The Pivotal Leader

The Pivotal Leader podcast, hosted by Gina Trimarco, Chief Results Officer of Pivot10 Results, features 30-minute interviews with modern and pivotal business leaders who share their experiences and anecdotal success stories to inspire rising leaders to shift their own organizational cultures to higher success.
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The Pivotal Leader




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May 15, 2019

“The key is to know who you are and understand what drives you, what makes you happy and what drives you as a leader.” - The Our Shawn McBride

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina interviewed The Our Shawn McBride is a corporate lawyer licensed in 12 states and Washington, DC and is a CPA licensed in 3 states. He heads The R. Shawn McBride Law Firm, PLLC, a corporate law boutique and McBride For Business, LCC a business strategy firm where he is often called upon to speak or consult on the future of business. He is the author of Business Blunders which showcases common business mistakes to avoid and three other books.

His extensive experience in the sales arena comes from running his multiple businesses and being called upon repeatedly to help sales organizations increase their sales results.

Episode Highlights:

  • What consulting on the future of business means and what we should be looking at when creating business plans for the future
  • Some changes or trends that business should be anticipating over the coming years, including block-chain (and what block-chain is)
  • What smaller businesses should be doing to prepare for block-chain technology
  • The importance of looking at the ripple effects of new technology and the disruption it can or will bring
  • Common business mistakes that Shawn has seen and some solutions to the mistakes, including some LLC setup blunders
  • Should you setup your business as an S-Corp or LLC?
  • Partnership Agreements and the 4 D’s (death, disability, divorce or disagreement) Shawn says you should always run through before going into a partnership
  • How Shawn does it ALL, his system and processes and how inter-connectivity aids him in his day-to-day business activities


May 2, 2019

"Whenever you do something you love it becomes a renewable source of energy for you. It unlocks creativity, energy, enthusiasm and it’s no wonder I am doing all this crazy stuff right now, because I did something that I loved."

- Julian Placino

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina interviewed, Julian Placino, a recruiting professional with 12 years of experience in agency and corporate staffing. He’s been instrumental in advancing the careers of hundreds of technology, creative, and sales professionals around the country. For seven years, he led talent acquisition for Bottle Rocket, one of the premier mobile development firms in the world.

Julian also is the creator of the Pathways to Success Podcast in iTunes where he conducts in-depth interviews with world-class performers to discover their mindsets, tactics, and behaviors. He has interviewed CEOs, New York Times bestselling authors, TEDx speakers, celebrity athletes, company founders, leading entrepreneurs, and prolific thought leaders.

Podcast Highlights:

  • Julian’s fascinating story, how he went from recruiter to podcaster to keynote speaker and owner of Pathways to Success Training Company
  • The importance of finding the intersection of your inner strengths
  • Some advice to an organization that is trying to create a culture of innovation and inspiration
  • What inspired Julian to create the Pathways to Success podcast, how his recruiting experience aided him in doing so and what the podcast is all about
  • Creating a social footprint and discovering what a personal brand truly is
  • How having a podcast, a personal brand and message can leave an impact on your followers
  • Using LinkedIn as a medium to produce and publish content and how it helped Julian build credibility as a personal branding consultant
  • Social media acts as a great feedback mechanism and the importance of listening to your market
  • The benefits of recharging and what Julian does to recharge
  • Julian’s view on the future of podcasting from a business perspective and the wrong and right energy



Apr 23, 2019

"I tell everybody, you want to figure out what you are made of? Launch your own business. I don't know any other tool, in the world, that will make you grow up, level up, figure yourself out faster than launching your own business.”  

- Donnie Boivin

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Donnie Boivine - Success Coach, Podcast Coach, Content Developer, International Speaker and host of the Success Champions Podcast. He’s an expert sales professional and top 200 iTunes podcaster.


Episode Highlights:

  • The difficulties of moving from an employee mindset to a business owner mindset 
  • The benefits of podcasting and interviewing guests
  • The challenges of podcast monetization
  • Using the social proof of being a podcaster to get exposure on 'the big stage'
  • Discovering podcasting for business
  • The accountability of having processes and systems in place
  • The fear of success
  • The power of incremental growth when your next milestone soon becomes your new comfort zone
  • Keep going after failure
  • Evolve your experience, rather than just repeating the same experience year after year
  • Are you a salesperson OR 'just' an order taker
  • Managing sales teams, measuring performance and encouraging competition
  • How a podcast episode can power your content marketing


Spontaneous Selling 1.0

Apr 17, 2019

"Create the atmosphere that allows you to become all that you are meant to be.” - Tom Ziglar

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco and Rachel Pitts(co-host of Women Your Mother Warned You About) interviewed Tom Ziglar, son of Zig Ziglar and CEO of Ziglar, Inc. This is a two-part series with part two (about sales) available on Women Your Mother Warned You About. This episode focuses on leadership.

