Episode 6: Maureen Lucas (Past President/CEO of LucasWorks)

Encouraging Entrepreneurship After Exiting Her Expansive Enterprise

On this episode of No Coaster Needed, I sat down with Maureen Lucas. She is both Past President & CEO of LucasWorks and an Entrepreneur-In-Residence with the University of Windsor’s EPICentre.

Maureen has been recognized for many years on the Profit W100 List for Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs and the company she founded, LucasWorks has been on the Profit 500 List for the last 7 years consecutively. Maureen is also a proud Rotarian and a founder of 100 Women Who Care Windsor-Essex, a group dedicated to giving large contributions to local community causes and who are committed to community service.

On the show, we talk about Maureen’s start in the hospitality industry, founding, growing and selling a business, adjusting to changes in the market and her own company, her work outside of work and all of the anecdotes in between.

If you want to follow the work that Maureen does, check out these organizations and causes: The University of Windsor EPICentre: epicentreuwindsor.ca The Windsor Rotary Club: rotary1918.com. 100 Women Who Care Windsor-Essex: 100WomenWindsor.com

Finally, if you wanted information about the company that she founded, LucasWorks, you can check that out at LucasWorks.ca.

Interview Notes: 1:40 Growing up in the Windsor area and working in hospitality 2:45 Making the transition from hospitality to recruitment 4:35 What is a Recruitment Agency and what does the day-to day look like? 5:55 Starting in industry as a receptionist & working with unique customers 8:40 Starting her own company: LucasWorks 13:00 Hurdles, early milestones and the 2008 recession 15:40 Opening an office in London 17:45 Maureen’s support system and business growth 20:10 When should you let go of certain functions of the business to other people? 21:30 Expanding into Professional Search 23:50 Selling LucasWorks and how people reacted to selling the business 28:05 One piece of advice for a former self 29:30 Transitioning to work with the University of Windsor EPICentre 33:25 Working with the Rotary Club 35:05 The importance of a mentor 37:10 Biggest piece of advice for entrepreneurs 39:30 A note about employee recognition 40:25 What’s next (i.e.: 100 Women Who Care Windsor-Essex)

Season 1 of No Coaster Needed focuses on people with ties to Windsor, Ontario.

To see updates about future No Coaster Needed shows, visit NoCoasterNeeded.com or follow me on Twitter @JacobMcCourt.

Episode 5: Irek Kusmierczyk (Director of Partnerships, WEtech Alliance & Windsor City Councillor)

A PhD in Politics, A Passage Across Poland & A Promise for Partnerships

On this episode of No Coaster Needed, I sat down with Irek Kusmierczyk. Irek is both the Director of Partnerships with WEtech Alliance and a Windsor City Councillor For Ward 7.

Irek has a PhD from Vanderbilt University in the United States and a Master Degree in Government from the London School of Economics. Irek sits on multiple boards including Essex Regional Conservation Authority, Transit Windsor and Windsor Public Library. He is also a proud Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.

On the show, we talk about Irek’s move to Canada from Poland, returning to Europe to study, interviewing for a Rotary International scholarship halfway across the planet in the early 2000s, being in Nashville during the 2008 election, snakes and all of the anecdotes in between.

If you want to follow Irek or see his full Windsor City Council voting record, you can visit his website at irek.ca. You can also follow him on Twitter @Irek_K.

Interview Notes:

1:40 Being born in Poland, becoming political refugees and a one-way ticket to Toronto 4:50 Moving from Toronto to Windsor (and almost ending up in Winnipeg) 7:55 Being embraced the Polish community in Windsor 10:05 Moving to Ottawa for a journalism degree and looking up to Anna Maria Tremonti 11:50 Getting more international experience at the London School of Economics 13:22 Studying Eastern European politics in Poland and the unbelievable tale that got him there 21:50 Hiking across Poland 24:35 Lessons learned from all of that walking 28:25 Vanderbilt University, Nashville and the election of Barack Obama 32:00 Returning to the Windsor area in 2010 and snakes 38:00 Working with FIRST Robotics at WEtech Alliance 41:10 Hacking Health 43:50 Running for Windsor City Council 48:50 Time Management and Wrap-Up

Season 1 of No Coaster Needed focuses on people with ties to Windsor, Ontario.

