Spotlight Interview: Dave Mattson

Dave Mattson - Sandler Systems, Inc

Dave talks about innovation, learning from customers, and success in sales.

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Spotlight Interview: David Allen

David Allen - Getting Things Done

David talks about GTD and how it can help you, your business, and your success.

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Spotlight Interview: Gordon Logan

Gordon Logan - Sport Clips

Gordon talks about Sport Clips and the success of the franchise model he built.

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Nov20

Rob Albertson
Rob Albertson
Bandwidth Marketing
Founder & Managing Director

Rob Albertson has been forging creative solutions for Fortune 100’s and fortunate ones for decades. He’s driven sales for Taco Bell, Motorola, the CDC, Frito-Lay, eBay, PepsiCo, and Tropicana among other corporations and overseen sponsorship campaigns for United, TicketsNow/Ticketmaster and AT&T. Rob has taken his years of expertise and experience and used it as the foundation of Bandwidth Marketing where you’ll find big brains in a bite-sized boutique firm. Finding a flexible marketing agency that can handle the constant shift is tough. Finding one that understands business issues driving the right ideas and the right tactics is almost impossible. Thank goodness for Bandwidth Marketing.

BusinessInterviews.com: What inspired you to leave corporate heights to launch your own marketing firm that concentrates on smaller business?

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Nov20

Paul Sheng
Paul Sheng
FoundHere
Co-Founder

Paul Sheng co-founded FoundHere, Inc in 2013. Previously, he was a partner at Bain & Company, an international strategy consulting firm, where he was a co-founder of the private equity group. Earlier in his career he worked at McKinsey & Company, in Hong Kong, helping multi-nationals develop growth strategies in the region. Paul has a BA, MA from Oxford University and an MBA from Stanford University. Founded in 2013, FoundHere.com enables users to easily build and maintain a fully functioning website for free, including design templates, hosting, and built-in search engine optimization. The intuitive website service offers hundreds of professionally designed templates that are organized by specific markets for easy selection, as well as search engine tools, drag and drop editing, and content customization through widgets and flexible content blocks.

BusinessInterviews.com: How did you come up with the concept behind FoundHere.com?

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Nov19

Elchonon Hellinger
Elchonon Hellinger
ThriftyComputer
Owner

Elchonon Hellinger was born in Brooklyn, NYC, and has been working in IT since the age of 16, in sales, support, marketing, customer service and business solutions. Balancing the responsibilities of building a business with his own personal health challenges has helped him develop a great appreciation for what’s important in life. This is one company owner who understands how to appreciate the needs of others, and thus, has an ability to provide amazing customer service. Over the last ten years, ThriftyComputer has been steadily building a reputation as one of the most trustworthy and reliable sources in the world for unlocked cell phones, computer accessories, headsets and other communication technologies. At ThriftyComputer, you’ll find the latest Apple iPhone to Android, LG, BlackBerry, Samsung, HTC, Sony Ericsson and other high quality cell phone brands. From incredible, discounted deals to world class customer service, brothers Elchonon and Yosef Hellinger have set a standard for excellence that they are proud to stand behind.

BusinessInterviews.com: What inspired you and your brother to launch a business when were you were still in high school? What early insights did you gain that you’ve been able to apply to your current business model?

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Nov19

John O'Brien
John O'Brien
O'Brien Metal
Founder

John O’Brien launched O’Brien Metal after 20 years in corporate America. Despite the difficult economic conditions, O’Brien Metal has profitably grown and established itself as a key player in this industry over the past six years. John O’Brien is a proven business builder, prior to joining Fair Isaac Corp. he was a founding member of Braun Consulting Inc. out of Chicago (Fair Isaac purchased Braun Consulting in 2004) and as a Sr. Leader helped grow the firm from five employees to over 600 – including an IPO in 1999 and market valuation of over $500 million.

Founded in Chicago, Illinois in 2007 O’Brien Metal is made up of digital & artisanal metal fabrication and renovation experts who understand the relationship between design and function, shape and finish. Together with some of the country’s most notable architects, designers, and landscape architects, they have been crafting beautiful interiors and striking exteriors throughout Chicago and New York. The company employs a diverse group of Architectural Detailers, Fabricators, Artists, Metal Technicians, Restorers, Finishing Experts, and Forging and Casting Professionals. They are experts at working with specialty metals such as bronze, brass, nickel, silver, gold leaf, copper, stainless steel, and aluminum. The company is also a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago, AIA New York, Society of Architectural Historians (SAH), American Institute of Conservators (A IC) and American Preservation Technology (APT).

BusinessInterviews.com: What inspired to your decision to leave your long and successful corporate career to launch O’Brien Metal?

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Nov18

Greg Stallkamp
Greg Stallkamp
Lakeshore Express Aviation
CEO

Greg Stallkamp is the founder and CEO of Lakeshore Express Aviation. A regional air carrier he launched in 2010. Prior to this position, Mr. Stallkamp launched a social networking software company, Holos LLC and worked in a variety of consulting and investment banking positions. Lakeshore Express is a regional air carrier operating in the Midwestern United States. The company offers scheduled flight service connecting Chicago, Detroit and Northern Michigan. The service offers customers the ability to turn a 7 hour drive into a one hour flight. Lakeshore Express offers a different type of flight experience. By operating out of private terminals on the grounds of major airports, their customers avoid the chaos, congestion, and confusion related to commercial air travel. Amenities such as complimentary beverages, first class legroom, free parking or shuttle service, and the elimination of all unnecessary fees (baggage, check-in, seat assignment) are standard on every flight.