Episode Highlights:

  • Following in the footsteps of an iconic family member
  • The characteristics of an excellent leader
  • Scaling a business so it is NOT dependent upon ONE person
  • Defining success, significance and legacy
  • How to make better self-care choices and leverage them to become a better leader
  • The four keys to physical health
  • The essential benefits of getting enough sleep
  • Three things goal achievers ALWAYS do
  • Creating an organizational culture that attracts and retains top talent
  • Four actions to create a GREAT atmosphere in an organization
  • If you want to change the culture of an organization, it starts with leadership



Mar 27, 2019

To be successful, you have to be able to convince people, you have to be able to listen, and you have to do all of those kinds of things that a good salesperson does.” - Tom Murry

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Tom Murry, former CEO of Calvin Klein, where he ran the company for 17 years and facilitated the brand's growth from 2.8 billion to 8 billion. Prior to that, he spent the majority of his career working for iconic fashion brands, one including Tahari and rising through the ranks to the greatest job in the world. Working alongside designer extraordinaire Calvin Klein with the same and no-nonsense approach that he applies to fashion.

Podcast Highlights:

  • How Tom went from working on oil rigs to working in fashion
  • The power of teamwork and how the same rules apply from the oil rig to the runway to the boardroom
  • How “rocking the boat” showed up in the fashion industry
  • The importance of being a good salesman
  • Tom’s journey in learning all facets of the apparel industry (from manufacturing, to merchandising, and everything in between)
  • From Tahari to his dream job at Calvin Klein
  • For the aspiring C-Suite professional, Tom describes some ways you can position yourself to become the next CEO
  • It’s important how you show up and roll up your sleeves to be noticed
  • Fundamentals of business success and the four principles to execution in apparel and other industries
  • How leaders can create a more collaborative team player culture
  • Strategies for attracting team players with the right potential
  • Tom’s perspective on stereotypes in the fashion industry and how to work with the creative personality
  • What it was like working with Calvin Klein


Mar 22, 2019

"If you start managing innovation teams in some sort of a regular traditional business model ... forget it. It's not going to work. It's not going to happen. You need chaos. You need structured chaos and you need freedom." - Bjorn Oste

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Bjorn Oste, Co-Founder & CEO of Good Idea Drinks, also known as "The Swedish Sugar Buster". Good Idea is a sugar and sweetener free flavored, carbonated water that helps people with normal blood sugar levels handle the blood sugar spikes following a meal. 

Prior to Good Idea, he co-founded Oatly, a 100% oat-based milk, sold in over 25 countries including North America, Europe and Asia with his nutrition professor brother as a co-founder, He also co-founded Aventure AB – a research-based company specializing in the development of advanced and functional food concepts. Their purpose is to develop attractive food products with preventive properties that make it easier for people to move towards a healthier lifestyle.

It's a totally new approach and they chose the USA as their first market for obvious reasons. Lifestyle related diseases such as type 2-diabetes, obesity and CVD are sky rocketing, and they see a real need of changing the paradigm – from cure and treatment to protection and prevention by lifestyle change.

And prior to this, he co-founded Dynasoft, a world leader in specialized complex computer security systems for global banks, blue chip companies and governments.

Podcast Highlights:

  • The story behind being a serial entrepreneur growing multiple successful startups into global organisations
  • Developing a nucleus of competence
  • Curiosity and innovation as the key to growth
  • Lessons learned growing a computer security company
  • Being super creative about launching new products and developing a new market
  • An interesting observation about the impact of family life on entrepreneurship
  • Launching brands direct to consumers
  • The importance of collaboration with global experts
  • Expanding an idea and identifying related opportunities
  • Developing a product that reduces blood sugar spikes after meals
  • Process and strategy for taking a new product to market
  • Achieving 'proof of concept' as a major step to success
  • Authenticity and storytelling rather than the brand
  • Identifying your audience and communicating in a way that resonates with them


Mar 20, 2019

 “There's no prize for 2nd place in sales - it's win or lose, sell or die.” - Jeffrey Gitomer

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed the King of Sales Jeffrey Gitomer and Jennifer Gluckow, speaker, trainer and writer on all things sales.

