Episode 028: Anthony Palcheck, Zebra Technologies

In this May edition, I talked with DePaul MBA Alumnus Anthony Palcheck; Strategic Business Development Advisor at Zebra Ventures, the venture capital arm of Zebra Technologies. A position that certainly befits a graduate of DePaul’s Business Strategy & Decision Making program.

Zebra has been on a roll of late and, as you’ll hear, that success results from a series of good decisions made by leadership with a clear vision and good communication skills. Their success in pivoting from primarily a hardware manufacturer to a vertically integrated solutions provider is a masterclass in business transformation and working your way up the value chain.

Episode 027: Doug Edgar, White Harvest Energy

This month I was delighted to discuss alternative energy with DePaul MBA Alumnus Doug Edgar, VP of Operations at White Harvest Energy.

In this engaging discussion we explored Doug’s background, the market obstacles he faces prophesizing alternative energy solutions, and discovered how value creation, value capture, and coopetition coexist to benefit all of White Harvest Energy’s stakeholders.

Episode 026: Kelly Kester, Cardinal Health

In this episode we had the good fortune to speak with DePaul Alumnus, Kelly Kester. Kelly is a Senior Manager – Corporate Strategy & Business Development at Cardinal Health.

She discusses her unique academic and professional journey and how, in her current strategically focused role, she helps Cardinal use vertical strategies to offer both value to their customers & provide safe harbor from a highly competitive core business.

Episode 025: Andy Polacek, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

This month we are thrilled to host DePaul Double Demon, Andy Polacek. Andy is a Senior Economic Research Analyst with Insurance Initiative at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

He speaks with us about how insurance markets develop and how we are currently dealing some highly correlated risks that may defy our standard mechanisms of insurance and de-risking. Strap in for an engaging conversation about how insurance markets are responding to the pandemic, climate change, and cyber security!

Episode 024: Erik Lindholm, Deloitte Technology

This month we had the pleasure of speaking with Erik Lindholm, Digital Transformation Lead at Deloitte Technology and DePaul MBA Alumnus.

What we loved about this conversation was that we didn’t focus on any particular technology, industry insight, or strategy implementation, but rather how Erik considers what resources are available and what might be the best strategy that is going to maximize the success of those resources. This is called consonance. There are a number of definitions, but Aaron is partial to the musical one: a combination of notes which are in harmony with each other due to the relationship between their frequencies. 

From this perspective, we might call Erik a Digital Transformation Maestro! Be sure to listen so you can learn about how Erik approaches the orchestration of resources and strategy.

Episode 023: Jennifer Asplund, AT&T

This month we are joined by AT&T Vice President of Mobility Customer Care and DePaul MBA Alumna, Jennifer Asplund.

We really lucked out in this episode, because Jennifer not only sits in a position that has a 30,000 ft view of a highly competitive industry within one of its most powerful established firms, but she also has over 15 years of experience within AT&T that ranges from front line store operations to product development. The main focus of our conversation is related to the human component of value creation, strategy development, and innovation.

Episode 022: John Adams II, Zekelman Industries

In this episode, we are joined by DePaul Alumnus, John Adams III. John is the Inside Sales & Customer Service Manager at Zekelman Industries, a firm that manufactures steel piping for large scale construction projects.

We’ve talked about steel on this podcast before, so you might remember that the industry is a part of well developed supply chain and is highly competitive, which hints at the importance of maintaining relationships and the possibility of price competition. John speaks with me about how his firm creates  value for its customers without falling into the price competition trap. Surprisingly, one of those value adds is an award winning website!

This is a really great conversation that we hope you’ll enjoy. If you’d like a primer on the steel industry as a whole, we highly recommend listening to last year’s conversation with Vice President of Market Development at the American Institute of Steel Construction, Brian Raff.


Episode 021: Jordan Blue, AIRINC

In this episode, we are joined by Jordan Blue, a DePaul MBA Alumnus and West Coast Director for AIRINC, a firm that specializes in employee mobility.

Employee mobility conjures a pretty clear image of employees moving from place to place. You might think of this as simply a firm that coordinates logistics of employee relocation or manages flights and hotels for business trips. This might have been an accurate description at the beginning of this industry, but now that barely scratches the surface. 

Jordan speaks with us about trends in remote working, cultural training, employee experience, and even explores the philosophical essences of how the labor market is evolving. We loved this conversation and we’re positive you will too!

Episode 020: Jeff Lemonds, Casappa Corporation

We are joined this month by DePaul MBA alumnus, Jeff Lemonds.

Jeff is the Managing Director at Casappa Corporation, which is a firm that specializes in hydraulic systems. Hydraulics are a very old technology that is inside almost all machinery with moving mechanical parts.

Jeff talks with us about his industry’s dynamics, how COVID has disrupted the supply chain, and how his firm views the next step of innovation for this very established technology. He also offers insight on how a mechanical engineer might become a strategist and business leader.

Episode 019: Lauren Lipovic, Esri

In this episode, Lauren Lipovic speaks with us about the GIS industry and how her experience as an economist aids her in her current role as a marketer. 

Lauren is a Lead Product Marketing Manager at Esri, where she manages a team of product marketers focused on delivering situational awareness and operational intelligence to government, non-governmental, and commercial customers. Lauren joined the Product Marketing team after spending four years on Esri’s Global Business Development team, where she led the development of the company’s digital sales and public policy practices.

Prior to joining Esri, Lauren served as a top advisor for economic affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce where she worked with a team of fellow open data enthusiasts to create the department’s first data strategic plan and establish the Commerce Data Advisory Council. Her 10 years of experience spans across strategic planning, policymaking, and business development in government, NGO, and software industries. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and industry news on the topics of international trade, government data, and innovation. 

Lauren holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s in economics and policy analysis from DePaul University.