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Impact Michigan

51 EpisodesProduced by Leann AbadWebsite

Who's driving workforce and economic development in Michigan?Tune in as Host Leann Abad interviews the movers and shakers of the Great Lakes State and dives deep into why the comeback of Michigan's economy is inevitable.Presented by Intermitten.

51 Episodes | 2018 - 2019

Andy Gutman, President The Farbman Group

September 15th, 2019


Andy Gutman is a commercial real estate exec and songwriter/author combo. He may be the President of the Farbman Group during his 9-to-5, but for his 5-to-9 he’s chosen and pretty unique side hustle as a songwriter and …

Chris Lambert, CEO Life Remodeled

September 14th, 2019


Chris Lambert, CEO of Life Remodeled. Life Remodeled is an organization whose mission is to bridge people across divides to help transform each other’s lives. They do this by investing approximately $5 million in cash, …

BONUS EPISODE: Pamela Moore, President/CEO DPSF

June 6th, 2019


Pamela Moore is the President and CEO of the Detroit Public Schools Foundation, where they work to support the Detroit Public Schools Community …

On Radical Inclusion

May 28th, 2019


In today’s episode, we chat with Chanell Scott Contreras and Joanna Dueweke-Perez. They are Intermitten 2019 speakers and they are giving their talk on Radical inclusion. Listen in as we discuss community-centered …

Marc Hudson, Rocket Fiber

May 23rd, 2019


Marc Hudson is the CEO and Cofounder of Rocket Fiber, the fastest internet out there, certainly in the Detroit area. We get to chat about the founding story of the company, how a submission to “The Cheese Factory” …

Jim Tenzillo, Invest Michigan

May 21st, 2019


In this episode of the Impact Michigan podcast, we host Jim Tenzillo of Invest Michigan. Invest Michigan is an investment fund that invests in early …

Beth Kirsch, NETSCOUT

May 16th, 2019


Beth is an expert at navigating corporate cultures and has over a decade of experience maximizing organizational impact. She leads the community …

Jeff Epstein, Founder of Ambassador

May 14th, 2019


Jeff Epstein is the Founder of Ambassador, the #1 referral marketing software platform. They were recently acquired by West Corp., and Jeff has since moved on from the company. We catch up with him a few months after …

Blake Robbins, Ludlow Ventures

May 9th, 2019


Blake Robbins is a Michigan State grad who’s worked at Tesla, Nest, Google, and now Ludlow Ventures, Blake is one of the pioneers in the eSports industry when it comes to investing and even founding. He helped launch …

Lia & Christopher, Human Inclusive

May 7th, 2019


Today’s episode features not one guest, but two! Lia James and Christopher Guest are the halves that make the whole of Human Inclusive, which is a …

Laura Khalil, Force of Bada**ery

May 2nd, 2019


Laura Khalil is devoted to helping women embody the confidence and develop the clarity to speak up, get paid what they're worth and lead mission driven lives. She has spoken to audiences at Creative Mornings, Zingtrain, …

Rajiv Nathan, Startup Hypeman

April 30th, 2019


Rajiv 'RajNATION' Nathan is Founder of Startup Hypeman, helping increase the success rate of startups by building messages that stand out to their audience and stand apart from their competitors. He was named an "Agent …

Hunter Rosenblume, CEO Lunar Wireless

March 14th, 2019


On this episode of the Impact Michigan podcast, we chat with Hunter Rosenblume of Lunar Wireless. 

Hunter Rosenblume is the Founder and CEO of Lunar …

Melissa Butler, CEO The Lip Bar

March 11th, 2019


On this episode of the Impact Michigan podcast, we talk to Melissa Butler of The Lip Bar. She is a Detroit native, Cass Tech and Florida A&M grad …

Henri Pierre-Jacques, Co-founder Harlem Capital

March 7th, 2019


In this episode of the Impact Michigan podcast, we chat with Henri  Pierre-Jacques, Detroit expat and co-founder of Harlem Capital. I ran  into him at last Fall's Detroit Homecoming and was fortunate enough to  grab him …

Steven Mazur, Cofounder Ash & Erie

March 4th, 2019


In this episode of the Impact Michigan podcast, we chat with Steven Mazur, Cofounder/CEO at Ash & Erie. 

