Ensono, a manage services provider focusing on hybrid enterprise IT, is in relentless pursuit of client satisfaction. Tim Beerman, the CTO of Ensono, understands that there are challenges to be faced surrounding the modernization of IT technology that has been around for a while. That’s why he urges companies to put themselves in the position of the client – to communicate with them to gain a deep understanding of what they want and need so that they can work towards making sure that their vision aligns with the client’s. Beerman discusses how to modernize in an aging workforce, and talks about internship to employment opportunities companies can offer to make sure that they’re always gaining new ideas and methodologies. To find out more about Tim and Ensono, watch the full BizCastHQ video.
Ensono helps IT leaders be the catalyst for change by harnessing the power of hybrid IT to transform their businesses. We drive digital transformation by enabling increased agility and scalability through the modernization to public cloud. Our broad services portfolio from mainframe to cloud, powered by an intelligent governance platform, is designed to help our clients operate for today and optimize for tomorrow. We are award-winning certified experts in AWS and Azure and recognized as Microsoft Datacenter Transformation Partner of the Year. Ensono has nearly 2,000 associates around the world and is headquartered in greater Chicago.
As Chief Technology Officer of Ensono, Tim is responsible for product strategy and development and ensuring those products and service delivery meet the changing needs of clients. He is shaping the internal organization that will continue Ensono’s product evolution and outstanding service delivery. Tim received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri at Rolla and completed Squadron Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
tastytrade is an online financial network that provides eight hours of live programming every day to educate people about the financial market and how to trade. They also offer brokerage services and are expanding into the futures market this year. Kristi Ross, the Co-CEO and President of tastytrade, discusses some challenges that she faces in the business today. One challenge is talent acquisition, which Ross says is one of the most important investments a company can make. If a company finds somebody who fits in with the culture and is talented at what they do, it’s important to hire them even if there’s not a role that they can fit into at that time – with training, they’ll grow into a role, and the company will have the best people for the job. Ross says that it’s also important to seek out opportunity, take risks, and be proactive. It’s also important to make sure employees have a voice and are given the opportunity to make a difference within the company – if employees are passionate about the company, they’ll deliver a better product. To find out more about Kristi and tastytrade, watch the full BizCastHQ video.
tastytrade is one of the most-watched online financial networks, engaging investors and traders across 150 countries with 8 hours of daily, live, cost-free and commercial free programming and accessible through video on- demand 24/7. tastytrade’s research-based content teaches a logical, mechanical approach to investing and identifying opportunities based on probability and volatility. Investors are continually challenged with financial math, humor and new market perspectives. tastytrade has over 30 million hours watched of free archived programming. tastytrade distributes its shows through www.tastytrade.com, www.tastyworks.com, iTunes, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube. tastytrade has been awarded the Chicago Innovation Award 2013 People’s Choice & 2014 for its visual trading technology, Best in Biz Most Innovative Company in 2013, Most Innovative Consumer Product 2014, silver Most Innovative Consumer Product and bronze Most Innovative Consumer App 2015. In 2017, tastytrade won the CEC Momentum Award. The award, presented by the Chicago Entrepreneurial Center and tech incubator 1871, recognizes a company more than five years old that is on track to become one of the next great companies to emerge in Chicago.
tastyworks, a wholly owned subsidiary of tastytrade, is a new online broker launched January 2017 (member of FINRA, NFA and SIPC). The teams are leading a financial revolution to change the culture of investing and debunking the myths around active vs. passive investing for the do-it-yourself investor.
Kristi Ross is the co-CEO and President of tastytrade, the most-watched online financial network making finance fun and actionable. tastytrade recently launched a new brokerage firm, tastyworks. The collective offering focuses on empowering the do-it-yourself investor to engage more with their finances, through the unique combination of content, technology and fees. Ms. Ross also co-hosts the show Bootstrapping in America, where she interviews innovative entrepreneurs. Previously, Ms. Ross was the CFO of thinkorswim Group as a private company where she led numerous mergers, acquisitions and integration. thinkorswim sold to TD Ameritrade for $750M in 2009. Prior to thinkorswim, Ms. Ross was CFO of Automated Trading Desk Specialists, a stock specialist on the Chicago Stock Exchange. Ms. Ross started her career in public accounting, specializing in financial services industry clientele including individual traders, proprietary, market makers, specialists, discount brokerage and advisory firms and has been in and around the trading business for more than 25 years.
