The Kondrat Podcast

Mark Kondrat, Mark Kondrat

Surprisingly interesting conversations with leaders, entrepreneurs and inspiring people.

All Episodes

Today on The Kondrat Podcast I met up with Nicky Nash - Executive Director for Kids Up Front Calgary.  It’s one of those conversations where I realize two things simultaneously. First - I am grateful that people like Nicky exist in the world.  Second, I realize that Nicky is about 1000x better of a human being than I will ever be!On the podcast, we discuss the amazing work that Nicky and her team do through Kid’s Up Front - the experiences that they provide children literally change their lives.  We also discuss Nicky’s personal battle with MS and how that has shaped her perspective on life in a surprisingly positive way.“When I step back and think about what we are doing - and who we are helping - it’s all the motivation I need!”  Nicky Nash—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | instagram | facebookKids Up Front Calgary: website | instagram 

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Nov 25

33 min 33 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast I met up with my friend JD Lewis who is the Morning Host at CJAY 92 in Calgary, Alberta.  When COVID first hit, JD and I did a series of podcasts together to check in on small business owners to see what they were doing to pivot (oh how we came to hate that word!).  About four months into the podcast together it looked like the world was getting back to normal so we wrapped up the series.  Oops - we were wrong!On the podcast, we talk about everything that JD has been up to these days - which includes travelling, having a serious girlfriend and writing a children’s book?  What?  A children’s book??  Didn’t see that coming!  That’s what I love about JD - there’s always something random and awesome going on in his world.  As usual, it was a blast connecting with JD and I hope you enjoy the conversation. “I like travelling solo - there's an element of fear and anxiety that I've come to enjoy.”  JD Lewis—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | instagram | facebookJD Lewis: instagram

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Nov 18

46 min 11 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast I met up Peter Christensen with the Danish Canadian Club in Calgary, Alberta.  The Danish Canadian Club has a very interesting connection to the Craft Beer Community in Alberta - Ed McNaley who founded Big Rock Brewery was a regular there while he was making plans to build his brewery!  No matter where you live in the world, you know of a small club or association that has been around forever - and you assume that it always will be.  For me, that is the Danish Canadian Club which is literally across the street from my office.  The reality is that unless we support these clubs they won’t be here forever - and every time one of these places closes we lose a little part of our collective history.The purpose of this podcast is to share a little bit about why I think the Danish Canadian Club is awesome.  I also want to challenge you to visit the club in your neighbourhood - the one that you walk by every day but never visit.  Let’s keep our history alive so that the next generation can take for granted that these clubs have been around forever - and always will be!—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | instagram | facebookDanish Canadian Club: website | instagram | facebook 

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Nov 11

28 min 3 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast I met up with Adam Wasyliw  - Founder of Paradise Skis in Calgary, Alberta.  Adam and his friend Cam Brodrick - who are both Mechanical Engineers - wanted to create skis and snowboards designed especially for the snow conditions of the Canadian Rockies.On the podcast, we discuss the process of taking Paradise Skis from an idea and turning it into a reality.  In typical Engineer fashion - Adam nerds out a little bit when he describes how the skis and snowboards are engineered.  What makes Paradise Skis truly authentic is that each product has been engineered with purpose - and then made to look good.  "Paradise is a local company that designs skis and snowboards for the world-famous champagne powder of the Canadian Rockies!" - Adam Wasyliw—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | instagram | facebookParadise Skis: website | instagram | facebook 

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Nov 4

35 min 14 sec

EPISODE SUMMARYToday on The Kondrat Podcast, I revisit my conversation with Jyoti Gondek, the Mayor-Elect for Calgary, Alberta. As mayor, Jyoti’s goal is to create a city that can attract new investment, retain talent, and re-establish our economic advantage. On the podcast, we discuss the many roles that Jyoti  has taken on over the years and why she believes these experiences have prepared her to be Calgary’s next mayor.  As she explains, her platform is focused on stabilizing our economy, prioritizing our collective wellbeing, and investing equitably in our communities.  I’m grateful that Jyoti took the time to join me - I hope you enjoy our surprisingly interesting conversation.“Leadership is about the opportunities that life gives you and your willingness to embrace them.”  Jyoti Gondek—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookJyoti Gondek: website | twitter | instagram |

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Oct 28

32 min 28 sec

On today's podcast, I sat down with my friend Dr. Ranjan Kumar, Founder of Delta Brewstillery in Calgary, Alberta.Ranjan was born and raised in India and came to Canada to continue his post-secondary education.  He received his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Calgary and is proud of the contribution he has made in the community as a doctor.  In the podcast, we discuss Ranjan’s journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur and why he decided to step away from medicine to build a brewery. Ranjan founded Delta Brewstillery and produced beer as a contract brewer for several years. In the spring of 2021, Ranjan and his team opened a large brewery focused on distribution across Alberta with plans to ship across Canada and Internationally soon.“I write down my goals and look at them every day - that's how I have achieved my success!” Dr. Ranjan Kumar__________________________________________________________________________________Delta Brewstillery: website | twitter | instagram The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Oct 21

48 min 36 sec

On today's podcast, I sat down with Dave Wald, Co-Founder of Karma Campervans, a company that has helped reimagine how people explore the Rocky Mountains.Through his life as an entrepreneur, Dave has worked as a “Lot Boy” at an RV dealership, created a social media agency and travelled the world.  Each of these experiences has helped shape his perspective on business and shaped his latest venture - Karma Campervan.Karma Campervans: website | Instagram The Kondrat Podcast:  website | Twitter | Instagram | facebook

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Oct 14

53 min 59 sec

On today's podcast, I sat down with Jeremy Clark, CH Financials' President and CEO, to discuss their philosophies and how they help entrepreneurs and "small" businesses succeed every day.  Big News - I am excited to announce that The Kondrat Podcast has partnered with CH Financial to help share stories of entrepreneurs, community leaders and inspiring humans with a larger audience! CH Financial is dedicated to helping people succeed - which is why I chose to partner with them.  As an entrepreneur,  my goal is to surround myself with people who work to build others up - and the CH Financial Team does that every day!For more information on how CH Financial can help you please visit their website and contact them today.  CH Financial: website | Instagram The Kondrat Podcast:  website | Twitter | Instagram | facebook

