12 episodes

Welcome to The Firestarter Podcast, hosted by Willa Kammerer. This podcast is a journey into the heart of living with purpose, touching on all facets of life, from relationships and careers to finances and spirituality. Join us as we engage in deep and insightful conversations with guests who are on their own quests for alignment. Through these discussions, we uncover practical tips, share transformative stories, and offer guidance on overcoming challenges. Whether you're seeking direction or inspiration to navigate your path, our episodes with mission-driven entrepreneurs, philanthropists, investors, thought leaders, and experts tackle the essentials of creating a life and career filled with impact and meaning.

The Firestarter Podcast Willa Kammerer

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

Welcome to The Firestarter Podcast, hosted by Willa Kammerer. This podcast is a journey into the heart of living with purpose, touching on all facets of life, from relationships and careers to finances and spirituality. Join us as we engage in deep and insightful conversations with guests who are on their own quests for alignment. Through these discussions, we uncover practical tips, share transformative stories, and offer guidance on overcoming challenges. Whether you're seeking direction or inspiration to navigate your path, our episodes with mission-driven entrepreneurs, philanthropists, investors, thought leaders, and experts tackle the essentials of creating a life and career filled with impact and meaning.

    Nikki Groom on Crafting a Life of Impact and Authenticity

    Nikki Groom on Crafting a Life of Impact and Authenticity

    In this riveting episode of the Firestarter Podcast, host Willa Kammerer dives deep into a conversation with Nikki Groom, a force of nature in the entrepreneurial world. Nikki, known for helping women leaders embrace their worth, shares her transformative journey from starting a misaligned business to discovering clarity and purpose in her work. This episode explores themes of business evolution, overcoming self-doubt, the essence of self-love, and the community's role in personal growth. Nikki offers practical tips for navigating entrepreneurial challenges and emphasizes the importance of alignment in creating a fulfilling life. Whether you're facing self-doubt or seeking to ignite your potential, Nikki's insights and strategies will inspire you to chart a path that's authentically yours. Join us as we explore Nikki's story, her groundbreaking book "A Power of Your Own," and how she's making waves by empowering women to lead with integrity and impact.

    • 39 min
    Season II - Intro Episode | Rising Through Alignment: A New Chapter

    Season II - Intro Episode | Rising Through Alignment: A New Chapter

    Join host Willa Kammerer as we step into the transformative world of Season 2 of the Firestarter Podcast, where alignment, purpose, and deep, real conversations take center stage. This season, we delve into the lives of inspiring women who are navigating the complexities of life, overcoming challenges, and embracing their strength. From Willa's personal journey of motherhood and significant life changes to the powerful narratives of women forging their own audacious paths, we explore what it means to live aligned and unapologetically. Ready for a journey of insight, strategy, and hope? Dive into our season preview and get a taste of the compelling conversations and solo reflections awaiting you. Plus, discover a free resource designed to help you chart a future that's authentically yours. Welcome to a season of empowering stories, meaningful connections, and transformative journeys.

    • 5 min
    Alissa Peterson on the Key Role of the Ocean in Climate Change, and the Evolution and Explosion of Bluetech and the Blue Economy

    Alissa Peterson on the Key Role of the Ocean in Climate Change, and the Evolution and Explosion of Bluetech and the Blue Economy