As co-CEO and President of tastytrade, Ms. Ross has been honored as the Illinois Technology Association CityLights’ Prominent Tech Woman, the Moxie Awards’ Woman in Tech, Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, James Haugh Award and has been named to Innovate Finance Global Women in Fintech Powerlist, Crain’s Chicago’s Tech 50, the Techweek 100 list, Chicago Business Journal’s Women of Influence list, and the Midwest Women in Tech’s Women Tech Founder Award (2017). Ms. Ross has spoken at Techweek, WiSTEM, Ms. Tech and Woman 2.0 and Chicago Ideas Week and has been featured by prominent publications such as Fortune, Chicago Tribune, and Crain's Chicago. In addition, Ms. Ross is an active board member of companies in the technology as well as the trading industry, is an active member of the ChicagoNEXT Fintech Council of World Business Chicago, board member of CEC/1871 and an Economic Club of Chicago member. Philanthropic passions include Midtown Educational Foundation, Rock the Street Wall Street, Entrepreneur Leaders in Philanthropy, EveryHandCounts.
AHP Servicing is the only socially responsible, crowdfunded trading and servicing company in the country. DeAnn O’Donovan, the President & CEO, says that what sets her company apart isn’t just its unique niche – it’s the employees who believe in the social mission. AHP uses crowdsourced funding to purchase past-due home loans and works with the homeowners to ensure that they handle their debt responsibly while also providing them with an avenue to stay in their homes. O’Donovan states that one of the most important things a company can do is to pay it forward to their employees. If an employer cares about his or her employees, they will feel that and grow along with the company, and it will open the opportunity for the company to bring them along as they discover new opportunities. To find out more about DeAnn and AHP Servicing, watch the full BizCastHQ video.
AHP Servicing, LLC is a crowdfunded financial services company headquartered in Chicago. We raise money through our Reg A offerings which are open to both accredited and non-accredited investors with an investment of as little as $100. We use the funds raised from our many individual investors to purchase past due mortgages. We then work with homeowners to seek consensual solutions to modify or settle their debt. We have raised over $12MM since our latest fund opened in late 2018.
We are socially and financially driven. Our core goals are to help Americans hold onto the dream of homeownership while providing investors in our offerings with a preferred return of up to 10% per year. We buy loans nationally, specializing in low to moderate income loans.
In 2018, we also launched the country’s only socially responsible servicing company so that we can better serve our borrowers. At AHP Servicing, we are passionate about continuing our mission to do well by doing good.
NMLS ID # 1651788 AHP Servicing LLC supports Equal Housing Opportunity.
Real investment. Real impact. These two themes highlight the performance that AHP SERVICING brings to investors and borrowers, as well as the culture and leadership she brings to the oversight of her 21-person team.
With more than 20 years of experience leading profit centers, overseeing workout plans and corporate strategy, O’Donovan is primed to change how mortgage servicers conduct their operations. In her role, she oversees the company’s direction, strategy, staffing, and operations for AHP SERVICING, a specialty servicer of past due residential mortgages.
Prior to joining AHP SERVICING, O’Donovan served as EVP and Chief Administrative Officer for Wintrust Mortgage (a division of Wintrust Financial Corporation), where she grew loan volume 34%, revenue 38%, and net income 17% by transforming her team’s culture into one of accountability, talent development, and operational excellence. Under her leadership, her team generated $256 million in new portfolio loan originations while also reducing the amount of past due loans 22%, to 45 percent below the national average. She has also served as Senior Vice President of Wintrust Financial’s Purchased Assets Division, where she led a team that restructured and liquidated a $675 million distressed loan portfolio acquired from the FDIC.
In addition to a strong professional background, O’Donovan has a strong belief in civic responsibility, serving as a Board Member of the National Able Network, a national job coaching organization for veterans, seniors and others in job transition. She is an Executive Scholar in Finance from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and holds a Master of Arts Degree from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oakland University.