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Oct 7

33 min 15 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast I sat down with Ren Navarro, Founder of Beer.Diversity. Ren has become a known name at breweries, wineries, distilleries, and beyond. She has given talks on diversity and inclusion at several colleges and countless festivals, panels, radio shows, and podcasts throughout North America. In addition to being a diversity educator, she is a craft beer consultant for bars and restaurants in Ontario and an educator for countless businesses throughout the country.What is Beer.Diversity. ?  Good question!  Beer. Diversity. is more than just a company that educates, it’s a resource built from the passion and love of the industry to do better and be better. Navarro’s experience in public speaking and history in the drinks world alongside her perspective as a queer Black woman makes her an essential voice in the work and outreach involved in creating a welcoming and diverse environment for beverage producers and imbibers of all backgrounds.  Taking steps. Wanting change. Having the desire and the tools to put in the work to be an agent of change. That’s what Beer. Diversity. is about.“Together we can do better. Together we can be better.”  Ren NavarroBeer.Diversity. : website | instagram The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Sep 16

34 min 31 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast I sat down with Noah Fallis with Glean Productions in Calgary, Alberta.  We discuss his career as a commercial stills photographer, director of photography, and a general lighting nerd and how he combined these skills to create Glean Productions.So what is Glean Productions?  From a cultural standpoint - Glean is a playful, light hearted company whose core principals are humility, humour, and hustle. From a technical standpoint - they basically utilize some fancy toys to capture content, and approach production in a very lean mindset.  I’ve had the chance to see his team in action and what stands out for me is their teamwork and great attitude.  It’s not easy building a positive team culture and we discuss how he has been able to do that with Glean.  I hope you enjoy our surprisingly interesting conversation!“We are all about the 3 H’s… Humility. Humour. Hustle.”  Noah FallisGlean Productions: website | instagram The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Sep 10

44 min 15 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with Doug Gillespie, VP of Marketing with Hydropool Hot Tubs to have a conversation about creativity, being an entrepreneur, and helping to build a successful business.  Aside from being a successful business person, Doug is a committed father of two children and a proud coach with the Special Olympics.I was introduced to Doug through our mutual friend Jim Button.  I had asked Jim who I should speak to about creativity in business and he didn’t hesitate to suggest that I connect with Doug!  I’m grateful that Doug took the time to share his story - I hope you enjoy our conversation.“Lead by example - and never take yourself too seriously.”  Doug Gillespie—Hydropool Hot Tubs: website | twitter | instagram The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Jul 30

56 min 11 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with Cody Battershill, an award-winning real estate agent and Founder of Canada Action.  Cody founded Canada Action to help share the stories from Canada’s resource industries, including; Energy, Agriculture, Forestry, Mining, Oil & Gas, Pipelines and Renewables.In many ways, today’s world of media is designed to separate people into groups that leave us more divided than ever.  Because of this, it’s important to have real conversations with people from all sides of an issue to learn about what they stand for and why they are so passionate.  On today’s podcast, we discuss a number of topics that Cody is passionate about - I hope that you enjoy our surprisingly interesting conversation.—Cody Battershill: twitter | instagram Canada Action:  website | twitter | instagram The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Jul 23

50 min 42 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with my friend Graham Sherman, the Founder and creative force behind Tool Shed Brewery in Calgary, Alberta.   On the podcast, we discuss when Graham first realized he was an entrepreneur and his journey to build his brewery.  Graham has had many challenges - from building the brewery, buying out his original partners and founders, to surviving through the pandemic.  Each step has forced him to reimagine his company and reinvent himself.  Creativity is at the heart of all successful businesses and Graham is one of the most creative people I know.  I hope that you enjoy our surprisingly interesting conversation."I use trail running as a perfect metaphor for business - sometimes I need to go out and just suffer alone."  - Graham Sherman—Graham Sherman: twitter | instagramTool Shed Brewery:  website | twitter | instagramThe Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Jul 16

1 hr

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with Jill Dewes to discuss her career in the creative space of marketing and branding.  Jill is a partner at Daughter Creative, a Calgary based branding and advertising agency. How else can I describe Jill?  Well in her words...Part owner of Cabin Brewing, lover of beer, food, books, and travel. Canadian born but grew up in New Zealand (hence the funny accent). Moved to Calgary in 2010 and never looked back (well, maybe looked back a little during COVID, seeing my kiwi friends out at concerts and beer festivals while we were all lockdown).Jill has helped so many brands share their story with the world and it fun to connect with her on the podcast.  I am grateful to share her story and I hope you enjoy our surprisingly interesting conversation."We need more voices and opinions at the table to make sure we are representing brands in a truly holistic way."  - Jill Dewes—Daughter Creative: website | instagram The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Jul 9

1 hr 7 min

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with Russell Broom to find out what it’s like to be a rockstar!  Russell has been in the industry for over 30 years - travelling the world and playing with more amazing artists than I can list.As an artist, his roles include musician, composer, engineer, producer and songwriter.  He has won a crazy number of awards - including a Juno.  As a person, Russell is a proud husband and father.  His wife owns an amazing restaurant in Calgary called Moonlight & Eli that you should check out too!It doesn’t get much better than having a surprisingly interesting conversation with a rock star - enjoy!—Russell Broom: website | instagram The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Jul 2

1 hr 3 min

This week I am featuring a very special episode from my other podcast - Let’s Meet For A Beer!  If you enjoy the following conversation please subscribe to the Let’s Meet For A Beer Podcast here.For episodes 30-35 of the Let’s Meet for a Beer Podcast my friend Cam Dobranski, owner of Medium Rare Chef Apparel, is joining me as co-host!  Cam made some calls to his friends across Canada (who also happen to be world-class chefs) to see if they would join us to share their stories - and luckily they said yes!Today we connected with Todd Perrin, Chef and Owner of Mallard Cottage in Quidi Vidi, Newfoundland which was ranked #22 in Canada’s Top Restaurants in 2018.  Todd has appeared on The Food Network’s Top Chef Canada twice and also is a featured judge on Wall of Chefs.Todd is a passionate chef and thinks the concept of work-life balance is overrated!  On the podcast, he is very open about his journey as a restaurant owner and the challenges that the current pandemic has meant for him, his family and his team.  I’m grateful that he took the time to connect with us and I hope you enjoy the conversation.“I don’t think about what I do as a job - it’s my life.”  - Chef Todd PerrinTodd Perrin: Twitter | InstagramMedium Rare Chef Apparel: Website | Twitter | InstagramLet’s Meet For A Beer: Website | Twitter | InstagramAlberta Beer Festivals: Website | Twitter | Instagram

