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COVID-19 RESPONSE:
We will be doing a special series on working from home and overcoming disruptive challenge. We hope that these experts can help our listeners going through these tough times. Click to learn more.

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EPISODE ARCHIVE

Special Episodes - COVID-19 Response

Episode 76

Dr Elia Gourgouris Learning Life Jon Tota Podcast Coronavirus
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Dr. Elia Gourgouris has been happy since the day he was born. How does he do it? In this episode, Dr. Gourgouris shares with host Jon Tota practical ways to find happiness and joy even in the midst of all this uncertainty and fear.

Reach out to Dr. Elia:

Episode 75

Ann Dolin Learning Life Jon Tota Podcast Coronavirus Homeschool Online Education
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Ann Dolin, president of Educational Connections talks with Jon Tota about maximizing your kids' education while minimizing stress during quarantine. She's compiled helpful resources to help teach your kids online and keep them engaged.

Reach out to Ann Dolin:

Episode 74

Anna Liotta Learning Life Jon Tota Podcast Coronavirus
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Generational expert Anna Liotta talks the difference in generational response in our time of crisis, based on the way our generations were raised and how the different channels of communication used. She also foresees a paradigm shift in day-to-day life on the other end of the COVID crisis, with this unprecedented situation opening the eyes of the different American generations to new ideas.

Reach out to Anna Liotta:

Episode 73

Randy McNeely Learning Life Kindness COVID19
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Randy McNeely is an author, teacher, and speaker. Randy is "The Kindness Giver" and he wants us to know that the best way to get through this time of physical isolation is to reach out socially to the people we love. The good thing about 2020; we have phones, computers, video chat and more to get in touch with the people that mean the most to us. Remember that "this too shall pass." Together we are strong, and we can succeed with Kindness.

Reach out to Randy McNeely:

Episode 72

Liz Kislik Learning Life COVID19
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Liz Kislik is a management consultant and executive coach, as well as a TEDx Speaker, and contributor to the Harvard Business Review and Forbes. Her story of managing disruptive change is important and relatable in today's situation, and she has provided contact information for those who are seeking more help.

Reach out to Liz Kislik:

Welcome to 2020 and Season 3 of Learning Life! This year, we're debuting our special series, Women In Learning. You'll hear from some amazing women who have made a name for themselves as leaders in learning. Each week, we'll dive into the accomplishments and struggles of powerful women making an impact on learning and organizational business. Stay tuned every Tuesday, and happy learning!

Episode 71

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Martha Lopez is the SSOE Training & Enablement Manager at Amazon Web Services. She began her career in education at just 13 years old, teaching students in areas in need in Miami. She has four years experience as a Spanish Teacher, and over seventeen years in corporate L&D, including roles at Emory University, BioIQ, and Brown Bag Marketing.

This week, Martha sits down with Jon to talk about the path from traditional education to corporate education, how to leverage an educational background to move onto instructional design, and earning respect as a training leader.

Episode 70

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Jessica Jones is the Learning and Development Manager at CivicPlus. CivicPlus provides an integrated technology platform for local governments to help streamline work and better connect with citizens. Based in Kansas, Jones heads up training for the company’s 300+ employees, working to educate employees on the platform and initiatives, and helping civilian employees truly learn about the local governments they’re working with.
 
This week, Jessica sits down with Jon to talk about her career story and the cross-section of private L&D and public service.

Episode 69

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Kiri Masters is the founder of Bobsled Marketing and The Marketplace Institute, an author, and a fellow podcast co-host of the eCommerce Braintrust Podcast. Kiri’s businesses aim to help consumer product brands grow their sales on Amazon.

This week, Kiri will sit down with Jon to talk about doing global business in the modern online world. After leaving JPMorgan to start a craft Lamp supply shop, Kiri maps her journey into Amazon marketing: from Australia to New York to Colombia, building businesses along the way, all online.

Episode 68

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Diana Hill is the Director of Digital Learning for SAFARI Montage. She works with school districts to set up the LOR, a Learning Object Repository, an interoperable system for digital learning resources and media streaming.