Chris Houghton is in the business of protecting and providing peace of mind regarding your most valuable assets – children and pets. Jiobit is a hardy GPS tracker that can be attached to children’s clothing or pet collars and provides real-time updates on location in its integrated app service. Houghton talks about challenges related to design, stating that it’s important to make every product the best product it can be with the constraints that are placed on the project. He also discusses the importance of company culture, especially in a very small company, stating that it isn’t just about recruiting new talent that will fit within the culture of the company, but retaining employees that you want to work and collaborate with. To find out more about Chris and Jiobit, watch the full BizCastHQ video.
Jiobit is the world's smallest and longest lasting tracking solution. With a smart tag and smartphone app, parents can find their kids anywhere: Indoors, outdoors, in over 150 countries and even in multi-level buildings.
With up to two months of battery life and a durable and discreet design, Jiobit is the world's smallest cellular product. The mobile app (run through a wireless subscription service) offers the most comprehensive set of monitoring and notification features available on the market. Overall, the Jiobit experience gives parents peace of mind while allowing kids to be kids.
The Jiobit team is comprised of seasoned engineers, designers, and marketers with a history of building innovative and disruptive consumer products and businesses. The team has logged a combined 150 patents from previous endeavours and developed and shipped products selling in the millions worldwide. We are proudly headquartered in Chicago, with a development center in Silicon Valley.
With over 20 years experience designing & leading creative teams in consumer electronics & medical product fields, Chris Houghton has a proven track record of bringing successful, user centric and thoughtful designs to market.
Houghton specializes in Wearable products, Consumer audio products, Connected device experiences both mobile and in home, branded experience design, medical equipment design, Building great teams, inspiring others and always being curious.
Clinicians Oral Care LLC is dedicated to providing all-natural, customizable teeth whitening options to consumers everywhere. Sherrie Hicks, the Founder and President of the company, discusses the importance of a tagline that a lot of people can relate to, and one that sticks. She also talks about the importance of listening to what consumers want, why they like the idea of a product, and what is stopping them from using said product. Hicks lists some challenges faced in the teeth whitening industry, including a lack of education about how products work, and a shrinking distribution channel. Internet marketing and home shopping networks have become the norm, replacing brick and mortar shops as the primary purchasing method. To find out more about Sherrie and Clinicians Oral Care, watch the full BizCastHQ video.
Clinician’s Oral Care is an innovator and category disruptor of teeth whitening systems custom tailored to consumer’s preferences, convenience and oral health. Our products are inspired by 30+ years of research and development in the Professional and consumer segments. Our passion is to bring healthy beautiful smiles to all.
The company sells directly to the professional dentists industry, under its Clinician’s OlC brand and will soon be rolling out its Smile-Licious product line to the consumer segment.
Inspired by the successes attained in the professional industry, the Smile-Licious customizable system will deliver a uniquely delicious teeth whitening experience with the efficacy of its professional strength proprietary formulation, in a customizable array of delicious flavors and without teeth or gum sensitivity. Smile-Licious proprietary Clinically Tested scientific formulation delivers unparalleled immediate results via its’ patented Flavor-GenixTM Technology for a flavorful teeth whitening experience.
A Quick, and Effective way to Deliciously whiten your teeth.
Sherrie Hicks is a renowned teeth-whitening innovator with a 30+ year track record in the professional dental industry. She has worked for Major Fortune 500 Companies such as DuPont, Dow Chemical, Monsanto, 3M, Procter & Gamble, and is the only person to have worked for the three largest whitening dental companies in the world, BriteSmile, Discus Dental, and Ultradent Products.
Her career spans the gamut of teeth whitening techniques including new product concepts, formulation development, package design, branding, and driving sales and creating one-of-a-kind marketing programs. Sherrie has led over 35 clinical studies on the various aspects of teeth whitening techniques, efficacy and consumer preference. She is a clinical trainer for dentists, a nationally known whitening lecturer and was chosen by the powerful Chicago Dental Society and The International Dental Society to be their expert spokesperson and lecturer for their Global conferences.
Referred to as the “Whitening Guru” by the dental community and her friends at QVC, in 2017 Sherrie saw an opportunity to address the costly, and often-lengthy treatment process people go through in order to achieve teeth whitening professional results. Whether you are seeking a professional teeth whitening solution from a dentist or an over the counter self-purchase, the process is boring, and often leads to gum irritation and teeth sensitivity ...thus people stop the treatment.
