This episode was a bit of a "turn the tables" one, as Kiah Haslett is an accomplished and energetic journalist who covers the banking industry. She's done so for 10 years, and you can find her at Bank Director, where she's Managing Editor. Kiah has covered the full spectrum of banking from policy, strategy, trends, technology and M&A. She has a unique vantage point for what’s happening in banking and bank technology, and we covered a lot of ground in this conversation.
Listen as we discuss topics like "what is a bank (really)?"; "what do banks do (really)?" & "how do banks make money?"; and what's ahead for banks and rapid digital transformation in the industry. She calls on bankers to be far more curious than they tend to be, as a way to help them evolve.
She also has a fun origin story of how a game introduced her to money, ownership and even M&A.
Find Kiah here or here.
Learn more about BankTech Ventures here.
Mark Forbis joined me on the podcast and we covered a lot of ground about culture, innovation and the history of technology in banking. He is the former Chief Technology Officer of Jack Henry, one of the largest technology companies in the banking industry, and he’s also a current Board Director at Incredible Bank in Wisconsin and Citizens Bank in Arkansas, as well as companies like Teslar Software, Digital Check Corp and InvestorKeep.
Mark is one of the original folks in fintech and banktech, starting his career at Systematics, which became FIS. Then he had a long career in banking technology, which we discussed.
If you're following innovation in banking and fintech, you'll enjoy this conversation.
I’m excited to bring back the podcast with Alice Frazier, CEO of Bank of Charles Town (BCT). Alice is one of the most progressive leaders in community banking, and leads her bank that way. She’s active with the ICBA as its current Chair of the Policy Development Committee, and previously served as Secretary,. She is also active in her state with the Community Bankers of West Virginia and Virginia Association of Community Banks, where she is a past Chairperson.
We had a great discussion about her bank, the last 2 years of challenges and opportunities, how her bank has adapted and thrived, and how she's planning for the next seasons for it. We also discussed her leading role in investing in BankTech Ventures, a new fund in which I'm involved.
The episode is also sponsored by BankTech Ventures, the first strategic investment fund designed by the community banking industry for community bank innovation and investment. BankTech identifies leading products and technologies for community banks, and works with the founders and management teams to maximize the impact for community banks and their businesses. If you’re a bank looking to innovate and invest in the future, or a founder who wants to work with community banks, reach out to BankTech Ventures – banktechventures.com
Doug Holte is the Founder and CEO of Agile Workweek Investments, his startup that is investing in disruptive technologies and modernized properties for a more efficient and agile workweek. Doug’s inspiration for AWI was not Covid, but rather accelerated by it; the changes he began to see in how people want to live and work started several years ago.
Doug has had an illustrious career in commercial real estate, most recently as President of Irvine Company for over 10 years, and a longtime senior partner and West Coast leader at Hines. He’s also currently a senior advisor to a new proptech venture capital fund, and on the board of important Orange County organizations such as UCI Beall Applied Innovation and CEO Leadership Alliance.
He is a visionary with a huge heart for an inclusive, collaborative and supportive community that works for everyone, and he leads by example in his efforts there. I’m always inspired by our conversations and appreciate his friendship. Doug is also a great storyteller, which you'll experience in our conversation.
It is so exciting to see him building on the vision he has, and to have him on the podcast. Hear about the inception of AWI, Doug's amazing journey into the entrepreneurial realm, and how everything has now changed in how most of us will design and live our (work) weeks moving forward.
Thanks also to show sponsor, Collective Genius, for helping high performance teams to be agile, aligned and more effective.
Fred Thiel is currently the CEO of Marathon Digital Holdings (NASDAQ:MARA), a digital asset technology company that mines cryptocurrencies with a focus on the blockchain ecosystem and the generation of digital assets.
He is a respected expert and frequent speaker on FinTech, digital assets, Blockchain, bitcoin, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, venture capital and private equity and digital transformations of companies and industries.
Fred has over 25 years operating experience leading companies in digital assets, semiconductor, data communications, Internet, IoT, AI, as well as digital media and software. His breadth of knowledge and experiences is incredible.
As a CEO, Fred has led companies through rapid growth to IPO, repositioned companies for high-value exits to strategic and financial acquirers, led M&A and roll-up strategies.
Fred and I go back nearly 20 years to when I first moved to Southern California, and I’ve always enjoyed his friendship and perspective – we always can cover a lot of ground and topics when we meet. It’s exciting to see him now at the forefront of digital assets, and he shared some great wisdom and insights in this conversation!