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Jun 25

53 min 4 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with Breanne Sich to discuss her work with Mealshare,  a social enterprise aimed at ending youth hunger.  We also talk about why she started the Crohns & Colitis Collective, a “cheeky” collective aimed at fundraising for a cure.Breanne Sich is a Haskayne Alumni, graduating with her BComm in 2015. She has worked with Mealshare Aid Society as their VP of Marketing for nearly 8 years, and is involved with various projects for photography and digital marketing management. She has been named Top 40 under 40 in Calgary, spoken at marketing conferences across Alberta, is a spin & hit instructor, and is an active member of the Crohns and Colitis community through volunteer and fundraising initiatives! Breanne is the 2021 Honorary Chair for the Crohns & Colitis Calgary Foundation, and has created her own business to support with C&CC fundraising, called the Crohns & Colitis Collective!Breanne is a very inspiring person and I could have devoted 3 hours to this conversation just to mention all of her accomplishments.  I’m grateful that she took the time to share her story and I hope you enjoy our surprisingly interesting conversation.—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookBreanne Sich / Crohns & Colitis Collective : website | twitter | instagram Mealshare : website | twitter | instagram

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Jun 18

54 min 41 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with Doug Vermeeren to discuss his life’s mission to help entrepreneurs succeed.  Doug believes that we are living in the best moment in history to be a successful entrepreneur and he explains why on the podcast.  We also discuss the difficulties that entrepreneurs face and how he can help them overcome these challenges.Doug has personally interviewed business leaders and companies like Nike, Reebok, Fruit of the Loom, FedEx, American Airlines, UGG boots, Uber, KFC, McDonalds, Disney, United Airlines, Ted Baker, and others to share their success secrets. ABC television and FOX Business refer to him as the modern-day Napoleon Hill. He is a regularly featured expert on FOX, CNN, ABC, NBC, CTV and CBC, and others. Doug is also the Founder of Certified Entrepreneur Coach™ the top-rated program for training coaches that support entrepreneursDoug is a passionate person with a huge depth of knowledge and I’m grateful that he took the time to share some of it with me.  I hope you enjoy our surprisingly interesting conversation.—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookDouglas Vermeeren: website | twitter | instagram

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Jun 4

1 hr 7 min

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with Jyoti Gondek, Ward 3 Councillor and 2021 Mayoral Candidate in Calgary, Alberta. As mayor, Jyoti’s goal is to create a city that can attract new investment, retain talent, and re-establish our economic advantage. On the podcast, we discuss the many roles that Jyoti has taken on over the years and why she believes these experiences have prepared her to be Calgary’s next mayor.  As she explains, her platform is focused on stabilizing our economy, prioritizing our collective wellbeing, and investing equitably in our communities.It has been great to share the stories of Mayoral candidates on my podcast.  Allowing people to express themselves freely through honest conversation is a great way to learn what they stand for.  I’m grateful that Jyoti took the time to join me - I hope you enjoy our surprisingly interesting conversation.—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookJyoti Gondek: website | twitter | instagram 

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May 28

30 min 20 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with a legendary Calgary Stampeder and CFL Hall of Fame Inductee Nik Lewis.  We discuss his journey as an athlete that led him to the CFL where he played for 14 years and how he has made the transition to become a successful entrepreneur.  In his CFL career, Nik collected many awards including CFL Rookie of the Year,  two Grey Cup Champions, and CFL’s all-time reception leader with 1051.Nik grew up in Jacksboro, Texas and played a number of sports including baseball, basketball and football.  He went to college at Southern Arkansas University where he made the football team as a walk-on.  He ended his college football career after breaking nine team records and becoming a two-time First Team All-American as both a Wide Receiver and Punt returner - not too bad for a walk-on!  After college, Nik found his way to the CFL and played for both the Calgary Stampeders and Montreal Alouettes.  On May 17, 2018, Nik officially retired after playing 14 years in the league.Aside from his Hall of Fame career, we also discuss Nik’s transition to life beyond the football field.  After his playing career, Nik became a coach for a short period of time before committing his energy to training young athletes and becoming an entrepreneur.  Nik recently founded AO Sports TV - a digital platform that focuses on content creation and distribution for professional athletes.Nik has inspired many people as an athlete and as a successful entrepreneur.  It was great to connect with him and learn about his philosophies that have helped him succeed as a football player and a person.  I hope that you enjoy our surprisingly interesting conversation!The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookNik Lewis + AO Sports : website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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May 21

43 min 56 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with my friend Avnish Mehta, Founder of Stand and Command, Beer Baron at Village Brewery, Chief Strategy Officer at FARE, and Board Chair of The Calgary Public Library.  As you can see, Avnish is a huge force in the community so it was great to discuss where he gets his passion and motivation. We also talk about his journey to becoming a successful business owner and why he’s optimistic for the future.For personal reasons (I’m terrible at public speaking), I was interested to learn more about Stand and Command, a company that Avnish founded to help individuals, Corporations, and Non-Profit Organizations master Presentations and Public Speaking.  He’s passionate about “getting the best thinking out of others” and loves the diversity of work and people he connects with daily.  We also discuss his mentors - and he’s got a lot!  Avnish is grateful for all of these people who have helped him succeed, and he’s mindful to help others whenever possible to find their success.Avnish is proud to be considered a friend, community contributor, entrepreneur, volunteer, folkfest sponsor, problem solver, and dreamer.  Oh - and when he’s not busy with all of these insane roles, Avnish also considers himself  “a pretty good dad and husband” too!Avnish is incredibly inspiring and it was great to connect and learn more about him - I hope that you enjoy our surprisingly, interesting conversation.The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookAvnish Mehta : website | instagram