After numerous clinical trials and consumer testing, she perfected a whole new whitening system with her own one-of-a-kind proprietary formulation. This category disruptor teeth whitening experience is based on her very own Flavor-GenixTM Technology and included in the entire Smile-Licious product line.
As a Clinician and National Teeth Whitening Expert, Sherrie spends her time lecturing for the Top Dental Societies, educating dentists and their teams on different whitening formulations, techniques, and their efficacy.
Her articles regarding practice management and how to best incorporate a successful whitening system have reached over 8,000 North American Dentists. Sherri's "Out of The Box" marketing campaigns for dentists have won numerous awards coupled with her excellent verbal skills and whitening knowledge makes her a popular lecturer both domestically and Globally.
As a former Model, Actress and Miss Ohio, Mrs. Illinois-America she has traveled all over the Globe and learned insights on teeth whitening that she is now making available through her proprietary Flavor-Genix Technology and Smile-Licious whitening products.
To relax and find her inner balance, Sherrie enjoys what most people would consider hard work. She is an accomplished equestrian with a lot of good horse sense. On any given weekend you may find her either breaking-in or training “Paso Finos” at her southern Ohio farm. On the softer side she is passionate for developing gourmet dishes ...enjoyed by all that know her!
Lindsay Verstegen is the Chief People Officer of ShopRunner, a Chicago based company that provides retailers with the tools to compete in the modern day e-commerce landscape. It offers a way for people to buy things from their favorite retailers with the ease and convenience of a larger corporation, such as Amazon. Verstegen discusses some of the ways that she continues to grow as a woman in a fast-paced business landscape. She says that to grow in her career, a woman has to either change her job or change herself, be different and find herself. She also must be secure in what ‘good enough’ looks like. In the age of hyper-productivity, it’s easy to get burned out, so allowing yourself to let things come together in a conscious, thoughtful, and careful way is one of the most important things a person can do for themselves. To find out more about Lindsay and ShopRunner, watch the full BizCastHQ video.
As the premier e-commerce network, ShopRunner offers its members free two-day shipping, free returns, and seamless checkout. Spending billions of dollars in the ShopRunner network in 2018, ShopRunner’s millions of members prove every day that retailers can attract the highest value customers by offering free, fast, and convenient login, shipping, returns and seamless checkout options. ShopRunner’s network partners include Neiman Marcus Group, Hudson’s Bay Company, Kate Spade & Company, Cole Haan, and over one hundred others.
For almost a decade, Lindsay has been helping people in the tech spaces - from early days at Groupon and then later days with Braintree and Venmo (eventually acquired by PayPal) and now at ShopRunner. At ShopRunner, she leads the people team with special care towards creating the very best place to work in everywhere employees are. She and her team have spearheaded various initiatives developed to create a place where diversity can thrive. She’s always fiercely advocated for women inside and outside of the workplace, but ever since her first son was born in April 2016, her quest has been emboldened. Now with leadership that walks the walk while also talking the talk about diverse and inclusive workplaces, she feels she has the unique opportunity to be the change she wants to see in the world. She’s originally from Wisconsin, having moved to Chicago 13 years ago to pursue artistic endeavors including theatre and photography. She ended up in the people profession, recognizing it as the place for the telling and sharing of important stories and a place for powerful connection.
Insureon is an online portal that allows small businesses to purchase and manage their own casualty insurance. Ralph Blust, the President of Insureon Solutions, discusses the transformation of the insurance industry in the digital age. Insurance used to be a very paper heavy industry, but with the rise of online technology, it has had to go through some changes to meet people’s demand for online experiences. He explains that to make a good user experience which allows a consumer to easily purchase a product, there has to be a team effort. The company, the insurance agencies, and the consumer all have to work together to create a product that benefits all parties. Ralph strongly believes that to achieve that goal, it is crucial to have a team of like minded individuals. To find out more about Blust and Insureon, watch the full BizCastHQ video.
Insureon provides industry-leading technology that helps small business owners compare insurance quotes from top U.S. providers with a simple online application tool. The company’s agents are licensed in 50 states and have helped more than 350,000 customers find savings and the best policies to protect their businesses. For more information, visit http://www.insureon.com.