To see updates about future No Coaster Needed shows, visit NoCoasterNeeded.com or follow me on Twitter @JacobMcCourt.

Episode 4: Zain Ismail (Senior Consultant, Henry Ford Health System)

Bringing a Hospitable Heart to Health Care

On this episode of No Coaster Needed, I sat down with Zain Ismail. Zain is a Senior Consultant, Strategic Support Services at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan.

Zain was named the Positive Professional Of The Year by the Leamington Chamber of Commerce in 2015 and was recently named one of Leadership Windsor/Essex (LWE) 40 Leaders Under 40 for 2018.

On the show, we talk about Zain’s first hope to be in hospitality, his "ah-ha" moment, adding impact as an intern at Leamington District Memorial Hospital, his role with the Henry Ford, the various initiatives that he works on in his downtime and all of the anecdotes in between.

If you want to follow Zain’s blog, you can do so at ZainIsmail.com. He also shares a lot of great stuff on his Twitter @IsmailZain.

Interview Notes:

1:40 Hope in hospitality 5:05 “He told you to Europe, right?” 7:19 Going to the University of Guelph, leaving... 10:37 ...and finding the Healthcare industry and the “Oprah Moment” 13:37 Interning at the Leamington District Memorial Hospital 15:42 A story that impacted Zain’s life forever 20:14 A funny story about epidurals 22:00 “I’m going back to where I was born” 25:05 Zain’s current role 25:45 What do you feel the biggest changes in health care are? 27:05 Attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas 30:05 Bringing Rise Asset Development to Windsor 38:15 Hacking Health Windsor-Detroit 40:00 What is your advice for people that are trying to figure out their purpose?

Season 1 of No Coaster Needed focuses on people with ties to Windsor, Ontario.

To see updates about future No Coaster Needed shows, visit NoCoasterNeeded.com or follow me on Twitter @JacobMcCourt.

Episode 3: Nuha Elalem (Photographer & Filmmaker)

Capturing The Spirit of Others Through Film

On this episode of No Coaster Needed, I sat down with Nuha Elalem. She is a Windsor-based filmmaker and photographer who at 24 already has credits for The Card, The Tiger Hunter and others under her belt.

On today’s show, we talk about her move from Libya to Canada at a young age, working as a Producer for the first time on The Card, going to Los Angeles, moving on to bigger projects like The Tiger Hunter and all of the anecdotes in between.

If you want to follow Nuha's work, you can go to NuhaElalem.com or follow her on Instagram @PhotosbyNuha. The Card, a film where she was the Producer and Assistant Director, is available for viewing on YouTube or at TheCardShortFilm.com.

Interview Notes:

1:40 Nuha’s move from Libya to Canada 4:20 Wanting to be a filmmaker 6:20 Working with Asil Moussa on “Muslims of Windsor” 7:42 Working with Kim Nelson on “On Girls” 12:12 Being a Producer & Assistant Director on her first short film “The Card” 16:10 Casting for “The Card” and finding their main actress 19:15 Going to Los Angeles 20:40 Interning on Lena Khan’s “The Tiger Hunter” 23:00 The clothing, the colour and the car from “The Tiger Hunter” 27:30 Her work on a Sexual Assault PDA for Windsor Police 32:22 Her involvement with the Windsor International Film Festival 34:25 What comes next, advice for other young filmmakers and the person she wants to work with most

Season 1 of No Coaster Needed focuses on people with ties to Windsor, Ontario.

To see updates about future No Coaster Needed shows, visit NoCoasterNeeded.com or follow me on Twitter @JacobMcCourt.

Episode 2: Emilie Cushman (Co-Founder & CEO at Kira Talent)

Helping Higher Education Assess Applicants More Aptly

On this episode of No Coaster Needed, we spoke to Emilie Cushman. Emilie the Co-Founder and CEO of Kira Talent. Kira Talent is a Toronto-based company building software to make it easier on Universities and Colleges to assess their applicants.

