Category

Community

Charles Esten

By Community, Faith, Music, Podcast, TV One Comment

This week on Here’s What We Know, we’re joined by the global entertainer, Charles Esten. Chip, best known for his role as Deacon Claybourne in the hit TV series “Nashville,” delves into his musical journey with the release of his debut album, “Love Ain’t Pretty.”

Tune in to hear heartfelt insights into his creative process and overcoming hardships through gratitude and music. He also reveals what he believes is waiting for us, “Somewhere in the Sunshine.”

This episode is sponsored by:

(Be sure to use code “GARY20” so you can save up to 20% off your orders!)

In this Episode:

  • Chip reveals the collaborative effort behind ‘Love Ain’t Pretty’ with award-winning songwriters.
  • Hear the Impact of the TV show ‘Nashville’ on his life and how they warmly welcomed him as Deacon Claybourne.
  • Chip talks about his journey back to music after initially pursuing acting and how gratitude plays a central role in his life and happiness.
  • Chip highlights the power of gratitude and the beauty of life and the afterlife.
  • He discusses dealing with personal heartbreaks, including his daughter’s battle with leukemia at age two-and-a-half, now fully recovered.
  • He shares his experience performing at the Grand Ole Opry, performing Improv, game show-winning experiences, and acting on Star Trek.

Quotations:

“To be at my age getting now to do these dreams. It’s so precious to me. The fact that I get to do them, I can’t be anything but grateful.” ~ Charles Esten

“I think gratitude is at the root. What you’re calling happiness is deep gratitude.” ~ Charles Esten

“We’re human beings and we have feelings.” ~ Charles Esten

“If you can’t find gratitude, you’re in a bad way. You need a little help; you need somebody to help you find it.” ~ Charles Esten

“The better way to make a comparison is to see how fortunate you are at any given moment like that.” ~ Charles Esten

“Love is beautiful. It’s deeper and richer than just pretty.” ~ Charles Esten

“By the time you reach our age, you’ll agree that there’s very few that don’t. Nobody gets out of this life unscathed.” ~ Charles Esten

“When you go through something and get really bad news, I often have that feeling too, like, I’m not fully processing how bad this is that we call it being in shock. It means you’re not, we don’t have the nerve endings to fully encompass how bad, and thank God we don’t, we’re protected in that moment from really getting it.” ~ Charles Esten

“Love ain’t pretty and life is hard, but in the end, they’re both beautiful and they’re both worth it.” ~ Charles Esten

Bio:

Charles “Chip” Esten is an American actor, singer, and songwriter. Best known for his roles as Deacon Claybourne on CMT’s Nashville and as Ward Cameron on Netflix’s Outer Banks.

Esten made his theatrical debut in London when he portrayed Buddy Holly, singing, acting, and playing guitar in the hit West End musical “Buddy.” In that role he was honored to perform for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and eventually President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush at The White House. He was also very honored to perform with Jerry Allison and Joe B. Mauldin, Buddy’s original hitmaking bandmates, the Crickets.

Esten’s many early television credits include recurring roles on “Big Love,” “Enlightened,” “The Office” and “ER.” Besides being the father on Disney Channel’s “Jessie,” he has been a Klingon on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” a secretary on “Murphy Brown” and Kelly Bundy’s fiance on the series finale of “Married with Children.” His film credits include “Swing Vote,” “Thirteen Days,” “61*” and “The Postman.”

He’s made nearly 170 appearances at Nashville’s iconic Grand Ole Opry and performed multiple headline tours in the US, Germany, Amsterdam, and the UK. Surpassing 21 million streams for his music to date, Esten is a 2018 Guinness World Records title holder for the “Most consecutive weeks to release an original digital single by a music act” after delivering 54 original songs once a week for 54 straight weeks.

In addition, Esten serves as the National Honorary Spokesperson for the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual Light The Night Walk and is a board member and volunteer for Musicians On Call.

Guest Contact Info:

Website: https://www.charlesesten.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/charlesesten/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialcharlesesten

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXkap1dmvv1M8rWyiiWKFSQ

X: https://x.com/charlesesten

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5DOQ7jQ2pnXaiJiIoiEQjz

Get Chip’s New Album: ‘Love Ain’t Pretty’

Amir Monsouri

By Community, Leadership 2 Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, we’re about to take you on an exhilarating ride into the world of digital dentistry innovation that could change smiles across the globe. Our special guest is Amir Monsouri, the genius mind behind SprintRay. As founder and CEO, he shares how his company is revolutionizing dental care through cutting-edge 3D printing technology. 