Buckle up for this ride with Jeffrey and Jennifer – truly one of the funnest podcasts Gina has recorded to date and they did it live in the Sell Or Die Podcast studio in Charlotte.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • The problems of sales mis-information
  • Learning presentation skills by singing karaoke in bars
  • Why discovering your customers 'pain' isn't a great place to start
  • Building rapport in sales conversations
  • Modern sales training to reflect the realities of our modern world
  • Sales lessons experienced at a Bruce Springsteen concert
  • Are you friends with your top customers?
  • Politically correct vs conversational - don't forget to be friendly or human!
  • Using positive language and humor to build a relationship and get past the gatekeepers
  • Creating trust and the experience to help people buy
  • Learn how to be creative on the spot rather than memorize a script
  • Let's all highlight how to succeed rather than how to fail
  • The benefits of interviewing as a strategy to gain access to decision makers



Oct 28, 2018

 “Dreaming big takes the same amount of effort as dreaming small, so go big.

- Jose R. Costa

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Jose R. Costa, CEO of For Eyes, which is part of GrandVision, a global leader in optical retail with more than 7,000 stores worldwide. He has a background steeped in marketing, franchising, multi-unit retailing and enhancing customer experience at some of the most recognized brands in the world.

He is the author of “Leading With Edge: Activate Your Advantage Through Personal Insight,” which features the concept of leadership as a practice, inviting readers to acknowledge the determination and grit it takes to be a good leader.

Previous to his current role as CEO, he served as Group President of Driven Brands where he led MAACO®, CARSTAR® and Drive N Style®. Collectively, these brands operate more than 1,400 body shops across North America, generate more than $1.8 billion in annual system sales and further establish Driven Brands as a leader in the automotive aftermarket space. Previously, he was President of MAACO®, where he was responsible for managing and developing 500 automotive body shops across the U.S. and Canada.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • The inspiration for writing a leadership book
  • Why there is high demand but low supply for strong leadership
  • How to lead with edge
  • The importance of the “Ask, Listen & Be Curious”
  • How to become more curious and a better listener and how improv skills can help
  • Theater and improv skills in business
  • Employee engagement strategies
  • Core (common sense) leadership fundamentals
  • Jose’s “no computer” policy during meetings
  • Jose’s four key meeting reasons: to explore, inform, decide or debate
  • Advice for becoming a CEO and successful in business
  • His experience on Undercover Boss
  • Performance reviews, “spontaneous feedback” and millennials
  • Training and development strategies for employees
  • The value of working with the worst managers
  • Creating a culture of education and continuous learning
  • Advice for franchisees and franchisors
  • Jose’s favorite books (and he reads a lot) – book list available on our website


Oct 21, 2018

"Get up early. Stay late. Do what your passion is. And don't be afraid of taking risks."

- Stephen J. Cloobeck

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Stephen J. Cloobeck, a self-made entrepreneur with more than thirty years’ experience across every aspect of hospitality design, development, and deployment … AND author of the new book CHECKING IN:  Hospitality-Driven Thinking, Business, And You.

As the original founder and former CEO and chairman of Diamond Resorts International – a business that grew to become the second-largest vacation-ownership company worldwide with more than four hundred properties across thirty-three countries in its portfolio – Cloobeck made a name for himself as the industry's most adamant advocate for radical customer service, what he calls embracing the Meaning of Yes.

To Cloobeck’s own amusement, he is perhaps most frequently recognized for his appearances on CBS’s hit TV show Undercover Boss. Featured on multiple episodes across multiple seasons, Cloobeck to this day ranks as the “most generous boss” who has ever participated in the unscripted program.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • How the five biggest companies are hospitality companies
  • The meaning of “A culture of no is a culture of losing” and “Leadership is hollow without ownership”
  • Delivering “the meaning of yes”
  • Be an accessible and approachable leader to customers and employees by making your personal contact info available
  • Passion as the root of success
  • Complacency emanates from the top
  • Communication, Collaboration and no Stagnation
  • Stephen’s experience partnering with Bill Marriott
  • Overcoming dyslexia
  • Advice for how best to connect with others
  • Work ethic: the old-fashioned way of working hard and “no free lunch”
  • Advice for scaling a business


Oct 16, 2018

Everybody has a defining moment which changes their life for better or worse.”

