Bringing you curious minds and profound ideas.
Behind Greatness is a podcast series featuring industry and thought leaders from all walks of life. Bringing you a new conversation each week, we chat openly and explore the “what ifs” and “why nots”.
Behind Greatness operates under Inspire North, an entirely volunteer-run non for profit. If you enjoy listening to our channel and would like to support, feel free to donate! All proceeds go to supporting podcast production and development.
BEHIND GREATNESS HOST
Luciano is a founding member of Inspire North and contributes to much of the strategic growth for the organization. He acts as Managing Partner of SLV International which owns and manages food and non-food brands and executes national and international distribution (Latin America, Europe and Asia) at retail and food service. He also lectures at the University of Toronto with a focus on International Business and Marketing. Luciano also remains involved in the community as an active mentor to UofT and York University students in Toronto. A conceptual thinker, Luciano likes to ask questions, find a solution and ask questions again. And again.
BEHIND GREATNESS HOST
Gianni is one of the founding members of Inspire and continues to participate in its efforts to help empower and inspire youth. Gianni currently holds the position of President and CEO of ENVI Network. ENVI Is a municipally owned entity in the Town of Newmarket whose goal is to build a fibre network to help service the local community. Gianni graduated from the University of Toronto Computer Engineering program and holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and Engineering.
Behind Greatness operates under Inspire North, an entirely volunteer-run non for profit. If you enjoy listening to our channel and would like to support, feel free to donate! All proceeds go to supporting podcast production and development.
September 22, 2022
Choosing to Navigate Through Rough Waters
President, Nestle Confectionary
Welcome back to Behind Greatness. Today we are speaking with Mark Cecchetto. Mark acts as the President of Nestle Canada’s Confectionary Division and lives in Toronto.
September 14, 2022
Exploring the Frontier of Consciousness
Dr. Dean Radin
Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences / Best Selling Author / Musician
We are joined by Dean Radin at his home in Idaho. Dean is the Chief Scientist at the famous IONS in California. IONS was founded by Astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell 50 years ago after the Apollo-14 mission.
September 7, 2022
Loving as Deeply as you Can
Dr. Thomas Verny, MD
Psychiatrist, International Best Selling Author, Podcast Host
Welcome back to Behind Greatness. Today we are joined by Thomas Verny at his home in Stratford, Ontario. He is one of the world’s leading experts on the effects of prenatal and postnatal environment on personality.
August 31, 2022
Going To That Mountain, Not Waiting For It
National TV/Radio Host & Personality, Former VJ
Rick joins us from his home outside of Toronto. He is perennially and lovingly known as “Rick the Temp” in his home country. He is a long time national TV & Radio host and a long time friend to Inspire and Behind Greatness.
August 10, 2022
Always Being in the State of Creation
Entrepreneur & CEO of Sunrise Records, HMV, Everest Toys, Toys R Us
Doug joins us from his home in the Hamilton area, Ontario. Doug is a serial entrepreneur, owning several brick & mortar companies that together employ over 20,000 people.
August 3, 2022
Believing in Belief, not in Beliefs
Dr. Jeffrey Kripal
Chair in Philosophy & Religious Thought, Rice University / Author / Philosopher
Jeff joins us from Houston. He is the current Associate Dean of the Faculty and Graduate Programs in the School of the Humanities and the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University.
July 27, 2022
Using Persistence to Pierce Through
Founder, Managing Partner, Maverix Private Equity
John chats with us from his place in Toronto. John comes from a family – like many of us – that left their country in poverty to make a better life in a new place. John tells us about growing up, living and working in a cocoon of a 2km radius… until he began to poke a hole in his bubble.
July 20, 2022
Overcoming the Beliefs of An Ideological Grip
Dr. Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat
Co-Founder, Cuban Democratic Directorate (Directorio)
Orlando joins us from his home city of Miami. In a follow-up to last week’s scintillating talk with Luis Zuniga, we continue with Orlando in talking about living under a totalitarian regime and the peoples’ fight against the same.
July 13, 2022
Finding Resolve in Being at Peace with Yourself
Luis Zuñiga Rey
Former Cuban Political Prisoner (“Plantado”) / Lecturer
Luis joins us from Miami, Florida. Luis is a former Plantado. Born and bred in Cuba, Luis was a young teen during Fidel Castro’s revolution against the military dictatorship in Cuba at the time.
July 6, 2022
Following the Art of the Growing Seed
Santiago Roa Duque
Founder, Jaguar Siembra Project / Filmmaker / Artist
Santiago joins us from Vienna. He is from Bogota, Colombia and spends his time between Austria and his native land. He is a founder and director of Jaguar Siembra – a not for profit outfit in Colombia dedicated to preserving Indigenous knowledge and sharing indigenous wisdom through film about this supremely unique place on the planet in northern Colombia: “La Linea Negra” in Santa Marta.
June 29, 2022
Exploring Beyond The Boundaries
Dr. Diane Hennacy, MD
We chat with Diane, who is joining us from Oregon. Diane is an artist and dancer … and she is also a practicing neuroscientist, psychiatrist, clinician and author. She is a polymath, whose life has been enriched by unique near death experiences – at age 4, age 13 and again in her 20s.
June 22, 2022
Pursuing Answers, Relentlessly
Journalist, Best-Selling Author, Trailblazer
Leslie joins us from NYC. She studied ornithology in her graduate studies in Massachusetts, moved to humanitarian work for Burma to radio show production in California to then freelance investigative journalism.
June 15, 2022
Breaking Through Your Programs
Dr. Bruce Lipton
Pioneer in Epigenetics, Cell Biologist, International Speaker
Bruce joins us from his home in California. Bruce was a pioneer cell biologist and one of the few scientists in the world working with cloning stem cells back in the late 1960s. And he dared asking questions.
