Episode 18: Take Your Shot with Henry Keculah, Jr.

“Winning scholarships is mostly about being able to tell your story and hitting the submit button.” – Henry Keculah, Jr.

Welcome back Story Tellers! Today’s main character is Henry Keculah, Jr. (@henrykeculahjr)

Henry is the founder and CEO of 4.0 of Growth Productivity Accountability (4.0 GPA). Brought up in Houston, Texas, Henry was raised in a single-parent home by a mother who migrated to the U.S. from Liberia. He was a first-generation citizen, and attended school in Alief ISD. While in school, Henry had been completely unaware of the important role that class ranking and GPA played when it came to attending college. He also had never gone on a college tour prior to attending his university’s summer orientation.

Thankfully, Henry was able to turn things around. In his junior year of high school, Henry learned that his GPA could determine not only what colleges he could have access to, but also which scholarships he could apply for, as well. He ended graduating from high school with a 2.5 GPA and gaining admission to The University of Texas at Austin despite not being in the “Top 10%” of his graduating class. In college, he applied himself further still – he finished his freshman year at The University of Texas with a 4.0 GPA, and would garner several scholarships over the course of his academic career there.

Upon graduating from The University of Texas, Henry was accepted into the Teach for America corps, with whom he served as a high school teacher in Houston. As an educator, Henry committed himself to giving his students the opportunities he had not had, so they would be better prepared for college. For example, he often took students on college tours to institutions throughout the United States. Even when he ended his tenure with Teach for America, he continued to take Houston-area students to college tours (like The University of Texas’s annual “Explore UT” event) on a yearly basis.

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Episode 17: Discover how to Brand You with Stephen A. Hart

“Your brand is the promise you make to your customers.” – Stephen A. Hart

Welcome back Story Tellers! Today’s main character is Stephen A. Hart (@stephenahart)

Born and raised in Jamaica, Stephen is a man of God, husband, father, brand and marketing strategist, serial entrepreneur,  and host of Trailblazers.FM Stephen is a highly sought after Digital Brand Strategist and Marketing Professional who LOVES to help individuals and businesses design, build, and optimize their brand, digital/social media and marketing strategy.

Stephen started Trailblazers.FM after growing frustrated with the media’s portrayal of black people.  The negative tone, and those touted as role models for black children usually include athletes, musicians, and reality television personalities.  Many black men and women are doing amazing things and Stephen uses the Trailblazers.FM platform to share their stories each week.

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Episode 16: Throw a party and just get started with Tara James

“I do whatever I need to do, to get the money to go, where I want to go.” – Tara James

Welcome back Story Tellers! Today’s main character is Tara James (@bymsjames). 

When Tara was younger, her father would buy her greeting cards filled with black imagery and messaging she could relate to.  At the time, Tara felt the cards were “super corny,” and never understood why giving her a card  with a black image gracing the cover and a message on the inside she could relate to, meant so much to her father.

As is often the case, Tara’s perspective has changed with time, particularly with the birth of her son. Like her father, Tara had a burning desire to recreate and (re)inspire others with positive and relatable images of black people. 

By Ms James is a paper goods and greeting card company based on the real life experiences and adventures of Tara James. Like Tara, each card contains a funny, honest, quirky, lovable and extremely relatable message.  Her beliefs are her own but are shared with and by many. 


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Episode 15: Helping millennials skyrocket to success with Jonathan Jones

‘I’m living on purpose, living to empower and inspire students and millennials” – Jonathan Jones

Welcome back Story Tellers! Today’s main character is Jonathan Jones (@jonathanjonesspeaks). 

Millennials are easily the most scrutinized and misunderstood generation of my lifetime. Often labeled as entitled, self adsorbed, and lazy,   Jonathan is out to shatter these notions by living on purpose. He’s on a mission to empower and inspire students and millennials with his weekly “Process to success series,” keynote presentations, and student development sessions. Truly on a mission to help millennials and students achieve success, Jonathon wrote Process, 14 Surprisingly Simple Behaviors to Skyrocket Millennials to Success

Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jonathan Jones is the youngest of two boys. Always encouraged by his loving parents to reach for the stars, Jonathan attended Richland College and played for the men’s 2009 Junior College National Championship basketball team while earning an Associate Degree. Jonathan has always had the heart to serve others but especially wants to facilitate youth to pursue a better tomorrow.

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Episode 14: Entrepreneurship is a mindset and can’t be taught, with Greg Henzel

  “I wasn’t willing to trade my time wholesale to someone who would then retail it out.”  -Greg Henzel

Welcome back Story Tellers! Today’s main character is Greg Henzel, aka The Saving Swami (@savingswami). 

A serial entrepreneur and ultimate hustler, Greg has always had a passion for building businesses from the ground up.  As Saving Swami, helping businesses and families save money is a top priority.  All businesses, large and small, can benefit from The Saving Swami’s negotiating expertise and complementary wise counsel. While at the bargaining table lowering your monthly invoices, the Swami will make sure there are no errors or mistakes made by your vendors.