- Ulrich Kellerer

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Ulrich Kellerer, business leader, international speaker, and mental health activist from Munich, Germany. For over twenty years Kellerer worked in the European fashion industry as the founder and CEO of the German clothing line, Faro Fashion, which took over distribution rights for the brand CLOSED (the leading European fashion company for women’s and men’s sportswear) in Bavaria - south Germany.  Kellerer is the co-author of The Soul of Success with Jack Canfield and the author of the recently released title: One Moment Can Change Your Life: Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary People. Today, Kellerer's life is dedicated to fighting the depression epidemic and promoting mental wellness in the workplace.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Becoming a “mood manager”
  • People make the difference - being a role model by showing you care to change people and lives
  • Communication – the biggest ability of humankind
  • Decreasing loneliness and depression, especially for entrepreneurs, to increase life expectancy and the reality of loneliness in the U.S.
  • How to support someone with suicidal thoughts and anxiety
  • Overcoming “Luxury Problems” eliminate the attitude of “You buy things with money you don’t have to impress people you don’t like.”
  • How to motivate yourself to greatness – structure, discipline, dreams, and self-respect
  • Having more than one "best hour of your week" life experiences


Fine tune your "mood manager" skills!

Oct 6, 2018

Creativity is a skill that can be honed by everybody and should be.”

- Alexandra Levit

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Alexandra Levit, managing partner at PeopleResults and workplace consultant, author and speaker.

A former nationally syndicated columnist for the Wall Street Journal and writer for the New York Times, Fast Company, and Forbes, Alexandra has authored several books, including the international bestseller They Don't Teach Corporate in College and her newest book HUMANITY WORKS: Merging Technologies And People For The Workforce Of The Future, in which she provides a vision of a future where people are free to work wherever and for whomever they choose, machines perform multiple tasks, and virtual teams come together and disband at lightning speed.

She consults and writes on leadership development, human resources, entrepreneurship, career and workplace trends on behalf of numerous Fortune 500 companies including American Express, Canon, Deloitte, DeVry University, Intuit, SilkRoad, and Staples, and has spoken on these topics at hundreds of organizations around the world including Abbott, Aetna, Bank of America, Cardinal Health, Campbell Soup, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Human Capital Institute, McDonalds, Microsoft, PepsiCo, the Society of Human Resource Management, and Whirlpool.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Managing and motivating the rising generations; Gen Y as the new leaders, Gen Z as the new Gen X
  • Unconscious bias – things women can do to be part of the solution; negotiation and assertive communications
  • Being called the B word; the difference between assertive and aggressive communication
  • Transformational leadership: showing people you care
  • The 3 Cs of Future Work: Collaboration, Customization & Creativity
  • What roles machines and technology should play
  • Being able to work cross-functionally and the ability of leaders to structure employee career paths
  • Using creativity to have empathy, judgement and proble- solving skills in ways that machines cannot
  • Practicing and promoting intrapreneurship
  • Seeing the “writing on the wall” with automation threats to stay competitive and marketable, especially for tech employees lacking creativity
  • The importance of human skills in all industries
  • The importance of sales training for everyone (not just sales people)
  • Having the mindset of being able to reinvent yourself
  • Her biggest worry – people who won’t be able to adapt having to sell themselves all the time; by 2030 half of all workers will be part of the gig economy (contract workers)
  • Using gamification and virtual reality simulations for our future avatars to connect interpersonally
  • Strategies for businesses BEFORE things become dire


Sep 19, 2018

“If you’re curious, you’re a good sales person.”

- Brandon Bruce

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Brandon Bruce, COO & Co-Founder of Cirrus Insight, a plugin for Gmail and Outlook salespeople. Bruce grew up in a tiny California town of 800 people where he only had one classmate at a school using outhouses as their bathroom. He went from those humble beginnings to co-founding and growing Cirrus Insight to $12 million in revenue and #41 on the Inc. 500 (after a six-year rollercoaster of success and setbacks).

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Brandon’s humble beginnings, his “hero story”, and how he went from small town kid to entrepreneur and pivotal leader
  • The story behind Cirrus Insight startup and taking it from idea to implementation, including Brandon’s six-year roller coaster of success and setbacks
  • Today’s selling environment and using the right communication medium to connect with customers
  • Goal setting strategies for attending conferences and maximizing opportunities
  • Angel investors: how Cirrus Insight got funded
  • On becoming an Inc 5000 Ranked Business
  • Why Brandon thinks curiosity is an important trait of a good salesperson
  • Using improv to move forward with innovation in technology
  • Why competitors can make good mentors and can be great to turn to for support
  • Brandon's favorite books


Sep 7, 2018

Prospects have their walls up. We need to bring those walls down before we can have the human to human conversation.”

