NetWorkWise Presents: Conversations with Connors
Michael Soto: Getting Coffee with Colleagues

Michael Soto: Getting Coffee with Colleagues

October 9, 2019

Michael Soto is the Co-Founder of Spark Collaboration, where he has helped organizations create powerful networks by systematically pairing staff to have coffee together for increased employee engagement, productivity and innovation.

Spark builds upon the success of ‘Randomised Coffee Trials,’ a process that Michael helped design at Nesta, the UK innovation foundation. In 2015, Spark won the ‘International Project of the Year’ Employee Engagement Award for the work it has done with the International Federation for the Red Cross and Red Crescent. Spark has been highlighted in Harvard Business Review, Huffington Post as well as US News and World Report.

Prior to Spark, Michael worked at Nesta, the UK innovation foundation, where he was part of the Innovation Skills team and helped develop a learning platform for practitioners interested in innovation. As part of a project funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, he undertook field research in Colombia to surface innovation tools and processes which Nesta subsequently expanded upon to develop the DIY Toolkit.

Michael has attended Harvard University, the University of Sussex, and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota.

Andrew Muscato: Documenting the Documentarian

Andrew Muscato: Documenting the Documentarian

October 2, 2019

Andrew Muscato is a filmmaker and video journalist who has traveled the world producing content for the likes of ESPN, VICE, and MSNBC. While still an undergraduate film student at NYU, Muscato premiered his first documentary "The Zen of Bobby V" at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. Since then Makuhari Media, the company Muscato founded with former baseball manager Bobby Valentine, has produced several critically acclaimed sports documentaries such as Ballplayer: Pelotero and Schooled: The Price of College Sports. Muscato is currently producing Oscar winner Peter Farrelly's next feature film based on the book "The Greatest Beer Run Ever."

Jeffrey Meshel: The Opportunity Magnet

Jeffrey Meshel: The Opportunity Magnet

September 25, 2019

Jeffrey Meshel is the Founder/Chairman of the Strategic Forum. The Strategic Forum is an organization of business leaders from diverse backgrounds dedicated to the exchange of ideas, development of long-term personal and business relationships and facilitates of business opportunities among members and their respective networks.

The Strategic Forum has chapters in New York City and South Florida.

Mr. Meshel is the author of One Phone Call Away-Secrets of the Master Networker and The Opportunity Magnet.

Mr. Meshel serves on the Board of Signature Bank (SBNY) and several private company boards.

Aaron Hurst: Adding Perspective to Meaning

Aaron Hurst: Adding Perspective to Meaning

September 11, 2019

Aaron Hurst is the foremost expert on the science of purpose at work and in 2014 brought global awareness to the rise of the fourth economic era in history, the Purpose Economy. He is the CEO and Co-Founder of Imperative, the social learning platform that enables employees to help each other grow and be fulfilled at work. Previously, as the founder of the Taproot Foundation, Aaron catalyzed the $15 billion pro bono service market. He is a third generation graduate of the University of Michigan.

Bill O’Herron: Peace, Love, and Relationships

Bill O’Herron: Peace, Love, and Relationships

September 3, 2019

Bill O’Herron is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been studying, teaching, and counseling  for the last 16 years. His work is currently focused on couples, trying to help clients better understand the challenges and work involved with being in a mature relationship.

Bill has been married to his exceedingly patient wife Linda for 21 years. They have 3 teenage daughters and 2 male dogs. After living in Wilton, CT for 15 years, Bill and his family moved to Austin, TX in 2013.

He graduated from Middlebury College, VT in ’86 with a BA in English, and earned a Master of Science degree from Columbia University School of Social Work, NY in ’03.

Find out more about Bill and his services here.

Regan Solmo: A Leader’s Leader

Regan Solmo: A Leader’s Leader

August 21, 2019

Regan Solmo is a high-functioning, passionate executive dedicated to gender equity with more than 10 years' experience serving on boards of directors of gender-facing nonprofits.

Currently the Executive Managing Editor of W Magazine, an award-winning publication covering culture, fashion, and art, she has more than 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, and has held senior leadership positions at such titles as SPIN; Civilization: the Magazine of the Library of Congress; Lucky; and The American Benefactor.

She is currently the chair of the NY board of Girls Leadership, and also sits on the national board as development chair.

She graduate d with honors from Amherst College with a degree in Comparative Religion/ Feminist Theology.

She is a member of the NationSwell Council, a community of leaders taking action and tackling the nation's critical issues. She served for more than 6 years on the board of directors of the New York Women's Foundation, and is a dedicated supporter of Memorial Sloan Kettering, Red Hook Initiative, and Generation Citizen.

