Episodes

Jon Jay, 10 Year Major League Baseball Veteran

The Upreneur podcast has partnered up with SCORE, hosted by Jeremy Straub, to help bring engaging conversations with today’s top leaders and business owners. In today’s episode, we spoke with Jon Jay 10 year Major League Baseball veteran.

A product of Columbus high school in Miami, Fl Jon played college baseball for his childhood dream The University of Miami where he was a 2nd round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2006 MLB first-year player draft. Jon made his Major league debut in 2010 and was a member of the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Throughout his career he has also played for the San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox and recently completed the 2020 season with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Jon is just as impressive off the field using skills and lessons he has learned from his baseball journey to his everyday life. When he is not on the field, in the gym, or with his family Jon is meeting with business professionals throughout the US constantly trying to educate himself and has been involved in real estate, marketing, and other business ventures from investing to consulting. On top of that, he gives back to the community. Jon is so much more than just a baseball player, he is an outstanding member of society. He truly wants the world to be a better place, and he plans to make that happen.  He has hosted charity events in Miami and in cities that he has played in. He loves to mentor anyone from kids to his fellow MLB teammates.

In this episode, we spoke about how having the right kind of pressure can help you be successful and accomplish your goals. When playing the game of life, short term profits can make you miss out on long term opportunities. Trust the process, and continue to work on your craft. If you are an overall good person, that can translate into being a good friend, good employee, good dad, and so on.

 Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/JonJayU/

Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/jonjayu/

Twitter
https://twitter.com/jonjayu

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Sarah Apgar, Founder of FitFighter

The Upreneur podcast has partnered up with SCORE, hosted by Jeremy Straub, to help bring engaging conversations with today’s top leaders and business owners. In today’s episode, we spoke with Sarah Apgar, Founder of FitFighter.  We spoke about how important it is to show, teach, and explain how your product works. You can’t assume your customer knows how to use your product, teach them. They will appreciate it more.  We also talked about how building a team of people who can complement your ideas will push you to go further.  Sarah shared that building an advisory board has been vital to her success. 

Sarah Apgar is the Founder of FitFighter, a complete strength training system that makes you ready for your everyday mission. She is an Iraq War Veteran, All-American Athlete, Fitness Professional, Volunteer Firefighter, and mom of 2 little girls. Sarah and FitFighter have been featured on ABC News, USA Sports Radio, Armed Forces Network, and Oxygen Magazine, and performed for clients the likes of ESPN, FDNY, and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Sarah promotes and celebrates the power of teams, women leaders, and public service, contributing a portion of sales to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Tower Foundation. Sarah has an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and a BA from Princeton University, and is a graduate of the Princeton Army ROTC Program. She lives in Port Washington NY with her husband, Ben Smith, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, and her two young daughters, Emory and Arlyn. 

FitFighter is a strength and conditioning system originally designed for the fire service, made with a real fire hose. Sarah is an Army veteran who after leaving the army joined her local volunteer fire department in Huntington, NY to recapture the sense of camaraderie she had experienced in the military, which helped inspire FitFighter’s creation. 

There is also a GREAT giveback side to this. A portion of sales sponsor the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation supporting Veterans, First Responders, frontline healthcare workers, and their families.    Additionally, Sarah is providing at-cost equipment to FDNY firefighters who need to train at home AND she is also working to keep high school and college athletes in tip top shape until sports can resume safely.

Website
https://www.fitfighter.com/

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/groups/fitfighter/

Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/fitfighter/

Youtube
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6DM-X5XwgnYrgsrYehftyA

Jordan Kavana, Founder & CEO of Transcendent Investment Management

The Upreneur podcast has partnered up with SCORE, hosted by Jeremy Straub, to help bring engaging conversations with today’s top leaders and business owners. In today’s episode, we spoke with Jordan Kavana, Founder & CEO of Transcendent Investment Management.  We spoke about how Jordan’s main goal when it comes to renting is to enhance people’s lives with experience, happiness, or a combination of both. Giving back to the community has been a fundamental value to Jordan and he is not fully fulfilled economically or with his time. 

Jordan established Transcendent Investment Management in 2008 to lay the foundation for his vision of a data-driven real estate investment platform in the single-family residential space to capitalize on what he saw as clear opportunities created by the distressed U.S. real estate market of the time. After further developing his proprietary ERP solution, TIAS ResiPro ™, Jordan formed the firm’s vertically-integrated Build U.S. Back® line of companies as its operating platform to research, select, acquire, renovate, rent, and, at the right time, resell properties in-house; becoming the subject of a 2014 Harvard Business School case study entitled, “Build U.S. Back: Opportunities in the U.S. housing market.”

