Category Archives: Episode

Juliette Powell: Designing AI for People

Joanie interviews Juliette Powell, author, entrepreneur, technologist, and strategist. Juliette’s background is varied and extensive. She is a co-author of the book, The AI Dilemma, and her consulting services focus on global strategy and scenarios related to AI and data, banking, mobile, retail, social gaming, and responsible technology.


Q: How did the book come about?

A: Juliette tells the story of how the book emerged from her graduate studies and talks about the research she incorporated to back up all of the assertions in the book.

Q: How does bias get incorporated into AI algorithms and exacerbated by them?

A: Juliette posits that much of the bias is not introduced on purpose and describes how that can happen. One of the ways bias is introduced stems from the demonstrated fact that we humans have the tendency to want to work with people like us and that can lead to a lack of diversity of experiences and thought. Juliette describes other ways bias is introduced and how to bring different people together to reduce it, from the individual level up to the organization and government levels.

Q: How can we get businesses to invest in AI auditing?

A: Juliette acknowledges that we are still in an experimental space with generative AI, but also suggests incorporating risk analysis at the organizational level to examine potential consequences. Reputation, for example, is important for a corporation. Government regulations are also being formed.

Listen to the episode to learn ways to create and use AI responsibly.

Words of Wisdom about AI:

Ask yourself: how much control do you want to have in your life?

Examine the culture of your organization to determine your AI governance.

What am I not willing to do for a buck?

What are you as an organization not willing to do to make money?


The AI Dilemma

Contact Juliette Powell:



Abby Malchow: Crafting a Career in Big Tech

Abby Malchow is a Manager of Small Business Partnerships at Amazon. She develops and manages partnerships that help drive success for early-stage entrepreneurs and small businesses through delivering programs and investments that support their continued growth. Abby appeared on Reinventing Nerds Episode 6 and talked about Women Vets in Tech when she was working at Intel. Abby is a retired U.S. Navy Chief and combat veteran, serving more than 20 years in the military. In the current episode, Abby discusses how to navigate a career in a big tech company.


Q: Tell us about the variety of interesting jobs you have had at Amazon.

She has remained focused on small businesses and entrepreneurs in various roles and in various organizations within Amazon. She was first hired to work on the Global Military Affairs team and figure out where Amazon can help military small business owners if they do want to sell in their store and look at entrepreneurship as a form of employment. She gave them educational opportunities and worked closely with the Military Empowerment team. She moved on to the Finance organization to manage strategic partnerships with a diversity of small business owners and entrepreneurs. Now she works in the broader consumer organization, where she has worked in a couple of different roles.

Q: How do you navigate a career in a big company?

Abby talks about the importance of networking and creating partnerships across the organization. Because Amazon is a fairly flat company, it is important to identify people across different teams to drive a goal forward. She says she is a huge believer of going into the office.

Q: Why is going into the office important?

Abby discusses the importance of being in the office to meet people and build relationships and how simply being there in person facilitates networking. Abby also gives other networking suggestions, such as getting involved in different initiatives and finding common interests and being proactive about meeting people in different roles.

Q: How do you maintain your flexibility to work in a fast-moving, ever-changing organization?

Abby likes the unpredictability and being able to innovate and create in her roles. That is what keeps her there. She describes how she has become much more marketable having worked in different roles. She has gained a variety of skill sets.

Q: Research repeatedly shows that people leave jobs because of their manager. How do you find the good ones to work with? What do you look for?

Abby suggests that people learn more from their terrible managers than from their good managers. She also suggests that direct, honest feedback to one’s manager is important and having a manager who gives you opportunity for growth is critical.

Listen to the episode to hear more about Abby’s tips on knowing the culture, being nimble and flexible, being able to compromise, and challenges that women face in big tech.

Words of Wisdom:

I’m a huge believer of being inside the office.

You always have to “make the ask” to schedule time with people and get to know them.

