Cover art for podcast The Madisonian Podcast

The Madisonian Podcast

52 EpisodesProduced by Benjamin Brownie ProductionsWebsite

There is so much you don’t know about the strangers around you in your day to day life. This podcast is a place where you can see the inside and interesting parts of the people around you. On the show, host, Ben Brown interviews and talks to guests from all races and genders as well as all walks of … read more

52 Episodes | 2020 - 2022

My Final Thoughts on The Madisonian Podcast

July 5th, 2021



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50: Kaleem Caire, Creating a Charter School that Closes the Achievement Gap

June 28th, 2021


Kaleem Caire is the founder and CEO of a public charter school and a private preschool called One City Schools. They are growing and expanding to a …

49: Jake Schlachter, Organizing and Advocating for Cooperatives and their Member Owners

June 14th, 2021


Jake Schlachter is an organizer, an agitator, and a advocate. He fights for fairness and the rights of member owners within cooperative organizations like credit unions. He roots out corruption, educates member owners …

48: Mayor Dave, Leading Madison for Eight Years

June 7th, 2021


Dave Cieslewicz was the mayor of our city for 8 years from 2003-2011. Listen to hear how he campaigned, won the race, and led Madison even through times of financial crisis.


47: Alex Koch, Bringing Infantry Experience to the Classroom

May 31st, 2021


Mr. Koch, my English teacher, has done so much in his life so far. From serving two tours as an infantryman in Iraq after 9/11 to becoming an English teacher, he has not missed out on his share of life's bumps and …

46: An Hour of Neuroscience with Dr. Richard Davidson and Dr. Cortland Dahl

May 24th, 2021


Dr. Richard Davidson and Dr. Cortland Dahl are individually amazing people. They found meditation and have become obsessed with the practice, and more specifically, it's effects on the brain. Today, I interviewed Dr. …

45: Roseann Sheridan, Running the Children's Theater of Madison

May 17th, 2021


Roseann is the incredibly dedicated artistic director of one of the biggest Theatre institutions here in Madison called the Children's Theater of Madison. The work that she does combines artistry, intelligence, …

44: Michele Mackey, Bettering Children's Lives

May 10th, 2021


Michele Mackey grew up in a constantly moving military family where they idealized the idea of going into the air force. A traumatic brain injury changed their career course and has led them to leading big local non …

43: Dr. Baron Kelly, Bringing Worldwide Theatre Knowledge to the UW

May 3rd, 2021


Dr. Baron Kelly is a professor of acting at the UW. He has worked and taught in several different countries. Now he has graced Madison with his expertise in directing, teaching, and performing. Listen to hear how he …

42: David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author and Journalist

April 26th, 2021


David Maraniss is an incredible award winning journalist and author. He has written 12 incredible non fiction and biography works. He is an associate editor for The Washington Post and has dedicated his life to his …

41: Betty Banks, An Advocate for Women’s Health and Early Child Development

April 19th, 2021


Betty Banks is an incredible human being. She has worn many hats, working on early childhood development, women's health, local history, and infant …

40: Alex and Noel Miranda: Making a Film During a Pandemic

April 12th, 2021


Alex and Noel Miranda have created a feature length film called "Trace the Line" in the midst of a COVID pandemic. Their production company, …

39: Chris Borland, Leaving the NFL to Pursue Nueroscience

April 9th, 2021


Chris Borland made a decision one year into his contract with the San Francisco 49ers: To leave his promising career behind to prevent long term brain injuries. Since, he has dedicated a lot of his time to bringing …

38: Matt D'Amour, Creating Change with Nutbutters

March 29th, 2021


Matt D'Amour has done so much good for the world. In creating the B Corp natural foods nut butter brand Yumbutter he has managed to intertwine doing good in the world and feeding the hungry. Listen to hear how he built …

37: KéNisha Ruff, Producing a Nationally Recognized Cosmetics Line

March 23rd, 2021


KéNisha Ruff is a creator in so many ways. From her fashion, to her interior design, to her makeup, she is such a creative person. Listen to hear how she has crafted an incredible cosmetics line Marie Hunter Beauty …

36: Angela Russell: Creating a Podcast that Highlights Black Leaders

March 15th, 2021


Angela Russell is the Vice President of Diversity, equity, and inclusion at CUNA Mutual group. Recently, she has started a podcast called Black Oxygen where she hosts amazing conversations with black leaders here in …

35: Michael Jones, Stepping into the role of President of the Madison Teachers Union

March 8th, 2021


Michael Jones is the Dean of Students at West High School. He is now the president-elect of MTI, the teachers union here in Madison. His story in …