June 8, 2022
“Doing Life” Together
Managing Director, Connor, Clack & Lunn Private Capital
Ramy joins us from his home in Toronto. Ramy has spent a career honing his gifts and capabilities in building a successful career in management consulting and corporate C-level leadership. From the outset of this conversation, Ramy is more than happy to get into what matters to him: investing in others’ lives.
June 1, 2022
Celebrating Irreverence for What It Can Create
Principal, Creative Placemaking Inc. / Pioneering Social Entrepreneur
Tim grew up in London (Ontario), a small city between Detroit and Toronto. He had a happy childhood, but needed to live a closeted existence as his environment was hostile. After moving to the big city as a young adult, he quickly began to flourish.
May 25, 2022
Leading with Curiosity to Change Beliefs
ex-KGB Agent / Author / Speaker
Jack joins us from his home in Atlanta, Georgia. Jack grew up as Albrecht Dittrich in post-WW2 East Germany in “The Valley of the Clueless”. He was a youth leader for the communist party and a promising young academic when he was approached by the KGB and recruited as an espionage agent.
May 18, 2022
Making Those Around You Better
Partner, McMillan LLP
Jason is a partner at McMillan LLP and joins us from his office in Toronto. He is a recognized top construction lawyer in the country – with soft hands, no less. But, that’s not where we go with this conversation.
May 11, 2022
Chasing After the Wonder
Best Selling Novelist
Kenneth joins us from his home in Toronto. He is an award winning and best selling author of numerous novels for young readers. He is famed for writing Airborn, the Silverwing Trilogy and now his latest novels, Bloom and its sequels, Hatch and Thrive.
May 4, 2022
Needing to Think More Like Children
Dr. Avi Loeb
Astrophysicist / Founder, The Galileo Project / Best-Selling Author
Avi is a philosopher and farm-boy at his core. He has spent the past several decades as a leading Astrophysicist, including a most recent decade-long stint as a department head at Harvard, having published over 700 papers and written 8 books.
April 27, 2022
Helping to Heal Others as a Mission
Ukrainian Refugee / Psychologist / Educator / Multiple NDEr
We have the privilege of sitting down Safiya, who only recently fled from her native Ukraine with her daughter. We are also joined by one of our favourite past guests on the podcast, the marvelous Joan Koenig.
April 20, 2022
Making Allowances to Explore the Quiet
Managing Director & EVP, Bensimon Byrne / Advertising Exec
We speak with Lisa Good in Toronto. Lisa started out in the mail-room of an ad agency in Toronto to eventually become an Ad Exec and Managing Director of a leading and award-winning ad agency in Canada.
April 13, 2022
Reshifting your Posture to Hear the Nothingness Around You
Dr. Bayo Akomolafe
Philosopher / Writer / Depth Psychologist
Bayo joins us from his home in Chennai India but grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. Losing his father as a young teen had him start a search for knowledge and meaning – a search that has intensified throughout his life.
April 6, 2022
Gliding In a Sea of Silent Euphoria
Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor
Neuroanatomist /Author/ Speaker
Jill joins us from her home state of Indiana where she grew up. Jill graduated from Harvard and embarked on a career as a neuroanatomist, motivated in part by her desire to understand her brother’s schizophrenia.
March 30, 2022
Being in the Least Resistance of Who you Are
Depth Psychologist & Dream Teacher / Author
Athena is originally from Johannesburg, South Africa. Athena was a highly intuitive child and learned not to demonstrate this with most, believing that there was little acceptance of these abilities in her circles.
March 23, 2022
Being the Core of Who You Are
Dr. Sharon Hewitt-Rawlette
Award Winning Writer & Researcher, Paranormal and Parapsychological
Sharon joins us from her home in Virginia. Sharon grew up in a Christian-centric upbringing and was home-schooled at her request. After having gone away for post-secondary to NYC, she found that her new secular environment was not the fit that she expected.
March 16, 2022
Making Strides Towards Who You Really Are
Olympian Long Jumper / Podcaster / Ambassador, Centrepoint Charity
We are joined by Jade Johnson at her home in London. A native of London, her (large) family moved temporarily to Liverpool when she was 7. She spent the rest of her youth driven by a deep motivation to disprove her doubters and this carried her all the way to the Olympics – twice.
March 9, 2022
Breaking Down Our Beliefs
Artist / NDEr / Author
Natalie joins us from her native Minnesota for our talk. After having finished a Masters in Art, Natalie worked as an archeologist in US deserts to help support her desire to continue her vocation as an artist.
March 2, 2022
Living in the State of Wonder
Dr. Elisabetta Tosoni
Wildlife Researcher / Expert on Marsican Bears / Story-Teller / Actor
We have a delightful conversation with Elisabetta, who joins us from her abode in the Apennine mountains in Abruzzo in central Italy. Elisabetta is the foremost expert on the Marsican Bear in Italy.
February 23, 2022
Contributing to Other People’s Curiosities
Indigenous Elder / Healer / Spiritual Dreamer / Racing Bike Enthusiast
Today we are joined by Cat Criger in Toronto. Cat has had a life so far filled with experiences in following his curiosities. He is an Elder of the Cayuga Nation, Turtle Clan and has German and English ancestry.
February 16, 2022
Getting Back to our Blue Roots
Founder, Seas4Life / Marine Conservationist & Storyteller
We are joined this week by Julie Church on her rear porch. Our backdrop is the night sky over her backyard in Nairobi, Kenya. Julie brings us through a magically-weaved story about growing up in Kenya, with secondary and post-secondary schooling in Europe and South Africa and a life-long commitment to the magic and mystery of the sea.