After working as a teacher in Florida for six years, she became the Innovative Learning Specialist for her school district, and moved to the business side of education operations after working to implement SAFARI montage for the school system.

Diana sits down with Learning Life host Jon Tota to talk about what the corporate world could learn from the education field.

Episode 67

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Marketing is like cheesy covered broccoli; it can taste good and be used for good too.” Amanda Slavin is the engagement innovator. While writing her thesis for her accelerated Masters program at UCONN, Slavin was inspired by her formal teaching education and her event organizing side-hustle to develop a framework for engaging a brands' customers at the highest level. Cue The Seventh Level, the product of Slavin’s radical thinking and the system that has helped her brand consulting firm, CatalystCreativ, rise to the forefront of the industry.

The Seventh Level, a recently published book and long-standing framework for engagement, focuses on how brands can turn passive consumers into active participants. It’s been adopted by Google, NPR, CocaCola, the Oakland Raiders, the Nature Conservancy, and many, many more!

In this episode, Amanda Slavin sits down with Learning Life host Jon Tota to discuss brand acupuncture (and many more of her redefined phrases), the effect of digital experiences on human engagements, and truly connecting with a target audience.

Episode 66

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Blaire’s debut on Learning Life comes at an important time- the start of Black History month. 

Blaire G. Hervey is the Director of Training and Sales Enablement at ZoomInfo powered by DiscoverOrg, a B2B database and contact directory. She is also a change management leader, making history of her own, paving the way for Diversity & Inclusion initiatives to focus on the advancement, empowerment and visibility of underrepresented employees at ZoomInfo. 

Championing inclusion, she works to enhance the culture of learning with a “Build the People” mentality developing relevant, engaging, interactive programs to delight customers and shape tech professionals into thriving high-performers who can accelerate their careers.

She speaks to Jon about her experience in launching a company Diversity Day introducing their first Global Inclusion & Diversity Initiative (GIDI) and the launch of their employee resource groups: ZoomInColor, ZoomInfo Womens' Initiative Network, Zoom Around the World, ZoomInfo Pride and ZoomInfo Military & Family. ZoomInfo's dedication through these initiatives have built new relationships with their recruiting team identifying diversified talent and diversifying teams at record speed! 

To Blaire, working towards diversity, equity and inclusion is a labor of love– with real work, real people and real emotions. Blaire is all about building meaningful connections between people + data.

Episode 65

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Jamie Schroder is the Manager of Client Training at Sunquest Information Systems, an Air Force Veteran, and has 25 years experience in the L&D and medical laboratory spaces. Sunquest provides a full suite of software and services for scientific laboratories, which requires very specific training that varies by user type.

This week, Jamie sits down with Jon to talk about training from a military standpoint and a corporate standpoint, the importance of LMS usability, what it’s like to work at a company during times of change, and tailoring learning to the learner’s needs through media, social, and micro-learning.

Episode 64

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Keiko Borkenhagen is the Senior Program Manager for Education and Training at LiquidPlanner, a dynamic project management SAAS company. A "boomerang employee," she left and returned to the project management SAAS company to head up training for employees and customers alike.

This week, Keiko sits down with Jon to talk about the balance between technical training and coaching soft skill development, and how to gear up power users.

Episode 63

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Dr. Jane Tornatore is a recovering perfectionist, therapist, speaker, and author, who has spent the last 20 years building her private practice and conducting Alzheimer's related research. Her current work focuses on improving brain health, boosting memory and reducing stress by converting outdated patterns and unnecessary stress into authenticity and wisdom.

Tornatore makes a lasting impact by incorporating compassion, curiosity, and heartfelt optimism, along with powerful shots of playfulness, into her teaching. This week, Jon sits down with Dr. Tornatore to talk about self acceptance in the age of social media and how our relationship with ourselves can lead to success or failure in our work-life. 

Episode 62

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Dr. Marina Theodotou is the Director of Operations and Analytics at the Defense Acquisition University, a training university of the US Department of Defense. She is also an author, a former leader in computer science K-12 education, and a whole lot more. Seriously, just read her Linkedin.