Thanks also to show sponsor, Collective Genius. Their Peak Planning program is the ideal one to build your unstoppable high growth team.
Dave Ferrera is currently the General Partner of Treadstone Holdings, a venture studio focused on catheter-based diagnostic and interventional radiology technologies. They work with doctors and entrepreneurs and use or create intellectual property to develop new companies. Dave is a board member for a number of early stage medical device companies as well.
Throughout Dave’s career he’s been a researcher, product developer and technologist in medical devices, so he’s well-suited to run a venture studio. He is an engineer by training, transplanting here from the east coast many years ago.
He’s also a recent book author – releasing “Innovation in Translation – How Big Ideas Really Happen” earlier this year. We had a good discussion about it and how it came to be.
Dave and I talked about how we've both launched venture studios and why we try to take on multiple projects at the same time. Dave also described how he thinks about developing ideas and finding ones that solve real problems - so useful for entrepreneurs to learn!
Thanks also to show sponsor, Collective Genius - if you want to build an unstoppable team for your high growth company, you should meet them and learn about Peak Planning.
Sloane Keane is currently the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and Inland Empire, a role she’s had for nearly 3 years, and after several years with the organization in senior development roles. Big Brothers Big Sisters is one of the highest impact non-profits in the area, and country, providing mentoring and support to thousands of children here every year.
Prior to BBBS, she was an advertising executive across several prominent media companies, including the Orange County Register. And like me, she’s also a Big Ten graduate.
We had a great chat about the importance of showing up, and how mentorship and support for youth had steadily reduced the number of "opportunity youth" across the country. Covid has caused some negative trends there and there's a lot of work to do in the years ahead to recover from that, and Sloane and her team are leading the way.
She is an inspiring leader in our community - you'll enjoy this conversation!
Jeff Martin is CEO and Founder of Collective Genius, which he started 15 years ago to build high growth companies with talent recruiting, leadership team planning and tools. We met in LA where he’s expanded the company and spent considerably more time, eventually moving here, and we bonded as we’re both Midwest transplants to SoCal. I also appreciate Jeff for being a longtime supporter and sponsor of the podcast.
Jeff is a good storyteller and has produced some great Tech Scenes videos about tech ecosystems around the country. He’s an entrepreneur at heart and is great at building and starting things – Peak Planning is one of those examples and has become a go-to system for better leadership planning in high growth, VC-backed companies.
Jeff is a born entrepreneur, and supporter of them, such as being a Techstars mentor and board member of EO (Entrepreneurs Organization) for over 10 years. He also has a large brood of children, which I know he greatly enjoys as well.
We had a great conversation about the importance of alignment, planning and execution among high growth companies, and Jeff shared a lot of perspective and wisdom about its importance and impact.
Minnie Ingersoll is currently a Partner at TenOneTen, an LA-based venture capital firm actively investing in early stage tech companies. They’ve made dozens of investments in a bunch of SoCal founders’ companies and have already had many acquisitions, unicorns and even companies go public. She also leads their podcast, "LA Venture".
She was previously the co-founder of Shift Technologies, a newly public company that makes buying and selling cars fun, fair, and accessible.
Minnie was also COO of Code for America, and a former commissioner of the City and County of San Francisco. Early in her career she was also in Product at Google. Minnie grew up in LA, and returned a couple years ago, joined TenOneTen and she’s been all in on LA / SoCal since returning.
She shared her own founder journey, her experience as a camp counselor (you'll like that story), and how she thinks about choosing founders as a venture capitalist, in which she utilizes her extensive hiring manager skills. There's a lot of gold in here for the entrepreneurs in the audience!
Thanks also to Jeff at Collective Genius for sponsoring the show. If you want to do Peak Planning for your high performance team, you should meet Jeff!
Curtis Boyd is the founder of Objection Co, an online review protection and fraud detection software company. You'll want to hear him tell the founder story – it’s a good one.
We’ve all seen and likely used online reviews about products, services and companies to influence our decisions. However, in many cases those reviews may not be honest, accurate or real. Curtis’s company, Objection, helps businesses dispute, and in some cases remove, untruthful or fake reviews.
He is a classic entrepreneur, going from nursing school to being a nurse tech, to now running a growing SaaS company. He did what I would call the responsible thing – going to school to get a useful, marketable degree, and then became the accidental entrepreneur, and he's really leaned into it.
Thanks also to Jeff and Collective Genius for sponsoring this episode.