Coffee Pod #40: Award-Winning Entrepreneur Adam Schwab Co-Founder & CEO of Luxury Escapes

Website:  Twitter:  @ LuxGroup_CEO


Twitter: @LuxGroup_CEO

Our guest this week is bringing an entrepreneurial flavour to the conversation, meet Adam Schwab. Adam is a Best-Selling Author and an Award Winning Entrepreneur and has built one of the most profitable E-commerce businesses in Australia. We are going to talk about how he managed in just 5 years with zero funding to grow a business to more than $350million turn over with more than 400 employees he has been top of the BRW rich list many times over, he has been on the BRW young rich list since 2014 and he has got a really pragmatic and reflective, considered opinion on how to do business and a critical lens to the world around him. You will learn a lot from this podcast and this is a really brilliant one particularly for anyone who is thinking about how to move from an idea to a concept to scaling something.   

Coffee Pod #39: Creating & Designing Solutions With Founder & CEO At Connections Australia Rinku Razdan

We're taking a social enterprise turn this week, and our guest is Rinku Razdan. Now, Rinku is quite a remarkable woman. She arrived in Australia with very few dollars next to her name, and as a single mother, but with a burning passion to make sure that her son had a world of opportunity before him. She's risen up the ranks of the Australian banking sector, become a very successful technology consultant, and has recently launched Connections Australia, which is a mobile application designed to connect migrants into logistic information that can help them successfully transition to life in Australia, connect them to community and help them really feel a sense of belonging and inclusion, and significantly provide them with access to work.

Rinku's got a really remarkable personal story, and she's a great example of a social change maker who's chosen to use their own experience to create and design a solution that can add value to an enormous number of people in society. I hope you really enjoy the conversation. Here's Rinku.

Coffee Pod #38: Spotify's Global Creative Director Alex Bodman Talks Social Ideas & Innovative Marketing.

Alex Bodman Creative Director at Spotify. Spotify is an extremely extraordinary company when you look at how quickly it is growing, with over 150 million users and Alex is in charge of creating the tool-kit for the brand globally allowing the vision of Spotify to scale across the globe. Since he joined the company in 2015 he has built an in-house creative team with over 30 people. Recognised by Ad Age A-list in 2018 as the in-house creative agency of the year. It has a really interesting background throughout advertising and a number of creative agency roles. We talk about the change in the way that we Communicate and Market, how’s that shifted and what does that mean we need to be aware of as Leaders and as Influences trying to reach audiences with our own message, how is it that we can be mindful in managing our own energy and what does it take to foster creativity both in ourselves and in the teams of people we lead. 

Coffee Pod #37: Building Cross-Culture Relationships With Melanie Brock

Twitter:  @melanie_brock   Website:

Twitter: @melanie_brock


Our guest today is the wonderful Melanie Brock who first visited Japan in 1982 as a Rotary Exchange Student and has never looked back. She has had over two decades of experience in Japan and has developed an incredible array of contacts in the Corporate, Political, and Diplomatic sectors and she has played a pivotal role in strengthening Australia Japan relations. She is a member on the board of the Australia Japan Business Corporation Committee and is the Chair of the Australian Unity NZ of Chamber of Commerce in Japan. After serving as chair for 6+ years up until 2016.

Our conversation today is really going to focus on cross culture understanding, we are going to use Japan as a little micro cousin which to think about how we can do a better job of approaching situations where we are doing business or seeking to build understanding and relationships with people who are from a different background, a different culture than that of our own.

Coffee Pod #36: 'Redefining The Collar, Blue' With Blue-Collar CEO, Mandy Rennehan

Twitter:  @MandyRennehan    Instagram: @Freshco_Inc

Twitter: @MandyRennehan

Instagram: @Freshco_Inc

Our guest is Mandy Rennehan. Mandy is known as the blue- collar CEO. She's an incredible Canadian who is entirely self-made. She left home towards the tiny town of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia at 18 with just a dirty hockey bag and an audacious dream. A passion as well, I should add, for woodworking. By 19, she founded, Freshco which is now Canada's number one full service reconstruction and retail maintenance provider working for some of the biggest Fortune 500 companies: Nike, Apple, The Gap, you name it and Mandy's worked for them or is working for them right now.

At 24, she signed her first $5 million deal and she's just gone up and up and up since then. She won a range of awards including the 2017 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award. She's also been named EY Entrepreneur of the Year, and I could go on and on. She describes herself as a fun-long adventurer and a rule breaker and I think you're going to love her wicked sense of humour too. Here's Mandy Rennehan.

