The Narrativ

Geoff Galat

Over the course of a long career in technology marketing I’ve developed a deep appreciation of storytelling. Going deeper into why something matters. This podcast takes a slight twist, by exploring the roots of the storytellers themselves - conversations that explore the backgrounds and stories of interesting people, some of whom are dear friends. There is no guarantee of which direction we might go, but topics might include sports, pop culture, business, marketing, family, travel, food and maybe even current events.

Paul Bocanegra, Sentenced to Life in Prison at 17-Years-Old. Reform Advocate; Restorative Practitioner
Feb 22 2022
Paul Bocanegra, Sentenced to Life in Prison at 17-Years-Old. Reform Advocate; Restorative Practitioner
This episode is very different from any I’ve done to-date. We’ve met and talked to people who are great storytellers and who have remarkable personal backstories that have framed their strengths in storytelling. For this episode, we are meeting someone who has a very powerful, and at times difficult story. Paul Bocanegra was condemned to Life Without Parole at the age of 17. Paul served twenty-five and a half years, more than twelve of those in solitary confinement, before being paroled under Senate Bill 9 which gave youth with Life Without Parole sentences an opportunity to petition the court for a second sentencing hearing. Paul transitioned back into the community in September 2017 and discharged parole in 2021 obtaining agency in his life for the first time. Today, Paul is living his life to the fullest, advocating for more reforms that would ensure that the criminal justice system never deprives another youth of a fair and meaningful opportunity to work toward restoration. Paul is a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor, a Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Commissioner for San Mateo County, a personal mentor for transitioning community members, and an expert witness in criminal justice cases involving youth. Paul has testified at the California State Capitol and helped to defeat legislation that threatened current reforms, has co-authored legislation in his county, and is a member of the Latin X Advisory Committee to Sen. Josh Becker. Paul co-founded ReEvolution to use his lens of lived experience to help ReEvolution provide meaningful support in prevention efforts, with an emphasis on youth, and person-centered reentry programs for all the transitioning community.  Paul is a motivator and educator and seeks to bring out the full potential in each life he touches. He is ReEvolutionizing transitional thinking and providing safe spaces for those thoughts to congregate and grow as a community within a community.
Nicholas Niespodziani, Smoothly Sailing Yacht Rock Revue Where No Band Has Gone Before
Sep 21 2021
Nicholas Niespodziani, Smoothly Sailing Yacht Rock Revue Where No Band Has Gone Before
We start with a little Step, and we'll end with some Bad Tequila. Between those moments, Nicholas Niespodziani is joining me for this Episode. Nick is one of the founders and frontmen of the wildly successful band Yacht Rock Revue, a band that literally created its own genre, Yacht Rock, and even owns the trademark to prove it. They’ve risen from humble beginnings in a basement all the way to headlining shows all over the country in partnership with LiveNation and Sirius XM. Yacht Rock Revue began in the least-yachtiest of states, 2,000 miles from breezy Marina del Rey. Nick Niespodziani and Pete Olson met in the fourth grade in suburban Indiana, then went on to Indiana University in the late Nineties, formed the band Y-O-U, and then escaped – Rupert Holmes reference intended – to Atlanta. One night, Y-O-U tucked their tongues deep in their cheeks and played a show of Yacht Rock songs. The rowdy (which is a nicer way of saying drunk), sold-out crowd loved it. Over the years, YRR (where there’s also a Dave, a Greg, and literally three guys named Mark) have turned themselves into human wine spritzers, playing 120 to 150 shows a year, mastering Yacht Rock’s slick chords and mellow grooves, and partying like it’s 1979. What began as a joke among friends soon put a ripple in the zeitgeist, starting a national trend through YRR’s concerts, which have been lauded as “unabashedly joyous affairs” by Entertainment Weekly. They’ve accumulated an extensive wardrobe of white belts and polyester shirts. Today, Yacht Rock Revue is revered and well compensated! Their life is a tenor sax solo! This is what every musician wants. Now THAT’S Storytelling! I think you’ll find Nick as fascinating as I do.
Stephanie Stuckey, CEO of Stuckey's, The Famous Roadside Oasis & Former Georgia State Legislator, on Revitalizing Her Grandfather's Storied Brand
Aug 10 2021
Stephanie Stuckey, CEO of Stuckey's, The Famous Roadside Oasis & Former Georgia State Legislator, on Revitalizing Her Grandfather's Storied Brand
Stephanie Stuckey is CEO of Stuckey’s, the roadside oasis famous for its pecan log rolls.  Stuckey’s was founded by Stephanie’s grandfather, W.S. Stuckey, Sr. as a pecan stand in Eastman, Georgia in 1937 and grew into over 350 stores by the 1970’s, but the brand took a downturn after her father retired more than 10 years ago. Stephanie took over the company in November 2019 and, under her leadership, Stuckey’s has purchased a new pecan shelling and candy manufacturing facility, revamped their distribution operations, acquired a healthy pecan snack company, undergone a rebranding, added four new franchised stores, expanded its B2B retail customer base, and increased online sales 550%. Stephanie received both her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Georgia.  She has worked as a trial lawyer, was elected to seven terms as a Georgia state representative, ran an environmental nonprofit law firm that settled the largest Clean Water Act case in Georgia history, served as Director of Sustainability and Resilience for the City of Atlanta, and taught as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law.  Stephanie’s achievements include being named one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend Magazine and a graduate of Leadership Atlanta. She is active in her community, a longstanding member of Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church, and serves on many nonprofit boards, including the National Sierra Club Foundation, EarthShare of Georgia, and her local zoning review board. Stephanie’s story is fascinating.
Joe Megibow, CEO of Purple & Digital Analytics & Transformation Innovator
May 19 2021
Joe Megibow, CEO of Purple & Digital Analytics & Transformation Innovator
The idea behind this podcast is to meet people who are great storytellers and to get to know them, because I think their own personal backstories are also really interesting. Hearing people describe what they do, and why they do it. In some cases, the unique ways they do it. I learn from them every time, if I just listen. I am so excited about my first guest, Joe Megibow. Joe’s the CEO of Purple, a digitally-native vertical brand with a mission to help people feel and live better through innovative comfort solutions. You’ve probably seen a TV commercial for a Purple mattress, or maybe you are as lucky as I am and sleep on one every night! Joe was a Member of the Board of Directors at Red Lion Hotels from 2017-through their recent acquisition. Joe spent a few years as Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at American Eagle Outfitters, building out their ecommerce organization and online competence. Prior to that, he held several senior roles with Expedia, including Vice President and General Manager of Expedia.com. During his time at Expedia, he launched their mobile business and was chairman of Mobiata, their mobile development subsidiary. And of course, we spent a few years together at Tealeaf, before all of that. Joe was recognized in 2011 as Practitioner of the Year by the Digital Analytics Association and is now Director Emeritus after serving 4 years on the DAA Board. I have been aware of the DAA for a long time, and I’ve known a lot of members and leaders of the DAA, and my gut feel is that few, if any, other people who’ve won practitioner of the year later became the CEO of a wildly successful consumer products company. There is an amazing story arc there, and I think you’ll appreciate it.