February 9, 2022
Refusing to be Limited
Host, “Strombo” on Apple Music Radio
George joins us from his abode in LA where he hosts his own Music Radio Show on Apple that is broadcast to over 120 countries. Originally from Toronto, George grew up with a no-nonsense single mom who taught him the importance of being of service to others.
February 2, 2022
Opening Doors to Your Light
Amy Jo Johnson
Director / Former Hollywood Actor / Screenwriter / Musician
Amy Jo is originally from Cape Cod and spent many years as an actor in Hollywood before packing up her bags and leaving for Montreal. After several years, she left for Toronto where she lives currently – devoting herself to film directing, writing and creating music.
January 26, 2022
Putting Your Soul on the Table
Founder, President – LTx / Bon Vivant
Today we are joined by Edoardo Ghignone, who lives in The Hague, Netherlands. He is the founder of a consultancy named LTx that works with C-Suite leadership teams of large corporate organizations across Europe.
January 19, 2022
Reawakening the Ancient Human Need to be in Relation
Dr. Rune Hjarnø Rasmussen
Expert, Nordic Animism
We connect with Rune, who lives in Copenhagen. Rune is a leading expert in pre-Christian Nordic Religions & Animism. Born and bred in rural Denmark, Rune explains how hints of Nordic pre-Christian tradition was woven into songs that his grandmother used to sing.
January 12, 2022
Thriving on Not Knowing What Lies Ahead
Criminal Defence Lawyer / Partner, Henein & Hutchison, LLP / Author
Marie joins us from Toronto. Marie is inarguably one of the country’s most public and most sought after criminal defence lawyers.
January 5, 2022
Seeing Reincarnation as Simple Human Truth
Dr. Antonia Mills
Reincarnation Researcher & Scholar /Anthropologist / Author
Antonia joins us from Vancouver, Canada. Antonia brings us through her experience in an idyllic US Midwest setting as a little girl, as a curious PhD student at Harvard and as a mother of four moving to Northern British Columbia and living with her adoptive Indigenous family.
December 29, 2021
Experiencing our Inter-Connectedness
Former US Naval Commander / Medium / Author
Suzanne joins us from Hilton Head, South Carolina. She grew up admiring her older brother’s career in the Air Force and dreamed of a military career as well.
December 22, 2021
Being You, Layer By Layer
Former President, Kellogg Canada
Carol joins us from the Toronto area. We spend some time together discussing what was important for her as she spent decades building a high profile corporate career and being a mother and wife.
December 15, 2021
Being Comfortable with Feeling Uncomfortable
Dr. Jonathan Cardella, MD
Endovascular Surgeon / Assistant Professor, Yale / Gardener
Jonathan, a Toronto boy, joins us from his office in Connecticut where he plays out his days as an endovascular surgeon and a Yale professor. Jonathan lives and breathes his passion for surgery – and from that passion we discover a lot of what makes him really tick.
December 8, 2021
Being Intentional, Even When “Inefficient”
Green Witch / Herbalist / Earth Activist / Author
Marysia joins us from southern California. A “green witch”, she is a sought after herbalist and healer in the US. Her own roots lie with rabble-rousing family in Poland who were active in the Nazi resistance during WW2.
December 1, 2021
Realizing That Art Always Wins
Composer / Badass Humanitarian / Co-Founder, X-System / Professor
Nigel joins us from his abode in the UK. Growing up, he celebrated and channeled the emotionally charged culture of his Scottish and Irish roots, which helped him make music his lifetime muse.
November 24, 2021
Being A Drop Returning to The Ocean
Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP / Childhood Cancer Survivor / Ducati Enthusiast
We are joined by Robert in Toronto. He is currently a partner in one of the country’s oldest and largest law firms. He has Jesus COVID hair. And, he’s an Inspire alumn to boot. We immediately dive into the existential, where Rob also feels at home.
November 17, 2021
Searching For Balance With the Cosmos
Dr. Vera Tiesler
Leading Bio-Archaeologist, Mesoamerica / Artist / Professor
Vera joins us from the sunny Yucatan. Her focus has been bioarchaeology and archaeology of pre-Hispanic and pre-colonial Maya. As a child, she grew up in Germany under a very demanding upbringing. Being an artist at heart, she wanted to explore what was calling her.
November 10, 2021
Moving Into Timeless Awareness Through Your Own Abilities
Physicist / Remote Viewing Pioneer / Former-CIA Researcher in ESP / Author
Russell joins us from his home in California. Born during the Great Depression, Russell spent his childhood in Chicago and then NYC. A gifted learner, Russell graduated high school early and decided to study physics in College, setting the groundwork for his career as a scientist.
November 3, 2021
Devoting Ourselves to the Whimsical
Founder, L'Ecole Koenig American Conservatory & Kindergarten / Musician / Author
Joan Koenig has called Paris her home for the last several decades. She grew up playing the piano and falling in love with the flute. Originally from the US, Joan moved often and lived in many states. But one thing that didn’t change was her desire to play music.
October 27, 2021
Being Addicted to Discovery
Dr. Nicholas Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH
Scientist / Physician / Director, Human Nature Lab @ Yale / Author
Nicholas joins Behind Greatness from his office at Yale University in Connecticut. Nicholas grew up with two parents who had originally came to the US from Greece as young scholars. One of Nicholas’ heroes was his mother, who suffered for two decades with a form of fatal cancer.