    Welcome to The Firestarter Podcast—people, ideas and conversations that move us forward. It’s your host Willa Kammerer’s business and passion to make the world a better place through storytelling, which is why we’re here today. We’ll talk to mission-driven entrepreneurs, philanthropists, investors, thought leaders, and experts on the front lines of the world’s most pressing issues about designing and thriving careers—and lives—of impact.
    It’s your host Willa Kammerer’s business and passion to make the world a better place through storytelling, which is why we’re here today. We’ll talk to mission-driven entrepreneurs, philanthropists, investors, thought leaders, and experts on the front lines of the world’s most pressing issues about designing and thriving careers—and lives—of impact. In this episode, Willa speaks with guest Alissa Peterson, co-founder and executive director of SeaAhead, a bluetech startup platform helping build ocean-based companies.
    As the conversation gets underway, Alissa shares how she developed an interest in oceans and got into her current line of work. SeaAhead arose when she and her co-founder met and aligned on their mutual interest in working with overlooked entrepreneurs in the blue economy space. Since the 2018 launch of SeaAhead, Alissa has seen more and more how intertwined the ocean and people are, as well as the value of taking a solution-oriented approach to the ocean. She and her colleagues intend for SeaAhead to represent a third leg of the stool of ocean-related work; while there are many scientific and philanthropic efforts underway, SeaAhead takes a venture innovation approach.
    Later in the conversation, Alissa shares about some particularly interesting projects that SeaAhead has been working with, such as Beta Hatch and FuelTrust, and explains how factors like low regulatory development and questions of control have led to a relative lag in ocean-oriented venture projects. Getting into more details about SeaAhead, Alissa shares about the organization's think tank, the SeaAhead Ventures program, the BlueSwell startup incubator, and SeaAhead’s support of a bluetech cluster growing in the northeastern US. She comments on the evolution of the bluetech space in recent years, details the current challenge of pilot projects, and explains why the space requires a collective approach. As the episode wraps up, Alissa speaks to the social impact of work in the bluetech space, and how bluetech improves lives from a coastal community development standpoint. She addresses SeaAhead's current inflection point and what is to come, and invites interested listeners to get involved in bluetech work, too!
    Timestmaps:
    0:46 – Host Willa Kammerer welcomes today's guest, Alissa Peterson.
    4:20 - How did she get interested in the ocean and into this work, and how are the oceans doing?
    12:11 - Willa asks about particularly interesting projects SeaAhead has been working with.
    16:32 - Alissa comments on a lag in ocean ventures, as well as the work of SeaAhead.
    22:59 - She then shares about the recent evolution of bluetech and a current roadblock.
    28:19 - Why does SeaAhead take a collective, ecosystem approach?
    32:54 - Bluetech work improves lives by fueling community development.
    39:58 - Conversation shifts to SeaAhead's current inflection point and future.
    43:15 - Willa asks if Alissa has any final call to action for listeners.
    Links:
    Learn more about SeaAhead and connect at info@sea-ahead.com.
    Connect with Willa on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
    Subscribe to the podcast, find show notes and the video of today’s show here.

    Keywords:
    Bluetech, startup platform, ocean, ocean-based companies, blue economy, green tech, entrepreneurs, impact, environment, working waterfront, New England, Boston. intersection, solution-oriented approach, venture innovation, maritime, regulatory...

    • 47 min
    Hans Manzke on the Power of Curiosity, Networks, and Radical Self-Honesty Applied to our Professional and Personal Lives

    Hans Manzke on the Power of Curiosity, Networks, and Radical Self-Honesty Applied to our Professional and Personal Lives