Join us as we explore not only this promising dental innovation but also an extraordinary conversation packed with personal anecdotes and professional wisdom! Tune in now!

Learn more about SprintRay and get a FREE 3D-printed sample today!

In this Episode:

  • A deep dive into SprintRay and the company’s role in digitizing dentistry.
  • Discover how what seemed like science fiction two decades ago has become today’s reality.
  • Listen in to personal past dental experiences compared to the rapid advancements that now allow same-day procedures.
  • Hear the importance of going digital, emphasizing why patients should seek out digitally equipped dentists for better preventative care and bio-copies of their teeth.
  • Discover the transformative impact on individuals who can once again enjoy eating thanks to modern prosthetics offering up to 85% bite power restoration.
  • Learn about Amir’s inspiring story of entrepreneurship and his accidental entry into dentistry through product development.
  • Explore why companies obsessed with product innovation are leading today’s market, including those like Tesla, Apple, Google, and OpenAI.
  • Highlighting how portable 3D printing allows high-quality dental services even in remote locations globally—bridging care gaps between affluent neighborhoods and less accessible areas.

Quotations:

“If I told you that I can 3D print your teeth in 25 minutes that is better than your God-given one, or if the one you’re born with, you would have said, this is not real. This is science fiction. But it’s happening right now.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“That is the efficiency that we believe in this time and age when everyone is in a hurry, people don’t have time, and people are busy. Expecting people to go back twice, three times for a dental appointment is just not reasonable.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“Let me tell you this, just a part of digitizing your teeth, this is what every one of us needs, a bio, almost digital bio copy of our teeth as we age. This is something that you want every year, a digital scanning of your teeth because you’re going to lose a tooth here and there.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“You don’t want something to be designed with AI. It’s a bio copy of your own teeth. So the entry to this digital dentistry world is a scanning technology.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“If you think about it, this is, we’re giving someone else another 20, 30 years worth of life to that teeth. And it’s just possible with the advancement of biomaterial as well as digital technology.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“We have our own issues and challenges in life. We all grind our teeth, no matter what income class you are at, that happens. And the ability and I mean, grinding teeth is the beginning of it. And then it goes to gum recession. That’s the next thing that happens. And it goes into the whole downward spiral of losing a lot of your health in the oral cavity.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“Once that damage is done, you’re right. The quality of life drastically drops. You go from biting on one apple to eating good food, and good nutrition, to not enjoying eating and not getting the nutrition you want.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“Using 3D printing and milling technology that are fabricated, you have up to 85 % of your original teeth back.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“Don’t quit. Keep going. Do something disruptive. Don’t just get out of college and just go the normal way that everyone else goes. That’s what I did.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“You can turn anything into your passion. It’s all about being a little, having a little bit of perseverance taking pleasure in solving those problems and making progress, and turning it into positive reinforcement.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“Companies with absolute obsession over product developments are the ones who are winning today and we see it over and over and over.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“Once you conceive the product idea to the point that you bring it to life, the job begins. You have to come up with the next one.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“What keeps people excited is that shared vision that really being excited about making a difference and the ability to bring something that is disruptive.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“To me, failing, if you keep trying, it’s not failing. That’s the reality.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“So if you can sustain and survive a long term trying is where people start to see success.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“You can’t be a hundred percent of the time, right? you make bad decisions and good decisions as long as the sum of the good decisions is better than bad decisions. You survive and win.” ~ Amir Monsouri

Bio:

Amir Mansouri, PhD, is the CEO and Co-founder of SprintRay. Before founding SprintRay, Amir received both a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in the field of additive manufacturing. A unique blend of scientific and entrepreneurial, he pursued a technology commercialization program at USC Marshall School of Business, which led to the co-founding of SprintRay in 2014. Under his direction, SprintRay has grown from a proof-of-concept business plan to a multi-national dental equipment company. Today, Amir is uniquely suited to his responsibility for planning and strategizing SprintRay’s product and commercial development growth.

Guest Contact Info:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amir-mansouri-91604661/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@Amir_Mansouri

Website: https://sprintray.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SprintRay

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sprintray/

Keifer Thompson

By Comedian, Community, Music, Personal Growth, Politics One Comment

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, our host Gary Scott Thomas welcomes back Keifer Thompson from country music duo Thompson Square. Join us for another candid yet thought-provoking conversation as they dive into an array of topics, from tackling parenthood to dissecting political landscapes. Keifer doesn’t shy away from sharing his conservative perspective. They talk about societal issues too. Racism and division are hot topics as he advocates for teaching love over hate to kids.

