Category

Leadership

Mina Starsiak Hawk

By Author, Leadership, Personal Growth, Podcast, Relationship No Comments

This week on Here’s What We Know Podcast, our guest is Mina Starsiak Hawk, the HGTV star best known for her hit show “Good Bones” and podcast host of “Mina AF.” Join us as Mina shares her life behind reality TV fame, sharing insights from her journey as a woman in construction, a public figure, and a family-oriented person. Tune in now to catch all these revelations and more from one woman who truly knows how to build something great!

This episode is sponsored by:

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In this Episode:

  • Mina’s transition from TV to podcasting and why she values candid monologues offering a raw and unfiltered look at her life behind the scenes.
  • Discover how Mina maintains her authenticity while respecting boundaries in navigating her privacy vs. public life.
  • Real Talk on Renovation and Reality TV, from mommy makeovers to marriage challenges and sobriety.
  • Insights on how to navigate negative comments online, particularly among women criticizing each other rather than offering support.
  • Mina’s plans as “Good Bones” wrap up its final season. Hear what’s next for this dynamic personality who isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty (or tackling new adventures).
  • Behind-the-scenes stories about filming “Good Bones,” including adjusting to constant camera presence and candid moments that never made it on air.
  • Learn Mina’s perspective as a construction leader facing industry challenges head-on as a female entrepreneur in a male-dominated field.

Quotations:

“But there’s also a lot of just like really normal, everyday bullshit things that everyone goes through that I go through as well. And I think, you know, people tend like, don’t put me up on a pedestal because then I’ll just fall down. I’m just like all of you.” ~ Mina Starsiak Hawk

“It’s rough because like everyone wants you to do good, do well, but like not better than them. So like, yeah, get fit, but don’t get more fit than me. Like yeah, be successful, but don’t be more successful than me. Anything that we perceive as a threat and then we’re just awful to each other.” ~ Mina Starsiak Hawk

“What I try to do there is kind of fill in the blanks and give the information so people don’t have to make their own incorrect assumption.” ~ Mina Starsiak Hawk

“I like that it’s like everything’s a problem to solve. And 1000% some days I’m like, I would love to stop solving problems. I would love today to just be fucking easy. But I also know myself well enough to know that if every day was easy I’d be really bored. So I think that’s the big part of it.” ~ Mina Starsiak Hawk

“No matter what level you’re at, it’s really hard not to compare yourself with other people.” ~ Mina Starsiak Hawk

“You gotta have balance in it. They’re always looking for like the yin and the yang of everything.” ~ Mina Starsiak Hawk

“Thinking 10 steps ahead makes your job so much easier, but not a lot of people either like to do it or are good at it.” ~ Mina Starsiak Hawk

“If you’re gonna come in and do the bare minimum to keep your job and expect something better, that’s what I can’t, like the sense of entitlement I don’t get.” ~ Mina Starsiak Hawk

“People underestimate how powerful that is, just knowing that you’re not in this little bubble.” ~ Mina Starsiak Hawk

“Every day I’m trying to figure out which thing I should do, like where does what I like doing with what I’m good at doing, with what makes money doing, like where do those three things overlap, and then pick that thing, and I haven’t really got there yet.” ~ Mina Starsiak Hawk

“I don’t want to be creating things that I’m not proud of.” ~ Mina Starsiak Hawk

Bio:

Mina Starsiak Hawk is an American reality television show star and host. She is dedicated to the art and the business of saving old homes—and to an overarching mission of revitalizing entire city neighborhoods, one house at a time. She got a degree in Business and Sociology from Indiana University. After graduating, Hawk worked as a waitress before buying her first house and conducting repairs. That’s when she found her true calling.

She renovated houses and started a company called Two Chicks and a Hammer with her mother. In 2016, she appeared on the H.G.T.V. reality television series Good Bones. She was the show’s host and has appeared in over 101 episodes and eight seasons from 2016 to 2023. She appeared in four episodes of Building Brady between 2018 and 2019 and has featured in countless other shows like Rachael Ray in 2017, Brother vs. Brother (2017–2018), A Very Brady Renovation (2019), Rock the Block (2019), and Martha Knows Best (2020), e.t.c. In 2020, Hawk and her mother opened a storefront for their business, Two Chicks District Co., selling home decor and furniture. In 2021, she appeared on Battle on the Beach as a judge for six episodes.

In 2013, she met Steve Hawk, and they dated for two years before getting married in 2016. They have two kids together.