October 20, 2021
Avoiding Societal “Traps” in Exploring
Founder & Former CEO, Manitoba Harvest / Investor / Mentor
Mike joins us from Winnipeg, Manitoba – in Central Canada. He grew up partly in Northern Ontario, Canada in poverty with a single mom. But, at 13 he quit school and started to explore the world. At 21, with 7 years of working experience and survival already under his belt, he founded Manitoba Harvest.
October 13, 2021
Turning Away from the Motorcycle
GM, Fenerbahce SK / Former VP, Toronto Raptors
Maurizio currently lives in Istanbul where he leads European professional basketball powerhouse Fenerbahce SK as its General Manager. Prior to this he was the first ever non-American VP of an NBA franchise with the Toronto Raptors and one of the most successful GMs ever in Europe. We discuss a journey is riddled with serious life-altering, pivotal moments.
October 6, 2021
Bending Time Through Music
Dr. Indre Visktontas
Opera Singer & Director / Neuroscientist / Podcaster / Author
Indre joins us today from San Francisco. Growing up in Toronto she moved to California (for good) as a young adult to figure out her path as an Opera singer, while also on scholarship as a budding neuroscientist.
September 29, 2021
Being an Observant While Being in the Lane
Olympian Sprinter / Broadcaster / Content Creator / Podcaster
Anson joins us from London, England. His parents were originally from Jamaica and moved to Canada for a better life. He grew up just outside of Toronto with his sister. He was a natural athlete and in his late teens he found a real passion in sprinting. From there, he took off.
September 22, 2021
Pursuing The Truth of Who You Are
Dr. Carl Ruck
Professor, Classical Studies / Authority on Ecstatic Rituals of the god Dionysus / Pioneering Author
Carl joins us from Boston University. He shares with us how his path changed from pursuing the field medicine to that of philosophy and the classics. Ever since that pivot in his life, Carl has been dedicating his life to find the truth to our human existence.
September 15, 2021
Moving beyond Social-User to Citizen-Participant
Digital Artist / Founder – Blind.wiki, Megafone.net, Deaf.city
Antoni is based in Barcelona. He grew up Lleida, Spain partly under Franco’s totalitarian regime. The harsh political conditions didn’t deter Antoni’s parents, who chose to live lives dedicated to artistic endeavour.
September 8, 2021
Setting the Conditions for Discovery
Dr. Anna Abraham
Psychologist / Neuroscientist / Chair of the Torrance Center for Creativity
Anna joins us from Athens, Georgia. She was born in the Middle East of Indian parents who made sure that her education formally take place in their country of origin. As a student in India, Anna found her comfort zone in sports, non-academic endeavours and in the general exploration of people.
September 1, 2021
Leaving Behind More Than You Take
Former CFO, Etratech / Board Chair, Special Olympics
Mike joins us from Southern Ontario. He grew up in a small town near Niagara Falls. As a kid he helped his father deliver milk by horse and cart and was paid in dairy. Finding out later that he was lactose intolerant, he knew this might be a sign.
August 25, 2021
Dedicating Your Life to Studying What We Don't Understand
Dr. Bruce Greyson, MD
Psychiatrist / Professor / NDE Researcher / Co - Founder, IANDS / Author
Bruce grew up in the suburbs of NYC, where his upbringing was rooted both in healthy skepticism and in a strong curiosity about the material world. His father, a chemist, always urged young Bruce to blaze a trail.
August 18, 2021
Living for the Journey, not the Goal
Olympian / CEO, Canada Sports Hall of Fame / Author / Speaker
Cheryl was born in a small city near the Rocky Mountains nicknamed “Swan City” and a place originally settled by First Nations tribe the Danezaa. She grew up in a family where everyone pitched in and learned to do everything needed to get things done.
August 11, 2021
Knowing by Becoming What We Know
Scientist / Engineer / Inventor / Entrepreneur / Author
Federico Faggin is a successful professional, who’s originally from Vicenza, Italy. Being born during WWII has made his journey aspirational right from the beginning. Having developed a knack for building machines at such a young age, there was no doubt that he would go on to change the world.
August 4, 2021
Imagining That You Can
Ken joins us from LA where he lives, works and breathes his life’s passion. Having grown up in a conservative immigrant family environment in Chicago, Ken felt that he wanted to explore more and differently than what was expected of him.
July 28, 2021
Reigniting the Sparks from Within
Lead Singer, Our Lady Peace / Producer / Tech Founder / Entrepreneur
Raine joins us from his studio in LA where he shares with us about growing up in Toronto and how disconnected he felt from artistic purpose – until he wasn’t. As a teenager at his boarding school he spent his nights in solitude, devouring music, learning to play guitar and writing songs.
July 21, 2021
Clearing the Way for Creativity
President & CEO at Zulu Alpha Kilo Inc.
Mike grew up in an idyllic small-town setting near Niagara Falls, enjoying music, frog-hunting, exploring and sports. He decided to pursue his education through sports scholarship in North Carolina and his world opened up forever thereafter.
July 14, 2021
Needing to be in the Here and Now
Award-Winning Wilderness & Wildlife Photographer / Speaker / Author
Bruno joins us all the way from Rome where he enjoyed and experienced a life full of hustle and movement. Eventually his pathways and experiences led him to launching a career in Berlin as a conservationist – wilderness – award – winning photographer and author. Now he’ll be sharing his stories from all his adventures in the deserts, mountains, and forests where he spent time simply acquiring as much knowledge as possible.
July 7, 2021
Helping Others and Saving Lives as Therapy
Dr. Jay Dahman, MD
Pediatric Hospitalist / Humanitarian
Joining us from Toronto is Jay Dahman of Syrian descent. Jay, having received education from Canada, Syria and the USA, decided on not just becoming a doctor in Canada but also dedicating his expertise to helping those less fortunate.