Ralph Blust is the president of Insureon Solutions, the Wholesale division of Insureon that supports independent insurance agents and small insurance agencies. He also co-leads the B2B operation of Insureon which offers outsourced solutions for the managing of other firms small commercial insurance business. He brings 30+ years of insurance industry leadership experience, including positions with Willis Group as Executive VP and managing partner and leadership tenure at Crump/CRC and AIG. Ralph joined Insurance Noodle in 2010 and became a part of the Insureon team at the time of acquisition. He is a proven leader, known for taking operations with diminishing profitability and making them successful through reengineering from top to bottom. His diverse industry experience equips him with the tools to develop initiatives that improve efficiency and produce revenue growth and organizational effectiveness. Ralphis passionate about boating, fishing and many philanthropic activities.
Pritzker Group Venture Capital is a group focused on making investments in early-stage consumer healthcare and enterprise technology companies. Partner, Sonia Nagar, talks about some of the challenges one might face when working for a venture fund. One of the biggest adjustments in investing in companies is helping them overcome hurdles they might face in the early stages – and also understanding that not all businesses will succeed. The best advice she has for people looking to start a business is to be a good leader. This means empowering employees and helping them to be successful. Companies that build the best cultures have the highest bars for performance, and when there is mutual respect between a company head and their employees, there is mutual value to be shared. Learn more about the Pritzker Group and Sonia Nagar by checking out the full BizCastHQ video.
Pritzker Group, the investment firm founded by Tony and J.B. Pritzker, comprises three professional investment teams: middle-market acquisitions, technology venture capital and asset management. Unlike private equity and venture capital firms with traditional limited partner structures, Pritzker Group’s permanent capital base brings significant advantages, including alignment with management teams, efficient decision-making and flexible transaction structures. The Pritzkers’ history and the firm’s success give their companies access to an unparalleled network of advisors, strategic partners and customers.
Sonia Sahney Nagar has been a Partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital since January 9, 2019. She was a Vice President at Pritzker Group Venture Capital since February 2, 2016 till January 8, 2019. Ms. Nagar is responsible for sourcing, diligence and oversight for the Pritzker Group Venture Capital's investments in consumer, enterprise and emerging technologies. has led the firm’s investments in Interior Define, Maisonette, Wander Beauty, Repurpose and Rael. She was a Co-Founder of Pickie, Inc. and served as its Chief Executive Officer. She served as Vice President of Product and Head of Mobile Apps for RetailMeNot creating cross-platform strategy and leading an app redesign that earned a 2015 People’s Voice Webby Award for Best Shopping App. She joined RetailMeNot in 2014 following its acquisition of Pickie. Prior to Pickie, she served as a Senior Associate for Booz & Company leading post-merger integration and growth strategy for digital media and retail clients. She worked in product management, investment banking and engineering roles with Amazon, Goldman Sachs and General Motors. She serves as Director of Beacon Solutions, Inc., Interior Define, Maisonette, Wander Beauty, Repurpose and Rael. Ms. Nagar holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was one of four women nominated for a Fitzie Foundation Award.
The Garage at Northwestern University is a space dedicated to helping students who are looking to start their own businesses in college. Melissa Kaufman, the executive director, explains how she helps students in their entrepreneurial efforts by teaching them to celebrate failure – each failure is a stepping-stone to eventual success, and it’s important to recognize them and continue moving forward. She also discusses how facilitating students to meet new people and discuss different problems they might face helps foster a diverse ecosystem of ideas. A diverse ecosystem, Kaufman declares, is a healthy ecosystem. To learn more about how The Garage helps students with their ideas and work, check out the full BizCastHQ video.
The Garage is the hub for student entrepreneurship and innovation at Northwestern. Students are supported by a diverse community of faculty, staff, and alumni who share a passion for entrepreneurship. The 11,000 square foot space located in the University’s North Campus Parking Garage is currently home to over 90 student-founded startups.
Melissa Kaufman is the executive director of The Garage at Northwestern. She is a former Googler, startup veteran, and entrepreneur with a decade of experience at consumer technologies companies in Silicon Valley. Currently, she is a committee member of ChicagoNEXT (Mayor Emanuel’s technology council), a member of the Chicago Technology Initiative, and a venture partner at Chicago Ventures. She was named to Chicago Inno’s 50 on Fire in 2017 and Crain’s Tech 50 in 2018. Melissa received her BA in computer science from Dartmouth College.