Guest Contact Info:

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

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

Two Chicks & a Hammer 

Website: https://www.2chicksandahammer.com/

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

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

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

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/

Johnny Sirpilla

By Author, Faith, Grief, Leadership, Mental Health, Personal Growth No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, our host Gary Scott Thomas welcomes our special guest, Johnny Sirpilla, an entrepreneur, founder and chief encourager of Encourage LLC, and the best-selling author of Life Is Hard but I’ll Be OK. Johnny opens up about how he inherited not only a successful RV business from his father but also an ethos of hard work and integrity. He discusses how these values have shaped him into who he is today—driven, and perfectionistic, yet always striving to honor his family name. We also delve into the respective childhoods and parental expectations, highlighting both differences in upbringing and common threads such as love, support, and setting standards. This episode is filled with insights on personal growth and dedication towards family values. Tune in now!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Be sure to tell them Gary sent you so you can save 20%!)

In this Episode:

  • Gary and Johnny share amusing anecdotes about their distinctive hairstyles during their younger years. 
  • Discover Johnny’s impressively long bio and wealth of experiences.
  • Discussions on full-blooded Italian traits lead to light-hearted banter about food preferences between Italy vs America.
  • Insights into how family expectations shaped and influenced Johnny’s decision to continue his father’s legacy while creating new avenues within the RV industry.
  • Hear about reflections on parental expectations, love, and support while also setting standards around honor, integrity, and a hard work ethic without spoiling children materially.
  • As a board member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Johnny shares his passion for football and his favorite player.

Quotations:

“The simplicity is what makes it so amazing.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I kind of wanted to make my imprint in the industry the way that my dad did in the fifties as a pioneer dealer.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“(RV) It’s taking the comforts of home with you on the road, right? Why sleep in a hotel bed and a stranger’s bed that other people have been in when you can have your own? So it’s a great way to see the country for sure. And great family time.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I was driven at 15 and had some pretty high expectations of what I could achieve. So I always put a lot of pressure on myself, too much.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“What was awesome about my parents is there is no boundaries to the love that they would give and the support.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I can truly say that I never felt spoiled by my parents because while there might be nice things, the expectation of how we acted in our character in representing our family name. you know, you had to be, you know, at your best.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“They wanted me to have and I bet your mom was the same way. They wanted me to have the life experiences that they didn’t.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I bet our parents were similar in terms of, you know, where they came from and then maybe hopes and dreams bigger for us. Maybe my parents, because they’re full-blooded Italian each that they just talk so damn much that they verbalized it more.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“It’s been an amazing experience to volunteer for the great sport of football and the Hall is such a place of excellence that, you know, any service that I can give to honor the heroes of the game.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I wrote the book to really help people when life is hard because I do believe that life is hard. Even if you have a good life, there’s plenty of things that go wrong in a good life and life is hard.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“There’s gotta be some blessings and graces that come out of this experience that makes me a better man, a better husband, a better business leader, and hopefully someday a better father.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“Practicing gratitude could make a great day really bright and sunny.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“We were able to experience something that God gave us this gift of parenting. even though it was short, it doesn’t mean it was insignificant. It was incredibly significant. And so their lives were incredibly significant.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I can reframe anything that happens in my life with my anxiety. I can reframe it to something that’s really a gift and a blessing.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“The gift of being a father, you know, it’s the greatest gift of my life.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“The empathy and the mindfulness that I had for situations, that’s actually one of the beauties and maybe superpowers of anxiety. Anxiety makes you extremely mindful and extremely intentional because my mind has to work and think.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“It becomes a really mindful way of living that produces a lot of joy.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

Bio:

John A. Sirpilla is a 1988 graduate of Miami University with a degree in Accounting and a special interest in Psychology and Finance, a 2000 graduate of the University of Phoenix with a master’s degree in Organizational Management, and holds a certification in Executive Presence and Influence: Persuasive Leadership Development from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.

In 1992, Johnny became President of Sirpilla R.V. Center, Inc. Within a few years, he was recognized out of more than 3,000 dealers as the National RV Dealer of the Year for the best overall-run dealership in the country. In 2003, Johnny was one of the initial acquisitions by Camping World and sold his family business to become part of the executive team to attempt the first RV dealership roll-up plan in the industry’s history.

Johnny served as President of Camping World, a 140-store nationwide retail chain serving the RV industry, and was promoted in 2012 to Chief Business Development Officer for the parent company, Camping World and Good Sam with annual sales of nearly $4 billion. Johnny retired from Camping World in 2017 after a successful IPO.

His company, Encourage LLC, has various holdings in industries including leadership development, population health management, employee benefits, medical device innovation, e-commerce roll-up, executive leadership and consulting, fashion and interior design, and senior living communities, and has become an international best-selling author with his book, Life Is Hard but I’ll Be OK.

Johnny has been married to his college sweetheart, Susan, for over 30 years, and they reside in Canton, Ohio, and Naples, Florida.  They have three grown children, Beau, Bella, and Stone, who all reside in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Guest Contact Info:

Website: https://johnnysirpilla.com/

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

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

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnny-sirpilla/

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