Prior to launching Transcendent, Jordan successfully formed and grew an international high-tech toy company in Hong Kong and China, which he sold in 2003 to return to the U.S. and co-found JL Real Ventures. The private equity fund assembled a portfolio of multi-family properties in the Southeastern United States.

Jordan earned his B.A. in Hospitality Management and Finance from Florida International University, pursued graduate-level studies in real estate finance at Harvard University, and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s OPM program. He served as a trustee on the Florida State Pension Plan Board, which oversees $127.8 billion in total assets, and currently serves on the Advisory Board for Aviator Capital Management, a full-service commercial passenger aircraft leasing and management firm based in Miami, Florida.

Website
https://www.timgmt.com/

Linkedin
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordan-kavana/
https://www.linkedin.com/company/transcendent-investments-management/

Rishi Kapoor, Founder & CEO of Location Ventures

The Upreneur podcast has partnered up with SCORE, hosted by Jeremy Straub, to help bring engaging conversations with today’s top leaders and business owners. In today’s episode, we spoke with Rishi Kapoor, Founder & CEO of Location Ventures, about how patience and tolerance is key in real estate. You want to surround yourself with a balanced team. Being an entrepreneur is about putting your everything into an idea you are passionate about. You have to ask yourself, do you want to continue your side projects as a hobby, or do you want to pursue your dreams and make it your profession? The decision relies on you. You have to work hard but be humble about your abilities. We are never a finished product, as humans, you can always improve.  See what others are doing, and figure out how you can do it better. 

Rishi has spent the last ten years focused on residential real estate, primarily in the luxury sector with a strong background in sales & marketing, prior to focusing on sponsoring development. Upon founding Location Ventures, he set out to create awesome living experiences in premium locations centered around nature and technology. To date, Rishi is responsible for leading the development of a $500M portfolio including: high-end, custom single-family homes; rehabilitation of multi-family properties; development of boutique condominiums; and is the Managing Partner of URBIN, a company dedicated to co-living, co-working and wellness and FORUM, an elevated co-working experience with high-touch business services

Rishi first and foremost takes great pride in fostering close relationships with the company’s partners & team. His day-to-day role centers around identifying unique opportunities, capital formation and setting the product vision for our projects while working closely with the development team on proper execution. He received business degrees in Finance, Marketing & Management from the University of Miami, and is also a non-practicing attorney, having graduated from UM Law. Rishi comes from a real estate family that has developed & invested in hotels, SFHs, and offices throughout the Southeast United States and New Delhi, India over the last 40 years.

Website
https://location.ventures/

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/LocationVentures/

Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/locationventures/

Chris Gannon, CEO and Co-Founder of Bolay

The Upreneur podcast has partnered up with SCORE, hosted by Jeremy Straub, to help bring engaging conversations with today’s top leaders and business owners. In today’s episode, we spoke with Chris Gannon, CEO and Co-Founder of Bolay. We talked about how at a young age, Chris was able to receive experience in the food industry because his dad, Tim Gannon, owned Outback Steakhouse. He was able to use that experience to his benefit and create Bolay. To really make his business work, he took notes from each restaurant he visited and wrote down the concepts he enjoyed about them, the music from one, the service from another, etc. He believes the best feedback to making your business better comes from your team members on the frontline. They are the ones who know what obstacles customers face and what needs to be fixed for a better experience.

Chris Gannon, CEO and co-founder, along with his father, Tim Gannon, listened, researched, taste-tested, sought the right talent and experimented with the right ideas to bring about the boldest, freshest brand in the fast-casual dining market.

Through his years of experience traveling the world and tasting international cuisine from professional’s kitchens and friendly homes, Chris Gannon knows what makes great flavors. By listening to what people wanted and craved from their food, he came to understand what the restaurant scene urgently needed: a brand that believed in excellent food that fuels an amazing lifestyle. Therefore, Bolay was created as more than just another fast-casual restaurant. It was borne from the belief that the “fast” and the “casual” can be the extraordinary and nutritious. Bolay’s business model, vision and mission is rooted in the same dedication to excellence that motivated Chris as an entrepreneur, a student of business and cultures, and to become the second youngest person to win the US Polo Championship. It’s also paired with a spirit of fun that guests feel as soon as they walk in. The word Bolay itself combines the signature dish, the bol, with “olay” to evoke the excitement around the brand, good health and great living.

Today, the Gannon’s are elevating the business by embracing the wholeness of food well before the plate hits the table. “The Bolay Way” is one that is meant to invite and inspire. Quick and delicious is provided with consideration of everything that makes food great – community, health, passion, flavor and service.

