I am super excited to share my podcast with Buck Buckley, an incredible and powerful Philadelphia entrepreneur! Buck grew up in Bethlehem, PA and went to Episcopal Academy for high school and UNC for college. He now resides right outside Philadelphia with his wife, Susan, and two children.

Buck began his career as a loan officer and then joined Safeguard Scientifics at age 27 where he started from the bottom and quickly climbed the ladder to Vice President of Acquisitions. For anyone not familiar with Safeguard Scientifics, it was founded by legendary Pete Musser. It was a venture capital firm and they were the first to invest in companies such as Comcast and QVC. Pete is often credited with creating the venture capital community in Philadelphia and so many of its successful entrepreneurs.

In the 1990s, Buck spent a significant amount of his time at Safeguard on the west coast and became familiar with “the internet.” At that time, no one quite knew what the internet had the capacity to do to our world but Buck had an inkling it was going to be huge. As a result, in 1996 he decided to launch his own venture capital firm: Internet Capital Group with Ken Fox. In August 1999, the company went public and was trading at $12 per share. By December 1999, the company was trading at over $200 a share which is equivalent to $50 billion and Buck was considered one of the most influential leaders in the early internet age.  Then in 2001, the dot-com crash happened and the stock plummeted to $12 a share. Everyone told Buck to file for bankruptcy but he didn’t give up.

Instead, he pivoted his business model and had an incredible comeback. He transitioned the company to Actua Corporation and instead of investing in multiple companies, they only invested in a few core companies. In 2017, the company sold its 3 majority-owned businesses and doubled its investors’ shares.  Today, he is now building his new company called Seminal Capital. Please enjoy! 

Books

  1. “His Excellency: George Washington” by Joseph Ellis
  2. “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO” by Bob Iger

Hi everyone! I thought it would be super helpful and informative to interview a handful of my past podcast guests to see what sort of impacts COVID-19 has had on their business and how they have responded. I am doing the interviews throughout October and November and each will be 15-20 minutes long. I will then combine all of the interviews into 1 large episode that I will launch in December. As a preview of what these interviews will be like, I wanted to share my podcast with past guest Janie Winchester Paradis, the owner and founder of Jane Win Jewelry. I interviewed Janie exactly 3 years ago in October 2017 when she had just left Lilly Pulitzer and was weeks away from launching her company. Fast forward three years, Janie and I did a phone interview last Friday, October 16th and she told us all about how she has navigated the effects that COVID-19 has had on her business. Not only do I love Jane Win jewelry but Janie is one of my most favorite people—her positive energy is infectious and her persistence and grit are inspiring! Please enjoy!

Check out Jane Win jewelry here: https://janewin.com/

So excited to share my conversation with my friend Mike Vaughan, Former Chief Operating Officer of Venmo. Mike was born and raised right outside of Philly where he went to the Hill School and then graduated from Penn in 1997. He currently lives right outside Philly with his wife and two sons.

Mike takes us on the journey of how Venmo was founded by two Penn graduates! He joined the team in the early days of 2011 when their headquarters were still in a small apartment in Philly and there were only a few people on the team. Since day one, Mike was the Chief Operating Officer of Venmo, where he played a major role in helping build the company from the ground up.

Today Venmo is consistently in the list of the Top 20 Apps in the world, but what’s important to remember is that just like every start-up, Venmo experienced a great amount of adversity in those beginning days. In fact, they almost shut down in 2012 when they were days away from not being able to meet payroll. Thankfully, a company called Braintree came along, saw the potential in Venmo, and bought them for $26.2M in 2012. Then PayPal acquired them for $800M in 2013. Mike left Venmo in 2019 and is now an Executive in Residence for Oak HC/FT, a venture growth equity fund investing in financial technology and healthcare information and services. Hope you guys enjoy Mike’s story as much as I did!

In light of COVID-19, I did a last-minute special podcast interview this past Monday, March 23 with Father Rob Hagan of Villanova. He is most well known for being an incredible asset to the Villanova University Community, where he is both the basketball and football Chaplain and Senior Athletic Director. He is also well known for providing valuable life lessons—my hope is that our podcast conversation will help people navigate and process the effects of the coronavirus. My favorite piece of advice is when he urges listeners to “protect” themselves and their loved ones: P: pray, R: read, O: offer it up, T: give thanks E: exercise C: check-in with someone T: take 3 deep breaths, all will be well.”