June 30, 2021
Living By the Golden Rule - Period.
Futurist / Founder, Ethical Markets Media / Author
We’ve had the privilege to sit down with Hazel and hear how she became the global leader that she is. We follow her along her journey from Bristol, England to her career in NYC and then the rest is history.
June 23, 2021
Sharing your Superpowers to Benefit Others
CEO, Uninterrupted Canada / Former President, Rogers Sportsnet
Scott Moore is one of Canada’s top Sports Executives who oversaw billion – dollar budgets. Join us for a delightful conversation, that goes over a variety of topics that together can help you take positive steps for your life.
June 16, 2021
Celebrating the Achievements of Others
National Lifestyle & Food Editor, Sun Media / TV & Radio Host / Lady Bountiful
Joining us is Rita DeMontis, born in France and raised in Toronto. She shares her story of discovery and elation about how the welcoming the community in Toronto was to one another. We learn about how she faced her battles and overcame the barriers placed in front of her.
June 9, 2021
Feeling More Whole When Creating
Chief Client Officer at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP / Founder, The Judy Project
Colleen joins us from Rostock, Ontario where she grew up in a tight – knit community, with farm-work as an outlet for fun and creative exploration. As a young individual her aspirations led her to having an invigorating career in business, whether that be senior corporate life or entrepreneurial adventures.
June 2, 2021
Putting Back into the Well to Help Others
Former Exec, International Olympic Committee / Lawyer / CPA / Olympian / Author
Richard joins us from the rainforests of British Columbia, where he had begun his journey training as a swimmer. His talents and hard work as a competitive swimmer took him to the Olympic, PanAm and Commonwealth games at a rather young age.
May 26, 2021
Anthony Dilorio (pt.2)
CEO & Founder of Decentral & Jaxx/Co / Founder of Ethereum
Anthony Dilorio once again joins us for another segment. This time with an invigorating discussion about the journey of the founding of Ethereum – a well known global crypto platform. It’s a conversation to help encourage being successful as an entity and vouching for everyone to win.
May 19, 2021
Contributing to Understanding through Music
Dr.Anthony Cicoria (MD, PhD)
Orthopedic Surgeon / NDEr / Composer
Dr. Cicoria joins us from Upstate New York, where he grew up and started his life. Dr. Cicoria has a story that’s made for the books, he managed to survive a life-threatening experience that brought a new spark to his life.
May 12, 2021
Learning How to Suspend Judgement
Group VP @ NHL / Youth Development & Industry Growth Fund
Rob joins us from Toronto, a senior leader in the NHL. He takes us through his remarkable journey filled with life experiences that made him who he is today. He teaches us the importance of not over – indexing in your work role as well as remaining true to yourself.
May 5, 2021
Building a World that Supports Capacity for Caring, Creativity & Consciousness
President, Center for Partnership Studies / Author / Speaker
We sit down with Riane Eisler, an accomplished researcher, author, professor and public speaker. Residing in Southern California, Riane briefly describes her experience as a Holocaust survivor as a little girl and her voyage to North America.
April 28, 2021
Creating Impact from Wherever You Are
Hollywood TV Writer & Producer/Co - Founder, Changeup
Tim grew up in rural California where he attended the only non-accredited highschool in the state. But this didn’t dissuade him from pursuing an early goal to work in the Film Industry.
April 21, 2021
Welcoming the Tension Between the Familiar & the Unfamiliar
Dr. Anthony Brandt
Operatic Composer / Author / Professor
Tony joins us from Houston, Texas. He shares with us his upbringing in a family with musical pedigree where his parents taught him the value of using his imagination to build and to create. He was tasked to learn the violin as a young boy and he did – but he took exception to practising it. He learned soon thereafter that his curiosities instead lay with actually composing music. Contd…
April 14, 2021
Seeing the Unseen and Driving at It
President, Covered Bridge Potato Chip Co.
Ryan joins us from rural New Brunswick, in Atlantic Canada. Coming from a line of hard-working potato farmers, a very young Ryan thought about how he could continue the family business, but doing it his own way.
April 7, 2021
Seeing Artists as Seismographs of Human Culture
Dr. Valentino Catricalà
Curator, SODA Gallery / Lecturer / Author
Valentino joins us from Manchester, England where he acts as a Curator and Lecturer at of one of Europe’s leading edge Schools of future storytelling: the School of Digital Arts (SODA). Originally from Rome, Valentino lost himself in his formative years after the sudden death of his father, until he started to consume what he left for him: his movie collection.
March 31, 2021
Being in Tune With Yourself First
Troy Johnson aka r8dio
Grammy Award Winning Record Producer / Composer / Songwriter
Born and bred in Southern California, Troy gives us a glimpse of growing up in a musical family. His father and uncle who formed the duo the “Brothers Johnson” had profound influence on music in the 70s and 80s. Born in the 1980s, Troy also took to musical creation immediately, preferring to spend time even as a small child and pre-teen in a music studio above all.
March 24, 2021
Bringing Joy to Others
Founder, Structure & Function Education / Former Head Athletic Trainer, LA Dodgers / Author
Sue was born and bred in Buffalo, New York. She developed a desire for a career in healthcare and pursued studies in NY and North Carolina and when her life took a turn, so did she. Off to Arizona for no reason at all and very little money to her name, she started a journey with a little bit of Billy Joel and whole lot of hustle.
March 17, 2021
Finding Passion with the Peace
Former CEO, Tennis Canada / Public Speaker
Growing up in Ontario, Canada, Kelly attended 10 different schools as a child until settling in Welland (Niagara region) for highschool. She lived in a chaotic household but lived it the best way she could – with a heightened sense of responsibility, “buttoned-downness” and an acute need for high-achievement in school and sports.