Emilie is a past recipient of the HSBC Woman Leader of Tomorrow Award and was named one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2012.

On the show, we talk about her first dream of being an astronaut, getting into the Next 36, co-founding Kira Talent, how her role evolved and changed over time and all of the anecdotes in between (like how she gave up coffee).

To see updates about Kira Talent, you can visit KiraTalent.com and @KiraTalent on all major social media platforms.

Interview Notes:

1:35 Emilie's Upbringing 2:00 Wanting to work for NASA 2:40 How she chose Business School over the Sciences 4:23 How did you discover Enactus (Emilie was a past president of the Windsor chapter) 6:20 The spectacle of an Enactus presentation 9:40 What is the Next 36? 11:25 The Next 36 National Selection Weekend 14:16 How did you come up with the idea for Kira Talent? 16:05 Winning the Next 36 16:50 22 Years Old and $2.3M in Funding 20:10 "Step Aside..." 22:30 Would you change anything knowing what you know now? 24:01 Her sales experience 24:45 How did Kira Talent change while you were on Special Projects 27:00 Something happened... again. 30:55 How Emilie managed herself when she became the CEO again 32:45 What does Kira Talent look like now? 35:50 Winning the Odyssey Award at the University of Windsor and coming home 36:45 How do you give back? 38:50 Top tips for managing workload 40:20 What's next for Emilie and wrap-up

Season 1 of No Coaster Needed focuses on people with ties to Windsor, Ontario.

To see updates about future No Coaster Needed shows, visit NoCoasterNeeded.com or follow me on Twitter @JacobMcCourt.

Episode 1: Foad Karimian (Community Capacity Builder, Yonge Street Mission)

Building the Youth of Tomorrow

On this episode of No Coaster Needed, we travel to Toronto to talk with Foad Karimian. Foad is a Community Capacity Builder - Youth Leadership at the Yonge Street Mission.

Foad has dedicated his life to helping youth. He started this journey through an initiative he started called the Odette High School Leadership Initiative. The program created at the University of Windsor's Odette School of Business helps high school students develop key leadership skills.

He now leads a similar program at the Yonge Street Mission called Our Voice Out Loud. Foad is a recipient of the Ontario Volunteer Service Award for continuous years of commitment and dedicated service to an organization and the Mayor's Youth Leadership Award in Windsor.

On the show, we walk through Foad's upbringing, his move to the University of Windsor, starting the Odette Leadership Initiative, his job with the Yonge Street Mission and all of the anecdotes in between.

To see updates about the Odette High School Leadership Initiative, you can search for OHLI.Windsor on Instagram. To see Foad's work now, find O.V.O.L on Instagram. This account shares updates from Foad's Our Voice Out Loud program.

Interview Notes:

1:30 Foad's Upbringing 3:15 The high school teacher that changed it all 6:00 Changing majors a few times in University (also, don't eat Tide Pods) 8:30 Changing your old habits 14:00 How a trip to the hospital changed the course of Foad's life 18:55 Starting the Odette High School Leadership Initiative 22:30 The meetings that shaped OHLI 25:29 What is the Odette High School Leadership Initiative? 31:03 How did OHLI form your career path? 35:03 Our Voice Out Loud, Foad's fake talk show and why he loves his job 43:00 "How would you encourage others to give back?"

Season 1 of No Coaster Needed focuses on people with ties to Windsor, Ontario.

To see updates about future No Coaster Needed shows, visit NoCoasterNeeded.com or follow me on Twitter @JacobMcCourt.

No Coaster Needed Trailer

Show Launches on February 15th, 2018

No Coaster Needed is a collection of intimate conversations with incredible people.

Everyone involved in Season 1 has ties to the Rose City (Windsor, Ontario) and the first piece of the series launches Thursday, February 15th.

It's casual, positive and I can't wait for you to hear it.

Copyright 2018