production of spirits and started to work just on creating hand sanitizer. 10:20 - Heavenly asks about the process of how Fainting Goat is making hand sanitizer. Bill explains that they currently are producing about 1200 gallons of sanitizer per week.  11:38 - Heavenly inquires about how the hand sanitizer is distributed. Bill and his family have been giving away about 400 gallons per week for free to the community, who can come by the distillery for curbside pickup. The rest of the sanitizer is given to first responders in different counties, who will then distribute it to those that need it. 12:51 - How has COVID-19 changed the business beyond the shift from producing alcohol to producing hand sanitizer? Bill talks about how many of their clients are bars and restaurants, which are currently closed, so those sales dropped dramatically. Fortunately, Fainting Goat can sell bottles directly from the distillery and there has been an increase in sales from the community coming to the distillery. 14:33 - Heavenly asks Bill what lessons he’s learned through this pandemic experience. Bill says that he truly appreciates everything and to really appreciate your loved ones and the community around you. Bill emphasizes that the community is so genuinely appreciative of what his business is doing, which makes it all worthwhile.  17:20 - If you need hand sanitizer, you can do curbside pickup Monday through Saturday from 10am-4pm. You can find Fainting Goat online on their website and social media. Make sure to follow them for some great cocktail inspiration!---------------------GIAWebsite: https://www.drinkeatlisten.com/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/giadrinkeatlisten/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/giadrinkeatlisten

    • 20 min
    Episode 13: Leadership Greensboro

    Episode 13: Leadership Greensboro

    Leadership Greensboro Director Niketa Greene and two of this year's program chairs talk about how they've moved the program to an online format. LG is the Chamber's signature leadership program, producing leaders committed to inclusivity, collaboration, and the common good.-----------------00:58 - Niketa kicks off the episode by introducing Brandon Inscore and Elizabeth Paul to discuss the Leadership Greensboro, what the program consists of, and how the program has changed to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Leadership Greensboro is a three-part, nine-month leadership curriculum that brings together a cohort of 45 diverse professionals from a range of industries and experience levels.  2:56 - Elizabeth and Brandon introduce themselves and share how and why they got involved with Leadership Greensboro. They were both part of the 2019 Leadership Greensboro cohort and are involved in helping the 2020 cohort as chairs of the program. 6:00 - Niketa asks Brandon and Elizabeth to explain what they do in the program chair role and how the chairs contribute to continuing improvement in the program. Niketa emphasizes the importance of having the chairs’ input and influence into the program, as Niketa is the only paid staff member for Leadership Greensboro, so the assistance of the chairs is critical.  10:00 - Niketa asks her guests to reflect on what Leadership Greensboro was like as a participant. Elizabeth remembers the first day she met the other participants and how they all jumped right into the experience together. Brandon shares his memories from Day 1 as well, appreciating the many different people he was able to meet and the opportunity to expand his professional network.  15:13 - When asked about their favorite moments, Elizabeth praises Niketa for her leadership, her encouragement, and her invitation for the Leadership Greensboro participants to bring their whole selves into the program. Niketa lay the foundation for great engagement, education and bonding for the whole cohort. Elizabeth remembers the impact that Diversity and Inclusion Day had on her cohort and the emotions that were shared between participants.  19:35 - Brandon echoes Elizabeth’s highlight moments of CCL and the Diversity and Inclusion Day that the cohort experienced together. Leadership Greensboro allows participants to sit down and talk about their life experiences, and create a safe space to understand how policy and assumptions affect others differently. This was a powerful experience for Brandon.  21:35 - Niketa asks how Brandon and Elizabeth took on the time commitment of Leadership Greensboro in balance with their work responsibilities. Brandon explains that Leadership Greensboro fit in with his company values of community and he took full advantage of what was offered to him through the program, while also making sure that he was putting in extra time at work. Elizabeth’s experience was the same, always looking forward to the program days, learning everything she could, and appreciating that her workplace sees the value of Leadership Greensboro. 25:20 - Niketa asks her guests for a word that describes how the program has translated to value for them personally and professionally. Elizabeth chooses “transformational” as her word, explaining how the Leadership Greensboro experience has transformed her in so many ways. Brandon says he also felt so much transformation, but also gained hope. Leadership Greensboro allowed him to have open and honest conversations about difficult and complicated topics, where respectful disagreement and understanding could happen.  28:40 - Niketa brings up when the world changed with the outbreak of COVID-19 and how this interrupted so many plans (including graduation) for Leadership Greensboro’s class of 2020. Ultimately, the leadership team decided to move the program days online, which is a fir

    • 44 min
    Episode 12: Guilford Apprenticeship Partners

    Episode 12: Guilford Apprenticeship Partners

    The Guilford Apprenticeship Partners program allows high school students to learn a trade and graduate with both their high school diploma and associate's degrees debt-free. Meridith Berger, director of existing industry services for the Chamber, sits down with Peter Shoun from LC America and Courtney Smith, an apprentice with MSI, to talk about how GAP works.Thanks for joining us!This episode is sponsored by Truliant Federal Credit UnionVisit Truliant here---------------------Today’s host is Meridith Berger, Director of Existing Industry ServicesDisclaimer: We recorded this episode in early February, before the impact of COVID-19. Our programming for the Guilford Apprenticeship Partners (GAP) Program is now all virtual.  1:52 - Meridith kicks off the episode with some background information about the Guilford Apprenticeship Partners Program and how it benefits both young students and our local companies. GAP is a registered apprenticeship program for high schoolers, is in its fifth year of operation, and has grown to include six program tracks.  3:08 - Today’s guests are Peter Shawn with LC America and Courtney Smith, a second year apprentice with Machine Specialities Inc. Peter and Courtney share some more information about how the companies interact with and teach their apprentices.  5:44 - Peter dives into why LC America partnered with the GAP Program, the benefits that the company is seeing from the program, and how the apprenticeship program is cultivating a long-term, dedicated, and highly skilled employee for the company. Peter explains how LC America is seeing a great return on investment from taking on apprentices, but also how the students grow and benefit.  9:40 - Meridith asks Peter about what cultural or work stresses can be presented by bringing in such young apprentices into the workplace. Peter explains that these students go through a rigorous application, are hardworking, have a particular focus and have great community support behind them. Once employees see how eager the apprentices are, their energy is contagious.  12:10 - Meridith asks Courtney about her experiences as a student-apprentice, her interactions with the other workers, and how career mentors are helping to shape her professional learning. Courtney has found her mentors and fellow employees to be very open, helpful and accepting. 13:20 - Meridith explains that although the GAP Program is 138 students strong, only 6 are female. She asks Courtney how she’d encourage other women to get into GAP or manufacturing environments. Even though manufacturing is a male-dominated field, she feels supported and able to work just as well as her male counterparts. Courtney encourages women to pursue their interests, whatever they may be. 15:25 - For those students interested in the GAP Program, make sure to ask your school counselors, teachers, and peers for information! You can also visit https://gapnc.org/ for more information on how to apply, how it works, and participating employers.--------------------- Find out more about GAP: gapnc.orgRemember to subscribe for new episode notifications each week.Make sure to follow impact. The Boro on social media!Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @gsochamberVisit the Chamber website at greensboro.org.

    • 17 min

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