    Tune in to this episode of the FireStarter Podcast where host Willa Kammerer guides a discussion on people, ideas, and topics that move us forward. Building both professional business and personal passion on making the world a better place through storytelling, Willa talks to mission-driven entrepreneurs, philanthropists, investors, thought leaders and experts on the front lines of the world’s most pressing issues about designing and thriving careers in impact. In today’s conversation, guest Hans Manzke is welcomed on to chat about the power of curiosity, networks, and radical self honesty in relation to professional and personal lives. Hans has over 15 years of experience in this field across public, private, and non-profit sectors. In speaking to all types of leaders, Hans expresses his core belief that humans are strongest in their inner selves. He presses in to this in order to unlock higher levels of performance. 
    Willa introduces Hans as the Principle at the Clearing and the author of, For All: Democratizing Big Ideas. After recounting how they first met, Willa jumps right in and asks Hans to reflect on how curiosity played a role in his journey. Learn about the “why” questions he once asked to his parents as a young child that are still part of his daily work routine today. Hans walks through his career pathway post-college, and how he got to where he is today. After working in other fields including journalism and publishing, Hans learned by contrast to gain clarity and conviction for the current line of work he’s in. Once he got into his current field, what stood out to him was how fortunate and lucky he had been with being in the right place at the right time, and knowing the right people. In becoming an author, Hans wanted to work to give back to people that may not be as fortunate.  They take a moment to dive into the idea of democratizing, reflecting on this in both life and career. Working in the equity and inclusion space, Hans decided he wanted to contribute to helping to level the playing field. 
    Shifting topics, Willa asks Hans about the affect the pandemic has had on him and how he has worked to navigate the circumstances. With uncertainty still on the horizon, the timeless human questions and frameworks offered in Hans’ book help people navigate these circumstances. Hans chats about the shared experiences of hardship and negativity, that are simultaneously met with a lot of goodness and positivity. Learn about the unique opportunities that COVID has brought to both Willa and Hans. 
    Taking a few minutes to dive more into the substance of For All: Democratizing Big Ideas, Hans speaks to the big ideas that he outlines throughout. While there are 10 big ideas, Hans just names a few here, particularly those that are personally standing out to him now. Listen as he discusses Imposter Syndrome and ikigai. Learn more about how to think and be radically attuned to your personal purpose. Willa asks Hans to share about an activity that could help to express one’s interests in compelling ways to find their ikigai—what this looks like in times and places. Furthermore, Hans shares about preconceived notions that he originally brought to the book, but did not hold up by the end. With the unique writing, editing, and publishing process through The Creators Institute, Hans addressed these notions head on. 
    After a brief break, Willa and Hans discuss his emphasis on radical self-honesty and condor. Hans shares what he thinks and how he practices it big picture—he argues that one has to be honest with themselves before they are able to be honest with others. Listen as he discusses the Leadership Circle Tool and how creative competencies and reactive tendencies can be measured to help reveal differences between an aspirational-self and the real-self. Learn how we create limits where they may or may not need to exist. “Talent is equally...

    • 53 min
    Michael Hennessy on the Power of Lighting, Unexpected Pathways to Entrepreneurship, and Challenges and Opportunities of Running a Business

    Michael Hennessy on the Power of Lighting, Unexpected Pathways to Entrepreneurship, and Challenges and Opportunities of Running a Business

    Welcome to the FireStarter Podcast where we discuss people, ideas and conversations that move us forward. Your host, Willa Kammerer, has built both her business and her passion to make the world a better place through storytelling, which is why we’re here today. We’ll talk to mission-driven entrepreneurs, philanthropists, investors, thought leaders and experts on the front lines of the world’s most pressing issues about designing and thriving careers in impact. In this episode, Willa is joined by guest Michael Hennessy, founder and CEO of Wavelength Lighting
    Wavelength Lighting develops and implements energy efficient lighting in New York City. His company both works with industries that want to reduce their carbon footprint and companies building their first office or space who have conservation in mind.  Michael didn’t come to this industry immediately, in fact, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do out of college, but very quickly realized clean energy and conservation were passions of his. He worked in banks, and with hedge funds before he discovered the lighting industry.
    In the shift to energy efficient solutions, lighting has a unique set of challenges because unlike wind and solar energy, it was already a developed field. Michael explains that one of the core challenges was educating people to believe there is a better way to handle lighting and understand how much of a carbon footprint our lighting choices take up. Michael explains that filament lighting is a byproduct of heat, which is not a good use of energy. Industries then switched to fluorescent lighting which is slightly better in terms of energy converted to light; roughly 10% of the energy used in fluorescent lighting is making the light. LEDs however use 25% of the electricity run into them to create light. They last longer than traditional light bulbs and they’re better understood now than they used to be.
    His company has never had investors, so he’s been bootstrapping it from the beginning. In a lot of ways it was more of a small business than a startup in that way. For the first 18 months or so, Michael was on the streets of Brooklyn, visiting businesses and discussing the benefits of switching to the LED. If he was able to convince them to change their lighting to LEDs, he was the one installing those solutions in the early days. In recent years, there has been a shift for industries to turn toward solutions to reduce their carbon footprint. These systems not only are more energy efficient, but they are also cost effective and tend to pay for themselves within 3 years. Businesses have a huge responsibility to take control over sustainability and responsibility. 
    There are risks to starting a company, and Michael says that he is naturally a fairly risk averse person. Through the years, he’s been able to persevere and build a business that helps people and makes positive changes. He’s also learned to love the physical aspects of their business. Before, he thought of work in terms of sitting at a desk for eight hours, and while he does less installation now than he used to, he enjoys that his job isn’t being stuck at a desk, When he thinks about his early career, he says it was about staying true to himself and admitting he didn’t know how things would go. For those just starting their career, he recommends reflecting on your why and identifying your purpose in the broadest possible terms so you can give yourself flexibility. 
    Michael is very hopeful for the future, expanding their business in New York, and making the Wavelength model even more effective. He is also hopeful for the climate in the future, he says things are starting to change and trend for the better.
    Timestmaps: 
    0:01 – Host Willa Kammerer introduces the podcast and today’s guest 
    2:52 - Michael give an elevator pitch for Wavelength Lighting
    8:47 - The challenges and opportunities of energy...