Website
https://bolay.com/

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/EatBolay/

Twitter
https://twitter.com/Bolay

Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/bolay/

Linkedin
https://www.linkedin.com/company/bolayrestaurant/

Stacey Moore, Commissioner & Founder of the American Cornhole League

The Upreneur podcast has partnered up with SCORE, hosted by Jeremy Straub, to help bring engaging conversations with today’s top leaders and business owners. In today’s episode, we spoke with Stacey Moore, the commissioner and founder of the American Cornhole League. We talked about how his family had started a semi-pro basketball league that ended up failing. Stacey was able to take those learning on what had worked before and transferred it to the ACL. He started his research and development by going to college tailgates to see if there was proof of concept. Do you know what goes great with tailgates? Cornhole! He created a point system model that would allow any player to be eligible for the championships. Their matches are featured on ESPN 3 or EPSN 2.

Cornhole is not just your backyard or bar game anymore – this is the real thing! They have a 3 year deal on ESPN and are one of the most popular sports on the network. Even celebrities are interested. Take a look at what Country Music Superstar Jake Owen had to say about them. 

Despite COVID-19 going on, the ACL is growing FAST. We have been one of the ONLY LIVE sports taking place. ESPN committed 4 hours of LIVE programming to us each of the past 6 weeks and social media has been eating it up! 55,000 cornhole players in the country. ALL have unique stories. 

The ACL for the past two seasons has been focused on delivering an equal pay initiative. We created the Women’s Doubles Division in 2018 which was an additional division that women could compete in. Even though women are also allowed to compete in the Pro Division, offering a second women’s doubles division that matched the payout of the Pro Division gives women the best possible opportunity to earn equal or more money in comparison to their male competitors.  

Check out this sizzle reel for the league – https://vimeo.com/iplaycornhole/review/366333410/6969191cff

Check out this story on ForbesE News and Variety 


Website
http://www.iplaycornhole.com/

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/iplaycornhole

Twitter
https://twitter.com/iplaycornhole

Jessica Rolph, Co-founder, and CEO of Lovevery

The Upreneur podcast has partnered up with SCORE, hosted by Jeremy Straub, to help bring engaging conversations with today’s top leaders and business owners. In today’s episode, we spoke with Jessica Rolph, Co-founder, and CEO of Lovevery. We talked about how finding the right partner is important for success. You want to find someone who has a growth mindset and is also open to new ideas and communication.  She also mentioned that in order to scale your brand, you need to leverage your network and their network. This will help you find the right people to scale your business.

The creation of Lovevery began with Jessica, Rod and an idea.

Jessica- Passionate about giving babies the best and healthiest beginning in life. As founding partner, she helped to build Happy Family into a top organic baby food company. Confident that she was giving her babies the best nutrition, she started to become curious about what each of her three children’s brains were craving.

Rod- A builder of companies and movements with environmental and social impact. He was masterful at making things happen and generating results. Meanwhile, Rod was experiencing fatherhood times two, with his twins!

Jessica and Rod have known, trusted, and respected each other for many years. Rod is married to Andrea, Jessica’s life long best friend. The idea behind Lovevery began after Jessica read a doctoral dissertation titled Current Research Findings on the Neurological Development of Infants. Through reading the study Jessica learned that the human brain has about 100 billion nerve cells, all of which are present at birth but have few links between them. Babies brains develop by constructing an intricate communication network. The network’s structure is formed by experiences children have in the first 3 years of life. The research revealed the more you expose babies to how the world works, the richer the neural networks become. Jessica’s takeaway was that early development experiences wouldn’t just happen on their own, she had to create them. Jessica wanted to share what she had learned with other parents. This desire gave her the idea to create a second baby company, this time focused on brain development. The hard part would be bringing that idea to reality, she would need help. The moment that Rod said that he would co-found the company, it all became real!

Jessica and Rod created Lovevery, a company that offers products and information which help create developmental experiences in the lives of new babies and families. Lovevery helps parents feel confident that they are giving their little ones just what they want and need every step of the way.


Website
https://lovevery.com/

Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/lovevery/?hl=en

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Lovevery/

LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/company/lovevery/

John Stetson, CEO of Stoner’s Pizza Joint

The Upreneur podcast has partnered up with SCORE, hosted by Jeremy Straub, to help bring engaging conversations with today’s top leaders and business owners. In today’s episode, we spoke with John Stetson, CEO of Stoner’s Pizza. John is able to run a successful business because he sticks to his principles and his budget. With his experience in private equality, John was able to see the differences between a good business and a great one. He used those learnings to his advantage, growing his business to 9 stores in 9 months.   

John Stetson is the Founder and Managing Member of Sunset Bay Capital, LLC, a private equity firm based in Fort Lauderdale, FL. For over 10 years, Mr. Stetson has helped build companies across all industries. He invests and works with the founders and innovators through all stages of growth including IPO’s and Mergers & Acquisitions. Since May 2020, Stetson has served as Chief Executive Officer of Stoner’s Pizza Joint, where he owns 9 units in the FL, GA, and SC markets.