March 10, 2021
Seeing the Nobility in Serving Others
Anthony Di Iorio
CEO & Founder of Decentral & Jaxx / Co-Founder of Ethereum
As a youngster growing up just outside of Toronto, Anthony lived in an entrepreneurial environment. His father, an inventor, instilled in him the importance of being curious, asking questions and breaking through. With authority never sitting right with him as a boy, he chose to explore his own path as a young man after a brief stint in the family business.
March 3, 2021
Having the Courage NOT to be Relevant
Dr. Marjorie Woollacott
Neuroscientist / Author / President, AAPS
Marjorie joins us from Sedona, Arizona. She grew up in a family where the wonder of music, art and literature defined much of her existence as a young girl. Armed with a natural intellectual curiosity and a profound admiration of both musical expression and scientific exploration, Marjorie embarked on both early on in her studies.
February 24, 2021
Being Fueled By Your Anxieties & Your Fears
Founder, North Sixth Group / Entrepreneur / Author
Matt grew up in New York in a close-knit family who encouraged him to both dream big and to keep his eye on the pragmatic. We discuss his proactive search for his passion as a young man as he bobbed and weaved through a brief but explosive stint as an aspiring boxer, an early marketing career working in Times Square and with a side-hustle as a sports agent.
February 17, 2021
Always Probing With Questions Like Somebody “New”
Former President, Hudson’s Bay Company
We sit with Alison Coville, in Toronto. Alison was born and bred in Ontario, Canada. She found her passion in the retail business as a teenager. She dove head first into this journey until she reached the pinnacle of her industry.
February 10, 2021
Collaboration Is Key for Individualism & Creativity
Dr. Elisabet Sahtouris
Evolution Biologist / Futurist / Author
Dr. Elisabet Sahtouris joins us from Honolulu, Hawaii. Elisabet grew up in Athens, New York and as a child was actively encouraged to explore the biological world around her. She went on to attain a Masters in Fine Arts, History & Languages and then a PhD in Evolution Biology.
February 3, 2021
Accepting that Failing & Losing Is Just Learning
3x Paralympian / Champion Racer / Speaker / Artist
Joshua Cassidy is a 3 x Paralympian and is preparing for his 4th Paralympic games in Tokyo. He is a 31 x racing champion with world record times at the 2012 Boston Marathon. The oldest of 10 children, he spent his first 5 years in hospital fighting a non-congenital cancer – and won.
January 27, 2021
Listening to Your Inner Voice
Entrepreneur / CEO of the Year (2020): Small Businesses
Today we chat with Julie Yoo in Toronto. Julie is the owner of I Miss You Vintage and was recently chosen for the front cover of a national business magazine as representative of all small business owners: all dubbed “CEO of the year”. Julie catapulted the scope of her business from local to global as an adaptive response to the pandemic in early 2020.
January 20, 2021
Being Relentless in Your Pursuit
Former Professional Hockey Player / Manager, NHLPA
We are joined by Rob Zepp. He currently works at the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA). Before this, Rob was a professional hockey player in both Europe and in the NHL, taking the crown as the oldest rookie in the NHL since 1927 to win his debut.
January 13, 2021
Living Transformationally, Not Transactionally
Professional Football Coach / Author
We sit down with Marc today and talk about his journey from his native of Minneapolis to law school and then to living out a professional coaching career in 14 different cities in the US and Canada. He shares his thoughts on leading by authenticity, consistency, relentlessness – and by love of others.
January 6, 2021
Understanding That It’s All Relational
We speak this week with Steve Lichtman in California, a veteran TV series writer and producer. A deep thinker and excellent conversationalist, Steve brings us through his journey and his own philosophies on what really matters. He reminisces with us on his Long Island upbringing and his time as a young academic and lawyer grinding in NYC.
December 30, 2020
Communication is Connecting
Personal Training Authority / Entrepreneur / Author / Speaker
Today we sit down with Gunnar Peterson in Beverly Hills. Gunnar is one of the most highly respected Personal Training & Fitness entrepreneurs in North America and a “go-to” personal trainer for Hollywood celebs.
December 23, 2020
Being Centered in Uncertainty
CEO & Co-Founder, MOSHN.fit
Adrian is the CEO and Co-Founder of MOSHN.fit, an on-demand streaming fitness platform that connects trainees with world-class coaches. A long time friend to Inspire, Adrian has worked as a top Digital Marketing and Advertising Exec (and Agency Owner) for the better part of 20 years.
