TBLP015 | Rami Sayar: Technology and Community

On today’s episode, I have the opportunity to catch up and sit down with Rami Sayar at the FITC Toronto event.  Rami is a Senior Technical Evangelist at Microsoft Canada.

Rami is a technologist passionate about the intersection of art, design and the web. For the past 5 years, he has been experimenting with the bleeding edge of emerging technologies, determined to find a use for them in everyday life.

In his current role as a Senior Technical Evangelist for Microsoft Canada in Montreal, Rami covers technical areas such as open source technologies, open data, and cloud computing. He is a frequent international speaker and has spoken at prestigious conferences such as Build, FITC, ConFoo, DroidCon, CUSEC, KWS and TEDx at HEC Montreal. Rami is prevented from sleeping by his curiosity for experimentation, his insistence on shipping high-quality code and helping startups survive the grind.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • How he is leading by being a “fanboy” marrying technology and community
  • Gain exposure at a world-wide organisation, like Microsoft
  • Finding and navigating through Microsft to find the right stakeholders
  • Building through community events like Startup Grind and meetups
  • Continue publishing and sharing to gain trust and creditbility

Links

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.

TBLP014 | Suzanne Grant: The Art of the Possible

I am excited to share the conversation I had with Suzanne Grant. Suzanne’s experience is characterized by breadth and depth leading in technology, military, non-profit, health and creative fields. She has won awards and commendations at each stage of her career and attributes her success to authentic leadership, strategic thinking and collaboration.

Suzanne served in the Canadian Forces as an engineering officer. She bootstrapped a strategic communications agency and publishing house, The Art of Business, in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar, where she also founded Qatar’s favourite award-winning print and digital publication, Qatar Happening.

Suzanne has hired Steve Wozniak and Tim Sebastian, and partnered with Serena Williams and the Queen of Qatar. She has been interviewed on Al Jazeera TV, CBC Radio, Global Media, Rogers TV and multiple international print titles. She launched a national sports team, and organized powerboat world championship launches. She advised Virgin Health Bank on patient reach and executed Accenture’s launch in a new country.

Suzanne’s most cherished accomplishments include leading grassroots movements. She founded and spearheaded a Canada-wide charity campaign for Rwandan orphans in 1994. In 2007 she founded Spirit of Empowerment, a historic catalyst event for young professional Arab women. Back home in 2012, Suzanne introduced a global initiative at Startup Canada to encourage a more global outlook amongst Canada’s entrepreneurs. She helped to create and lead a global youth entrepreneurship fellowship, a partnership between Cambridge University and Startup Canada.

Suzanne is a generous community contributor and global citizen. She has a BSc, Physics from Carleton University and studied entrepreneurship at St Lawrence College. She has been awarded the Canadian Decoration for long-term service to Canada, received a commendation from the Military, was named Local Hero by the city of Kingston and has won a Startup Canada Innovation Award and a Microsoft Web Award.

Suzanne’s mantra is The Art of the Possible.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • Leading a mission of hope with the Diamond Eye
  • What leadership training was like in the military
  • Why she likes reading biographies and what can be learned from them
  • How she successfully built a company in the middle-east
  • Her passion and drive to continually give back

Links

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.

TBLP013 | Mitch Seguin: Be Aware to Find Opportunities

Mitch Seguin is the Co-founder and Head of Product and Design at TribalScale.

Mitch has always been a tech geek at heart, from his roots building hospital data centres to product management at Xtreme Labs, Mitch has seen every facet of product design and development. Mitch focused much of his working energy at Xtreme Labs in the startup space. Working with companies from seed round, he saw huge growth among his client partners and quickly gained an eye for potential success. When Xtreme Labs was acquired by Pivotal in 2013, Mitch saw the opportunity to fully immerse himself in the client relationship aspect of mobile development. Over this time, Mitch helped launch Pivotal offices in Denver and Washington DC.

Years later, Mitch has moved on to lead a new breed of mobile and emerging technology company. As head of product and design for TribalScale, Mitch has returned to his roots, helping to manage projects for companies big and small to create the ultimate in world class mobile and connected experiences.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • What it’s like when the organization grows from the founding team to over 90 in less than two years.
  • How he ensures that he keeps the company culture intact with the rapid growth.
  • His thoughts on the voice controlled era, where the user interface of the future will come from.
  • The two things that are necessary to find great talent in the project management vertical.
  • What he learned when he was working at Pivotal opening up a new office

Links

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.

TBLP012 | Chris Zacharias: Building the Graphics Card of the Internet

My guest on this episode is Chris Zacharias, the founder and CEO of Imgix.  He founded imgix, a real-time image processing service that enables businesses of all sizes to deliver rich visual content with high performance and easy setup.