- Hamish Knox

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader Gina Trimaco interviewed Hamish Knox, who plays an important role in Sandler’s worldwide organization and is a recognized business development expert specializing in executive sales consulting and sales productivity training. A dynamic, enthusiastic speaker certified in the proprietary selling system developed by David Sandler, Knox informs, entertains, and motivates leadership and rank-and-file sales teams to achieve their full potential. He heads a Sandler training center in Calgary.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • How to overcome the word “decision” in the selling process
  • How to go right to the top of the selection making chain
  • Sales and cold calls advice from Hamish: Why it’s so important to stay present and to always remember that it’s never about you
  • Hamish’s point of view on accountability, especially as it relates to your sales team
  • Strategies for implementing an effective and sustainable accountability program
  • On accountability:“The leader has to go first.”
  • How to create a leadership mentality in 20 minutes
  • Why Hamish is known as the ‘behavior guy’
  • The sales role: “need to have” versus “nice to have” behaviors
  • How to change behaviors and why “mom always wins”
  • Tips for leaders to understand the feelings, personal goals and motivation of their team members
  • Hamish explains Sandler’s “cookbook” philosophy
  • Hamish’s perspective on our rising workforce and their interpersonal skills


Sep 1, 2018

“You don’t become confident and then act confident. You act your way into confidence.”

Sally Helgesen

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader Gina Trimarco interviewed Sally Helgesen, International Speaker, Leadership Consultant & Author.

In her newest book, How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job, Sally and her co-author Marshall Goldsmith, help women identify specific behaviors that keep them from realizing their full potential, no matter what stage they are in their career. They help identify why what worked for them in the past will not necessarily get them where they want to go in the future -- and how to finally shed those behaviors so they can advance to the next level, whatever that may be.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Habits and behaviors that hold women back from getting to the next level
  • Expecting people to spontaneously notice the great things you’ve done; the differences between how men and women notice things
  • Advice to women struggling to get noticed for their achievements without appearing to be showboating
  • How women can work on leveraging relationships rather than just building them
  • How to leverage relationships to achieve real influence and authority
  • Understanding your worth and how it relates to confidence
  • Sally’s book, The Female Advantage, and women leadership skills and styles


Aug 23, 2018

It’s better to invest in what you can track.”

- Jake Baadsgaard

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader Gina Trimarco interviewed Jake Baadsgaard, CEO of Disruptive Advertising. After growing one of his first PPC clients from 25 to 250 employees, Jake realized he had a gift for using pay-per-click marketing to drive dramatic business results. To help more companies succeed online, Jake founded Disruptive Advertising, a PPC, and CRO management agency that has helped hundreds of companies realize unprecedented growth and profitability from the online advertising.

In the four years since its founding, Disruptive Advertising has grown from two employees working in Jake’s basement to a flourishing agency with more than 90 employees and a run rate of over $12 million - putting it at #145 on the 2017 Inc 500 list!

Podcast Topics Include:

  • How Jake got started in PPC advertising
  • Jake walks us through the moment he decided to create Disruptive Advertising in his basement and the transition out of the basement
  • How to scale a business quickly
  • Getting past founder-based selling
  • What Disruptive Advertising focuses on, who they serve and how they maximize the results for their clients
  • The biggest challenge in the PPC and advertising industry, plus Jake’s biggest business challenge
  • Finding and developing talent: some of the ways Jake is finding, developing and keeping talent, including his approach to top performers - “We don’t penalize top performers.”
  • How Jake deals with perception of industry problems by using case studies and quantifiable data
  • Some of the ways to measure marketing results, blended customer acquisition costs and analytics
  • Customer acquisition advice straight from Jake
  • Why Jake dislikes the phrase, “Let me know what I can do to help,” and what you can do to put a different spin on it
  • Jake’s advice to rising CEOs and entrepreneur who are growing or starting their businesses


Aug 14, 2018

We as leaders and entrepreneurs have a responsibility to make sure that if the ‘what-if’ does happen, the prudent planning and prudent steps are in place.”