Salvador Cicero, president of the Cicero Law Firm, talks about the shortcomings entrepreneurs may face when starting their own businesses. According to Sal, the first step of improving upon anything is acknowledging what one is lacking. That first step is vital in the improvement process. He also explains the importance of keeping greater goals in mind at the beginning the business’s life. While attending events early on might seem like a waste of time, it is an integral part of generating a business’s clientele and acquiring the tools to retain them. For more, watch the full BizCast video.
Our Attorneys have vast professional experience to provide you with high quality, practical and effective representation in a wide array of legal matters! We are a professional law firm that works to fulfill our clients’ needs. We initiate progressive solutions for your case, whether criminal defense, personal injury, divorce, family or real estate transactions.
Salvador Cicero is the Principal of The Cicero Law Firm, P.C., founded in 2006. He is admitted to the practice of Law in Illinois and the US Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar), the Eastern District of Wisconsin, The Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) and the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a trained Mediator.
The firm handles a variety of areas: Real Estate, Business and Contracts, Immigration and International Law, Mediation, Litigation, Accidents and Family Law.
Mr. Cicero is a stake holder in Trust One Tile, LLC, a title services provider in Illinois.
A graduate of the Matías Romero Institute for Diplomatic Studies in Mexico City (2000), he holds a Juris Doctor and a Certificate in International Trade and Development from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (1998). He received a B.A. in Latin American Studies at the University of New Mexico (1994). He holds other post-grades.
He currently serves as the Chairman of The City of Chicago’s Human Resources Board (2018-2023). He formerly served in the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations (2012-2014). He is the Current Chair of the Lincoln-Juarez Honor Society. He served as the President of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois (HLAI) (2011-2012) and President of HLAI Charities (2012-2015), the charitable arm of the largest Latino Bar Association in our State. He served as the League of United Latin American Citizens’ (LULAC) State Legal Advisor from 2010-2014. He is a member of Chapter 313. He served as member of the Ohio State University Alumni Association Board of Directors (2005-10), where he was Chair of the nominating committee and Vice-Chairman of the Board.
Prior to opening the firm, he served as Research Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and Director of the American Bar Association’s Project to Combat Trafficking in Persons in Ecuador. This award winning program was distinguished as a “Best Practice” by the United states Department of State.
Mr. Cicero was also a career member of the Foreign Service of Mexico, where he served in various senior positions, including Chief for Legal Affairs at the Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago; Director for Political and Community Affairs; and, Advisor to the Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs. At the Foreign Ministry he oversaw a broad spectrum of policies related to Mexican communities abroad and Advised on Human Rights Issues. He participated in the team of attorneys in the Avena case (Mexico vs U.S.) before the International Court of Justice.
Mr. Cicero has taught at various Universities, most recently as an Adjunct Faculty member of the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. He also taught at the Chicago City College’s Workforce Institute and at Northeastern Illinois University. He has spoken at a wide array of Continuing Legal Education seminars.
He has published various Law Review articles (Northwestern University, Northern Illinois University and Loyola University law schools) and other academic articles in English and Spanish (Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Ecuador).
He has lectured in programs throughout the United States and the American Hemisphere (19 countries), both in legal topics related to business, as well as an expert for the Organization of American States and as a trainer for United Nations’ Peacekeeping Forces. He has testified before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and has been an invited commentator on national legislation in Mexico and Ecuador.
He is also a well-known media commentator on legal affairs and has appeared in media outlets such as Univision News (national & local), Primer Impacto (national), Telemundo News (national & local), TV Azteca, Mundo Fox and National Public Radio (Worldview and featured in “This American Life”). In Mexico, He has been interviewed by Carmen Ariztegui, Ricardo Rocha and RadioRed.
Among his awards and distinctions are: Inducted Lincoln-Juarez Honor Society (2018, Co-chair); the 2012 Reflejos Award for Excellence in Service; the 2012 League of United Latin American Citizens Man of the Year; the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. DREAM Award (Northwestern University); the 2007 Cook County El Humanitario Award; the Ohio State University Alumni Association’s William Oxley Thompson Award for Early Career Achievement (2004); the American Bar Association’s Silver Key (1998) and Bronze Key (1997). He is an Honorary Colonel Aide–de-Camp (New Mexico, 1989).