Prior to that, he was one of YouTube’s early web developers. He was responsible for creating YouTube’s HTML5 video player and Feather, an ultra-lightweight version of YouTube that loads quickly in parts of the world with slow Internet connections. These experiences drove Chris to recognize a need for tools that let developers build great visual experiences without adding bulk to their apps.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • How a spontaneous trip to Lake Tahoe changed the way we watch videos on youtube hint html5 video player
  • How to use 20% of your time on passion specific projects
  • Cultural understanding and paying attention to what’s going on
  • Borrow ideas from gaming industry and adapt to internet technologies
  • Fun fact, the IMG tag barely made it into the HTML specification
  • Biggest turning point in his career was Demo Day at Y-Combinator
  • Difference between engineering and business skills
  • Why he is the first person to jump on a job, and why he’s the worst person for the job
  • How listening helps an organization’s ideas bubble to the top
  • Pick big ideas.  You’re going to do it anyway!

Links

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.

TBLP011 | Jim Love: The Artist and Generalist

My guest on this episode is Jim Love. Jim is CIO and Chief Content Officer at IT World Canada. Over the past 4 years, working with his partner Fawn Annan, President of IT World Canada, Jim has worked to make IT World Canada one of the leading digital publishers in the B2B space and a case study in digital transformation.

In addition to his work as a business and technology executive, Jim is also a well-known writer who published in leading publications in Canada and internationally. In his role as Chief Content Officer for IT World Canada having overall responsibility for all editorial and commercial content. He facilitates large and small session with technology and business executives across the country, supervises the research done by IT World Canada and heads the digital content production.

Jim continues to publish both topical items and his research into strategic technology and marketing in Canada and abroad. He is also an award-winning playwright and musician and he continues to publish.

Equally, at home in technology and line of business roles, over his 35-year career, Jim has held senior level positions in financial services, consulting and publishing. He has worked in software development, operations, sales, and marketing.

In consulting, Jim has held senior level positions in management consulting at Ernst and Young and as a Global Vice President for DMR Group (now Fujitsu). In these roles and in his private consulting practice he has worked with everything from large multi-nationals to entrepreneurial start-ups, to governments and government-owned companies in Canada and around the world. Jim has led large assignments in Financial Services, Telecommunications, Human Resources, Marketing, Technology, Mining and Natural Resources and Government.

Jim has been part of the faculty at the University of Waterloo and York University. He continues to teach an online course in Management Consulting for the Certified Management Consultant’s Association (CMC Canada) and he is a member of the technology curriculum committee at McGill University.

His work has taken him to Asia, Europe, West Africa as well as all across North America from Canada to the US to the Caribbean.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • How being a generalist has helped him succeed as a leader
  • Understanding what business problems you are trying to solve
  • Explaining how we are in the middle of a significant change and why it is important to keep on learning
  • Technology does not exist without a purpose
  • On being nominated for  Juno Award

Links

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.

TBLP010 | Mark Organ: Leadership using the Scientific Method

My guest today is Mark Organ, the founder, and CEO of Influitive, helping companies mobilize their advocates to produce massive increases in referral leads, reference calls, social media participation and more.

Mark first revolutionized B2B marketing as the founding CEO of Eloqua (ELOQ), the world leader in marketing automation software, which was acquired by Oracle for $871M. In between, he was a go-to-market consultant for SaaS companies in North America and Asia.

Mark has also helped over a dozen software companies successfully go to market in asymmetrical or disruptive ways as a consultant and entrepreneur.

With an M.S. in Neuroscience from Northwestern University and a passion for understanding human psychology, Mark is a dynamic speaker with a unique vision centered not only on business success and technological.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • The reason why budgets are moving from the CIO to the CMO
  • How he was able to lead the team to work with no pay for 9 months and not drawing a salary for 2 years
  • The importance of backing your business with data
  • What he means when he says “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”
  • Why leaving Eloqua relieved of the burden of leadership
  • Motivation is the key activity we do as an entrepreneur and leader
  • Why companies go through waves of growth and focus
  • The reason why Toronto is a great place to grow and scale a company

Links

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.

TBLP009 | Malgosia Green: Leading with Honesty and Transparency

Malgosia Green serves as the chief product officer at Top Hat and has been with the company since 2013. She leads the product management, user experience, and design teams for Top Hat’s web and native mobile products.

Green is an entrepreneur with over 12 years of experience in edtech. Prior to joining Top Hat, she was CEO and co-founder of LearnHub, which grew to be the #1 education site in India, helping connect Indian students with higher education opportunities in India and abroad.

Green has been named as one of Canada’s 20 Young Women in Power by Canadian Business Magazine and listed as one of the women in tech worth following by Betakit. She is an active speaker within the edtech, startup, and women in tech communities.