Subscribe on Apple Podcast | Google Play Music | Stitcher Radio| Soundcloud 

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Episode 13: Making time for what’s important with US Marine Corps Veteran, Anthony Guadagnino

‘If you can hit a target of 500 meters, you can cut that straight and perfect  ” – Anthony Guadagnino

Welcome back Story Tellers! Today’s main character is Anthony Guadagnino (@veteranmadeny). 

guads headshot

Anthony (aka Guads) is a United States Marine Corps OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) Veteran and current US Army SFC (Sergeant First Class) whose gone from defending the flag to building them, as owner and lead carpenter of Veteran Made Woodworks.

Anthony is full of passion, and non-stop energy. 

Bonus coverage:  Want to know about our chance encounter? Of course you do.  Click here or the audio link above.  Here’s a hint, it involved cigars and the Repshaver.

During this wide ranging conversation,  we discussed:

  • How a simple D.I.Y. project served as a springboard to his business
  • Why he wanted to be a Marine
  • Best advise he’s received from mentors
  • Having an entrepreneurial mindset
  • Making time for what’s important
  • How previous life experiences and jobs have helped him as a business owner
  • The meaning behind each flag
  • Learning on the go
  • And so much more…

I’m saddened to share of the sudden passing of “Gus.” However, I’m glad I was able to capture a few moments of embrace between him and Anthony.  Gus will be forever cherished by the Guadagnino family.

Please Enjoy!

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Episode 12: Putting yourself in a winning environment with chef Jawed Halepota

  “I have a deep life long love for food.” -Jawed Halepota

Welcome back Story Tellers! Today’s main character is chef Jawed Halepota (@ja_wed_chef). 

A former high-school dropout, Jawed has built lifelong relationships which have afforded him the opportunity to travel to Europe and South America as personal chef to former NY Knick, Kevin Seraphin,  execute private dinner parties for members of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, and most recently, become the personal chef to Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics.

Jawed credits much of his success to building strong relationships, surrounding himself with winners, and taking full advantage of life changing opportunities that come his way. 

Subscribe on Apple Podcast | Google Play Music | Stitcher Radio| Soundcloud 
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Episode 11: How to overcome mental strongholds that hold you back with Kayode Enwerem

“The way I was living wasn’t the way.”- Kayode Enwerem

Welcome back Story Tellers! Today’s main character is Kayode Enwerem(@kayodeenwerem). 

Growing up, Kayode lived a life that most would envy. He had a loving family, a bevy of friends, and could always be seen wearing the latest fashion of his native Nigeria. At the age of 14, all of that changed when Kayode and his family moved to Hyattsville, Maryland. He and his family had to start from the beginning, rebuilding their lives.

Adjusting to a new culture was hard for Kayode and he quickly went from being popular at school to having no friends. Enduring the mocking of his peers, Kayode  sought comfort in music. It was through music that Kayode  was able to express himself and find his voice. Truly believing that the lyrics of his favorite rappers were representing the life they were leading, Kayode sought to emulate his role models. He began trying to live a life his favorite rappers spoke about and soon made friends with the wrong crowd.

After a life changing experience in 2008, Kayode made a vow to God that if he were given a second chance he would use his talent to glorify God. He wanted to create music with a positive message, giving listeners an alternative that he did not have and influencing them to do the right thing. God answered his prayers and he has kept his promise.

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Episode 10: How to optimize your LinkedIn profile with Donna Serdula

“This is a need and I’ve got to fill it.” -Donna Serdula

Welcome back Story Tellers! Today’s main character is Donna Serdula (@donnaserdula)

With half a billion users and over 10 million active job postings, LinkedIn is a great platform to build your personal brand and tell your professional story.

In 2009, Donna utilized her 15 years of professional sales and marketing experience to launch Vision Board Mediaa Social Media, Executive Branding, and Internet Marketing consulting firm dedicated to assisting individuals and small businesses in establishing a powerful presence on the Internets.

Donna pioneered the concept of LinkedIn profile optimization, and is the author of the book LinkedIn Profile Optimization For Dummies, published by Wiley. Since 2009, Donna has helped executives, entrepreneurs, sales stars, business leaders, and professionals from around the world create professionally branded LinkedIn profiles.

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Episodes 08 & 09: Jason Panda, CEO and founder of B Condoms

(Part 1)

(Part 2)


“I was on the forced Jenny Craig Plan. You go to bed early and wake up late in order to avoid eating.” -Jason Panda 

In this powerful addition of “Tell Your Story,” I caught up with Jason Panda, CEO and founder of B Condoms. Jason and I first met freshman year (1997) while attending Boston University. However, after one year of taking the “T” up and down Commonwealth Ave, we both decided to move on from the university.  I transferred to Northeastern University after BU dropped the football program (more on this another time), and Jason transferred to Morehouse College; eventually graduating with a bachelors degree in biology . The Brockton Mass native went on to earn a law degree from Georgetown despite knowing early on that law was not the career path for him.

Through social media, I’ve been able to keep tabs on Jason throughout the years.  Admittedly, when I reached out to Jason to discuss the idea of telling his story, I thought the narrative would center around his decision to leave law to start his own condom company. Think about that for a second. A successful attorney making great money decides to leave corporate law to start a condom business makes for a pretty interesting story.  However, the journey of overcoming multiple failures, and lost partnerships is what makes Jason’s story both compelling and inspirational.

Subscribe on Apple Podcast | Google Play Music | Stitcher RadioSoundcloud 

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