    • 53 min
    Katie McDonald on Turning Points, the Foundational Role of Self Care, and Strategies to Thrive

    Katie McDonald on Turning Points, the Foundational Role of Self Care, and Strategies to Thrive

    Welcome to The Firestarter Podcast—people, ideas and conversations that move us forward. It’s your host Willa Kammerer’s business and passion to make the world a better place through storytelling, which is why we’re here today. We’ll talk to mission-driven entrepreneurs, philanthropists, investors, thought leaders, and experts on the front lines of the world’s most pressing issues about designing and thriving careers — and lives — of impact.
    In this episode, Willa is joined by guest Katie McDonald, Founder and CEO of b.nourished, a business helping its clients discover the path of self care and self realization. Driven by her own desire and need for deep self care after burnout from corporate work and motherhood, Katie evolved into a self-care strategist with the mission of creating positive transformations in the lives of others. Listen as they delve more deeply into Katie’s story and work, share thoughts on the new year, self care strategies, cultivating respect for body and mind, and — last but not least — accountability.
    To begin, Katie offers insight for listeners on how she got to the place she is today. Her work began for Time Magazine selling advertising for 45 national publications. She became exhausted, depleted, and felt she was trading her health for sales. When we don’t feel we are good enough, Katie shares, we often overwork ourselves. However, self care is a valid and legitimate pursuit and the way to sustainable success. After ignoring her body’s warning signs of burnout and exhaustion, it was when Katie missed one meeting that she finally had a wake up call that things needed to change. On one of her darkest days, she chose to leave corporate America for good. Within months of leaving her corporate identity behind, Katie and her husband became parents. She applied her same obsessive approach to business to motherhood, but with even higher stakes. It took another sickness for Katie to realize, again, that things had gotten out of hand. 
    Even during her time in the corporate world, Katie held interest in mindfulness and alternative medicine. However, she now knows that if your interests are only intellectual and not implemented into your life, they’re nothing more than useless mind candy. No resource you can buy will ever be as effective as self compassion, which is a habit to cultivate over time. Self care is knowing ourselves and being curious about ourselves, then having enough discipline to do for yourself what you know you need. 
    Next, Katie shares her methods for advising clients and how listeners can apply these principles in their own lives. First, remember to slow down and choose a reflective, rather than a reactive, approach to life. It’s in the quiet and sensory moments that we really get to know ourselves.  Then, observe the habits you currently have. The way we think we are living is often not the way we’re actually living. It’s essential to have strategies in place so that we don’t continue falling into the same habitual traps. Katie doesn't believe in balance, but sees life more as an orchestra containing many different phases and intensities. She offers a planner which contains assessments for different areas in your life to measure accountability from a place of kindness.  
    We all have our own non-negotiable things we need in order to be at our best, regardless if we feel in the mood or have time to do them. These things must be the foundation of everything else we do. After fulfilling our responsibility to ourselves, we can then begin other things. Katie’s own non-negotiables include her morning routine, time in nature, exercise, planning time and tea time. She clarifies that non-negotiables are the things we do that make us like ourselves. Katie’s job isn’t to superimpose her own plan on someone else, but to help them reunite with

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

gail_bray ,

The podcast with Dr. Dennis Rebelo

I throughly enjoyed listening to this podcast! As a junior in college, the information I learned was very valuable, to me, as I enter the time when internship and job interviews begin to start. The questions asked were thought provoking and I loved that they did a live interpretation of Dr. Rebelo’s method to work out Willa’s story! I highly recommend giving this one a listen!

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