This is the final episode of Season 2. I've learned a TON from the leaders I've interviewed and I hope you have, too. Here are 5 of the most valuable lessons I learned: 



Bringing New Life to a Struggling Company - Liz Pharo

We've all been forced into situations that we didn't know how to handle, where the only choice was to move forward. That's exactly where Liz Pharo found herself four years ago. After the unfortunate passing of her father, Liz had to decide what to do with Momentum Telecom, a struggling company he owned. Rather than duck and run, Liz decided to make some major changes within the company's leadership and bring in a new CEO. Since then, the company has done a complete 180 and is now not only profitable, but expanding. Liz had guts and vision and is a woman and leader we all can learn from.

How do you know if this episode is for you? Here's a few of the things we discussed: 

  • Overcoming difficult obstacles in pursuit of a big goal
  • Making decisions based on a mix of data and gut instinct
  • Why clear goals are so important for a team
  • Asking for help and why humility is vital to growth

Connect with Liz: 

On Facebook

On Twitter

Momentum Telecom

The Transformative Power Of Insane Challenges - Kent Stewart

There's no question that if you want to grow, you have to make decisions that put you outside of your comfort zone. Each new level of discomfort leaves us feeling stronger, more confident and better equipped to take on the next challenge. My guest today is a man who pushes himself physically, mentally and emotionally farther than anyone I've ever met. Kent Stewart is attempting to climb the highest mountain peak on each continent. He's climbed six so far, with only Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, remaining. Hands down, this is one of my favorite Bold Future interviews. I like it so much because Kent is an amazing man and leader and because I don't know anyone else who has even attempted something like this. I left my conversation with him inspired and changed. I hope you find it as impactful as I did. 

How do you know if this episode is for you? Here's a few of the things we discussed: 

  • Why big challenges are so important and what they do to us
  • Choosing goals and the importance of visualizing their accomplishment
  • How to get momentum toward a goal that will help you see it through to completion
  • Automating our decision making through strong daily habits

Connect with Kent: 

On Facbook

On Twitter

His company, Reli Title

Anthony Hood, Ph.D, Professor, UAB Collat School of Business

Today, we dive into the world of academia to hear form Dr. Anthony Hood. Dr. Hood has done some very interesting research about friendships in the workplace and the implications they can have on culture. Admittedly, academic papers are outside of my usual business and leadership musings, but there are a lot of great lessons for us to learn here. 

Jonathan Owen, Camp Director, Camp Straight Street

You may not think there's much you can learn about leadership from a kid's summer camp, but Jonathan Owen is not your typical Camp Director. I've had the privilege of knowing him since we were in high school and over the years I've seen him develop into a deeply caring and compassionate leader. For 9 long weeks during the summer, Jonathan is the Camp Director at Camp Straight Street. Tasked with the extremely challenging and delicate responsibility of caring for children, he is their friend, confidant, entertainer and minister. Jonathan has continued to shape the camp into an amazing ministry to children and a resource for the community. I love Jonathan's heart for people, his desire to see his staff develop as leaders and his sincere belief that every child matters. 

Bebe Goodrich, Founder, Icebox Coffee

Bebe Goodrich started Icebox Coffee in her garage with just a bag of coffee and a bucket. Though she began with no entrepreneurial or business background, she has grown the company over the last few years to be a nationwide player in the coldbrew coffee market. Bebe is a remarkable person with relentless resolve and an attitude that is inspiring. I love that Bebe is vulnerable enough to admit she doesn't have all the answers and is willing to seek the help she needs to propel her forward. She is definitely a leader and entrepreneur that we should all seek to emulate. 

Check out Icebox Coffee:


Connect with Icebox:

On Twitter

On Facebook

Book Bebe mentioned:

Atlas Shrugged

William Bell, Mayor, City of Birmingham

Public officials are scrutinized more intensely than maybe any other type of leader. With so many responsibilities to so many different people it's impossible to keep everyone happy all the time. Today, I talked with Mayor William Bell about his path to public office and what he's learned during his tenure. We also discuss how he handles adversity, naysayers and persistent detractors. As with any city, there's always room for improvement, but Birmingham is on a positive trajectory in many regards and it was an honor to sit down and talk with Mayor Bell. Enjoy!

Connect with Mayor Bell:

On Facebook

On Twitter

Tony Summerville, Founder & CEO, Fleetio

There are a lot of people who talk about starting businesses, but far fewer who go out and make it happen. Tony Summerville founded Fleetio, a fleet management software company, in 2012 and has been building a solid team both locally and remotely all over the country (and Mexico). Tony is a doer and I am grateful for his friendship as well as the inspiration he is to entrepreneurs and leaders everywhere.  I hope you enjoy his story and the rich lessons we can learn from him. 

Connect with Tony:




Book Tony mentioned:

First Break All Rules


Thanks for listening!!


Bill Clark, Head Football Coach, UAB

I love hearing stories of leaders who have prevailed against great adversity and today's guest, Coach Bill Clark, has experienced his share. In 2014, it was announced that the UAB football program was being cancelled and he would need to find employment elsewhere. Coach Clark decided to fight for what he thought was right for his players and the community and find a way to reinstate the team. The battle was hard fought and painful, but the lessons he shared about his journey are invaluable. 