34: Gloria Reyes, Detective to Deputy Mayor to School Board

March 1st, 2021


Gloria Reyes is the president of the MMSD school board, CEO of Briarpatch youth services, and former law enforcement, among many other things. Her …

33: Dr. Gloria Ladson Billings, Uncovering Educational Disparities

February 22nd, 2021


Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings is an incredible educator, researcher, and professor Emeritus. Her work in researching racial disparities in the educational world is phenomenal. During the pandemic she has stayed optimistic …

32: Francesca Hong, Bringing Restaurant Experience to the Legislature

February 15th, 2021


Happy late Valentines Day. I love and appreciate my listeners! Representative Francesca Hong of the 76th assembly district is an awe-inspiring activist, non profit founder, and restaurateur. Her work in founding two non …

31: Rudy Bankston, Overcoming 20 Years in Prison for a Wrongful Conviction

February 8th, 2021


Mr. Roderick "Rudy" Bankston is an incredible restorative justice practitioner, educator, and survivor of the school to prison pipeline. After being …

30: Brandi Grayson, Leading the Local Fight For Racial Justice

February 1st, 2021


Thanks for 30 episodes listeners! Brandi Grayson is an incredible leader, CEO, entrepreneur and so much more. Her bold leadership and unapologetic …

29: Jael Currie, Eradicating Homelessness In Madison

January 18th, 2021


Jael Currie is the Housing Director of the YWCA where she oversees programs that help locals find housing solutions. She is now running for city …

28: Richelle Martin, Breaking Gender Norms as A Venture Capitalist

January 11th, 2021


Richelle Martin was the first woman in Wisconsin to found a Venture capital fund when she founded the Winnow Fund. She has raised over 10 million …

27: Ian Gurfield, Building the Madison Masterpiece Ian's Pizza

January 4th, 2021


Ian Gurfield is an incredible entrepreneur, restaurateur and thinker. His extensive research on the best place to start Ian's landed him in Madison and led to the 8 locations throughout Madison, Milwaukee, Denver, and …

26: Pete Souza, Documenting the Presidency, Photo by Photo

December 14th, 2020


Pete Souza is the top photojournalist in the country. He has been an official white house photographer for Reagan, and the chief official white house photographer for both Obama terms. His photos are viewed all around …

25: Barry Levenson, From Supreme Court Cases to the National Mustard Museum

December 7th, 2020


Barry Levenson is an amazing Madisonian who started as a massive Red Sox fan growing up in Boston. After a career in law he took a leap of faith to …

24: Matthew Teague, From Self Taught Magic to Performing Across the Nation

November 30th, 2020


Matthew Teague is an incredible magician, mentalist, and more. He has performed and sold tricks to the likes of David Blaine, David Copperfield, Carl …

23: Jon Hinds, From Training Bruce Springsteen to Founding A Nationally Franchised Gym

November 23rd, 2020


Jon Hinds went from a tough madison childhood to becoming a trainer of NBA players, baseball players and even celebrities like Bruce Springsteen and Woody Harrelson. He went on to create a nationally franchised gym …

22: Ken Lonnquist, From Amateur Songwriting to Madison Musical Fame

November 16th, 2020


Ken Lonnquist is an incredible, energetic songwriter and singer. He performs all around Madison and beyond. Listen to hear how music affected his life and how he found success in this tough musical world. 

You can find …

21: Lyman Elliott, From Child Poverty to Teaching Success

November 9th, 2020


Lyman Elliott is an incredible national board certified teacher of history at West High here in Madison. Listen to hear how he found success from …

20: Dean Dayalu, From Leading Studies on Yoga in the 70s to Eastern Astrology

November 2nd, 2020


Dean Dayalu has lead a life filled with learned experience of religion, philosophy and phycology. He traveled to india and discovered his fate as a …

19: Eric Rupert, How Personal Tragedy Led Him to Find Faith in the Kitchen ~ Part 2

October 8th, 2020


This is the second part of my interview with the incredible Eric Rupert. He has had so much expertise with things in and out of the kitchen cooking for Epic, Nutkrack, Sub Zero and more. 

Share our unified link!