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May 14

1 hr 2 min

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with Jade Alberts, the Founder of Peer Guidance - a purpose before profit group that guides Start-ups, Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses through their challenges as they go from inception to exit. Jade has also guided three companies to exit, is an Angel Investor and has a Facebook Live show called “Telling It Like It Is” that has reached over 1.5 million views. On the podcast, we discuss Jade’s life as an entrepreneur.  At one point he owned the rights to Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs in Canada - which is where we initially connected through Alberta Beer Festivals.  The lessons Jade has learned in business have helped him build the tools that he shares with entrepreneurs through Peer Guidance everyday.  “We help companies regardless of their financial situation - it’s important to share your knowledge.”Jade is an optimist and it was great to hear about his vision for the future.  And what does he see in our future?  “I see Alberta as a powerhouse for entrepreneurs - not just tech but all sectors!”  I hope you enjoy our conversation!The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookJade Alberts : website | instagram | twitter

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May 7

50 min 10 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with Jeremy Clark, President & CEO of  CH Financial Ltd.  Jeremy describes CH Financial as the “Mayo Clinic of finance – all financial services under one roof”.  Beyond providing financial services, Jeremy and his team are also very active in the local community.  The charities and organizations they support include the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Brown Bagging for Kids and the Calgary Food Bank.On the podcast, we discuss Jeremy’s journey to become CEO and President of CH Financial, and what motivates him as a leader.  We also discuss some of the challenges that face the industry in general such as “Robo Advisors” that have basically turned some financial services into commodities.  Jeremy is confident that they can overcome the challenges by “doubling down on empathetic client services and understanding that delivery models may have to change”.I was really excited to discuss his plans for the future that include launching CH Life – a division of CH Financial that will focus on mental health and wellness!  CH Life takes retirement planning to the next level - it’s not just about retiring with financial security but considering and planning for other aspects of life as well.It was great to connect with Jeremy and share his story.  I hope you enjoy our surprisingly interesting conversation!—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookFH Financial Ltd : website | instagram | linkedin

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Apr 30

1 hr 4 min

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with Teddy Ogbonna -  a 2021 Calgary Mayoral Candidate.  Teddy is the founder of Youth for Transparency International which envisions a world where young people take the lead as active participants in deciding and changing all levels of development and policy making.  We discuss his unique journey and what has inspired him to be Calgary’s next mayor.Teddy was born and raised in Nigeria before travelling the world and coming to Canada to study Law & Society and Political Science at the University of Calgary.  He founded  Youth for Transparency International to empower young people and entrepreneurs to be a positive “change agent” in their communities across the globe.If he becomes the next mayor, Teddy plans to bring the same passion and energy to make Calgary that he has for Youth for Transparency International.  His goal is to be remembered as someone that made a difference in service for humanity and believes strongly that “ideas change the world.”—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookTeddy Ogbonna: website| twitter | instagram |

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Apr 23

1 hr

My friend Chad Hason has taken over The Kondrat Podcast to celebrate 420!  Chad talks to experts to find out where their passion for cannabis came from, what the challenges are in this relatively new industry, and what the future looks like for growers, retailers and consumers.  Check out all four surprisingly interesting conversations today!For the fourth and final conversation, Chad meets up with Jeff Karren with Joi Botanicals.  Jeff was born in Edmonton and moved to Calgary at a young age where he attended elementary, junior high, and high schools.  He started his professional career in 2008 working in the procurement department of an EPC company operating in the oil & gas industry.  Jeff completed a Bachelor’s in Management from the University of Lethbridge in 2009, and transferred the same year to work on an active construction site north of Fort McMurray.  After coming back to Calgary in 2010, Jeff continued to work in various supply chain and quality roles until the fall of 2015.  Jeff started officially working on Joi Botanicals in early 2016 and he hasn’t stopped since.  Jeff started with a concept and a dream in 2016, and with the help of countless others, has created a company that in early 2021 is selling adult-use cannabis products legally in Alberta. —Joi Botanicals: website | instagram | facebookChad Hason: website | instagram | facebookThe Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Apr 20

44 min

My friend Chad Hason has taken over The Kondrat Podcast to celebrate 420!  Chad talks to experts to find out where their passion for cannabis came from, what the challenges are in this relatively new industry, and what the future looks like for growers, retailers and consumers.  Check out all four surprisingly interesting conversations today!For the third conversation, Chad sits down with Bret Kilmury, a retail/customer service creature that was fabricated on the back of the automotive industry here in Alberta. He spent a majority of his young adult life in car dealerships having bad conversations with guests about their broken vehicles. Bret carved out a role in cannabis with Plantlife through education, pride, passion, and creating great guest experiences. He is a leader in the world of cannabis, always focused on the integrity of the industry. He’s passionate about quality products cultivated professionally, by people who take pride in their processes.  Bret’s goal is to make cannabis more approachable to everyone and show that there is the right cannabis product for the right situation. —PlantLife Cannabis: website | instagram | twitterChad Hason: website | instagram | facebookThe Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Apr 20

54 min 22 sec

My friend Chad Hason has taken over The Kondrat Podcast to celebrate 420!  Chad talks to experts to find out where their passion for cannabis came from, what the challenges are in this relatively new industry, and what the future looks like for growers, retailers and consumers.  Check out all four surprisingly interesting conversations today!For the second conversation in the 420 Series, Chad connects with Adrianna and Adam - A.K.A The Korner Kronics - a social media-based review show on legal cannabis and cannabis accessories. These award-winning Budtender's and parents to nine show a lighter side of cannabis with real unbiased reviews from these long-time consumers. The Korner Kronics dynamic partnership dabbles in everything from growing to extracting on their own show. Each partner brings their own unique talents to the table to showcase the product and places reviewed on the "Korner". —Korner Kronics: YouTube  | twitterChad Hason: website | instagram | facebookThe Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Apr 20