Connect with Coach Clark

Coach Clark on Twitter

UAB Football 

Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director, Equal Justice Iniative

I am super pumped about this interview with Bryan Stevenson! He is one of my all time favorite leaders and I am fascinated by him and his work. Bryan is the Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative and is doing very challenging but extremely valuable work in the criminal justice system. His book, Just Mercy, is a #1 New York Times Bestseller and is a compelling case for fighting for what's right despite the obstacles and seeming hopelessness. There's a lot to learn from Bryan and I hope this episode both encourages you and challenges you to think about what you're willing to go through for the benefit of other people. 

Ep 10: Living and Giving with Deon Gordon, Director of Business Growth, REV Birmingham

Episode 10 is finally here! My sincerest apologies for the delay. Today's guest is Deon Gordon. He currently serves as the Director of Business Growth at REV Birmingham and is working on some really incredible projects including CO.STARTERS and the Biz 1.0 Workshop series. I'm really excited to see the impact he will have on entrepreneurship and business growth in Birmingham.

It's hard to believe this is the last interview of Season 1. Thanks SO much for listening!

What you'll learn in this episode:

Why saying 'No' is so incredibly important and how to do it strategically. 

The importance of testing business ideas beyond your loving friends and family.

The power and effect of serving, both on yourself and others. 

Get to know Deon: 

Deon on Twitter

Deon on Facebook

REV Birmingham

Books mentioned: 

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Good To Great

Ep 9: Local Insights with Author and Entrepreneur, Carrie Rollwagen

My guest today is entrepreneur and author, Carrie Rollwagen. Her new book, The Localist, documents her journey as she shopped at only locally owned businesses for an entire year. I wanted to interview Carrie because, in addition to leading a company (Church Street Coffee and Books) she is also leading a movement. Her voice for small businesses and local shopping has encouraged her wide following to think about the purchases they make and their impact on the community. We need more people like Carrie speaking out and I am excited to share her insights with you. 

What you'll learn in this episode: 

Why truly listening and responding to your community of customers is crucial.

The importance of thinking past personal preference for product offerings.

Why we need both big businesses and small shops for a healthy community. 

Thoughts on how to publish a book and why you should consider it.

The importance of books and the future of the book publishing industry.

Get to know Carrie:


Carrie on Facebook

Carrie on Twitter

Church Street Coffee and Books

Thanks for listening!

Ep 8: The Future of Work and Real Estate with Derek Waltchack, Principal Shannon Waltchack

In his 20 years in the real estate industry, Derek Walchack has seen plenty of ups and downs. Despite the recent recession he and his team have led Shannon Waltchack to become a thriving and dominant broker, investor, developer and manager of commercial property throughout the Southeast. In this episode, we discuss the current state of the real estate market as well as the trends he sees brought on by advances in technology and the Millennial workforce. 

In this episode, you'll learn:

How Millennials are changing work environments and what it means for businesses

Why real estate matters and the impact it has on cities and people

What's it's like to take a big risk and see it pay off

Basic guidelines for making wise real estate investments and some pitfalls to avoid


Links to books and articles we discussed:

Real Estate Riches by Dolf de Roos

Article by Derek: Last Decade's Playbook Won't Work



Get to know Derek and his company:

Derek on Twitter 

Derek on Facebook

Shannon Waltchack on Twitter

Shannon Waltchack on Facebook

Birmingham's Building


Thanks so much for listening!


Ep 7: Surviving and Growing a Startup with Jonathan Robinson, CEO, FreeTextbooks.com

Jonathan Robinson is a straight up awesome dude. I've had the opportunity to get to know him over the last few years and I've been extremely impressed by his passion for people, growth and entrepreneurship. No doubt, running a startup is difficult and Jonathan gives us some great behind the scenes insights on how he thinks as a leader and what he wrestles with. The outlook for FreeTextbooks.com is very bright with him at the helm and I'm excited to see where he takes it. 

In this episode you'll hear thoughts on:

  • Why delegation is so important for company growth despite its difficulty
  • The difference in Founder and CEO and why it matters
  • What it's like to move a team across the country and how to keep them united
  • The importance of mindset and what might help startups in Birmingham
  • How to juggle work and family in the context of a startup

Connect with Jonathan and learn more about FreeTextbooks.com

Jonathan on Twitter

Jonathan on Instagram


FreeTextbooks on Twitter

FreeTextbooks on Instagram


Thanks so much for listening!

I am in the process of thinking through Season 2 for the podcast and I would love to get your help. If you could hear from any leader, who would it be? The qualifications are pretty straightforward: effective leaders with a compelling story we can learn from. Please let me know if you have any suggestions by sending an email to  jeremy@boldfuture.co Thanks!