Coffee Pod #35: Leading & Living High Performance with Aussie Diamonds Coach Lisa Alexander

Twitter:  @CoachLisaA

Twitter: @CoachLisaA

I'm really excited to introduce you to today's guest. Someone I'm personally an enormous fan of. We've got a sporting Coffee Pod for you today, and our guest is Lisa Alexander, the head coach of the Australian Diamonds. Now Lisa's taken the Diamonds to Commonwealth Games Championships, World Championships, the trophy cabinet is chockablock. She's got a reputation for her professionalism, drive, and innovative approach to coaching. So much so, that in 2015 she was awarded the Australian Coach of the Year title. Lisa is a much sought after thought leader in what it takes to create and to sustain a culture of high performance, and that's what we're going to delve into in this podcast. What does it take to make an extraordinary team culture? How is it that you deal with setback, and the weight and pressure of expectation? How do you give feedback that allows someone to transform their performance? That and so much more. I loved this conversation and I hope you do too. Here's Lisa.

Click here to read the transcript

Coffee Pod #34: Achieving Audacious Goals & Expanding Limits With A True Adventurer Roz Savage

Contact: @rozsavage  Website:

Contact: @rozsavage


Here at Coffee Pods we love an adventurous spirit. This week, we have a true adventurer for you. I'm really excited to introduce you to Roz Savage. She's the first, and so far only woman to row solo across the world's big three oceans. The Atlantic, the Pacific, and Indian. I'm talking single-scull rowing, as in stroke by stroke, across the three big oceans of the world. She holds four Guinness World Records, and was appointed a member of the Order of the British Empire for services to fundraising and the environment.

Roz has so many environmental roles, but notably, she's a UN climate hero. Now all this is quite an extraordinary achievement for a former management consultant who doesn't particularly enjoy exercise. This is a really interesting conversation. We talk about energy management, we talk about taking on audacious goals, how it is that you push outside of your comfort zone, and battle the talk in your head that says you can't do it. You name it, it's in this conversation. It's utterly inspiring, and there's so many pragmatic take-aways to walk away with.

Coffee Pod #33: Driving Transformational Change with Holly Kramer

Contact: @hollyatthefarm

Contact: @hollyatthefarm

This week's guest is Holly Kramer. Holly Kramer is a prominent non-executive director. On the boards of organizations like Woolworth's, 2XU, and Australia Post. But she's also got a really interesting corporate history. She cut her teeth in roles such as executive level at Pacific Brands, Telstra, and the Ford Motor Company, across both Australia and the USA, before she found herself at the helm of Best&Less. A retail company with four thousand employees, and two hundred stores, that was not in a great place when Holly found it. Or when Holly took over as CEO.

What we're going to focus on in this podcast is what it takes to drive transformational change in a business. How is it that you can lean in to the customer experience, understand their needs, and transform the way that you deliver products and service? What does it take to shift the culture and really engage your people? And how is it you can inject innovation and agility in thinking and operating back into the way that you work? I hope you enjoy this weeks podcast.

Coffee Pod #32: The Power Of Unconventional Solutions With Pioneering Social entrepreneur And Award-Winning Chef Mark Brand

Contact: @eastvanbrand  Website:

Contact: @eastvanbrand


I'm fired up to introduce you to this week's guest. I left this conversation feeling 10 feet tall, I was so inspired and full of energy, by virtue of the sheer passion this individual emits when they talk about what they do, and the impact they're looking to create in the world.

I'm talking about Mark Brand. Mark is a restaurateur and social entrepreneur. In fact, he's one of North America's foremost social entrepreneurs. He runs a stack of businesses, social enterprises, and charities. And he's intentionally chose to start them in the poorest post code in America, which is also the largest drug market in North America. So he works in really impoverished, struggling, and disjointed communities, and the impact he's had will blow your mind.

Mark's also a Stanford Fellow, Professor of Innovation at USC, Executive Chef for Pope Francis's Laudato Si Challenge, and an advisor to corporations working to make real change. Get ready to get fired up.

WARNING: This episode contains language that may offend. 