She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.

Mike Pfaff: Mixing Business with Pleasure

Mike Pfaff: Mixing Business with Pleasure

August 7, 2019

2019 is Mike Pfaff's 25th year in the professional sports business. He has been with the Ducks since 2002, took over the position of GM in 2006 and was named club president in 2011. 

Under Pfaff's leadership, the Ducks have led the circuit in attendance, became the first team in league history to eclipse the 7-million fan mark, and have welcomed a record 680+ sellout crowds. His efforts have been recognized by his peers, most notably in his being the first-ever three-time winner of the Atlantic League Executive of the Year Award (2008, 2010, 2016). Michael was also named to the "40 under 40" Class of 2009 by the Long Island Business News.  On the field, Mike’s role in player procurement has helped the club achieve new heights, earning six Championship Series appearances (2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018) in the past eight seasons while bringing back-to-back Atlantic League championships to Long Island (2012, 2013).  

Michael is proud of the growth of the QuackerJack Foundation during his tenure. Founded in 2003, the team’s charitable arm has continued to expand its efforts and now contributes to over 800 non-profit and community organizations each year, while bringing awareness to worthy programs and causes in need of assistance on Long Island.

Additionally, Michael is a member of the Energeia Partnership, which brings together ethical leaders from Long Island’s public, private and not-for-profit sectors that work to address many of the region’s most difficult issues, such as education, institutional racism, poverty and the working poor, land use, energy, transportation, healthcare and media/social networking.

Prior to joining the Ducks, Michael worked at the National Football League Commissioner's Office in New York City for seven years (1995-2002). During his time at the NFL, he was assigned to work two AFC Championship games, three Super Bowls and six NFL Drafts. 

The Manhasset native earned his Bachelor's Degree at St. John’s University and currently resides in Sayville with his wife and their three children

Michael O’Brien: Who’s in Your Peloton

Michael O’Brien: Who’s in Your Peloton

July 31, 2019

On July 11th 2001 Michael OBrien was hit head-on by a speeding S.U.V. during a bike ride.

He calls it his Last Bad Day and it's a grateful one because it shifted his perspective in almost everyone aspect of his life. His recovery helped him climb to the corporate executive suite on his own terms and sparked his passion in helping other leaders shift their perspectives on leadership through executive coaching, speaking, and his memoir, Shift:Creating Better Tomorrows. To celebrate his 18th anniversary of my Last Bad Day this July, I'm setting out to help 1,000,000 people have their Last Bad Day as well. 

Michael's Website: https://www.michaelobrienshift.com/

Michael's Book (Use coupon code "shift" for 25% off the shipping cost!)https://www.mylastbadday.com/get-your-copy

Michael's Wealth Language Quiz: https://quiz.leadquizzes.com/q/JzB2KI

Jeremy Asgari: Turning Events into Life-long Journeys

Jeremy Asgari: Turning Events into Life-long Journeys

July 24, 2019

Jeremy Asgari is an entrepreneur in the experiential and events industry. He got his start 15 years ago promoting nightlife parties and quickly grew a large network which started in New York City and is expanding globally. He became passionate about producing unique experiences and dove into producing live music events which eventually lead to working with various brands and finally the ability to execute engaging active events.

Asgari has been running his company Socialight Entertainment for 15 years and in the last two years have been focusing on his latest project the Outsiders. He says his forte is his networking ability, his creative vision and his ability to execute.

He is currently most proud of the impact the Outsiders has had in such a short amount of time. He feels the positive impact it’s having on its members which has reached far beyond his expectations already; and yet there's the potential to do so much more.

Fred Jacobs: The Man of the People

Fred Jacobs: The Man of the People

July 17, 2019

Fred Jacobs is the Chief Revenue Officer at Apex Fund Services Group. 

Throughout his career, Jacobs has held various leadership roles the US, Asia, Latin America, and Europe, equipping him with comprehensive cross-jurisdictional management experience. Prior to joining Apex, Jacobs managed sales, relationship management and client service for the Fiserv Investment Services group. His 20 years of achievements in the Alternative Investment Industry include building the business development activities for both SS&C GlobeOp and PFPC/PNC. Jacobs brings the ability to understand client needs and to build and manage an institutional grade, multi-disciplined sales force across a global platform.

In addition to holding leadership positions at some of the most renowned financial services companies in the country, Jacobs has established an industry-wide reputation through serving as chairman and moderator at several major investment industry conferences. He has spoken on topics related to growth, structure, and trends in the global money management industry.