Patrick Ungashick

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Patrick Ungashick, CEO of NAVIX Consultants. For more than twenty-five years Patrick has provided exit advice and solutions to business owners with companies as small as several million in revenues to more than half a billion. Patrick is the author of two books helping business owners prepare for exit: Dance in the End Zone: The Business Owner’s Exit Planning Playbook, and the award-winning A Tale of Two Owners: Achieving Exit Success Between Business Co-Owners. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Week and other media. He speaks to several dozen business groups per year on how to achieve successful exits. As CEO of NAVIX Consultants, Patrick leads a national team of exit planning consultants located in nearly two-dozen US cities.

Outside of work, even though he cannot juggle nor play a musical instrument, Patrick is a proud member of the Atlanta Distinguished Clown Corps, a group of full-time CEOs and part-time clowns that have raised about $1.5 million for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the largest pediatric hospital in the U.S.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • What inspired Patrick to help businesses plan for successful exits
  • Some challenges Patrick faced early on in his business
  • The effects of exiting on home life and relationships
  • Immediate steps and strategies for creating an exit plan
  • 15-year plan for exiting a business, plus determining which of the four possible exit strategies to choose
  • Differences between the four exit strategies, plus some advantages and disadvantages
  • Steps to take if a business is being “given” to you
  • Co-owners and exit plans: what you need to know
  • Risk management: what to consider if the business owner dies or becomes incapacitated 
  • Patrick offers a free Emergency Guidance Letter template every owner should have


Aug 4, 2018

“If you’re going to start a business,

you have to be willing to grind.”

- Nate Lawrie

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Nate Lawrie, CEO, Brazyn Life. Nate played 8-years of professional football in both the National Football League (Buccaneers, Saints, Bengals) and United Football League (Sacramento Mountain Lions), before retiring after the 2011 season. 

A self-described “NFL Grinder,” Lawrie fought through numerous injuries throughout his pro-career which led him to rethink many of the products he was using to take care of his body - wanting tools that were more convenient to use without compromising functionality. 

In 2015 Nate launched a new business called Brazyn Life. Brazyn Life is dedicated to helping people achieve their fitness and health goals through innovative, high-quality, and travel-ready recovery and fitness tools. Brazyn’s launch product is The Morph Collapsible Foam Roller, a premium foam roller that folds flat making it easy to use at home, the office, the gym, or on the road.  

  • Service providers or professional athletes are their own product
  • How Nate developed, created and released his first product
  • The benefits of using of using a foam roller
  • Nate takes up through the process of how he went from just having an idea to creating a collapsible foam roller for mass production
  • The nuances of launching a successful Kickstarter campaign
  • Nate’s shares his experience on Shark Tank and the aftermath following the episode airing
  • The challenges of launching a new project; raising capital, taking risks and manufacturing of a physical product
  • Finding the right people for your team and also relying on a little bit of luck
  • How startup life can be extremely overwhelming, but yet so rewarding
  • Pulling from peer groups for support, valuable knowledge and guidance
  • Being an “NFL grinder” and how it’s applicable to starting a business

Full Show Notes

Jul 31, 2018

“Surround yourself with amazing people and a wonderful team.”

- Roger Morgan

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Roger Morgan, founder and CEO of pawTree, a direct selling pet nutrition company he created in 2014 to provide a better way to care for and love pets. Just days before this interview, Roger received the Rising Star Award from the Direct Selling Association out of all the direct selling companies less than five years old.

Roger has built a way to change a pet and pet parent’s life one meal at a time and to enable pet lovers to thrive as small business owners who share and sell its products. A pet-industry veteran, Roger served as CEO for a major pet products manufacturer for almost a decade as well as served on boards for the American Pet Products Association, Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, and PetSmart Charities. He is dad to dogs, Bella & JoJo.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • What is pawTree? (not just a pet food company)
  • What inspired Roger to start pawTree
  • Some of the biggest challenges Roger faced in the early days of business startup
  • How to put together a great team for your startup venture
  • Why Roger chose the direct selling model for his business
  • The growth of pawTree customers, sales and Pet Pros 
  • The ideal profile of a remote sales associate (aka Pet Pro)
  • Keeping sales associates and team members informed, trained and connected
  • Where Roger goes to get support, advice, leadership and coaching


Jul 30, 2018

“Everyone’s got an idea but not everyone has balls to bring it to market.”