Don’t miss this rollercoaster ride through politics, society, parenting, comedy, and of course, country music! Tune in now! 

This episode is sponsored by:

(Use code “Gary” to get $89 off any Mike Counsil Plumbing and Rooter service!)

In this Episode:

  • Keifer shares personal experiences dealing with his son’s dental issues, shedding light on the complexities of skepticism towards these industries.
  • Hear Keifer and Gary talk about how media bias shapes public perception with its misinformation and concerns over agenda-driven narratives.
  • Explore opinions and insights about political landscapes, current events, and societal issues.
  • Hear insights addressing racism, its evolution over generations, and the importance of instilling values of equality in children, emphasizing the need for ongoing dialogue and action.
  • Discover Keifer’s approach to songwriting and comedic performance.
  •  Hear Keifer and Gary share their personal losses/emotions publicly and how vulnerability contributes to connection with others.

Quotations:

“I feel like everyone’s got to speak their mind. I think, you know, everyone has the right to speak their mind.” ~ Keifer Thompson

“The worst part about what’s going on right now is nobody can admit when they’re wrong.” ~ Keifer Thompson

“When the truth comes out, everyone just kind of ignores it and doesn’t report on it.” ~ Keifer Thompson

“I don’t watch the news. I don’t trust any of the news. We’re just trying to live our lives and do our thing. I just feel like God’s in control no matter what.” ~ Keifer Thompson

“I reflect on a lot of things and I was driving in the day and just looking out across these fields and trees and everything else and I was like, you know what? You know, at the end of the day. I mean, this is still a beautiful world.” ~ Keifer Thompson

“There’s two kinds of people. There are good people and there are bad people. Doesn’t matter what color they are.” ~ Keifer Thompson

“I love thought-provoking things. I wanna talk to intelligent people who have, and you know what, if I’m wrong, prove it to me. You know, if I have to think this way, tell me why. And convince me that I am wrong.” ~ Keifer Thompson

“I see it all the time when people get proven wrong and instead of acknowledging that, they just clam up and just run off.” ~ Keifer Thompson

“You can’t tell certain jokes anymore without making everybody mad.” ~ Keifer Thompson

“Comedy needs to be untouched when it comes to social inequalities. Because the thing of it is, man, is we are all different. White people do things that white people do, black people do black things, Mexican people, they do Mexican, we’re up and they’re like, oh, that’s a stereotype, you’re stereotyping. Yes, because we’re all a stereotype. That’s what makes us special. You guys want us to make us all the same.” ~ Keifer Thompson

“That’s the thing about comedy, if it’s true, and everybody knows it’s true, then it’s funny.” ~ Keifer Thompson

“I have faith in the future, I do, because I think these younger kids are smelling the BS. They’re starting to get a sense of what they missed.” ~ Keifer Thompson

“It seems like comedy is always the one thing that will bring a crowd in if you’re having a hard time with them.” ~ Keifer Thompson

“Whether it’s your true persona or not, you have to become the person that you wanna be.” ~ Keifer Thompson

“We’re country artists or whatever, but we’re still people with feelings and problems and all that stuff and loss and hurt and all that thing.” ~ Keifer Thompson

Bio:

Keifer Thompson is one half of the award-winning country music duo Thompson Square, renowned for their soulful harmonies and heartfelt songwriting. Born on January 24, 1973, in Miami, Oklahoma, Keifer discovered his passion for music at an early age. He honed his skills as a singer-songwriter and guitarist, drawing inspiration from a diverse range of musical influences. In 1996, Keifer met his future wife and musical partner, Shawna, at a singing competition in Nashville, Tennessee. Their instant connection led to the formation of Thompson Square, and together they embarked on a remarkable journey in the country music scene.

Thompson Square’s self-titled debut album, released in 2011, catapulted them to stardom with hit singles like “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not,” which topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Keifer’s emotive vocals and Shawna’s dynamic harmonies resonated with audiences, earning them widespread acclaim and numerous awards, including Vocal Duo of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Country Music Association Awards.

Throughout their careers, Keifer has showcased his exceptional songwriting talent, penning heartfelt lyrics that resonate with listeners on a deeply personal level. With a string of chart-topping hits and a reputation for electrifying live performances, Thompson Square continues to captivate audiences around the world, cementing Keifer’s status as one of country music’s most beloved artists.