John Dillon is the founder of GuardianVets, a tele-health platform that allows veterinarians to communicate with pet owners and treat their patients after hours. Dillon discusses the importance of keeping team members happy and well taken care of. He explains that nothing is worth losing the right people for the business- if sacrificing some capital to pay higher wages in the early stages of a business is necessary to keep hard working, qualified team members on board, then that will pay off in the long run. Opening a line of communication with team members is key in keeping them happy and as a result they will become advocates of the company. He also talks about the challenges one might face in trying to build company culture with a remote team and reiterates the importance of communication. For more on GuardianVets and John Dillon, watch the full BizCast video.
GuardianVets allows veterinary practices to offer after-hours care for their clients. Our service helps veterinary practices increase revenue through new appointments, lower staff cost, optimize appointment demand as well as increase client retention.
John started GuardianVets as a new pet owner that often found himself having questions relating to his pet's health at night and on weekends. John was a former project finance/investment banking professional at KPMG Corporate Finance LLC and prior to that was with Merrill Lynch. John has a Bachelors in Accountancy as well as a Bachelors in Finance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
GuardianVets allows veterinary practices to offer after-hours care for their clients. Since launching in 2017, the company already serves hundreds of thousands of pet owners through its nationwide network of veterinary hospitals.
UPshow is a consumer engagement platform that focuses on “in-venue” marketing. Its CEO and co-founder Adam Hirsen discusses the challenges that a business may face in its early stages, and also the obstacles it may encounter after it has a foot in the door. One specific challenge Adam mentions, is having to try to deliver a high-quality, valuable product to a large volume of customers while still making improvements upon said product. He also explains the importance of surrounding yourself with people who will push you and your business to be better, and how important company culture is when recruiting employees. For more on UPshow and Hirsen, check out the full BizCast video.
UPshow is changing the way businesses think about in-venue marketing. Its plug-and-play technology transforms a venue’s TVs into engaging and promotional experiences that drive sales, enhance engagement and improve marketing ROI. Powering more than 4,500 locations with 12,000+ active screens, UPshow’s customers include hospitality, fitness, entertainment and healthcare venues such as Crunch Fitness, UFC Gyms, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Sky Zone, ATI Physical Therapy, among others. For more information, please visit www.upshow.tv
Adam is the CEO and co-founder of UPshow. Launched in 2015, UPshow is re-inventing consumer engagement at the point of action. The company transforms TVs inside a business into a marketing & entertainment platform that is built to serve the brand. The key ingredients are customer-generated content, intelligent games and apps, mixed with promotional marketing which drives deeper loyalty and revenue, helping its customers evolve their in-venue experience and drive important outcomes in an era where interactivity and mobile is part of every fulfilling consumer experience. Adam’s relentless work ethic and constant hustle resulted in 125% revenue growth year-over-year, as well as UPshow’s expansion from local SMBs to large national brands such as TGI Fridays, Buffalo Wild Wings, Crunch Fitness and more.
Adam has instilled UPshow with a strong team culture, encouraging its 36 employees to work together to go above and beyond for clients. This has led to incredible success for UPshow partners, with record-breaking personal training sales for Crunch Fitness and a 10% revenue lift on entrees for TGI Fridays. Adam also negotiated an invaluable channel partnership with TouchTunes, the country's leading digital jukebox provider, to increase hospitality distribution. Overall, since its founding, UPshow has driven 5.3 billion social media impressions for its partners worldwide.
In addition to winning clients, Adam has curated a one-of-a-kind group of strategic C-suite angel investors such as Gian Fulgoni, Howard Tullman, Jai Shekhawat, Rishad Tobaccowala, among others. He is also a proud member of the Forbes Chicago Business Council, advising local businesses on best practices and how to forge the path to success.
Prior to UPshow, Adam was CEO and co-founder of SparkReel, the social media technology agency that evolved into what UPshow is today. Previously, Adam was a VP at Sterling Partners, a Chicago venture capital firm. Adam’s first entrepreneurial venture was the creation of TextAway, a mobile messaging startup, which helped Westinghouse Digital replace their customer service call center.
When not working, Adam is a family man and an avid pilot -- often flying himself to meetings across the country, and documenting his travels on the popular aviation Instagram account, @airhirsen.