Green holds a B.Sc. in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • How serendipity played a role in landing her current leadership  position as the Chief Product Officer at Top Hat
  • Working with people and helping them find the right career path
  • What her product teams do on their week trips to ensure customer usability, opportunities, and challenges
  • How to ensure you find deep empathy for the customer as a product team
  • What she learned starting, scaling, and selling her company Savvica
  • Her challenges managing and leading her Savvica’s team that was located in India
  • Pros and Cons starting and building a business with her husband
  • Why she doesn’t like to read business books
  • How she uses places like the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Guggenheim Museum to help and inspire her
  • Why she thinks that taking risks is essential to growing your career

Links

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.

TBLP008 | Wayne Berger: Shadow of the Leader

It is my pleasure to introduce Wayne Berger on this episode. Wayne is Executive Vice-President of Regus Canada, the world’s largest shared workspace and co-working provider. Regus is leading a workplace revolution in Canada and around the world helping people and organizations conduct the best work of their lives from where they want and how they want, all the while immersed in a vibrant community.

Over the past 20 years, Wayne has served in executive leadership roles in both Canada and the United States in developing national go-to-market strategies, working alongside best-in-class consulting firms such as McKinsey, and building top-performing businesses, including leading an unprecedented growth plan that has doubled Regus’ footprint in Canada in less than three years. All with an unwavering passion for helping people go to bed on Sunday excited about Monday so they can achieve their ultimate goals.

Based in Toronto, Ontario, Wayne leads an organization of hundreds of dedicated team members supporting over 100 shared workspace locations and co-working facilities from coast to coast under both their Spaces and Regus brands. Regus’ locations span across over 40 cities in Canada, from Victoria, BC, to Halifax, NS, and are part of a global network of over 3000 locations in over 120 countries to serve all clients globally.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • How he was able to lead and double the number of locations from 50 to 101 in less than 3 years
  • Challenges on managing and leading his employees across the country spanning 40+ cities
  • Taking calculated risks to listen to customers and growing the organization
  • How he believes in marrying aspiration and operational efficiencies to help his customers focus on their core competencies
  • What he learned from growing from a sales representative to leading sales organization
  • How he lead his team through the acquisition transition with the “Shadow the Leader” philosophy
  • How coaching his daughter’s soccer teams help him improve as a leader

Links

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.

TBLP007 | Eva Wong: Advancing Women Tech Leaders

My guest on this episode is Eva Wong. Eva is Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Borrowell, a Canadian fintech lender that offers personal loans, free credit scores, and personalized product recommendations.

Eva’s career has spanned both the private and not-for-profit sectors, including leadership roles at The OTF, Maple Leaf Foods, UNDP and Oliver Wyman. She has studied or worked in the US, Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe.

She was named one of “9 Canadian Women Changing The Game” by Elle Canada magazine, one of “30 Women in Canadian Tech Worth Following” by BetaKit and a finalist for “Fintech Woman of the Year” by LendIt, the world’s biggest show in lending & fintech.

Eva holds degrees from Harvard University and Queen’s School of Business. She enjoys food blogs and baking projects with her two kids.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • How her organization is providing FREE credit scores to all Canadians
  • Credit card debt, 30-40% of Canadians carry a balance every month
  • Take your credit scoreOne of the largest cellular phone equipment (hint: your LTE data streams go through their equipment)
  • What she learned by traveling with Mayor John Tory on a business Trade mission to the UK
  • What she learned about going to her first FinTech conference
  • Why she has decided to be more visible on women entrepreneur panels
  • Her thoughts on building awareness for an exclusive workplace
  • Creating a proper job description that identifies with everyone (aka “ninjas”)
  • How she got to run a startup without any technology or entrepreneurship background

As mentioned, to get your credit score for free, click the link below (sorry, only available in Canada, at this point)

Links

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.

TBLP006 | Greg Friesen: Learn from Your Suppliers and Customers

Greg Friesen is the Vice President of Product Management at DragonWave. Greg is responsible for global product management across DragonWave’s complete portfolio of products.

Greg has 19 years experience in senior product management roles, network design, planning, and engineering, including his current role at DragonWave and previous roles at Nortel Networks, Innovance Networks, and Fundy Telecom.

Greg has authored numerous papers and magazine articles in and has spoken at numerous industry conferences. Greg also holds 2 granted patents and has 3 pending applications in the networking area.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • One of the largest cellular phone equipment (hint: your LTE data streams go through their equipment)
  • What his biggest challenge leading a team and company from $3M to over $100M plus global business
  • How he learned how to adjust his leadership style as the company grew and scaled
  • How working at McDonald’s at a young age helped him shape his career
  • Find out what his “healthy addiction” is
  • What he learned from his largest customers and suppliers
  • Find out where the vision of the future comes from

Links

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.