Guest Contact Info:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/keifercomedy/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KeiferThompsonComedian/

X: https://twitter.com/keifercomedy

Website: https://thompsonsquare.com/

Thompson Square Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thompsonsquare/

Thompson Square Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thompsonsquare

Chloe Duckworth

By Community, Leadership, Personal Growth, Science No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, our host Gary Scott Thomas had a thought-provoking conversation with Chloe Duckworth, the co-founder and CEO of Valence Vibrations, an AI startup delivering emotional classifications in real-time conversation, aiming to augment emotional perception across different neurotypes, languages, communication styles, and cultures. They delve into how her company is revolutionizing the way we perceive and interact with emotions in digital spaces, especially for neurodivergent individuals. Join us for fascinating insights that spark ideas about where humanity and technology converge. Tune in now!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Be sure to tell them Gary sent you!)

In this Episode:

  • Learn how Chloe’s startup aims to make virtual environments more accessible by helping users better understand social cues via haptic feedback.
  • Hear about the creation of an Apple Watch app designed for autistic, ADHD, and neurodivergent individuals to assist in reading room vibes through vibrations.
  • Discover how emotion AI can minimize misunderstandings caused by cultural differences or atypical neurological wiring.
  • Discussion about the impact of COVID-19 on digital communication and the need for tools that bridge emotional perception gaps in virtual environments.
  • Find out about new tools that could transform our approach to video conferencing by adding layers of emotional context. 
  • Discussion around ethical considerations when implementing emotion detection technologies in sensitive areas like courtrooms.
  • Hear personal stories about self-discovery and improved communication skills as a result of engaging deeply with emotional data analytics.
  • Get excited about the potential future developments where emotional AI could serve as an ’emotional subtitle’ for internet communications globally, fostering greater empathy online.

Quotations:

“Every time there’s a mismatch of accents, cultural backgrounds, or in this case, neurotypes, it makes it a lot harder to perceive emotions.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“The way that we all express emotions is different.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“It’s helping people better gauge how each person is feeling within this group on a real-time level, but then also a larger conversational understanding of the highs and lows points of that conversation and how successful that conversation was.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“The way that we think about the technology that we’re building is that it’s really powerful in improving human communication and connection across people. And that’s really what we care about as a company is like, how can we use this technology and the most pro-communication, pro-humanity use cases.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“People get very good at hiding their emotions from themselves. So because it feels like if I don’t acknowledge that I’m feeling a certain way about a situation, then I don’t need to sort of deal with the repercussions of that emotion. And I think oftentimes we’re trying to find a level of equanimity that requires us to understand our reactions to things in order to get back to our baseline.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“Our moonshot is building the emotional subtitle of the internet.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“I think that what’s important in the next wave of AI technologies is to consider what is left that’s distinctly human and how can we highlight that in a digital environment.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“I think that being able to empathize and connect across people is something that is distinctly human and will not be able to be automated away. The human will always be in that loop, in emotional connection. And so using AI to actually improve our ability to do that really well, while keeping humans in the loop is a pro-human application of the technology. And I think we see the technology serving as an emotional passport to help people gain access to the emotional patterns of types of people they’ve never encountered before or situations they’ve never encountered before • to be able to improve that connection.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“I think people feel so entitled to have an opinion on other people’s lives because we now have such unprecedented access to the mundanity of other people’s lives and being able to criticize very specific types of interactions that we just didn’t know about before.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“It’s like, how can I check in with myself? My emotional reactions to things? How can I understand other people’s emotional reactions to things? And in particular, their emotional reactions to me.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

Bio:

Chloe Duckworth is the co-founder and CEO of Valence Vibrations, an AI startup delivering emotional classifications in real-time conversation, aiming to augment emotional perception across different neurotypes, languages, communication styles, and cultures. Chloe is personally motivated by democratizing access to wellness in every facet of being well. In the wake of the pandemic, she co-founded Hope Hearted, a Bay Area-based nonprofit that has provided PPE to thousands of unhoused and low-income people.

Chloe has worked as a Program Manager and an Advanced Special Projects Team Intern at BrainMind and was involved in managing programs and special projects related to neuroscience. Additionally, Chloe has served as a Research Assistant at the University of Southern California, where they contributed to the development of a model of neuronal circuits and created a graphical flatmap heat map tool for visualizing brain data. Chloe has also completed a Cognitive Neuroscience Internship at Stanford University School of Medicine and worked as a Research Assistant at Stanford. Chloe Duckworth has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computational Neuroscience from the University of Southern California.

Guest Contact Info:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chloe-duckworth/

Website: https://www.valencevibrations.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/valencevibrations/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@valencevibrations