December 16, 2020
Being Attuned to The Beat of The World
We spent some time with PJ Byrne: a veteran film, TV and voice actor, living in California. In college, he was preparing for a career in high finance. Having already secured a job on Wall St before he graduated, he started to discover (by chance) his thespian talents. With family roots in business and politics, young PJ never imagined acting as a life-long pursuit. Contd…
December 9, 2020
Moving from the State of Constriction to Expansion, through Art
John S. Couch
Author of The Art of Creative Rebellion / Senior Product Design Executive / Artist
In this episode, we spend some time with John S. Couch, who lives and works – and plays – in California. We dive immediately into discussing themes of life, work and the creative process. He brings us briefly through his experience in building teams and what philosophy he employs in building positive culture. Contd…
December 2, 2020
Learning that “Increase” is more Important than Growth
Today we sit down and have a camp fire chat with Tyson Yunkaporta. With origins from the Apalech tribe in Northern Australia, Tyson is a Best Selling Author, an Artist and a Senior Lecturer at Deakin University, living in Melbourne Australia. We have an insightful conversation on First People’s philosophy of thinking, perceiving and exploring the world. Contd…
November 25, 2020
Needing to Believe it Before You See It
Matt Larochelle CEO/Co-Founder of Matt and Steve's Home Of "The Extreme Bean"
We sit down with Matt Larochelle, an entrepreneur and co-founder of Matt & Steve’s in Toronto. Matt charms us with his down-to-earth approach to life and how his small town roots have been important to him in his path of self-discovery. He brings us through some of his adventures in starting his business with his partner Steve: from jars exploding in his apartment to trying to make ends meet while servicing a growing demand for their products. Contd…
November 18, 2020
Nobility in Storytelling
Giacomo Gianniotti spends some time on Behind Greatness to discuss and explore his thoughts on driving change and making impact. We learn how a young Giacomo felt the need to fit in and blend in as an “outsider” for years after he moved from his native Italy. But when his parents saw that he had to free himself from this debilitation, they took action. And this is when his real growth began to take hold. Contd…
November 11, 2020
Staying Naïve When Exploring New Things
Scratch DJ/Music & Theatre Producer/Film Composer/Visual Artist
Eric San (aka “Kid Koala”) sits down with us to talk about his take on success. He grew up both in the US and in Canada with hard-skilled, no-nonsense immigrant parents who also had an appreciation for music. They started little Eric training as a classical piano player until his piano teacher became annoyed by his experimentation with notes to spin his own musical experience. And spinning he did. Starting by using hamburger wrappers as slip sheets on his sister’s turntable as a 12 year old, Eric went on to spend his adult years touring 6 continents with big bands as a trail-blazing Scratch DJ. Contd…
November 4, 2020
When Everybody is Zigging, You’ve Got to Zag
Former SVP, Sobeys Ontario
We are joined by Mary Dalimonte, a 40-year veteran of food retailing and distribution and a venerated industry trail-blazer in Canada. Recently stepping down from her SVP role at Sobeys – the country’s 2nd largest retailer – Mary shares with us the pivotal lessons she learned throughout her career. The daughter of immigrant parents, she learned very early the wisdom of working hard and showing up prepared day in and day out for the job at hand. Contd…
October 28, 2020
Finding the Inspiration in Being Child-like
Managing Director, Play4Tomorrow / former Pro-Athlete
We sit down with Brian, currently a Founder and Managing Director of Play4Tomorrow – a leading design academy and tech accelerator for positive youth development. Brian brings us through his own challenges as a youth growing up fascinated by games and fantastical fictional worlds. He was soon encouraged to take a different, more athletically-centered career as he grew in physical stature and showed athletic promise. Not one for wasting time, Brian leveraged his scholarship status at Stanford in California and graduated with engineering and management science degrees after playing division 1 football. Contd…
October 21, 2020
Seeing Writing as a Way to Achieve Immortality
Partner, Lawyer at McMillan LLP
As a young boy, Merv and his siblings moved from a comfortable life in sunny, tropical Jamaica to Toronto. We learn about the strongest influences in his life: his polymath father and his fiercely dedicated mother. For them high educational achievement for their kids was a basic expectation. Contd…
October 14, 2020
Having the courage to sit in the darkness
TV Writer & Producer
Growing up in a loving, hardworking immigrant family in Youngstown, Ohio, Michael was a natural athlete gravitating to competitive team sports at an early age. When an injury put the brakes on a potential career in football he found that one passion never left him: story-telling. Armed with both the love of reading and creating stories and the support of strong mentors, Michael decided to strike out on his own as a writer. Contd…
October 7, 2020
Serving the Whole to Evolve
Former Silicon Valley Exec / Author / Truth-Seeker
Mark joins us from Silicon Valley where he served as Partner at his firm until early 2020. A Princeton grad, he worked his way through a career of gruelling and stressful working environments in order to achieve his material goals. Until he didn’t. Contd…
September 30, 2020
Finding Strength in the Physical, in Knowledge & in Art
Co-Founder & Chief Visionary Officer, Kabuki Strength
Today, we spend some time with Chris Duffin, in Portland, Oregon. During our discussion, we learn about a boy who endured extreme hardships growing up in the remote mountains of California. Barely out of his adolescence, he took custody of his younger siblings while working full-time, running a business on the weekends and completing his engineering degree. He is a father and a husband, an entrepreneur, a brand builder, an author, a speaker, a coach, a custom-vehicle builder AND a record-holding power lifter to boot. Contd…
September 23, 2020
Using Your Brain - not Computers - for Creative Endeavours
Dr. Bahar Sateli
Data Scientist & AI Expert w/ PwC
We join in conversation this week with one of the most influential women in the world of AI & AI Ethics. Dr. Sateli brings us through her journey as a young girl in Tehran to a high-octane phd student, developer and entrepreneur in Montreal to a renowned globe trotting AI Analytics and Ethics specialist. Contd…
September 16, 2020
Practising Self-Awareness a Key to Making Impact
CEO/Co-Founder, Crave It Restaurant Group
