a Mason podcast
UpFront is a monthly podcast that features conversations with Connecticut-based top performers and how they are making an impact in their industry and here at home in Connecticut. The show takes a deep dive into how our guests achieved success, the business lessons learned, and more insights into the person. Hosted by Derek Beere (Director of Public Relations, Mason), new episodes are added on the second Tuesday of each month.
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Episode 13. UpFront with Jill Mayer
Bead Industries has a rich and impressive history. Chances are you probably have never heard of the company name before, but perhaps you know two of the many products they’ve made. The first is the beaded light pull chain that you pull to turn a light on and off. The second are the dog tag chains for the US Military that they manufactured during World War II.
Founded in 1914, Bead Industries is comprised of two divisions - Bead Chain and Bead Electronics, and a wholly owned subsidiary, McGuire Manufacturing Company. Jill Mayer is the CEO and the fifth generation of this family business. Jill took over running the company from her father in 2014 and has built on his legacy by transforming the organizational culture through innovation, shared purpose and accountability.
She’s fiercely passionate about manufacturing and is the President of ManufactureCT, Connecticut’s largest manufacturing association, a board member of the CBIA and is active in Vistage and Women in Manufacturing.
Let’s get UpFront with Jill and learn about what inspires her, how you can transform a company culture and what it’s like to run a family manufacturing business.
Episode 12. UpFront with Tyler Anderson
If you go to his website, you’re greeted by a big, jovial smile and a simple, inspiring message we should all live by - work hard, be nice, eat well.
Chef Tyler Anderson was born and raised in Southern California where he started his career in the professional kitchen. In fact, it really started when he was a child selling snow cones on the street he lived on. Today, that entrepreneurial spirit lives on and his passion for the craft and locale are evident in his cooking style, which is inspired by simple quality goods and the culinary traditions of New England.
He’s the driving force behind his restaurants Millwright’s, Ta-Que. Terreno, Bar Pina, and Tanda Hospitality. He’s also been nominated for the James Beard Best Chef Northeast Award seven years in a row, named Connecticut Chef of the Year and he was a fierce contestant on Top Chef, Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay.
So, who won? We'll find out as we dive into what kind of leader it takes to run a kitchen, his daily habits and routines, what inspires him and how the pandemic has forced the restaurant business to be innovative. Let’s get UpFront with Chef Tyler Anderson!
Episode 11. UpFront with Scot Haney
WFSB Channel 3
There’s no question about it - he is one of the most well-known media personalities in Connecticut. His warm personality, sense of humor and dynamic character are a part of the Channel 3 weather team and Great Day Connecticut in the afternoons. We’re thrilled to have Scot Haney from WFSB on the show!
Scot started his broadcast career in mid 1990’s, but landed at Channel 3 in November 1998 and hasn't looked back since. He earned his bachelor's degree from St. John’s University in New York City, his master's degree at Syracuse University and is a proud graduate of the American Meteorological Society. Early on, his career path wasn’t quite figured out. Scot had a burning passion to be on television, but often found himself working in jobs he didn’t want. His story is about perseverance and setting goals to do what you really want to do in life.
Scot is also a non-stop, driving force in the Connecticut community, volunteering at various events and making a commitment to help good causes anyway he can. He’s received numerous awards and accolades for his community support, including awards from My Sisters Place, the American Red Cross, and many others.
Let’s get UpFront with Scot Haney and learn more about his career path, failures, triumphs and what being in the news has taught him.
Season One Wrap Up
We hope you have enjoyed the first season of UpFront! The idea of this show is simple. It's about featuring the personal stories of Connecticut's top business and community leaders who are doing great things. We want to know more about their daily habits, choices, and decisions that have led them to where they are now. Each guest has an amazing story to tell and they also share some solid business advice that we can apply in our own lives.
This wrap-up episode features the guests from our first season and features some of my favorite pieces of advice on leadership, failure, daily routines, and more. Kick back and enjoy this UpFront wrap-up episode!
President, Connecticut Sun
Mention the University of Connecticut or UConn and the first thing most people think of is basketball. UConn basketball – championship after championship, legendary players, and legendary coaches. The school has a proud tradition of winning basketball championships and Connecticut is passionate about it. It’s almost like a fairytale, except this, is very real.
Playing a starting role in the story of UConn women’s basketball is Jennifer Rizzotti. She was there at the beginning of it all, winning the school’s first NCAA championship in 1995. Today, Jennifer is the President of the Connecticut Sun women’s professional basketball team that is affiliated with the Women’s National Basketball Association.
From her days on the court as a Husky and later playing pro women’s basketball, to coaching teams and being a Women’s Basketball Hall-of-Famer, Jennifer shares her inspiring story of perseverance, how being competitive can lead to success, and the lessons she’s learned on and off the court that have helped shape her into the person she is today.
Live Nation (CT, Upstate New York)
The power of music. It brings people together and makes us feel happy. It can make us feel sad and it has the ability to heal. More importantly, music brings people together and adds some joy into our lives. It’s something we can all relate to.
Jim Koplik is the president of Connecticut and the Upstate New York Region for Live Nation. A legendary concert promoter, Jim is responsible for thousands of shows that include legends such as The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Paul McCartney, and Frank Sinatra to name a few. His story is the thing that dreams are made of. It’s about following your passion. In this case, Jim’s passion is music and he turned that first show at Ohio State University back in 1968 into a thriving business. And make no mistake, music is a business and it is hard work.