A couple of cool facts on Father Rob: Coach Jay Wright gave him the honor of being the last person to cut down the net after the 2018 Championship game. Coach Wright remarked the following about Father Rob: 

“I think every player and every member of our staff will tell you Father Rob is one of the greatest men any of us have in our lives. He has been an integral part of the program and my life, I count on him as a dear friend. Our whole team and staff attend a prayer service before every game. It starts with Father Rob doing a reading from the Bible and then a homily. He’s never talking about the game, he’s talking about life—and what kind of men we are and what kind of Christians we are. I always joke with Father: don’t make us cry before the game!!”

Coach Jay Wright

Also, if you enjoy this interview, please check out the original podcast interview I did with Father Rob in November 2018 where he provides not only life lessons but also his unique journey to becoming an Augustinian priest. Please enjoy!

Apps to check out:

Jesus Calling: https://www.jesuscalling.com/app/

Laudate App: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/laudate-1-catholic-app/id499428207

Hi everyone! Super excited to share my podcast conversation with my friend Erik Strid, co-founder and CEO of Concentus Wealth Advisors. This was my first financial advisor to come on the podcast so not only was it interesting to learn about Erik’s entrepreneurial story, but it also was a very informative podcast (especially in light of the Coronavirus and its effect on the market).

Quick background on Erik: he lives with his wife and three children right outside Philadelphia. He grew up Villanova alongside his four young siblings. He went to Rosemont School of the Holy Child for grade school (I also went there so I have to give a shout out to what an awesome grade school it is!), then continued onto Episcopal Academy for high school and then Amherst for college. When Erik graduated from Amherst, he worked in the financial industry for a couple of years before joining his dad in 1993 at Merrill Lynch where they formed GD Strid and Associates. Over the next 20 years, they worked hard on their vision while working for two different Wall Street brokerage firms.

In February 2014, Erik, his dad, and brother Paul took a leap of faith and decided to leave the big banks to start their own wealth management firm, Concentus Wealth Advisors. Over the past 6 years, Erik and his team have become proven experts in the financial industry. If you would like to learn more about the insight that Erik can provide, be sure to check out the three books he has written (info on the books are included in the show notes)!

Books:

  1. The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck
  2. E Myth by Michael Gerber
  3. Erik Strid’s books:
    1. Exploring: replacing an outdated paradigm for the “retirement years,” and exploring a new phase of life
    2. Clarity: how pop culture is misleading you about successful wealth planning and what to do about it
    3. Empowered Values: planning your wealth around your family’s core values

Hi everyone! I am very excited to share my podcast conversation with my friend Mike Blanche who is an expert in the alcohol and substance abuse recovery industry in Philadelphia. Mike has been clean and sober for 26 years (high five to that!). He is the co-founder of Ethos Treatment with locations in West Chester, PA and Philadelphia, PA. At the Ethos Treatment centers, Mike is on the front line each and every day as he helps to prevent alcoholism, substance abuse, and many other forms of rising addictions, such as the addictions that are developing from the impacts of technology. Mike also spends his time giving prevention talks at schools throughout the Philadelphia area.

Throughout our conversation, Mike was kind enough to share his personal journey in overcoming addiction, which is an inspiration to others that recovery is possible. We continue on to talk about the creation of OxyContin in 1996 and how it triggered the deplorable opiate epidemic that we have been fighting the past decade. Lastly, Mike talks about the major effects that technology is having on our culture. Given that we are exposed to technology in some capacity throughout every day, Mike offers different ways we can build a healthy relationship with our devices. Also, I interviewed Mike’s wife and my friend, Caroline, in the fall of 2017 — her podcast was one of the most downloaded podcasts I have ever done. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Caroline and Mike who are fighting every day to help people. Please give their episodes a listen!

Website: https://www.ethostreatment.com/

Book: Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy

NPR Podcast on the History of Opioid:
https://www.npr.org/2019/04/04/709767408/a-history-of-opioids-in-america

My 50th episode is with NY Times Bestselling Author and Philadelphia native, Kelly Corrigan! You may have seen Kelly appear on the Today Show or have come across her pieces in the New York Times. If you haven’t read her books, definitely do so — they will make you hysterically laugh and cry!

Kelly talks growing up in Villanova with her parents and two brothers GT and Booker, who all attended Radnor High School. She takes us on her journey of how she got from point A to point B in becoming a NY Times Bestselling Author. She is a true testament that everyone’s journey in life is very different and so long as you aren’t afraid of failure, you can make things happen. Kelly always loved writing in her journal and sending long letters to her family from camp but it wasn’t until she was 36 and diagnosed with cancer at the same time as her father that she decided to write her first book, Middle Place, which is about her father’s battle with cancer and her triumph over the disease.

