This is WRK & WIN podcast where top founders, entrepreneurs and people leaders share their inspiring stories of success.
Empowering Underrepresented Leaders Through Brand Innovation With Laura Barnard
Laura Barnard is the Founder of BREAKTHRU Brands, an innovative leadership development solution focused on advancing equitable representation of leaders worldwide. With a BA in Psychology from Harvard University and an MBA in Marketing & Strategic Management from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Laura brings a profound understanding of brand power and leadership dynamics to her mission. Her career includes two decades of experience leading global brands, emphasizing building leadership brands that elevate diverse voices. As a former Division I athlete and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, she champions energy, collaboration, and inclusivity in her work.
In this episode… How do we bridge the gap for underrepresented leaders in today's global workforce, ensuring they not only participate, but thrive and even lead?
According to Laura Barnard, a visionary leader, the answer lies in dismantling leadership stereotypes and leveraging brand innovation to empower these leaders. She emphasizes the critical role of personal branding in navigating the complexities of leadership for underrepresented groups. By creating a unique leadership identity that embodies authenticity and inclusivity, Laura's approach aims to close the confidence and authority gaps often faced by these leaders, enabling them to articulate their vision and have greater impact.
In this episode of the WRK & WIN podcast, host Corinne Milien talks with Laura Barnard, Founder of BREAKTHRU Brands, about empowering underrepresented leaders through brand innovation. They discuss breaking down leadership stereotypes, the importance of personal branding in leadership development, and the transformative power of strategic partnerships in promoting diversity and inclusion.
[Basketball Series] Creating Inclusive and Empathetic Sports Venue Experiences With Antony Bonavita
Antony Bonavita is the Executive Vice President of Venue Operations for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, responsible for overseeing the venue's operations, guest experience, and project management. With over 27 years of experience in facility and event management, he played a key role in the renovation of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and manages operations for various Cavaliers organization venues, including the team's training center and esports team facility. Antony began his career at Stony Brook University, advancing from a marketing intern to Assistant Director of Athletics. A Certified Venue Executive, Antony is also an active member of the International Association of Venue Managers and supports Autism Awareness initiatives.
In this episode… In an era where sports venues are becoming even more than places for events, how are leaders ensuring these spaces are inclusive and empathetic for all guests? Can a bustling sports venue truly cater to individuals from all walks of life, including those with unique needs?
According to Antony Bonavita, a visionary in venue operations with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, fostering inclusivity and empathy is not just possible — it's imperative. He emphasizes that understanding and accommodating the diverse needs of all guests are at the core of creating a welcoming environment. By adopting a holistic approach to venue management that prioritizes these values, Antony has championed initiatives that ensure sports and entertainment experiences are accessible and enjoyable for everyone, setting a new standard for how venues can cater to their communities.
In this episode of WRK & WIN, Corinne Milien talks with Antony Bonavita about his commitment to empathy and inclusivity in the sports and entertainment industry. They discuss the importance of empathetic leadership, the challenges and rewards of innovating venue operations to be more inclusive, and Antony's vision for the future of sports entertainment that embraces all guests.
[Founder Series] Shaping the Future of Women's Basketball Footwear With Natalie White
Natalie White is the Founder and CEO of Moolah Kicks, a pioneering brand exclusively focused on creating basketball shoes for women. Originating from her observation of the lack of female-specific basketball sneakers during her senior year at Boston College, Natalie was propelled by the realization that existing footwear options did not address the unique biomechanical needs of female athletes, thus posing a higher risk of injury. Her vision for Moolah Kicks emerged from a desire to fill this gap, offering shoes designed with a higher arch, slimmer width, and narrower heel, tailored to the anatomical differences of women's feet. Launched in 2021, Moolah Kicks has swiftly grown, with its products being retailed online and across Dick’s Sporting Goods stores nationwide. Natalie's background as a lifelong basketball enthusiast and her role as a team manager at Boston College have deeply informed her mission to empower female athletes through specialized footwear, making her an innovator in the athletic apparel industry.
In this episode… In a world where female athletes continually push boundaries, how often do we consider the gear that empowers their performance? Is the market meeting their unique needs?
According to Natalie White, a trailblazer in women's basketball footwear, the market has historically overlooked the unique needs of female athletes, particularly in basketball footwear. She points out that the lack of shoes designed specifically for women has not only been a gap in the market, but also a barrier to performance and safety. Highlighting the importance of footwear that caters to the biomechanical differences of female athletes, Natalie emphasizes that the right shoe can significantly reduce injury risks and enhance on-court performance. This is why she started Moolah Kicks and made it her mission to contribute to the empowerment and success of women in basketball.
In this episode of WRK & WIN, Corinne Milien talks with Natalie White, Founder and CEO of Moolah Kicks, who shares her groundbreaking journey of starting a sports footwear brand. They cover the inspiration behind Moolah Kicks, the challenges faced in a predominantly male industry, and the transformative impact of Moolah Kicks on the women's basketball community.
