Lives Radio Show & Podcast with Stuart Chittenden

Stuart Chittenden

Fresh voices and diverse perspectives on culture, community, business, and more brought to you in this weekly conversation hosted by Stuart Chittenden, founder of the conversation consultancy Squishtalks and co-founder of the creativity and design thinking consultancy Gilbert+Chittenden. From the Midwest and beyond, fascinating guests share compelling stories spanning the fields of politics, business, media, community activism, arts and humanities, philanthropy, and more. On air since January 2017, Lives Radio Show & Podcast initially broadcast on the community radio station Mind & Soul 101.3FM in north Omaha, housed at the Malcolm X Center, and more recently broadcasts with 1st Sky Omaha.

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Dr. Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado
Dr. Jonathan Benjamin-AlvaradoBilly EstesPam Alfrey HernandezChancellor Joanne LiTony VelandLindsey Anne BakerKeith StationNina Sodji
In my conversation with chef and entrepreneur, Nina Sodji, we talk about her innovative take on traditional west African cuisine at https://okraafricangrill.com/ (Okra African Grill), her business ups and downs, and her passion for food and community. Nina Sodji first immigrated to America in 1994 with a business visa, hailing from Togo, a west Africa nation. She began her career as a nurse who had a growing passion for cooking. Nina ran with her heart, opened an African grocery market in Omaha in 2004, and later added a restaurant and was successful until the 2008 Great Recession. She went on to achieve a culinary degree from Metropolitan Community College, and a bachelor’s in business management from Bellevue University. It was at MCC Nina that noticed the foods she grew up enjoying in Togo were derived from lots of cultures: French, Spanish, German, Indian and neighboring African countries. The flavors she grew up loving were a result of her country's complicated history of colonialization, invasion, and political unrest. But the flavors were magical together and sparked her curiosity in experimenting with her favorite Togolese dishes. Nina’s restaurant, https://okraafricangrill.com/ (Okra African Grill), is her vision to bring these dishes to life in Omaha. An homage to all African cultures and the transcontinental history that have influenced Togolese foods, her cuisine tells a complex story. This show, one of a year-long series, is supported in part by https://www.omahachamber.org/ (The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce).
Mar 17 2022
45 mins
Mary Lawson / MesonjixxItzel LopezKassandra MontagMarjorie Maas
Marjorie Maas serves as the inaugural executive director of https://shareomaha.org/ (SHARE Omaha), whose mission is to help nonprofits fulfill theirs by offering the giving public opportunities to connect with metro nonprofits through donations, volunteering, and fulfilling "wish lists." In our conversation, Marjorie talks about how SHARE Omaha has grown substantially since its founding in 2019 and the lessons she has learned, as a leader, during that period. We also talk about Marjorie's personal calling and the family context and experiences that lead her on. Whether as a marketer, fund developer, advocate or consultant, Marjorie Maas has helped initiatives and organizations in the Omaha metro area and across Nebraska for nearly 20 years. Roles have included Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s director of corporate social responsibility, development officer for College Possible Omaha and director of Nebraskans for the Arts. She is a 2010 Ten Outstanding Young Omahan winner and a graduate of both Leadership Omaha (Class 32), Leadership Nebraska (Class XI) and Nonprofit Executive Institute (Class 14). Marjorie was appointed to the ServeNebraska State Commission in 2017, now serves as the commission’s chairperson, is a past president for Omaha Network, and served Hear Nebraska as a board member and board secretary. She earned her B.A. in Art History with a business emphasis from Truman State University with fundraising training from the University of Indiana. Marjorie loves cooking at her home, where she and her husband raise their son and daughter.
Feb 16 2022
48 mins
Casey Putney
Casey Putney’s 20 year career in the US Air Force sparked his passion for leadership and making an impact in people’s lives, an ethos he takes into his current role with Omaha's Business Ethics Alliance. As well as his career journey, in our conversation Casey shares how his life was shaped by childhood poverty and the example of a hard-working single mom. He also shares the ethical and values-based lessons he has drawn from his own recent health challenges. Casey Putney is the Vice President of Leadership Development for the Business Ethics Alliance, which seeks to build leadership, strengthen organizations, and elevate Greater Omaha by catalyzing an environment where the discussion and practice of ethics is encouraged and expected in the local community. Casey is a John Maxwell certified leadership speaker, coach, and trainer with a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Bellevue University, a certification in Business Ethics from Duke University, as well as certifications in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Safety, and Lean Six Sigma. Casey’s career in the United States Air Force helped him understand the implications of high-pressure expectations and relentless deadlines, having held a Top-Secret security clearance serving as director of personnel within the “Nightwatch” program, working within the National Airborne Operations Center supporting the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense. Casey has also served as an Organization Development Manager with public and private organizations and, for over 20 years, has focused on the study and application of training and development, and leadership principles.
Feb 9 2022
51 mins
John JeanettaIsrael GreeneEsther MejiaSara MartinDave LeibowitzJeff SpiehsState Senator John McCollister