Episode 6: Focus, Work and Identity with Jay Grinney, CEO, HealthSouth

My guest today is Jay Grinney, CEO of HealthSouth, the nation's largest owner and operator of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals. In 2004, Jay was brought in to turn HealthSouth around following a massive accounting scandal. The company was in complete disarray - it had lost its SEC filing status, its stock price had fallen more than 90% and it was headed toward bankruptcy. Today, the company is thriving and consistently producing positive earnings and growth reports. The turnaround job Jay has done with his team has been nothing short of amazing. 

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • The power of focus and why you should probably have fewer priorities
  • How hard work can compensate for all kinds of weaknesses
  • Why your work and vocation should not be your sole identity
  • Who to look for when building an outstanding team

Learn more about Healthsouth:

Links to books we discussed:

Jay's not a big business book reader, which is a very rare exception for one of my guests. But he did recommend a book called Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan. I had never heard of it and am reading it now. 

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done 

Episode 5: Lessons From the Farm with Grant Brigham, Executive Director, Jones Valley Teaching Farm

Jones Valley Teaching Farm is on a mission to empower children to be the next generation of critical thinkers and change agents in their communities. They do this by connecting standards-based education to real-world food issues and partnering with schools to provide innovative hands on programs for students. At the helm is Executive Director, Grant Brigham. His entrepreneurial mindset and deep concern for people are truly inspiring. 

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • How to use transparency and vulnerability as a tool for building trust 
  • The importance of making unpopular decisions when they're the right decisions
  • What to do when you lose sight of your core mission
  • Why you should be yourself and only yourself 
  • How to empower your team to accomplish big goals

Links to books mentioned in this episode:

More on Jones Valley Teaching Farm: 




Thanks so much for listening!

I'd love to hear what you learned. Please feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email at jeremy@boldfuture.co

You're the best. 

Episode 4: Lessons from Innovation Depot with CEO, Devon Laney

Our guest today is Devon Laney, CEO of Innovation Depot, a business incubator in Birmingham, Alabama. Devon shares insights from his experience watching the habits of both successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs. The lessons from each are extremely valuable and I'm excited to share them with you.

In this episode you'll learn: 

  • Why flexibility is vitally important to long term sustainability
  • The importance of validating ideas beyond your friends and family
  • Work habit tweaks to maximize your productivity
  • Why you should think like an entrepreneur and how it can apply to any job

Learn more about Devon and Innovation Depot:

Devon on Twitter

Innovation Depot on Twitter

Innovation Depot Website


Thanks for listening!

Episode 3: The Power of Small with Caleb Chancey, Musician, Photographer, Impresario

Caleb Chancey is a musician, photographer, impresario and just all around incredible guy. In this episode, we use his music projects as a springboard to discuss how he overcomes the fear of perfection and judgement to get his ideas out into the world. Spoiler alert: it's all about making big ideas smaller. I've learned a ton from him over the years, and I have no doubt you will, too.

What you'll learn in this episode:

Why you shouldn't apologize for not being as good as you're going to be

Why thinking small will actually help you accomplish big things

When it's OK to quit and why sometimes you should

How to redefine success to help you gain momentum without getting overwhelmed

Learn more about Caleb:

Caleb Chancey Photography

Caleb on Twitter

War Jacket

Gray Haven

Support War Jacket!

Caleb and his band, War Jacket, are working on a new album. They're raising money to finish it on IndieGoGo and are getting close to the deadline. If you connect with Caleb and his message, please support them by making a small donation here:

Let's Finish This Record!

Episode 2: The Power of a Tribe with Forrest Walden, CEO, Iron Tribe Fitness

Forrest Walden is on a mission to change the world through fitness. Five years ago he started Iron Tribe, a group fitness concept out of his garage. To say that customers love Iron Tribe is an understatement; they are truly raving fans. I interviewed him about how he used the tribe mindset to build a fanatical customer base and a rapidly expanding business. 

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • The power and effectiveness of delegating and letting go
  • The importance of being your own customer
  • Why it's OK that your business isn't for everyone
  • Why building a tribe in your business or project should be a top priority

Links to books mentioned in this episode:

Total Recall: My Unbelievable True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger

More on Iron Tribe: 




Forrest's Book - Iron Tribe: From Garage Hobby To Fitness Franchise

Thanks so much for listening!

I'd love to hear what you learned. Please feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email at jeremy@boldfuture.co

Click here to subscribe via iTunes

Episode 1: The Company Culture Advantage

I'm super pumped about the first episode of the Bold Future podcast. My guest is Dave Gray, the President and CEO of Daxko. Our conversation revolves around company culture; how to create it and how to keep it. These lessons apply to teams and companies of all varieties and sizes. 

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • What company culture is and isn't
  • Why language matters and how to use it to empower your team
  • How to measure company engagement and why painful feedback is crucial
  • Why communication must be proactive and be redundant (7 times, 3 mediums)
  • How to use company culture as a long term, sustainable, competitive advantage

Links to books mentioned in this episode:

More on Dave: 

Check him out on Twitter @DaxkoDave

Learn more about his company, Daxko

Thanks so much for listening!

I'd love to hear what you learned. Please feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email at jeremy@boldfuture.co

You're the best.