Serial Entrepreneur John Stetson, the owner of Stoner’s Pizza Joint Fort Lauderdale, has always been a pet lover. As a young child, his family worked with a local animal rescue to adopt his beloved bichon mix Max who was his dog for over 19 years. With that love of animals that was instilled by early years, he decided to reach out to the Humane Society of Broward County, and a partnership was born! 

Each week over 500 flyers are included on pizza boxes to promote dogs, cats, and other pets currently available for adoption. In an effort to further promote #adoptdontshop, John will generously offer a free year of pizza (1 large pizza per week) to anyone who adopts a pet from the flyer and sends in a picture. 

Stoner’s Pizza Joint is best known for stepping up during the COVID-19 quarantine and committing to donate 10,000 pizza slices to those in need. What started as a need to help students who didn’t have lunch during quarantine, has since expanded to include medical staff, first responders, and families that are food insecure. They supported numerous organizations including, the Salvation Army, Broward Health, Peanut Butter & Jelly Project, Covenant House Florida, Arc Broward, Memorial Regional Hospital, Hope South Florida, FLITE Center, Broward County Public Schools, Mobile Pantry of Broward, to name a few. 


Website
https://stonerspizzajoint.com/

Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/stonerspizzajoint/

Jason Ditkofsky, President of McNeill Signs and Channel Letter USA

The Upreneur podcast has partnered up with SCORE, hosted by Jeremy Straub, to help bring engaging conversations with today’s top leaders and business owners. In today’s episode, we spoke with Jason Ditkofsky, President of McNeill Signs and Channel Letter USA. Jason Ditkofsky says the reasons for his success were because of his humbleness and confidence. He knew what his strengths were and found people who could fill in his weaknesses. Jason gains his advantages from the little things in his work, and these little things add up over time.

McNeill Signs has a design department that creates unique, innovative concepts. As a full-service manufacturer, they fabricate signage in-house with computer-aided design and state-of-the-art equipment. They employ experienced and knowledgeable installation and service technicians that can handle both simple and intricate designs. Clients include: Ikea, Coffee Butler Amphitheater, Hendrick’s Honda, Lauderdale Yacht Club, Legacy Fitness, UPS, and many more. 

Jason Ditkofsky, the owner of McNeill Signs, has committed to donating up to $100,000 worth of commercial storefront signage to those in the process of launching a new business or who need a refresh to their current one. Small business is the backbone of our local economy, and the goal of the contest is to help support them in their time of need. Through the month of August, companies can apply by sending their 500-word essay to giveaway@mcneillsignsfl.com to share their story on why they are the most deserving of the new free commercial signage. The five lucky winners will receive services including – custom design, channel letter manufacturing, permit acquisition, and complete installation. Applicants must have a commercial lease, abide by all city, zoning, lease, and building code guidelines, and will need to cover the permits fees paid directly to the city. Winners will be contacted via email throughout the month and be announced through McNeill Signs’ Facebook and Instagram. McNeill Signs hope to reach any and all worthy businesses who could use this much needed assistant during these difficult times.


Website
https://mcneillsignsfl.com 
http://www.channelletterusa.com 

Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/mcneill.signs/

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/mcneillsignsfl

Keir Dillon, Founder of Radiant Flo

The Upreneur podcast has partnered up with SCORE, hosted by Jeremy Straub, to help bring engaging conversations with today’s top leaders and business owners. In today’s episode, we spoke with Keir Dillon, Founder of Radiant Flo. Keir Dillon was a professional snowboarder before he took on the entrepreneurial journey. He shared how his experiences from snowboarding shaped him for business and that pain was his greatest teacher. Maintaining a balance between doing research and doing key activities that move the needle is vital to his success. You have to be aware of what is going on within your business, and rather than forcing it, take a step back to reevaluate your situation. Keir didn’t worry about how he was going to get into stores, but how he could reach his 1000 true fans. 

Keir Dillon is a former professional snowboarder widely regarded as one of the world’s best riders in the sport. He is also a noted media personality, serving as a television host and sideline reporter for ESPN, X Games, and Fuel TV. It was his time training and competing as an athlete that created Dillon’s truly unbarred mindset as a creative entrepreneur. Primarily, to love to fail and fall fast in order to learn, adapt, grow, and adjust. He brings an incredibly non-traditional approach to business and product creation that is underscored by a personal mission to design with purpose and to create a product that ultimately solves a problem. 


Linkedin
https://www.linkedin.com/in/keirdillon/

Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/keirdillon/?hl=en