42 min 17 sec

My friend Chad Hason has taken over The Kondrat Podcast to celebrate 420!  Chad talks to experts to find out where their passion for cannabis came from, what the challenges are in this relatively new industry, and what the future looks like for growers, retailers and consumers.  Check out all four surprisingly interesting conversations today!Our first guest is Chris Hart, the Co-Founder of Route 1 Cannabis Sales Agency, a boutique organization representing Canadian licensed producers of all sizes and categories in the local Canadian retail market. Chris is an advocate for the craft cannabis movement and is passionate about contributing to the progress of this exciting industry.  Chris is a member of the Alberta Cannabis Council, the BC Craft Growers Cooperative, and the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers and he holds a Cannabis Consultant certification from the Trichome Institute. You can learn more about his company at www.route1agency.com as well as follow Route 1 on Instagram and LinkedIn.—Route 1 Agency: website | instagram | LinkedInChad Hason: website | instagram | facebookThe Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Apr 20

50 min 13 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with Jamie Smith and Jesse Ferguson -  co-founders of Amplify Advisors.  Amplify is an accounting consulting firm with a focus on helping entrepreneurs build their businesses using more than just numbers and accounting jargon.  In today’s crazy times, their team is helping small businesses survive and develop strategies that will help them grow.  I happen to know many of their clients - so I personally see the positive impact they are making in our community!Jamie has over 15 years of professional services at the “Big 4” and Jesse has over 10 years of professional services at Deloitte as well as CFO of a mid-market business.  The two of them met at Deloitte working on an accounting consulting team & from there decide to launch Amplify.Amplify focuses on community business leaders and helping them with their growth. What makes them unique?  According to Jamie-  “We break down accounting stereotypes by putting relationships and strategy before numbers”.  It was a surprisingly interesting conversation in the truest sense of the phrase - I hope you enjoy!—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookAmplify Advisors: website | instagram | facebook 

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Apr 16

1 hr 18 min

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with Emile Gabriel -  a 2021 Calgary Mayoral Candidate.  “My philosophy is simple - there is a time to receive and a time to give” - and as a mayoral candidate, he’s hopeful that his time to give is coming soon.Emile was born in Giza, Egypt - the city of the Great Pyramids.  He has travelled the world, visiting and working in over 20 different countries before coming to Canada.  Emile feels that being from a multiracial family is a huge asset - “it makes me able to understand and relate to people from different backgrounds”.As mayor, Emile’s first major goal is to establish a two-term limit for the mayor and all council members.  In his opinion, his greatest skill is an ability to identify the root cause of a problem and provide an effective solution.  He believes the root of many of Calgay’s problems lie in what he calls “The 15+ Group” - which we discuss on the podcast.I’m grateful that Emile took the time to join me - I hope you enjoy our surprising interesting conversation.—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookEmile Gabriel: website | twitter | instagram | facebook 

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Apr 9

52 min 39 sec

There's no doubt that Jim Button inspires many people - which made me think "Who inspires Jim Button"?  To answer this question I handed control of The Kondrat Podcast over to Jim this week to connect with people who inspire him.  Jim lives with terminal cancer, something he refers to as his “hard”.  So, in addition to his guests’ accomplishments, Jim also discusses their personal “hard” and how they have overcome it to lead inspiring lives.Jim’s fifth guest is Tracey Button, a talented artist, mother of two pretty decent kids, and Jim’s amazing wife.  To say the very least, without Tracey’s incredible partnership with Jim, this podcast takeover would never have happened!“If you don’t have fun painting it, people aren’t going to enjoy looking at it.”  Tracey Button.—Tracey Button: instagram | facebook Jim Button: website | twitter | instagram | facebook The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Mar 29

48 min 11 sec

There's no doubt that Jim Button inspires many people - which made me think "Who inspires Jim Button"?  To answer this question I handed control of The Kondrat Podcast over to Jim this week to connect with people who inspire him.  Jim lives with terminal cancer, something he refers to as his “hard”.  So, in addition to his guests’ accomplishments, Jim also discusses their personal “hard” and how they have overcome it to lead inspiring lives.Jim’s fourth guest is Mandy Stobo, a passionate artist, actor and mother.  Her art is recognized around the world - her most famous piece is the Bad Portrait she painted of my dog Reggie.“It’s just been a fun, amazing ride to see where things go.”  Mandy Stobo.—Mandy Stobo: website |  instagram | facebookJim Button: website | twitter | instagram | facebook The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Mar 29

57 min 21 sec

There's no doubt that Jim Button inspires many people - which made me think "Who inspires Jim Button"?  To answer this question I handed control of The Kondrat Podcast over to Jim this week to connect with people who inspire him.  Jim lives with terminal cancer, something he refers to as his “hard”.  So, in addition to his guests’ accomplishments, Jim also discusses their personal “hard” and how they have overcome it to lead inspiring lives.Jim’s third guest is Dave Kelly, an award-winning interviewer and actor.  Dave has performed for people around the world and conducted interviews with an impressive list of humans - including Ellen Degeneres and Barack Obama.“For me, standing in front of an audience and telling a story...that part feels as close to center as I get.”  Dave Kelly.—Dave Kelly: website |  instagram | facebookJim Button: website | twitter | instagram | facebook The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Mar 29

50 min 8 sec

There's no doubt that Jim Button inspires many people - which made me think "Who inspires Jim Button"?  To answer this question I handed control of The Kondrat Podcast over to Jim this week to connect with people who inspire him.  Jim lives with terminal cancer, something he refers to as his “hard”.  So, in addition to his guests’ accomplishments, Jim also discusses their personal “hard” and how they have overcome it to lead inspiring lives.Jim’s second guest is Julie Van Rosendaal, a world-renowned Cook and Author, who has written a number of amazing cookbooks.  Julie’s latest cookbook, Dirty Food, is available now!“If we are what we eat, it should be reflective of a life well lived, of shared meals and celebrations, of dishes family and friends have cooked for us, and to whom we've fed.”       Julie Van Rosendaal—Julie Van Rosendaal: website |  instagram | facebook Jim Button: website | twitter | instagram | facebook The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Mar 29

51 min 9 sec

There's no doubt that Jim Button inspires many people - which made me think "Who inspires Jim Button"?  To answer this question I handed control of The Kondrat Podcast over to Jim this week to connect with people who inspire him.  Jim lives with terminal cancer, something he refers to as his “hard”.  So, in addition to his guests’ accomplishments, Jim also discusses their personal “hard” and how they have overcome it to lead inspiring lives.Jim’s first guest is Sarah Geddes, Founder & CEO of Press + Post, a full service marketing and PR company with offices in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta.“The fighters keep on fighting, and it’s been a real honor to wake up every day and really support people’s dreams.”  Sarah Geddes.—Sarah Geddes, Press + Post: website |  instagram | facebook Jim Button: website | twitter | instagram | facebook The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Mar 29