18: Eric Rupert, How he became Executive Chef At Epic Feeding thousands of People a Day ~ Part 1

October 5th, 2020


Eric Rupert has done countless amazing things including puppetry, cooking, trekking through nepal and taiwan, founding his own cafe, working as a baker, chef and doing everything in between. Part 2 will be released on …

17: Greg Jeschke, How he Became A News Anchor for 40 Years

September 28th, 2020


Greg Jeschke is an incredible anchor and documentarian. He has covered so many stories in his 40 years in the world of news and journalism. Now he just started his documentary company JDog Productions LLC. Listen to …

16: Rev. Dr. Alex Gee, How he is Bringing Awareness to the Huge Race Issue in Madison

September 21st, 2020


Reverend Dr. Alex Gee is an incredible voice of the Madison community! We have a huge racial issue that we refuse to accept here in Madison. Listen to our conversation about his story and race in America and Madison.

Bonus ~ 15: Itaru Nagano, How he's Running a Restaurant in a Pandemic

September 17th, 2020


Itaru Nagano is the Chef/Owner of Fairchild Restaurant. They only had two weeks open before the global pandemic hit. Listen to hear how he has been running and keeping his restaurant afloat during these times. 

14: Michael Velliquette, How he became Nationally Recognized for his Art

September 14th, 2020


Michael Velliquette makes incredible works of art. His art wow's viewers around the world. I would greatly encourage you to check out his art using …

Bonus! ~ 13: Maka Chikowero, How she Spoke in Front of the United Nations at 10

September 10th, 2020


Maka Chikowero has accomplished so much at such a young age including speaking in front of the united nations and founding a nonprofit to help girls in Zimbabwe.

Be sure to contribute to her non-profit:

12: Odessa Piper, How she Founded One of the Top Fifty Restaurants in America

September 7th, 2020


Odessa Piper is an incredible nationwide known Madisonian who is best known for founding L'etoile here in Madison. She owned and ran the establishment for almost 30 years! Listen to her story on how she hitchhiked to …

11: Peter and Lou Berryman, How Music, Humor and Politics Intertwine to Create a Nationwide known Folk Duo

August 31st, 2020


Peter and Lou Berryman have been lead by music for most of their lives. From the day they met to where they are now a lot has happened. Listen to hear how their morals of peace, love, and happiness stuck with them …

10: Lionel Martin, How he Journeyed from Guarding Nukes in Germany to Living in Madison

August 17th, 2020


Lionel Martin is a Manual therapist, massage therapist, former military, nutritionist, and many more. It seems he has done everything under the sun! Listen to hear how he went from serving in the army guarding nuclear …

9: DJ Pain 1, How he Produces Tracks for the some of the Worlds Biggest Artists

August 10th, 2020


Dj Pain 1 has lived in Madison his entire life. He lived a life not caring for a long time. He went from having a 1.8 GPA to a master's degree and a job producing tracks for huge artists!
Merchandise: …

8: Bill Baldon, How he is on a Mission to fix the School to Prison Pipeline

August 3rd, 2020


Bill Baldon is the head of Restorative Justice at YWCA. He is on a mission to root out the school to prison pipeline by bringing in an unconventional …

7: Amani Latimer Burris, State Senate Spotlight Series Episode 2

July 27th, 2020


Amani Latimer Burris has lived life to its full extent and has been in and out of the education, floral, and press field. She is now running for …

6: Nada Elmikashfi, State Senate Spotlight Series Episode 1

July 27th, 2020


Nada Elmikashfi is an amazing progressive, working-class, passionate politician running for state senate. The primary is August 11th. 

Nada's …

5: Carlos Alvarado, How he Worked his way up from Dishwasher to Fighting Housing Inequities

July 20th, 2020


Carlos Alvarado is the wonderful co-owner of The Alvarado Real Estate Group. He has amazing stories to tell from when he was born in Mexico to where …

4: Ceci Ford, How World Travel and Puppets Landed her in Madison

July 13th, 2020


Ceci Ford is a linguist, puppeteer, and world traveler. She was exposed to tons of war damage and catastrophe whilst living in Europe and the middle east.  Listen to hear how she ended up as a professor at the UW who is …

3: Shabnam Lotfi, How she has class action suit against Trump

July 6th, 2020


Shabnam Lotfi is a skilled immigration attorney who has had many challenges and accomplishments throughout her life. Listen to hear how she has won 98 percent of her cases and even sued Trump.

Please buy our merch to …

2: Anu Ebbe, How she became A Blue Ribbon Winning Principal

June 29th, 2020


Anu Ebbe moved around a lot while living in India. She seized her opportunity to come to the US at the age of 14. Listen to hear how she dealt with learning English on her own and how she changed the norms of elementary …

1: Andy Francis, How Punk Rock Saved his Life

June 22nd, 2020


Andy Francis had a crazy journey with lots of challenges in his life. Listen to see how he overcame them. 


Music: Voices by ASHUTOSH |

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