S2E4 – Colleen Jennings-Roggensack – ASU Gammage (Part II)

This week, Colleen Jennings-Roggensack returns for the second installment of our conversation.  When she last joined us in Season One, we left her in Colorado, and today we hear the rest of the story.

In addition to her journey, Colleen addresses topics each of us can learn from.  Those range from mentoring, to life-long learning, to taking risks, and finding balance in life.  You will also want to hear her story about one particular cast of the show “Evita” and the lessons we can learn about excellence and accountability.


ASU Gammage

Stadium 365

Noorderzon – Performing Arts Festival – Groningen

Traverse Theatre Edinburgh

Game of Thrones

Being Mary Jane

Arizona Chamber of Commerce

Email us at contact@azoriginals.net

S2E3 – Jason Pistillo – University of Advancing Technology

Jason Pistillo is the president of the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Arizona.  Our conversation takes us from Jason building his first computer game at the age of eight, to becoming a network engineer at 21, to his 23-year career at UAT.  He has been recognized as a leader in business and was most recently given the East Valley Institute Technology’s “Sam and Olga Bender Award” for being a strong community partner over the past decade.

We cover a wide range of topics ranging from building a “fast, fun, friendly and smart” culture, instituting rigorous hiring practices, maintaining motivation and focus, investing in the community, and empowering staff.  Jason also discusses why their culture of vulnerability among staff has made their team stronger, and so much more.


University of Advancing Technology

Contact Jason via email

Ballet Arizona YouTube video

Valley Leadership


Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Contact us at the podcast: contact@azoriginals.net

S2E2 – Greg Head – Gregslist and Greg Head Consulting


Greg Head has spent most of his professional life in the world of software, including being part of the startup and growth stages of two major Arizona companies and as the chief marketing officer for Chandler-based Infusionsoft.  Today, Greg consults founders and CEOs, curates Gregslist (an active list of Arizona-based software companies…over 300 strong), and has more projects and initiatives on the way.

In our conversation, Greg shares thoughts on not only marketing, but focus, intensity, scaling your business, Arizona’s technology mindset, and what it means to transition your business from being ADD to OCD.  You will want to take notes!


Greg Head – LinkedIn

Greg Head Consulting


Clate Mask podcast interview

Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Contact us at the podcast: contact@azoriginals.net

S2E1 – Brian Mueller – Grand Canyon University

Welcome to Season 2 of the Arizona Originals podcast!

Our first guest of the new season is Brian Mueller – Chairman, President and CEO of Grand Canyon University.  Our conversation begins in Milwaukee, WI where Brian grew up along with his parents and seven siblings.  We then look at his years as a teacher and basketball coach and ultimately to his move into leading two major higher education institutions.

President Mueller discusses everything from finding purpose and passion to the importance of focusing on planning and preparation.  He talks about the time in his life he received the best training for leading businesses, and discusses his decision checklist when it comes to running a publicly traded company.  We also talk about partnerships, team building, and so much more.


Grand Canyon University


Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Contact us at the podcast at contact@azoriginals.net


35 – Jackie Norton – Rodel Foundation

This week we are joined by Jackie Norton who is the president and CEO of The Rodel Foundation of Arizona.  A native Arizonan, Jackie’s career path has taken her from the private sector as a partner at the Gallagher & Kennedy law firm, to the public sector where she held several positions including the Director of the Arizona Department of Commerce for two governors, and in the non-profit space where she led the Arizona State University Foundation and now leads at Rodel.

Jackie shares valuable insights about how to become an effective leader though collaboration, focus, and discovering how to leverage assets.  Her views on mentoring, lifelong learning, and vision for an organization will instruct and inspire you.


Interview with Shawn Linam

34 – Colleen Jennings-Roggensack – ASU Gammage

This week we are joined by Colleen Jennings-Roggensack who serves as the executive director of Arizona State University’s Gammage and is ASU’s Vice President for Cultural Affairs.  

We recorded this episode just days after Colleen returned from the Tony Awards.  She holds the distinction of being the only Arizonan who casts a ballot for the Tony Awards.  And this year she celebrates both her 25th year leading the way at Gammage and the fact they have already sold out their 2017-18 season.  Not to mention the fact she is responsible for bringing Hamilton to Arizona next year.

Colleen talks about life as a military brat in which she found herself living in 13 states and two countries before going to college.  She recounts the influence her parents had on her and her siblings through the lens of “sacred texts” her parents taught them to live by.

In our brief conversation, we cover several issues related to leadership and personal growth…and we provide some teasers for an eventual Part II to this delightful conversation.


ASU Gammage Beyond

Desert Botanical Garden

Special Episode on Taking Action – The Table Group

We all read books and hear inspirational speakers which motivate us to look at how we lead or run our organizations.  But, often, the daily grind prevents us from actually taking action on those ideas.

This week we have a special, topical episode featuring Michael Lorsch, principal consultant for The Table Group which was founded by best-selling author, speaker, and leadership guru Patrick Lencioni.  Today, Michael discusses how to strategically do the hard work to implement ideas.

33 – Jim Ward – The Phoenix Symphony

This week we speak with Jim Ward, the president and CEO of The Phoenix Symphony.  In addition to his role at the Symphony, Jim is also a Venture Partner in the venture capital firm, Alsop Louie Partners.

In our conversation, Jim takes us from his roots in Indiana to his first move to Arizona where he attended the Thunderbird School of Global Management.  From there, his career took him to places he never expected and afforded him the opportunity to lead global marketing campaigns for Apple, Microsoft, and Nike.  Jim was also recruited to oversee the global distribution and marketing of all of Lucasfilm’s motion picture, television, and video properties…and develop the plan to launch Star Wars Episodes 1-3.  In case he needed more to do, he was concurrently named the President of LucasArts where he oversaw the rebuilding of the video game company.

Jim talks about mentors (including his influential piano teacher, Ms. Breckenridge), building trust with clients, the importance of teams, how data influences marketing decisions, and explores the concept of “irreverence justified.”  You will enjoy the stories and learn from his perspectives on leading and innovating.


Mind Over Music

B-Sharp Music Wellness

Special Episode on Building Strategic Anchors – The Table Group

What happens when your organization drifts from its core mission?  How do successful entities innovate and push the envelope while maintaining firm footing?

This week we have a special, topical episode featuring Michael Lorsch, principal consultant for The Table Group which was founded by best-selling author, speaker, and leadership guru Patrick Lencioni.  Today, Michael discusses the concept of strategic anchors and how organizations use them to make efficient and focused decisions.

Next week we will be back with our regular program where we talk with another Arizona Original!  Please join us again next week.

32 – Phil Potter – The Armory Incubator

This week’s guest is Phil Potter, founder and CEO of The Armory Incubator – a non-profit with the mission of helping veterans launch and scale startups.  Fast Company magazine listed The Armory as Arizona’s contribution to its “United States of Innovation” special feature in the May, 2017 issue.

Phil earned his Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University and then received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Arizona State University.  Phil shares what led to his decision to join the US Air Force where he received his commission and served for six years.  Following his service in the Air Force, Phil returned to academia at ASU and found his way to an opportunity focusing on helping veterans seeking to become entrepreneurs.

Phil shares the early influences which led him to be an entrepreneur, in his own right, at an early age.  From there, he discusses lessons learned from the Air Force, why it is good to be the “dumbest person in the room”, identifying the context of leadership, his connection with the book Hillbilly Elegy, and much more.


Email Phil 

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