We sit down with our friend Alex Rechichi, another long time Advisor to Inspire and an accomplished, seasoned entrepreneur – and podcaster too. Listen to his thoughts on the importance of “visible leadership” and working shoulder to shoulder with your team. He has run his own businesses (with his two partners) since graduating from university and has never looked back. Contd…
September 9, 2020
Seeing “No” as Merely a Challenge to Overcome
Jennifer Holness & Sudz Sutherland
Film Makers & Documentarians
Speaking with power couple Jennifer and Sudz, we get a glimpse of two different paths – until they fused into one. Contd…
September 2, 2020
Looking for Your Passion, Not Waiting for It
Hollywood Game Show Executive Producer
Growing up in the US Midwest in a strong family unit with an eye for business, John felt destined to join his father and older brother when he embarked on his post-secondary years. But his path changed on his 1st day of university. Armed with a passion to pursue his authentic self John, provides a glimpse on how he discovered that it was his passion to tell a good story and create a unique experience with his contestants that has enabled him to be great at what he does. Contd…
August 26, 2020
Taking Lessons of Resilience from the Terminator
Managing Partner, Globalive
Having grown up in a quiet, calm Prairie life with a loving family, Brice decided at an early age to pursue his life path in larger settings with the goal of making a larger impact. With his partner Anthony Lacavera, he spent many long grinding years building Wind Mobile within a fierce, unforgiving and oligopolistic space. After finally selling the company with his partner for well over $1 billion, Brice began to reflect on his experience on the importance of staying resilient: sticking to the mission and simply putting one foot in front of the other. Contd…
August 19, 2020
Being Ready to Drop Your Ideas for Proven, Better Ones
Writer, Podcaster, Philosopher, Professor, Martial Artist
This week we are hosting Daniele Bolelli. Originally from Milan, Italy, Daniele has been calling California home for almost 30 years. A man who strives to be good at many things so that he’s never bored, Daniele also hosts two widely popular podcasts, including History on Fire – one of the most successful history podcasts on Earth. Contd…
August 12, 2020
Serving when Leading
President of Kisko Products
Engrained with the entrepreneurial spirit, Mark Josephs takes us on his journey of family, perseverance and faith. He speaks to the importance of learning from others and finding his leadership style, especially during unprecedented times. Contd…
August 5, 2020
Taking a Brave and Creative Leap
We are host this week to a very charismatic guest in Alex King. He’s not an engineer, nor an architect, nor a mechanic – and yet he organizes builds of custom vehicles for many Hollywood blockbuster films. How? Contd…
July 29, 2020
Breaking up with Safe & Hooking up with Imagination
Actor / Stunt Professional / Writer
Today we listen to a captivating story about a fiercely independent professional who grew up toughened by circumstances out of his control. Contd…
July 22, 2020
Listening & Leading
Former Nestle CEO
Today’s guest is one of North America’s most successful corporate leaders. Growing up in the country, she learned very early the importance of hard work, collaboration, humility and learning from those around her that wished her success. Contd…
July 15, 2020
Work Ethic and a Desire to Be Great
Raj De Datta
Co-Founder and CEO of Bloomreach
Join us in hearing the story of Raj De Datta as he travelled from his upbringings in Manila, Philippines, and India to attending school at Princeton, then helping launch a company in England where he found his true calling as an entrepreneur. Contd…
July 8, 2020
Exploring Problem Solving and Embracing the Unknown
Scientist & Researcher
Enjoy our discussion with Dr. Meganne Christian. Originally from Australia, Christian works currently in the EU studying the production and microscopical characterisation of graphene-based nanocomposites. But, that’s not all. Contd…
July 1, 2020
Growing Your Potential
Listen in on our talk with Frank Ferragine aka “Frankie Flowers” – North America’s favourite TV gardening specialist. He describes growing up in a “can-do” family atmosphere, with roots in humble beginnings.
June 24, 2020
Importance of Mentors in Your Journey
Private Equity Partner
Listen in as we chat with Ashish Shastry, Co-Head of Private Equity for KKR Asia Pacific & Southeast Asia as he describes his journey growing up in Bombay and Indonesia and then traveling to various parts of the world for school and work. He describes the influence his parents had on his decisions and the importance that mentors will have on your journey and career. Contd…
June 17, 2020
Knowing Herself Through Motion
We sit down with Alexandra Orlando, an Olympian and National Champion in Rhythmic Gymnastics who details a youth-story full of sacrifice and determination. Growing up with understanding parents, Alexandra had the opportunity to explore her passion in motion and pushing herself to her limits – on the world stage. Contd…
June 10, 2020
Lessons From Antarctica
Team Lead for European Space Agency Program
Behind Greatness sits down with tech specialist Max Catricala in Rome, Italy, after returning from a year-long assignment in the middle of the Antarctic (at Concordia Base). Although the details of the ESA project are classified, Max shares his experience living in the coldest and most desolate part of the globe while captaining a select team of European scientists. Contd…
June 3, 2020
Committing to the Bigger Picture
Listen in on a very intense story of a young man growing up in a troubled environment in Detroit that was out of his control. Being blessed with the support of his mentors – one being his father – Matt embarked on a path of discovery. Contd…
May 27, 2020
Your Human Potential
AI Data Scientist
Behind Greatness plays host to Denis Molin, a Paris-based scientific scholar, practitioner, inventor and polymath. Denis describes his early fascination with maths and science and how it has played a part in his path to work with large corporations and AI frameworks. Contd…
May 20, 2020
Finding My Inner Fire
TV Media Maven
Sit back and listen in on our interview with one of Canada’s top interviewers. Melissa walks us through how she uncovered and chased her passion even after beginning a stable and noble career. Contd…
May 13, 2020
Uncovering Your Creativity
Explore our conversation with veteran actor Enrico Colantoni as he describes his humble origins and pursuit to achieving what he wanted most despite facing a steep, uphill and unfamiliar path. Contd…
May 1, 2020
Presented by Inspire North
Welcome to our podcast channel! Behind Greatness aims to walk listeners through the journey of some of today’s leaders around the globe and how they are finding success. Gathering firsthand accounts from these leaders, our goal is for this channel to become a source of wisdom and inspiration as you continue to carve and live your own path.