52 min 53 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I celebrate the 100th episode.  I connected with my friend Jim Button who flipped the script and asked me the questions!  It was a great opportunity to reflect on why I started my podcast and what my purpose is moving forward.  Jim also asks me about my “hard” - damn you Jim for making me think about my feelings!My purpose for doing the podcast?  The same as it was for the first episode - talk to people who inspire me.  To be more specific, I have broken my conversations down into three themes - create, inspire, lead.Create.These are conversations with entrepreneurs, and artists of all kinds.  People who have the courage to take what is inside of their heads and hearts and share it with the world.Inspire.These are conversations with people who keep fighting even when it seems hopeless.  Jim Button inspires me because of the way he has decided to share his journey with cancer with all of us.  Lead.These are conversations with people who have the courage to lead.  What motivates these people?  Are we born leaders - or can we learn to be leaders? Thanks to everyone who has supported me through my journey.  I hope that you continue to enjoy these surprisingly interesting conversations.—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookJim Button: website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Mar 26

1 hr 1 min

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with James Desautels, a 2021 Mayoral Candidate in Calgary, Alberta.  James is a born and raised Calgary and a professional musician who has toured and performed in over 40 countries across the globe.  As mayor, his mandate is to support small businesses and create a culturally vibrant city.On the podcast we discuss James’ passion for music.  As a professional live musician, his goal is to create the best possible music product - whether on stage or in the recording studio.  As a music educator, James shares his knowledge and expertise to create a lifelong love of music - with a goal of also creating more compassionate people.As Mayor, James hopes to increase communication and sharing of resources between arts organizations in the city.  He also wants to collaborate with all levels of government to create the infrastructure (both physical and digital) for the net positive of the arts industry.  He also has ambitious goals for LRT expansion, attracting technology and manufacturing and making Calgary a preeminent location for film and television in Canada.  I hope you enjoy our surprisingly interesting conversation.“Luck happens when we work towards things that we want to achieve and when we're open to the help, and if we have the courage to ask for the help that we need from other people.” —The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookJames Desautels: website | twitter| instagram | facebook

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Mar 19

1 hr 14 min

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with Jermoy Farkas, Ward 11 Councillor and 2021 Mayoral Candidate in Calgary, Alberta.  As a born and raised Calgarian, Jeromy is passionate about our city.  We discuss his journey, his love for politics, and why he thinks he’s the right person to lead Calgary into the future.Jeromy was elected as the Ward 11 Councillor in 2017 with the promise to bring fiscal restraint, accountability, transparency and integrity back to City Hall. His decision to run for mayor was in response to a need for change and new leadership that will stand up for Calgarians. Jeromy was born and raised in Calgary in the community of Dover by his Hungarian parents who fled communist oppression in their homeland. He wants to work with Calgarians to write the next chapter of opportunity for our great city.  "I'd say it really comes back to opportunity. Giving Calgarians the same hope and opportunities to succeed that I had growing up in the city is so important to me.”It has been great to share the stories of Mayoral candidates on my podcast.  Allowing people to express themselves freely through honest conversation is a great way to learn what they stand for.  I’m grateful that Jeromy took the time to join me - I hope you enjoy our surprising interesting conversation.—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookJeromy Farkas: website | twitter| instagram | facebook

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Mar 12

40 min 53 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with Trevor Huggins & Matt Boudreau - Owners of Five’21 Roasters. These guys live busy and admittedly “complicated” lives.  Matt recently left his banking career to focus on Five’ 21 Roasters full-time,  and Trevor is a full-time firefighter.  We discuss their purpose as a company, how they are making the community a better place, and the challenges involved in growing a business in today’s crazy world. In order to make the most of each day Matt and Trevor focus on living intentionally.  “We Fuel Intentional Living. What fuelling intention means to us is that we start our days with a sense of purpose, sitting over that first cup to plan out how to make the most of today. That starts with our families, setting the right example for our children, down to where we source our beans and the companies we collaborate with along the way.”Making a positive impact in a global community is challenging and we discuss how Five’21 Roasters makes a difference.  “Unless you physically know the farmer your coffee beans are sourced from, then you’re trusting industry distributors who are simply looking to make a profit. It’s cutting through all that to ensure we are doing the best we can with the coffee we are importing and roasting.And the name?  Where does Five’ 21 come from?  You’ll have to listen to our surprisingly interesting conversation to hear that story!—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookFive’21 Roasters: website |twitter |instagram | facebook

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Mar 5

57 min 15 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with Byron Brooks, Co-Founder of Brookwright Developments. While connecting with some local craft breweries, Byron noticed that they had a more collaborative way of doing business.  We discuss how Byron is bringing the  “collaboration over competition” mindset from the beer community to the construction industry.Bryon has been in the construction industry for over two decades and has built a reputation of building high-quality custom homes that focus on “craft” rather than “commodity”.  When talking about how long he’s been in construction Byron jokes, “I’ve been in construction since my high school principal invited me to leave school a couple of months early” - and he’s never looked back!We discuss some of the challenges that face the construction industry.  COVID-19 is the obvious one that they have to deal with.  Byron also points out other challenges that he hopes to change such as the industry's reluctance to invest meaningfully into research and development.In his effort to make the industry more collaborative, Byron has created an event series called Builders and Brews.  “Our mission is to make the homebuilding industry better through education, collaboration, and giving back to our communities.”  Byron is working hard to make a positive impact in his community - I hope you enjoy our surprisingly interesting conversation.—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookByron Brooks, Brookwright Developments: website | twitter | instagram