Coffee Pod #31: Mastering Stress, Performance & Mindfulness With World Leader Martial Arts Master Sifu Singh

Contact: @SifuSingh  Website:

Contact: @SifuSingh


Our guest today is Sifu Singh a Speaker, Author and a High-Performance Coach. He is a teacher of Military, Special Forces, Secret Service, SWAT Teams & over 100 Law Enforcement Agencies across the globe. He is a 23rd generation Tai Chi Master and he is responsible for spreading Bruce Lee's martial arts and philosophical legacy. He is a master and a teacher of more Martial Arts than I know how to name and half of which I know how to pronounce. It's quite extraordinary the degree to which he is pursued his craft in this regard. Sifu is really a World Leader in Martial Arts, Functional Fitness & Mindset Development. Today's conversation is going to really delve into these core building blocks that he applies so successfully not only in his own life but in the work that he does in high pressure zero margin for error situations. It's going to be a real practical toolkit kind of podcast where you will walk away with things to add to your to do list, habits to put into your daily routine that can help you perform under pressure cope with stress and get the job done.  

Read the Transcript here

Coffee Pod #30: F1 And The Future Of Mobility With Formula E World Champion Lucas Di Grassi

Contact: @LucasdiGrassi

Contact: @LucasdiGrassi

CEO of Roborace the Worlds first competition for Humans and artificial intelligence racing. Making autonomous technology exciting and inspirational for a new generation of spectators, I’m talking about Lucas di Grassi. Lucas is also a racing driver who has competed in Formula 1 Formula E and World Endurance Championships and is the current World Formula E Champion. He is now bringing his business experience and extensive knowledge of racing into Roborace helping grow it into an established competition and cooperation of human and artificial intelligence. I think you will be fascinated to hear about the technology that Lucas and his team at Roborace are pioneering but also hear from this World Champion about what it takes to be at the top of your game and to sustain performance at that level to operate in those low margin for error situations.

Coffee Pod #29: Cross-Culture Business & Innovations That Matter To The World With Janet Ang

Contact:  @ janet_ang    Website:  IWForum

Contact: @janet_ang

Website: IWForum

Welcome to part three of our instalment in partnership with IWF, International Women's Forum. This week's guest is Janet Ang, a phenomenal STEM leader. Janet started as a system engineer in IBM, and has been at IBM for life. Rising to become the first female to lead the company as Director for Singapore, and nowadays she's Vice President of Industry Solutions, Systems of Engagement, and Smarter Cities for IBM Asia-Pacific, covering Australia, New Zealand, India, ASEAN, and Korea.

In this conversation we're going to get straight into the tech. We're going to be talking about the key trends that you as a leader need to have on your radar.

We're going to talk about cross-cultural business, the role of faith in a business leader's life, and Janet will suggest a totally different way of thinking about that work/life balance idea.

Click here to listen to the transcript

Coffee Pod #28: Fairness, Fake News and Fun with Emmy Award Winning Journalist Ann Medina

Website:  IWForum

Website: IWForum

Welcome to the second instalment of our special podcast series with IWF, the International Women's Forum. Our guest this week is Ann Medina, an Emmy Award winning broadcast journalist, in fact one of the world's most highly respected and renowned journalists, and an expert advisor in communications and technology. She began her TV career in Chicago, becoming a network producer at NBC, before moving to Canada, where she worked for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation. She then joined The Journal, and became its senior foreign correspondent, focusing on stories in the Middle East in particular. She was actually the Beirut Bureau's chief for CBC's The National during that really critical period in '83 and '84. She's moderated election debates, she was President of the Canadian TV and Film Academy. The list goes on and on. This is a really insightful and engaging podcast, and a challenging one at times too. We're going to pick up the Me Too and Time's Up conversation. We're going to focus on the lessons learned from time on the ground in war zones covering significant conflict. We're going to unpack the art of effective communication. We're going to talk about the importance of being open and not thinking that you know. Enjoy.

Click here to read the transcript

Coffee Pod #27: The Importance of being focused and staying open with IWF's President Teresa Weintraub

Contact: @IWFglobal  Website:  IWForum

Contact: @IWFglobal

Website: IWForum

This is the first in a special four-part Coffee Pods series, partnering with  the International Women's Forum (IWF). Our first guest is IWF International President Teresa Weintraub. Born in Havana, Teresa moved to the US as a small child and has gone on to forge a diverse career involving roles ranging from tax attorney and university fundraiser, right the way through to an extensive career in wealth management. She is currently the Managing Director of Merrill Lynch. Renowned for her philanthropy, Teresa is committed to empowering the next generation of women. In this conversation we explore how to give philanthropic impact, navigating challenges moments and the importance of being focused and staying open. I hope you really enjoy this conversation, proudly brought to you in partnership with IWF.