– Paul Szyarto

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Paul Szyarto, a globally recognized expert in entrepreneurship, business leadership and self-defense. He is highly sought-after for his executive coaching and business leadership training. Known for applying the principles of Krav Maga – the Israeli self-defense system – into everyday business and life scenarios, Szyarto has trained hundreds of law enforcement professionals and groups of NFL players, in addition to business executives and entrepreneurs. He’s also co-founder of the VMMA Fitness franchise.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Paul’s VMAA strategy on martial arts and when VMMA started
  • Turning your hobby into a scalable business
  • Paul explains true entrepreneurship and “survivor-preneurship”
  • Never Broke(n) Paul’s new book on lessons of entrepreneurship and survival
  • Stress Management - Paul talks about one of the greatest lessons on how being adaptable can get you through any situation
  • Paul shares advice to shift a stagnant or toxic organizational culture
  • What to do when there is no one to change poor leadership
  • Motivating and engaging your talent and understanding your talent needs
  • Best practices to ensure being the best possible leader you can be
  • Being a leader and CEO - Paul discusses support and mentorship he needs


Jul 29, 2018

“It’s important to take risks, as a business leader, as an entrepreneur. This business was a huge risk from day one.”

- Alex Danza

Imagine a better way to interstate business travel on a luxury motor coach that offers only 22 comfortable leather seats and amenities such as, steward service, noise-canceling headphones, WiFi, satellite television and an onboard conference room!

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Alex Danza, founder and CEO of Vonlane luxury motor coach service that he founded in 2014 to give Texas travelers an alternative to the delays and interruptions that accompany short-haul flights and the hassles of driving one’s own vehicle. Starting with routes between Dallas and Austin, Alex has expanded the company’s reach, and now the five biggest cities in the Texas Triangle are completely accessible on Vonlane with plans for expanding out of Texas.

Alex also is the 2017 recipient of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award in the Southwest region in the category of Emerging Retail and Consumer Products.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Alex describes Vonlane – “it’s like a private jet on the ground”
  • How personalized and proceduralized training is the key to creating an amazing customer experience
  • Recruiting employees and referrals and how to get top talent in the door
  • Making gut decisions, taking risks to progress and innovate
  • Spending advertising dollars as a startup
  • Scaling and growing: identifying prospects and keeping the model pristine
  • Raising capital to get a business venture off the ground
  • Suggested strategies for CEOs seek help and guidance for leadership and as an entrepreneur
  • Favorite books: Good to Great

Full Show Notes

Jul 22, 2018


“Your people deserve great managers.”

- Mark C. Winters

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Mark C. Winters, co-author of the Rocket Fuel. Mark's passion is helping entrepreneurs get unstuck so they can pursue their freedom. Depending on the unique situation, Mark’s talent for introducing just the right combination of perspective and process sparks teams to start moving, move faster, or begin moving in the proper direction - with clarity. As a teacher, coach, and facilitator, Mark spends most of his time directly engaged with entrepreneurial leadership teams as a Certified EOS Implementer—helping them implement EOS in their own companies.  He's delivered over 500 full-day EOS workshops with companies from around the U.S.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • A general overview of EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System)
  • The visionary and integrator defined
  • The phases of the visionary and integrator relationship
  • Connecting visionaries with the right integrators
  • How a small business can grow following a plateau
  • The benefits of EOS and how does is impact a business
  • How patience is so important when implementing EOS
  • How to determine if you are a visionary or integrator using Mark’s book: Rock Fuel.
  • Company culture and who becomes responsible - visionary, integrator or both?
  • Productivity vs. creativity, attention residue and intensity formula 
  • Time blocking to help with attention residue

Full Show Notes:

Jul 20, 2018

“We’ve gotten away from developing people … we take the risk of becoming order takers.”

– Dave Mattson

In this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Dave Mattson, a best-selling author, sales and management visionary, and leader of the world’s largest sales effectiveness organization. As CEO and President of Sandler Training, he oversees the corporate direction and strategy for the company’s worldwide network of operations serving clients through


Podcast Topics Include:

  • Dave and Gina's thoughts on Vistage’s Confidence Index for 2018 and what he thinks we are missing
  • What to do with the rising workforce of millennials as it relates to interpersonal skills
  • Where most companies miss the boat on motivating team members
  • Good and bad practices for salespeople and sales managers
  • Being a doctor of sales
  • What sales managers need to do for their salespeople
  • What are the common trends that sales people contact Sandler for help and training
  • How Sandler helps sales teams turn things around and how they help companies by creating a common sales language and sales approach
  • Dave’s dirty secret relating to sales teams and training
  • The importance of turning down clients when you know management is not buying into what is being sold
  • What makes one franchise stronger than another and what has made Sandler so strong
  • Sandler’s growth strategy, including why they limit the number of franchises they add each year and going international
  • What the future of training looks like

Full show notes at:

Jun 6, 2018

“We’re going to have less sales people than ever before … 60% or more of the sale is already done by the time a sales person is contacted.”