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Feb 26

1 hr 7 min

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with Zane Novak, President of ZKO Industries, who recently announced that he is running for mayor in Calgary’s 2021 municipal election.  We discuss Zane’s life as a dedicated father, entrepreneur and community builder and why he has decided to enter local politics.In our conversation, we discuss Zane’s passion for business and entrepreneurship.   Zane has built several successful businesses, including ZKO Industries.  He has also been involved in many local charitable organizations including The Big Hearted Mavericks and The Kerby Center.  We also discuss Zane’s role as a loving father to his adult daughter .  Sadly, he lost his son to a drunk driver at the age of 18 in 2011.  Zane has an incredible energy - and just when I thought I knew where our conversation was heading he would bring up something random like his love of making sourdough bread - or the fact that he makes all of his own lotions!  His sincerity was obvious and it made the conversation easy.  When it comes to local politics Zane is all business, and he’s determined to help make Calgary a better place.  “Calgary is a city that I am proud to call home, however, over the past six years or more, we have seen it suffer terribly.  This is our city, we are in need of strong leadership for everyone.”Zane is a passionate person and I hope that you enjoy our surprisingly, interesting conversation.—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookZane Novak, 2021 Calgary Mayoral Candidate: website | twitter | instagram

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Feb 19

49 min 5 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I sat down with Ellen Parker - CEO of PARKER Public Relations & PARKER Media.  Ellen is passionate about public relations and building an agency was always her vision.  We discuss her journey that brought her across North America before returning to Calgary to realize her goal and build PARKER PR.Ellen has worked with some amazing organizations in her career, including Wordfest, Calgary Food Bank, Alberta Government, Institute for Children and Poverty in New York, and The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.  Outside of work, Ellen believes in leading by example and is on the board for the Famous 5 as well as the CPO Foundation..Through PARKER PR, Ellen is dedicated to make Calgary the best place to live.  Her company has helped many organizations navigate through our challenging economy, as well as the current pandemic.  Her team is passionate about helping companies grow to their full potential and watching our communities become more and more desirable.As a company, Ellen is committed to creating a culture where people can be creative and feel supported, “my team supports each other and without sounding trite - we are a family”.  Her mantra is “be kind” and I am grateful that she joined the podcast to share her story.  I hope you enjoy our surprisingly interesting conversation.—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookPARKER Public Relations & PARKER Media: website | twitter | instagram 

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Feb 12

55 min 57 sec

Today I met up with Martin Flanagan, Founder and General Manager of Canadian Rail Vacations on The Kondrat Podcast.  Martin knew from a young age that he wanted to be self-employed and founded Canada Rail Vacations while still attending University.  He is proud to reflect on the fact that the company just celebrated their company’s 25th anniversary!  Not wanting to let a pandemic go to waste, Martin made some big changes in his life and business in 2020 that he talks about on the podcast.The purpose of Canada Rail Vacations has always been to create magical travel memories - “We can literally create the most unique holiday available. Having travelled throughout our country, I have a lot of really amazing connections that I can call upon to make the most of every tour.”As a result of the ongoing pandemic, Martin and his team have faced many challenges.  “With the onset of the pandemic, customers were all demanding their money be returned and we were refunding over $60,000 per day and we quickly saw our bank account drained.”Martin is determined to come out of the pandemic stronger than ever, “We didn’t want to let a good pandemic go to waste so we used the time to rebuild the company infrastructure. I also stepped down as CEO and brought in a younger, smarter, more driven individual to take us to a higher level.”Martin has an amazing story that will inspire anyone who listens.  I hope you enjoy our surprisingly interesting conversation.  —The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookCanadian Sport Institute : website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Feb 5

56 min 10 sec

Today we have Gary Davies, President/CEO of the Canadian Sport Institute-Calgary (CSI) on The Kondrat Podcast.  Gary has had a fascinating life as an entrepreneur and we discuss his journey in the publishing, event management and production industries before joining the team at CSI.   We discuss the challenges he is facing with CSI, where global restrictions due to COVID19 have made participating in International sporting events impossible.Before becoming the President/CEO of the Canadian Sport Institute-Calgary, Gary was President of e=mc2 event management, Managing Director of Kelly Brothers Productions, and Founder/President of Best of Calgary. Gary also spent 20 years in the magazine business, as President of Canada Wide Media in Vancouver for a couple of years and for over 16 years as Founder/Executive Vice-President of RedPoint Media Group, publisher of Avenue Magazine, where he helped develop such well-known brands as Calgary’s 40 Under 40, Calgary’s Best Restaurants and Calgary’s Best Communities. Gary is married to Allison and has three children: Will, Cam, and Georgia.  One of his proudest accomplishments was organizing DriveThruGrad 2020 for Calgary High School kids (including his son) in 6 weeks during the current pandemic with his team at e-mc2.Gary is excited for his new adventure as President/CEO of the Canadian Sport Institute-Calgary and his story is inspiring.  I hope you enjoy our surprisingly, interesting conversation.—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookCanadian Sport Institute : website  | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Jan 29

1 hr

Today my friend and business partner, Ismail Attitalla, joins The Kondrat Podcast.  Born in Sudan and raised in Saudia Arabia until the age of 7, he has lived a fascinating life.  Ismail is an Edmonton-based entrepreneur who lives by the mantra “Is This Fun?” - knowing that discipline and focus are much easier when you love what you do.On the podcast, we discuss Ismail’s love for entrepreneurship, which started with an app he developed at the age of 24 called 780VIP.  He is currently building several companies, including Stashii and Alberta Tourism Group.  Ismail and my company, Alberta Beer Festivals,  recently joined forces to create Hoppy Pass which is a platform that encourages people to visit local craft breweries, distilleries and cideries -  set to officially launch in March of 2021.  Ismail loves working with people and helping them solve problems.  As he puts it, “Solving consumer problems through technology is really motivating.  For me - it’s like a jigsaw puzzle”!Away from work, Ismail is passionate about travelling - something he plans to do a lot of in the post-COVID world!  He is also a devoted son who is proud to have delivered on his promise of not becoming a failure after dropping out of school to follow his passion.Ismail is an amazing human and I hope you enjoy our surprisingly interesting conversation!—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook | Ismail Attitalla : website | instagram | facebook

