With its reputation for long hours, high stress, and a results-first mindset, Wall Street isn’t necessarily thought of as a hotbed of cultural innovation. But today's guest would beg to differ. On this episode of the Awesome Office Show we talk to Courtney Reum, an innovative entrepreneur, angel investor, and leader with a background in building consumer products brands. Courtney is best known as the CEO of VEEV Spirits, an all natural premium spirit brand that he co-founded with his brother Carter. What started as a two-man team selling VEEV out of the trunks of their cars, has turned into one of the best-selling independent liquor brands in the U.S. As VEEV's chief executive, Courtney is responsible for directing the culture of the wildly successful brand. And while it hasn't always been easy, VEEV the company is known for its spirit of disruption and creative innovation. But what we found most interesting was how it was Courtney and Carter's stint at Goldman Sachs that actually had the biggest influence on the culture and esprit de corps at VEEV.
If you had to choose one example of a truly awesome office, Clif Bar and Co.’s state-of-the art, 115,000-square-foot headquarters in Emeryville, CA might very well be it. Made from wood reclaimed from local barns and railway ties, and featuring a gym and rock climbing wall, the space mirrors the company’s commitment to health, wellness, and sustainability. At the center of it all is today’s guest, Jen Freitas, the company’s Director of Learning and Engagement. Guided by the company’s “Five Aspirations,” she helped launch Clif Bar’s Sustainability Benefits Program, an initiative that helped the company earn numerous workplace awards, including ‘best place to work’ nods by Fortune and Outside magazines.
You’d be hard pressed to find someone more qualified to talk about real-time marketing and communication than our next guest, Mr. David Meerman Scott. David is a renowned speaker and author, and has published ten books on marketing, PR, and sales in the networked age. In fact his book The New Rules of Marketing & PR is considered a must-read for modern PR and marketing pros, and is used as a text in hundreds of universities and business schools worldwide. Additionally, He’s spoken in more than 40 countries and on all seven continents, and is the marketer in residence at Hubspot, where he helped the company grow to more than 11,000 customers in 70 countries.
In the first part of our interview, we found out that author, television host, and Trendera CEO Jane Buckingham is an expert on the art of the interview. In the second installation, we went a bit more in depth, as Jane shared the three biggest mistakes that companies make - and that you should avoid - when interviewing potential new hires. As a trend and generational expert, Jane also described the pressure she feels when being interviewed, and the responsibility she feels to accurately depict the generations about which she provides insight.
Hiring and retention is top of mind for so many business leaders today - and rightfully so. But one of the most important steps in the process is often an afterthought: interviewing. As an entrepreneur, career expert, and television personality, this week’s guest Jane Buckingham is no stranger to the art of the interview. In fact, as the host of ABC Family’s Job or No Job, Jane advises young candidates on how to get their dream job. Each week she helps a recent college grad try and land a job in highly competitive fields like fashion, journalism, and tech. She knows a thing or two about the process, and was gracious enough to let us visit her in the Beverly Hills offices of Trendera, the consumer insights firm she founded to help brands create strategy and action around cultural shifts, to share her best interview tips with The Awesome Office audience.
In Episode 7 we continue our conversation with speaker, communication expert, and World Adoption Day founder Hank Fortener. For part two, Hank gives us a deep dive on what makes a great communicator - and some of his ideas will definitely surprise you. For starters, Hank tells us why preparation and empathy are the keys to great communication, why storytelling is at the heart of great leaders and great companies, as well the biggest mistake leaders make when communicating to their employees.
Our guest in Episode 6 of the Awesome Office Show is non other than Hank Fortener, an adoption expert, pastor, speaker, and sought-after authority on culture and leadership. As the founder of AdoptTogether.org and World Adoption Day, Hank has dedicated much of his life to helping young people who are (in his words) “without a tribe” feel a sense of family and belonging. Through his organizations, Hank has helped more than 1,400 families raise 6 million dollars towards adoption expenses to help bring their children home. He is also a pastor at Mosaic, a vibrant church led by Erwin McManus in the heart of Hollywood, where he delivers thoughtful and impassioned sermons to massive audiences.
Today our guest is Nanxi Liu, an entrepreneur, innovator, and frankly, one of the most accomplished people under thirty we’ve ever come across. Nanxi is the co-founder and CEO of Enplug, a company that builds the leading software for displays in stores, hotels, sports arenas, restaurants, and offices. Since their founding in 2012, the company has grown from 5 co-founders to a team of more than 50 people in North America, Africa, and Europe. Every day, millions of people use Enplug's technology in dozens of countries around the world.
n part one of our conversation, DocStoc co-founder and former CEO Jason Nazar told us the three hiring practices that helped support the company’s massive growth. In part two, we dive even further. In Episode 4, Jason talks about why he encourages his employees to act as though they are the CEO. On the flip side, he reveals why he thinks of himself as a D1 college coach, and why he tells his employees that their goal should be to “go pro.”
Our featured interview for Episode 3 is none other than Jason Nazar, the co-founder and former CEO of Docstoc, and the creator and host of Startups Uncensored, the longest running and most widely attended technology gathering in southern California As an active tech entrepreneur, investor, writer, and speaker, Jason knows a thing or two about creating strong teams, inspiring cultures, and work environments in which individuals can become their ideal selves.
In Episode 2, our conversation with Quest Nutrition president and co-founder Tom Bilyeu continues. In part 2 of our conversation, Tom mentioned a few things that surprised us. For starters, he explains that if you’re an employee at Quest Nutrition, he’s not just there to give you the support you need to achieve your goals and grow as a professional. Likewise, his mission isn’t just to provide consumers with nutritious, healthy snacks that taste great while improving your overall metabolic health.
The Awesome Office Show is all about leading people, creating culture, and inspiring Awesome for companies of all shapes and sizes. So for the show’s very first guest, we went with someone who embodies the spirit of that mission; someone who has personally interviewed more than 1,200 candidates; someone whose passion for people and development permeates everything he does, and who has cultivated a culture of growth that helped transformed his company into the second fastest growing private company in America. We’re talking about Quest Nutrition president and co-founder Tom Bilyeu (pronounced “bill-you”).
Awesome Office creators out there, it’s a very special day. Today we are proud to debut The Awesome Office Show, the podcast that’s all about leading people, creating culture, and inspiring Awesome for companies of all shapes and sizes. Each week on the show we talk to a business leader, entrepreneur or people pro at the most successful and buzzed about companies in the country, and learn their most actionable tips, tactics, and best practices - and share them with you. This is a behind-the-curtain look that you’re not going to find anywhere else. If you care about developing stellar cultures that provide lasting value for employees, customers, and shareholders, then this is the podcast for you.
Welcome to the AWE Blog. What the heck is AWE? I’m glad you asked, because it’s pretty awesome. AWE stands for the Association of Workplace Engagement, and is an organization whose mission is to help companies create unique, vibrant and inspiring workspaces that promote high levels of employee engagement, wellness, and productivity. We like to call these workspaces Awesome Offices.