Click here to read the transcript

Coffee Pod #26: Authenticity, Risk-taking & Influencing with Sally Capp

Contact: @Vote1SallyCapp

Contact: @Vote1SallyCapp

Sally Capp is the Executive Director of the  Property Council of Victoria and an independent candidate to be Lord Mayor of the world's most liveable city- Melbourne. A lawyer by training, Sally is a seasoned businesswoman whose career spans both large corporates and her own entrepreneurial endeavours, including launching a funds management business she later listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). Notably, she was the first woman to hold the post of Agent General for Victoria in London and is perhaps most well known for being the first female member of the Collingwood Football Club board.

In this podcast we talk risk-taking, leadership, how to make difficult decisions and the art of influencing. I think you're going to garner an enormous amount from this podcast.

Click here to read the transcript

Coffee Pod #25: Building Resilience and a High Performance Mindset with Alisa Camplin OAM.

Contact: @AlisaCamplin  Website:

Contact: @AlisaCamplin


Alisa Camplin OAM won Australia's first Olympic skiing gold medal ever at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics- an incredible result given she hadn't picked up skis until her late teens! Alisa also won a bronze medal at the 2006 Olympics before transitioning into a phenomenal post-sport career. Alisa's been a senior international executive at IBM and a director of the Collingwood Football Club- amongst many other things. Nowadays, Alisa is running her own business (focused around resilience, mindset and high performance) and is Deputy Chair of the Australian Sports Commission. There is so much food for thought in this podcast- Enjoy!

Click here to read the transcript

Coffee Pod #24: Replenishing the world we live in with Tia Kansara

Contact: @DrTiaKansara  Website:

Contact: @DrTiaKansara


Dr. Tia Kansara is a sustainability expert who hates the term sustainability. She completed her PhD at University College in London on the theme of sustainable cities, and is an advisor to governments, companies, and individuals, on the concept of 'Replenish', which is a new way of evaluating our economy, that transcends the simple GDP per capita. She's got a bestselling book by the same name, "Replenish" and she's traveled more than 80 countries, sharing the World Replenish Index, and has actually created a Replenish business canvas at the MIT Media Labs. 

Click here to read the transcript

Coffee Pod #23: Analogue leadership in a digital world with Anni Rowland-Campbell

Contact: @intersticia  Website:

Contact: @intersticia


Welcome to the latest podcast. Her name is Anni Rowland-Campbell. Now Anni has a ridiculous number of degrees, too many for me to even list, all around the world, ranging from philosophy and science to theatre and business and technology. But she's fundamentally an observer and practitioner of Web Science and a passionate advocate for digital literacy.

I think particularly fascinating with the time and the world that we're in, what Anni talks about is analog leadership in a digital world and we're gonna unpack that in our conversation. She's been a massive leader in bringing technology into government and social policy, developing innovation hubs, and pioneering this work at the intersection of creativity and technology. So a really interesting conversation, one particularly as we're starting to ask big questions of ourselves, technology and the way things are developing that I think will give you a lot of food for thought. Enjoy this weeks Coffee Pod.

Click here for the Transcript Version

Coffee Pod #22: 2017 Telstra Business Women of the Year Violet Roumeliotis

Contact: @ceoRoumeliotis  Website:

Contact: @ceoRoumeliotis


Violet Roumeliotis is the 2017 Telstra Business Women of the Year and as you will see over the course of this chat she is an unbelievably deserving recipient of that title. Violet is the CEO of a non-for-profit organisation called SSI which she has turned into a company and a social business. SSI helps settle newly arrived refugees into Australia. Violet has built it into an extraordinary business, 3 years ago they only had 70 staff they now have nearly 600 staff and their revenue in the last 4 years has grown from $9million to $110million. This is a business that is doing all sorts of good for the fabric of our community and Violet's story and her approach to Leadership is truly an inspiring one. 

Click here to read the Transcript

Coffee Pod #21: Disrupting & Innovating New Learning Experiences With Neutopia's Jamie Engel

Jamie Engel spent 15 years in the movie industry as a 3D Animator and a special effects artist with films like Mars Attacks, Contact and Storm Troopers as credits next to his name. Nowadays he is an educational disruptor- lecturing at UTS Business School and with General Assembly in Sydney. He has co-founded two education companies, 'Neutopia' and 'The Future World Challenge', both of which challenge the way we approach learning. In this podcast we tap into the future world of work, how learning and education are changing and how to harness creativity. We also tap into Jamie's creative industry background to talk about what makes a good story and how do we position messaging in a way that engages people.

Click here to read the transcript