BusinessInterviews.com: What inspired to you start Lakeshore Express?

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Nov18

George Zlatin
George Zlatin
Digital Third Coast
Director of Operations

Digital Third Coast (DTC) is an energetic and results-driven Chicago digital marketing agency founded in 2007 and located in Chicago’s Wicker Park/Bucktown neighborhood. They partner with their clients to create solid strategies that help them make the most of their online presence. As a digital marketing agency, they will evaluate the full spectrum of your business’ presence online and collaborate with you to develop and execute plans to help your business generate more website traffic, leads, brand awareness, customer loyalty, and sales. DTC offers the following services: SEO, Pay Per Click advertising (PPC), and content marketing.

BusinessInterviews.com: What key elements should a business keep in mind when it comes to determining their mobile SEO strategy?

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Nov15

Adam Fridman
Adam Fridman
Meet Advisors
Founder

Meet Advisors is social media space designed for entrepreneurs to advise other entrepreneurs. The goal is that start-ups will eliminate more mistakes to increase their chances of success. Adam Fridman, a serial entrepreneur himself quickly saw a need to gain more small business, but done right with the economic shakeups. Meet Advisors is free and insight in areas of sales, business development, legal and more is available all day every day.

Mabbly is a well-respected digital media and PR agency based in Chicago with a sole focus on the small business. In areas of SEO, PPC, Content, Branding, Design and PR; Mabbly is an agency of the masses because every client is a solid relationship.

BusinessInterviews.com: Where does your passion for entrepreneurship come from?

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Nov15

Mike Cerny
Mike Cerny
DoNotRent.com
Founder & CEO

DoNotRent.com was founded in 2011 by a group of real estate professionals in Chicago who have rented over the years from good and bad landlords. After performing market research and analysis they discovered a need for a national social networking apartment review site where users have the ability to review not only apartments but student housing and rental homes. Users can share reviews and apartment listings on their favorite social sites, send messages to reviewers and engage in a conversation about an apartment, bookmark listings and reviews, check rental data, inquire about apartment availability, obtain moving quotes and search for roommates via our partners site. They came out of beta November 2012 and launched a new user friendly social networking review platform.

DoNotRent.com is the first apartment review website where users can not only search or write reviews and ratings of apartments they rented from their computer but they also can search and write reviews of apartments they toured using their smartphone.

BusinessInterviews.com: How has your background in real estate help shape the vision and direction of DoNotRent.com?

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Nov13

Daniel Draz
Daniel Draz
Fraud Solutions
Principal

Daniel W. Draz, M.S.,CFE has 28 years of successful fraud experience exclusively in the private sector. Specialties include financial crime, ethics, governance, risk, compliance, audit, regulatory, and fraud management, especially investigation, training, prevention, detection, consulting and mitigation. Fraud Solutions is a boutique management services firm providing a customized portfolio of: fraud risk management consulting, fraud risk strategies, fraud analytics & research, GRC, ethics, and fraud training services to clients around the globe.

More specifically, Fraud Solutions’ mission is to provide a comprehensive suite of services to companies which helps them identify, combat, and reduce the amount of fraud committed against their business, products, and services. These services increase the return on investment (ROI) and profitability to the bottom line.

BusinessInterviews.com: What inspired you to launch your own business?

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Nov12

Alex Schiff
Alex Schiff
Fetchnotes
Co-Founder & CEO

Launched last year, the first Fetchnotes apps helped over 80,000 people keep track of notes and to do lists by organizing them with hashtags (rather than the typical bloated and complex tools otherwise available). Over the course of 2013, we noticed some really interesting trends around productivity and communication (details in the links). We felt like no one in this space was building tools that worked for people individually as well as they worked for people together. Products tend to be either “anti-social” (as Evernote calls themselves) or start with social and work backwards (most collaboration products, or even worse email). A group of 6 19-22 year-olds who graduated from Techstars (Boston Fall ’12) rather than college, we decided to build it ourselves.

Mike: Alex, lets start by talking about the new product. How is the new Fetchnotes different than the previous version… or other note taking apps that are available today? What are these trends you’re addressing that others are not?

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Nov11

Alex Brown
Alex Brown
10th Magnitude
CEO

Alex Brown, 10th Magnitude CEO, and self-described “Chief clutter cutter,” is all about helping clients get stuff done. “I’m focused on our clients and their business goals. We are setting the agenda for how the cloud drives innovation for our clients, and I am excited by the part we play in their success.” 10th Magnitude is a leading Azure development consultancy. They migrate existing applications to the cloud and create cloud, hybrid and mobile applications for large enterprise and SMB customers. 10th Magnitude has worked with Azure since its launch: shifting systems to Azure IaaS and leveraging Azure PaaS to develop highly secure, innovative, custom applications.

BusinessInterviews.com: Can you elaborate on how you’ve managed to create, prove and succeed with a new business model using a new technology?

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