Jim shares his incredible story - where he came from, the triumphs, the challenges, where the live music business is going and a few stories from backstage. Let’s dive into a little bit of rock and roll history with Jim Koplik on UpFront!
St. Stephens AME Zion Church
A life-changing experience set Reverend Dr. Leroy Perry on his path in life. Originally from Roanoke, Virginia, he earned his BA from Livingstone College, his MDiv from Yale Divinity, STM, and a doctoral degree from New York Theological Seminary in New York City.
Having pastored in Harlem and his home church, Mt. Olive AME Zion, he presently serves as senior pastor to the St. Stephens Church, Branford CT. In addition to his work as a pastor, Dr. Perry presently serves as the Director of the Fatherhood Initiative program at New Opportunities Inc, Waterbury, CT, and as a Yale Center for Clinical Investigation Cultural Ambassador for the past ten years.
He is devoted to improving the lives of anyone he meets and is committed to the improvement of the community. We talk about his time of growing up in Roanoke as a child, why family is so important, what makes great leaders, some personal hard lessons learned, and why you can’t achieve success without sacrifice.
There's nothing more American than a good old-fashioned hot dog! We love them. Especially Hummel Bros. hot dogs. The Hummel Bros. story begins in 1933 when German immigrants William and Robert Hummel scraped together $1,000 to purchase a bankrupt sausage kitchen. They both were "wurstmachers" - sausage makers - back in Germany, so they knew a thing or two about making quality products.
Fast forward to today and Hummel Bros. is a thriving family business that extends far beyond Connecticut. People love their food, especially their hot dogs. There are online groups dedicated to Hummel Bros. and fans from around the world who will have them shipped as far away as Hawaii and Alaska. Eric Hummel is one of the third-generation owners and he took the time to share some insightful advice on the importance of giving back to the community, why employees are truly like family, and the best way to enjoy a Hummel Bros. hot dog.
If you’re from Connecticut, you’ve probably heard of Lyman Orchards. They’re famous for their apple pies, but if you make your way to Middlefield, you’ll be amazed at the sprawling property that is more than 1,100 acres of scenic farmland. And it’s much more than their delicious pies. There’s the Apple Barrel farm market, three world-class golf courses, pick your own in the orchards, the 1741 Pub and Grill, and much more.
Founded in 1741, Lyman Orchards is one of Connecticut’s and the country’s oldest continually run family businesses. John Lyman the 3rd is the executive vice president of Lyman Orchards and is a member of the eighth generation of the Lyman family that has been farming in Middlefield since 1741. Join us for an UpFront conversation on leadership, the importance of planning, and the wholesome family values his parents instilled in him.
If you love golf, then chances are you probably know the Travelers Championship. The tournament attracts an incredible player field with some of the biggest names in the game and it gives back millions to charitable causes throughout Connecticut. There's the on-course action with the best players in the world. And then there's the off-course fun in the fan zone with all kinds of activities for families and kids. So what does it take to put on a PGA Tour event? And who's the team behind it? Meet Nathan Grube. He's been the Tournament Director of the Travelers Championship since 2005. During this time the tournament has generated more than $20 million for charity and has been recognized by the PGA TOUR for numerous awards, including being named "Tournament of the Year" in 2017.
In this episode, we talk about playing baseball in San Diego, his time as a professional golfer, why he has no regrets, and where the tournament is headed. Tee up and let's get UpFront with Nathan Grube.
If you enjoy tea, then chances are you know the Bigelow Tea name. Cindi Bigelow is the third-generation president and CEO of family-owned Bigelow Tea, the U.S. market leader of specialty teas that produces more than 2 billion tea bags annually. In this episode, Cindi shares her childhood memories of tea tasting in the family kitchen, her ambition to one day run the company, and memories of her grandmother Ruth Bigelow who founded the business in her New York City apartment.
Cindi’s inspiring story gives us an inside view of what it’s like to run a family business, the challenging lessons learned throughout her career, and why fluidity makes great leaders. Sit back, brew your favorite cup of Bigelow Tea and enjoy an UpFront conversation with Cindi Bigelow.
Max Restaurant Group
The name Max is synonymous with restaurant excellence in Connecticut. The food, service and overall experience is exceptional and it's what keeps people coming back time and time again. From his first restaurant job at McDonald's to getting an education in the kitchens of Connecticut, New York City and Newport, Richard opened his first restaurant "Max on Main" in 1986 in Hartford, Connecticut and hasn't looked back since.
Today the Max Restaurant Group has 10 successful independent restaurants, as well as a respected catering company, all based in the Greater Hartford area. Richard shares his inspiring story of what he learned in the New York City restaurant scene instead of the classrooms, why great leaders build incredible teams and how the restaurant industry will survive the pandemic.
FoodShare, Connecticut Food Bank
From his childhood aspirations of wanting to become a lawyer to now running the largest food bank in Connecticut, Jason shares his story of growing up in New Britain, lessons he's learned from baseball and what makes a great leader. Above all else, we talk about the important work and challenges of solving hunger in Connecticut.
UpFront is a monthly podcast that features Connecticut-based top performers in their respective field and how they are making a positive impact in their industry and community. Hosted by Derek Beere from Mason, the show takes a deep dive into how our guests achieved success and more insights into the person.
UpFront is © Copyright 2022 Mason. All rights reserved.