A metro-Detroit native, Steven has grown to love the city and its people. So much so that he moved back to …

James Chapman, Quicken Loans CIF

February 28th, 2019


James Chapman is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund. He’s a serial entrepreneur, nationally recognized speaker, and author of #TheHustle. He prides himself in being both …

Richard Sheridan, Chief Joy Officer of Menlo Innovations

February 25th, 2019


Rich Sheridan is the founder of Menlo Innovations, made famous by its tours and workshops centered around how they maximize Joy in the workplace. Which makes sense, considering Rich himself has authored two books with …

Season 3 Announcement!

February 20th, 2019


Well, well, well... We're back friends :) 

Tune into this episode as I interview a special guest as part of our announcement for Season 3 and the future of this show. 

Stella Safari, gener8tor

October 11th, 2018


Stella Safari is one of Detroit's busiest transplants. She moved to Detroit as a Venture for America fellow, working for Invest Detroit, an early stage funder of businesses. Her interest in startups led her to furniture …

Richard Grundy, JOURNi

October 9th, 2018


Richard is the CEO of JOURNi, an organization dedicated to bridging the diversity gap in tech.

JOURNi is an organization dedicated to equipping urban communities with the skills and resources necessary to jumpstart …

David Uze, Trillium Secure

September 27th, 2018


David has over twenty-five years experience in the high-tech arena as a senior executive and has had extensive involvement in the field of …

Chris Thomas, Detroit Mobility Lab

September 25th, 2018


Chris Thomas is a man on a mission. The former co-founder of Fontinalis Partners, he invests in and mentors companies in the fast-growing space of mobility.

I think the most impressive part of his story is how he put …

Nathan Labenz, CEO Waymark

September 20th, 2018


Graduating from Harvard as part of the "Facebook class," you could say Nathan Labenz is one smart guy. Which would be an understatement.

As CEO of …

Marcus Collins, Chief Consumer Connections at Doner

September 18th, 2018


A culturally curious thinker, Marcus Collins is one of the worlds' premier minds in marketing. As Chief Consumer Connections Officer for Doner, he's …

Dug Song, CEO Duo Security

September 13th, 2018


"When internet security specialist Dug Song found out the company he worked for got hacked by a 17-year-old high school student, he didn't alert the …

Joe Malcoun, CEO Nutshell

September 11th, 2018


As the CEO of Nutshell, Part owner of The Blind Pig A2, and Cofounder of Cahoots, Joe is likely one of the busiest people in Ann Arbor.

With 3 degrees from the University of Michigan, he started his career at …

Workit Health

September 8th, 2018


Drug Abuse. Addiction. Recovery.

These are real problems and issues we face in our country, and we have to find scalable, equitable solutions to them.

Justin Mast, CEO Bloomscape

September 4th, 2018


Being both a creative and an entrepreneur can seem contradictory in some ways, but Justin Mast seems to have found the perfect way to combine the two.

Taking over his family business over in 2006, he began to learn the …

Jason Raznick, CEO Benzinga

September 4th, 2018


Jason's approach to life is simple:
Get rid of Monarchy; Implement a Doerarchy.

As Founder and CEO of, he lives and breathes this mentality all throughout his organization, and it shows up in their success.

Josh Luber, CEO StockX

September 4th, 2018


Dubbed the "Stock Market of Things," StockX is one of, if not the fastest growing startup in Detroit, and CEO Josh Luber is at the forefront of all that growth.

Beginning as a passion project outside his time at IBM, …

M2: Capital Appreciation Month; Doron York, Cityside Ventures

July 11th, 2018


An Israeli Navy Seal, Doron spent the first part of his life in his native homeland of Haifa, Israel. After finishing his duty, he moved to the United States and settled down in Southeast Michigan. Actually, settled …

M2: Capital Appreciation Month; Jake Cohen, Detroit Venture Partners

June 27th, 2018


Jake is a 3-time University of Michigan graduate who got both his MBA and his JD at the same time! During his undergrad years, he started his first …

M2: Capital Appreciation Month; Chris Rizik, CEO Renaissance VC

June 13th, 2018


A Wolverine-Spartan hybrid, Chris is one of the pioneers in the venture capital ecosystem here in Michigan. After 13 years as an attorney, he went …