Why Not You? Emily Jaenson's Guide to Confidence and Courage in Professional Growth
Emily Jaenson is a professional speaker, podcast host, author, and consultant specializing in sports sponsorship. With 15 years of experience in the sports industry, she has served as the general manager and corporate partnerships manager of the Reno Aces. Emily's professional journey includes selling season and group tickets for the Chicago Bulls, leading fundraising efforts for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Chicago, and running a small marketing agency before joining the Reno Aces, where she quickly ascended from sponsorship account executive to Vice President. Her career further diversified in Houston, where she volunteered for Super Bowl 51, worked as a Sales Director for the World Corporate Games and the Houston Sports Awards Show, and managed business development through sports partnerships for Houston Methodist, the top-ranked hospital in Texas.
In this episode… Have you ever wondered why some individuals push beyond the conventional boundaries of their fields to achieve remarkable success? What ignites that spark of confidence and courage in them to pursue roles not typically envisioned for them?
According to Emily Jaenson, a trailblazer in the sports industry and advocate for female leadership, the answer lies in the power of self-belief and the pivotal question, "Why not you?" She argues that embracing this mindset can shift the trajectory of one’s career, encouraging individuals to step into spaces where they might not otherwise see themselves. By challenging the status quo and daring to ask what might be possible, Emily illustrates how this simple yet profound question can unlock doors to new opportunities and catalyze growth in unexpected ways.
In this episode of WRK & WIN, host Corinne Milien sits down with Emily Jaenson to discuss building confidence and navigating professional growth. They explore the critical role of self-questioning in overcoming doubt, the importance of mentorship and community support, and practical strategies for personal and professional development.
Transforming Talent Acquisition for Modern Workplaces With Corinne Milien
Corinne Milien is the Founder and CEO at WRK, a people-powered HR and staffing solutions to overcome workforce challenges in sports, media, and entertainment. As an unwavering advocate for diversity and inclusion, Corinne aims to eradicate bias and eliminate barriers that have historically marginalized certain groups from traditional hiring practices.
Corinne’s roots in sports trace back to her time as a student assistant at Bemidji State University, later transitioning to working under Coach Pat Summit at the University of Tennessee. She later served as an Events Supervisor for ESPN, managing some of the company’s premier athletic events. Corinne’s unwavering dedication to her work led to her recognition by adidas, Impact Hub, and Blavity.org as a key social entrepreneur of color. A U.S. Air Force veteran, she completed her B.A. at Bemidji State University and her M.A. in Sports Management from the University of Tennessee.
In this episode… Is the traditional experience-based model of talent acquisition still effective in today's diverse and dynamic job market? How can organizations transform their hiring practices to better suit the modern workplace?
According to Corinne Milien, a seasoned expert in talent acquisition and diversity strategies, redefining recruitment is essential in the current workforce landscape. She advocates for a shift from conventional experience-based criteria to a more inclusive approach that emphasizes diversity, skills, and competencies. Corinne highlights the limitations of traditional hiring practices and the benefits of embracing a broader, more diverse talent pool. She suggests using internal resources like Employee Resource Groups and creating more inclusive job descriptions as practical strategies that organizations can use to attract and retain diverse talent effectively.
In this episode of WRK & WIN, Corinne Milien is interviewed by Chad Franzen of Rise25 about transforming talent acquisition in modern workplaces. They discuss the importance of diversity and skill-based recruitment, the reevaluation of traditional job descriptions, and strategies for attracting diverse talent. This episode provides valuable insights for both employers and job seekers on the journey toward a more inclusive and effective hiring process.
[Founder Series] Redefining Leadership Recruitment in Sports and Education With DeLaina Sarden
DeLaina Sarden is a Principal at Parker Executive Search, a leading global executive search firm known for its expertise in higher education and sports. With a background in college athletics, DeLaina previously worked at the University of Wisconsin and Michigan State University, focusing on student-athlete success. An accomplished former volleyball player at the University of Central Florida, she played a pivotal role in leading the team to significant achievements.
In her role at Parker Executive Search, DeLaina specializes in full-cycle recruitment for leadership positions in higher education and collegiate athletics, leveraging her strong communication skills and passion for building authentic relationships.
In this episode… Are traditional methods of leadership recruitment in sports and higher education truly tapping into the full spectrum of talent available? How can we redefine these practices to be more inclusive and effective?
According to DeLaina Sarden, a dynamic leader with extensive experience in student-athlete success and executive search, rethinking recruitment practices is crucial for tapping into diverse talent pools. She emphasizes the need to move beyond brand-focused recruitment, advocating for a more inclusive approach that prioritizes talent and capability over institutional prestige. Drawing from her own journey in athletics and executive search, DeLaina underscores the importance of creating a more equitable and comprehensive talent search process.
In this episode of WRK & WIN, host Corinne Milien engages in an insightful conversation with DeLaina Sarden, Principal at Parker Executive Search. They discuss DeLaina's innovative approach to leadership recruitment, her strong advocacy for inclusivity in sports and higher education, and her commitment to empowering future leaders. This episode provides insightful perspectives on breaking traditional norms in talent acquisition and fostering a more capable and diverse leadership landscape.
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The WRK and Win podcast is like grabbing coffee with your favorite mentor! It is perfect for all career stages, whether your a recent grad or seasoned pro. If you want to diversify your perspective, this is the place to start! Definitely a must listen for anyone looking to thrive in their career. Don’t miss out!!
Engaging, entertaining, and informative. Whether you are a working professional or at the inception of your professional career, you walk away with something useful each episode. A must-listen podcast!