Here is the coolest part: the book was published in 2008 and Kelly and her dad did a book tour together!

Since then, she has written three more books LiftGlitter and Glue, and Tell Me More. Her most recent book, Tell Me More, is a book about essential phrases in life that will help you with all sorts of relationships! She talks about why saying “I was wrong” is so much more effective than “I’m sorry.”

Lastly, I absolutely love how Kelly writes about her loyalty and genuine love for her late father George (Greenie), her mother Mary, her brothers, her husband Edward, and her two girls Georgia and Claire. And a special thank you to a few people that helped me get this podcast over the line — Frannie and Martie Gillin, Peg Boova, Susie Valerio, and my sisters Patrice and Mandy!

Links to books: http://www.kellycorrigan.com/

Links to NY Times Articles:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/13/well/family/advice-to-my-college-freshman.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/22/well/family/college-applications-parents-children-advice.html

Very excited to share my conversation with Mr. Patrick O’Connor who is a lifelong family friend and was one of my dad’s very best friends! Patrick is one of the founding partners of Cozen O’Connor law firm, which was founded in 1973 with five lawyers. Today, 47 years later, there are 29 offices globally and 750 lawyers.

We start out the interview talking about Patrick’s childhood. He was born in Wilkes Barre, PA and one of 10 children. His father passed away when he was just 15 years old so his mother, who became his hero, stepped up to raise the 10 children. Patrick went to King’s College and then Villanova for law school. At age 30, he took a risk and left a prominent law firm in Philadelphia to become one of the founding partners of Cozen O’Connor. He tells us all about the gritty entrepreneurial journey of building a company.

Fun fact: what Cozen O’Connor made in one year in 1973 is now equivalent to what they make in a half a day. Patrick has also been on the board of Temple University since he was 28 years old and was also Chairman of the Board of Trustees for 10 years. 

Patrick not only talks about his career path but also sprinkles in universal life lessons, such as the importance of failure and humility, taking risks, the definition of success, and his love for his wife Marie and four children and 12 grandchildren — they are wonderful people!

So excited to share my podcast interview with my friend Allan Domb, one of the most powerful real estate and political leaders in Philadelphia! This was a special one for me because Allan was close to my Dad.

Allan comes from a very humbling upbringing. He grew up in an 800 SF apartment unit with his parents and brother in Fort Lee, NJ. He was constantly finding ways to make money, whether it be a paper route before and after school or shoe shining—he was always hustling. Allan took evening classes at American University in DC and worked full-time as a salesman at Phelps Time Lock Service during the day. After graduating from college in 1977, he was transferred to the company’s Philadelphia office. To make extra money, he decided to sell residential real estate at night time.

As the real estate business became more profitable, he quit his full-time job at Phelps Time Lock Service and opened his own real estate office in 1983. Fast forward almost 40 years, Allan Domb has built a real estate empire in Philadelphia, earning him the title “Philly Condo King.” Not only is he a powerful real estate mogul, but he also shocked Philadelphia when he decided to run for City Councilman in 2015, in which he was elected and then elected again in 2019.

Perhaps he is so well-respected because he has one goal: to make Philadelphia a better place. Allan not only told us about the high points of his career but was also kind enough to share his failures and how important it is to always be resilient!

So excited to share my conversation with my friend Meg Donohue, a USA Today Bestselling Author. This was a super fun podcast for me because not only is Meg a Philadelphia native, but she also is best friends with my cousin Anna Ficken Lesovitz and friends with my sister Patrice Hayden Meagher. Just like me, Meg spends three weeks in Avalon, NJ every — in fact, that’s where we recorded this interview!

Meg was born and raised right outside Philadelphia in Chestnut Hill where she attended Penn Charter and then continued onto Dartmouth for college and Columbia University for grad school. She now resides in San Francisco with her husband and three beautiful young girl ages ten, eight, and five.

Throughout our conversation, Meg tells us all about her journey of how she became a writer of five incredible novels. She writes with warmth and humor about love, hope, family, friendship, loss, and forgiveness. I am not that familiar with this industry so it was super interesting to learn about how each novel comes together.  I hope you enjoy my conversation with Meg as much as I did!

Books:

You, Me and the Sea

Every Wild Heart

Dog Crazy

All the Summer Girls

How to Eat a Cupcake

You can check out all of these books on Meg’s website: http://www.megdonohue.com/