- Tom Niesen, CEO, Acuity Systems

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Tom Niesen, CEO of Acuity Systems, who spent 14 years in upper sales management and marketing positions with companies like Polaroid and Fuji Film before starting Acuity Systems, Inc. in 1990. At those companies he built sales teams and began to understand how and why sales teams failed, the difference between effective sales processes and what just sounded good, and what it really took to create a superstar sales force.

Today, he blends his own experiences with nationally proven training and evaluation tools from The Sandler Sales Institute, Objective Management Group, and Extended DISC, to teach a unique brand of sales training and personal development. It's so unique - and so engaging - that Niesen closes his own prospects at a rate that would make most salespeople green with envy.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Tom shares how he closes his own prospects in a way that would make most sales people green with envy
  • Sales should be looked at as a science and is better referred to as lean selling (similar to lean manufacturing)
  • Building solid foundation for sales and having the right processes and behaviors in place to support your sales team
  • What “going into the cooler” means
  • Goodhart’s Law: When one measurement becomes a goal, it’s a bad goal
  • Culture issues that affect sales and how to change those processes
  • Creating a “sales map” without the sale person
  • Effective vs non-effective sales training
  • Tom’s view on the 2017 Q4 Vistage CEO confidence report
  • How to get better at interpersonal communication and rapport building with the rising workforce of a younger generation
  • Using a pattern interrupt strategy in communications and sales
  • Using improv in the sales approach
  • Having an upfront contract about how you work
  • How to have a superstar sales force
  • Emerson’s Law of Compensation

Full Show Notes

Jun 5, 2018

“I’ve gotta reward people for taking chances.”

- Mark Donnolo, Founder, SalesGlobe

In this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Mark Donnolo, founder and managing partner of SalesGlobe and Michelle Seger, Global Sales Strategy and Change Management Leader with SalesGlobe.

Mark is the author of the books The Innovative Sale, What Your CEO Needs to Know About Sales Compensation, and Essential Account Planning. He has worked with Global 1000 companies around the world for the past twenty five years, focusing on sales innovation, sales strategy, sales coverage, account planning, sales compensation, and quota setting.

Michelle Seger with leadership teams to transform their sales organizations, improve sales productivity, and increase return on the organization’s investment in sales from sales strategy to sales organization, to sales compensation. She has a concentration on global harmonization for multinational organizations and implementing change within diverse organizations.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • The importance of company culture and handling big challenges facing companies
  • What to do in a situation when a CEO is the problem with the company culture
  • How to retain and attract top sales talent
  • The differences between priorities in the flow of sales strategy and how to align talent to different roles in the company
  • The use of talent assessment piece to prevent failure
  • The Innovative Sales Book​, a left brainers approach to right brain thinking
  • The importance of building creative muscle memory

Full Show Notes:

Jun 4, 2018

No one can achieve any kind of greatness by themselves.”

– Julia Landauer

In this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Julia Landauer, a two-time championship winning NASCAR racer from New York City. With dozens of wins across different series, Julia has set records since she was 10 years old. Away from the track, Julia is a graduate of Stanford University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Science, Technology 3and Society.

During college Julia was a contestant on season 26 of CBS’ reality TV show SURVIVOR. It was also in college that Julia started her motivational speaking career, with a TEDx talk. Julia is now making her name synonymous with more than speed and grit; as she climbs the NASCAR ladder Julia uses her racing platform to continue advocating for STEM education and women’s empowerment.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Early childhood development and its effects on women’s mindset for success
  • Becoming a female racer at the age of 10
  • The challenges of a woman racer in a male-dominated industry
  • Taking a communal approach to self-awareness
  • Finding support and mentoring for self-improvement
  • Why do women undervalue themselves?
  • Some habits needed to succeed
  • Understanding and being empathetic to those within your environment
  • Nascar race teams and earning respect
  • Advocating for women using STEM

Full Show Notes:

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