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Jan 22

43 min 21 sec

Today Andrew Freedman,  THE Cannabis Sommelier, joins The Kondrat Podcast.  As you may have guessed - we talk a lot about cannabis, which he describes as not only his passion but his calling in life.Andrew’s main goal is to see that the use of cannabis is normalized so that the stigma surrounding it stops.  He works with clients to create unique dining events that include wine, food and cannabis pairings.  As he puts it, “I thought about what made me happy, and that was smoking, eating, drinking and talking - so I created my own job title and ran with it.”Aside from being The Cannabis Sommelier, Andrew is also the President of Hash Labs - the only cannabis company specifically focused on “top shelf hash and rosin products”.  The motto at Hash Labs is “Bad Ass” and he assures me that everyone at Hash Labs is truly bad ass!I’m always attracted to passionate people, and passionate is certainly a word the best describes Andrew.  He insists on doing things his way and admits to being fired over 16 times in his life!  “I’ve learned to trust my guy.  I do things constantly that people advise against - yet it seems to work out.”Andrew’s vision is to be the biggest celebrity in Cannabis - and has ambitions of being on television.  After you listen to the podcast I think you’ll agree that he is likely to achieve everything he sets his mind to.  It was great to connect with Andrew and I hope that you enjoy our surprisingly interesting conversation!—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebook | Andrew Freedman - The Cannabis Sommelier : website | twitter | instagram |

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Jan 15

1 hr 4 min

Today Connor Curran, Co-Founder of Local Laundry,  joins The Kondrat Podcast.  We talk about how Connor and his business partner built a successful brand while supporting local businesses and Canadian garment manufacturers.Connor’s parents immigrated to Canada from Ireland and built James Joyce Irish Pub in Calgary.  Through watching his parents, Connor learned at a young age how important supporting local business was to building a strong community.After getting laid off from an Oil and Gas company, Connor and his wife moved to Sweden.  While travelling, Connor noticed that many of the symbols that “represented” Canada (hockey jerseys, moose t-shirts…) were cliche and tacky.  He recognized that there was a gap in the market for trendy garments that would better reflect what Canada was all about - and Local Laundry was born.Early on, Connor realized that to be successful Local Laundry could not be just a marketing gimmick - it needed to truly represent Canada.  As a result, they have made it their mandate to “only support Canadian manufacturing and workers.”  This mandate has an inherent challenge - having the garments manufactured in Canada means that their costs are significantly higher than many competitors.  Through educating consumers and sharing the positive stories of the lives they have impacted, Local Laundry is overcoming these challenges.It was great to connect with Connor and share his story.  So pull up a chair, grab a bag of Cheezies, and enjoy this surprisingly interesting conversation.—The Kondrat Podcast:  website | twitter | instagram | facebookConnor Curran - Local Laundry : website | twitter | instagram | facebook

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Jan 8

53 min 14 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast,  I sat down with my friend and mentor Terry Andryo - a person who has dedicated his life to building community.  We discuss some of his philosophies on business, health and the importance of strong family and friendship.  A wise man once told me that it’s important to check in on everyone from time to time - even our leaders that we think are bulletproof.  Well for me, Terry is that bulletproof leader - and it was time for me to check in!A few weeks ago Terry shared an article with me about Michael J. Fox - a Canadian-born actor that was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease almost 30 years ago.  Terry is also living with this disease and sees a lot of parallels - they’re both Canadian, similar age, happily married to people they can’t imagine being without!  Parkinson’s Disease is a serious thing , but Terry reminds me that it’s also important to have a sense of humor about it - as he invites me into the washroom to help him “freshen up”!And despite everything, Terry wouldn’t change a thing.  He wakes up everyday with purpose - goes to a job he loves, takes long walks with friends, and comes home to an amazing family.  I am grateful that people like Terry make time to meet with me and share their story.  I hope you enjoy this surprisingly interesting conversation.

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Jan 1

53 min 32 sec

Today on The Kondrat Podcast, I was joined by Ryan Simair with Neo Financial to discuss how they are re-imagining banking and financing to help small businesses.  Not only that - Ryan assures me that in the process they’re going to do something never done before - make banking fun!Over a 2-week span I suddenly started to see Neo FInancial signs in every coffee shop I visited - so I had to find out what they were all about.  After a little research, I was connected with Ryan who is in charge of Business Partnerships for the Calgary-based technology/finance start-up.Ryan has a passion for coffee - which explains why he managed to partner with so many local cafes so quickly.  He also has a real passion for small business - so we had at least two things in common!On the podcast we discuss how Neo Financial was designed to help small businesses and encourage consumers to shop locally.  We also discuss their plans to take Neo FInancial nationally and the associated risks involved.  With so many scary stories out there it was really cool to learn more about a local start-up that has real potential to grow and help other businesses succeed.Ryan is a passionate person who believes in what he’s helping to build.  As he put it when we met, “With whatever you’re doing - you’ve gotta watch the soul-meter.”  So true.I hope you enjoy this surprisingly interesting conversation.—The Kondrat Podcast: website | facebookNeo Financial: website | twitter | instagram | 

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Dec 2020

46 min 48 sec

Tony Spoletini is the co-founder of Spolumb’s Fine Foods and a former CFL football player.  Today I sat down with Tony and his friends -  Daniel Plenzik (owner of Bridgeland Distillery) and Gerry Forbes (Canadian Radio Icon) to joke about old times and the importance of building community.My job for the podcast was to “thread the needle” through all of the stories that I knew would be flowing back and forth from Tony and Gerry.  They talked about how the two of them met and some of the outrageous things they did on Gerry’s morning radio show back in the day - most of which would never be allowed on the radio in today’s world.  Daniel talked about how he started Bridgeland Distillery and the unique niche that they’ve created within the distilling industry.  A unique collaboration between Spolumbo’s and Bridgeland Distillery is what brought Tony and Daniel together - and they share the story of how that unfolded.  In the end this podcast is about community - Gerry and Tony have built their careers and reputations on helping to build a strong sense of community in Calgary.  Hearing how they connected with Daniel and seeing what they are doing to support his local distillery showed me that they are continuing the community-building process.  As business owners, the three of them also shared ideas on how we can continue to strengthen our community - especially in the tough times we find ourselves in.I hope that you enjoy this surprisingly interesting conversation.—The Kondrat Podcast: website | facebookAlberta Beer Festivals: website | twitter | instagramTony Spoletini - Spolumbo’s Fine Food & Deli: website | twitter | instagram | facebook | Daniel Plenzik - Bridgeland Distillery: website | instagram | facebook Gerry Forbes: twitter | instagram | facebook

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Dec 2020

49 min 17 sec