M2: Capital Appreciation Month; Doug Neal, Co-Founder, eLab Ventures

June 6th, 2018


With 25+ years in the tech industry, it’s pretty safe to say Doug is a technology veteran. A graduate of Central Michigan University, he started his …

M2: Month of Mobility; Lisa Nuszkowski, Founder of MoGo Detroit

May 30th, 2018


An advocate for and leader in transportation mobility, Lisa started her career at the City of Detroit office as a Business Analyst and shortly after became the Chief of Staff to House Majority Leader Steve Tobocman. A …

M2: Month of Mobility; Mark de la Vergne, Mobility Innovation, City of Detroit

May 23rd, 2018


Mark is a transportation planning veteran, and he knew he wanted to work in mobility before mobility was even a term. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where he studied Systems Engineering (specifically …

M2: Month of Mobility; Jessica Robinson, Director of City Solutions at Ford Smart Mobility

May 16th, 2018


An East Coast, to West Coast, to Midwest transplant, Jessica Robinson started out in the tea industry holding roles such as Head of Sales and …

M2: Month of Mobility; Lisa Seymour, Techstars Mobility

May 9th, 2018


Lisa is a Wayne State Warrior, she started her career in the sports industry, wearing a variety of hats at her alma mater’s athletic department. Soon after, she joined the team at DUO Security heading up People and …

M2: Month of Mobility; Amanda Roraff, PlanetM

May 2nd, 2018


Amanda Roraff has produced and planned events and trade shows for multiple companies for over 20 years. After getting her Bachelor’s Degree from the …

M2: Marketing and Advertising as a Superpower

April 25th, 2018


A New Orleans native and graduate of Tulane University, Molly McFarland launched her career in Marketing and Business Development at an architectural …

M2: How A Writer Turned Entrepreneur Is Building Detroit's Startup Community

April 18th, 2018


Amanda Lewan is an award-winning writer and entrepreneur. After getting her Bachelor's in professional writing from Michigan State University and her Masters in English from Wayne State, she launched into the marketing …

M2: Jason Mendelson on Michigan's Startup Community

April 11th, 2018


Jason Mendelson has some serious street cred. A 2-time graduate of the University of Michigan, he started out as a software engineer at Accenture, and after realizing he wanted to be a lawyer, got his law degree, became …

M2: How Medtech is Impacting Michigan's Economy and Focus

April 4th, 2018


Paul Riser is a lifelong Detroit native. He started his career at Sun Microsystems at its peak and currently his main gig, among a litany of other …

M2: Detroit Tours, Experiences, and Stories

March 28th, 2018


Jeanette Pierce is a lifelong native of Detroit proper, and she is what I would call the human encyclopedia of all things Detroit. After studying …

M2: Venture School Part 2 - Redefining Student Success

March 21st, 2018


This episode is a continuation of "How Venture School Is Reshaping Entrepreneurial Education in Detroit."
(From Venture School website) The mission of …

M2: How Venture School Is Reshaping Entrepreneurial Education in Detroit

March 14th, 2018


Venture School's mission is to empower students to become capable, curious, and courageous leaders, innovators, and agents of change in their …

M2: How To Attract Talent To A Growing Startup Ecosystem

March 7th, 2018


Deirdre Groves is a self-identified social entrepreneur, having founded multiple nonprofits. A graduate of both Michigan State AND the University of …

M2: From Life on the Run to Immigrant Entrepreneur

February 28th, 2018


Edi Demaj's story is one that will impact everyone who listens to it. A childhood riddled with hardship, he never had a real education from 1st to 7th grade since his family lived life on the run. Having to dodge …

M2: How To Keep Your Entrepreneurial Dream Alive

February 21st, 2018


Shelly Sahi is a first-time founder, yet she’s already been making waves across not only the Michigan startup scene but the global fashion and beauty industry as well. Starting out as a researcher at the Univ. of …

M2: How To Build An Early Startup Team

February 14th, 2018


Ryan Landau is a serial entrepreneur, having started his first company at the ripe age of 14 years old, ran it during his high school and college …

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