This week, she sits down with Jon to talk about the three pillars of a sustainable culture of learning, and her work at the DAU. With over a million online courses completed every year, and 10 million visitors, Dr. Theodotou is piloting an AI-powered course to increase information retention. 
SEASON 2
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Will Feng is an executive coach, speaker, and the Director of Learning and Organizational Development at FabFitFun. FabFitFun is a lifestyle service boosting health, wellness, fitness, and fashion through to it’s million+ members through a box subscription, video streaming service, and online community. Jon and Will sit down to talk about teaching not just in a course setting, but through leadership and role modeling.
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This week's guest is Steve Sloboda. Steve is a long-time leader in the Insurance industry, working at Progressive, Farmers Insurance, and now as the director of learning and performance at Aetna. Listen to learn about training soft skills and the future of customer service. Steve teaches us the concept of “cross-walking,” learning two sides of a business and walking back and forth between them, to truly understand the connections and position of the business.
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This week, Jon sits down with author, speaker, fellow podcast host, and CEO Chas Wilson. Chas is cofounder and CEO of Master Networks, a chapter-based business education organization for entrepreneurs and business leaders. Chas built Master Networks with emphasis on high quality learning and a people-first focus, he wants to create real, lasting business relationships. Hear Chas talk about his path to success, the importance of family, and his mission to help business people.

Jon will be a guest on Chas’s podcast, Connect Share Prosper soon, so stay tuned!
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A second Jon comes to Learning Life! Jonathan Raymond, the CEO and founder of Refound, speaks with Jon (Tota) about how his company helps remote teams and managers of fast growing companies. Refound is a leadership development firm that trains managers how to give high quality feedback and perform effective one-on-one meetings with employees. Raymond explains Refound's company strategy of “more Yoda, less Superman” and how a company like his helps create success and growth for others.
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This week, Jon sits down with Uber L&D manager, James Watt. Watt has built up Uber’s online learning library from practically nothing to over 200 courses. While online training has the expectation of being universal, he has found that regional differences can be an advantage, allowing for local customization for certain trainings. Watt explains his history and role at Uber and peeks at the future for e-learning.
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This week, Jon welcomes Andre Haykal Jr to Learning Life. Haykal Jr is the founder and cohost of Real Talk University Podcast, author of a book; "What They Won't Teach You," and CEO of marketing agency Xpand Ur Brand... all while a full-time student at Binghampton University!

Andre sits down with Jon to talk about the importance of time management, the changing value of a college education, and getting out of your comfort zone.
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Every successful business has unforeseen challenges, and Tristan Wright is here to help guide you up the mountain.

This week, Jon sits down with Tristan Wright; a fellow podcaster and Business Sherpa. For him, your business serves to allow the lifestyle of your choice. Since selling his successful cycling clothing company, he has worked as a part-coach, part-consultant, helping entrepreneurs scale their business while making sure employees and leaders still believe in the culture of the business.
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In this weeks episode, Jon chats with Faith Jones. Lawyer, TEDx speaker and entrepreneur coach, Jones has developed business frameworks for women to develop and take control of their business and remains an avid advocate for self-learning. Along with her sales mind-reading techniques, Jones recounts her career and successes.

Want to learn more about Faith Jones? Find her on on her website or social media below.
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A middle school teacher, a TEDx speaker, and a Rabbi walk into a bar… Bad joke, but all three describe this weeks excellent guest: Rabbi Elchanan Poupko. Teaching in New York City, Rabbi Poupko has written and spoken at TEDx on the topic of political polarization, and its ever growing threat to our culture. In this episode, Poupko talks about education and reminds us that individuals from diverse backgrounds, who might never otherwise interact, come together through the exchange of goods and services every day, making business a positive force helping mend our divided nation.
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She was the director of online learning for a non-profit, ran a language school for five years, and the leader of one of the largest TEDx events on the east coast. She even ran a clothing company that supported low-income women along the way.

Dolores Hirschmann helped pioneer online learning during the early 2000s when computers were just entering classrooms, and applied the concept of gamification in learning long before it became a buzzword. Today she is an executive coach, helping leaders and speakers clarify their message and grow their business. In this episode, she sits down with Jon to talk about her journey from Buenos Aires to Boston; and from learning to leading.
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