You can almost always come to a compromise, but you have to be open to feedback.

You want a manager who is a gardener, not a gatekeeper.

Contact Abby Malchow:


Franklin Taggart: Humans vs. AI

In this episode, Joanie interviews Franklin Taggart about his recent book about AI called, Straight from the Bot’s Mouth: A Conversation With ChatGPT About Artificial Intelligence. Franklin created the book using ChatGPT and had the whole project done in less than a week. In this interview, Franklin describes his experience as well as AI’s impact on society, jobs—especially jobs in the creative sector—and more. Franklin is a coach who works with creative people at every level of their business and sometimes life.


Q: What was the experience like of creating a book with AI?

Franklin said it was a curiosity and an experiment for him, and he has been a fan of AI for years. He didn’t set out to write the book. He just wanted ChatGPT to answer his questions. This latest wave of artificial intelligence has really captured my attention and my imagination.

He keeps a notebook of questions he has about AI. He had also thought about writing a book about it for a while but didn’t have a year’s worth of time to dedicate to the project. In comes AI…

Q: What are some of the benefits and drawbacks of AI for people in the creative space?

Franklin said that ChatGPT’s responses to his questions about its impact tended to be quite balanced. Franklin does have concerns, though, especially for creatives. He gives a detailed account of how musicians were impacted by technology over the last several decades as an example of what the AI landscape might look for other creative people. It is a gripping story that is worth the listen!

Q: What do you use AI for?

Franklin has used AI to develop sales pages and said he can accomplish this normal hours’ long process in minutes. This raises the question about how to make money for developing sales pitches for people. The hourly rate may no longer be applicable. What will the future be? Franklin uses his experience and imagination to suggest new ways creative people (and everyone!) will need to work differently as AI becomes more prevalent.

Franklin also talks about how AI will affect the workforce, how to utilize AI to increase your productivity, and much more.

Words of Wisdom:

This latest wave of artificial intelligence has really captured my attention and my imagination.

AI can mirror your creativity.

Ultimately, my business model is already changing to adapt to having AI resources at my fingertips–because it has to.

The key is to figure out how to shift your business model so that it can be more fluid and flexible and responsive to the marketplace as AI technology is introduced.

Franklin Taggart’s book, Straight from the Bot’s Mouth: A Conversation With ChatGPT About Artificial Intelligence, available on Amazon.

Shout Out:

Matt Wolfe curates AI tools and shares them on

Contact Franklin Taggart:



Podcast: Your Own Best Company

Kamales Lardi: Humans, Business, and Technology

Kamales Lardi is a digital tech expert, business advisor, speaker, teaching fellow, and an author. She  recently published a book called The Human Side of Digital Business Transformation. Kamales is globally recognized as an influencer and Thought Leader in Digital Transformation. She has been advising multinational companies across various industries in Europe, Asia and Africa for over a decade. In this episode, Kamales talks about what an effective digital business transformation looks like, how technology affects humanity, how to use tech for good, and how a diverse ecosystem of players increases business success.


Q: What is your background and how do you use your knowledge of both technology and business?

Kamales is from Malaysia originally. She did her MBA in the United Kingdom, and she now lives in Switzerland. She started out in tech working for Anderson Consulting (a.k.a. Accenture) performing technology implementations for large corporations and found she needed to have a deeper understanding of how businesses work and that’s when she got her MBA. Since then, she has been helping companies use the application of technology to increase business value.

Q: What is your book The Human Side of Digital Business Transformation about?

The transformation part is taking the business on a journey to be successful in the digital economy. That involves taking the people in the organization on the journey. It goes beyond change management and cultural change to creating an ecosystem of players that help the organization become successful in the future. The players are located both inside and outside the organization and include business owners, management teams, employees, customers, partners, collaborators, educational institutions and so on. Kamalesh describes the ecosystem model and how the different players contribute.

Q: How are generational shifts affecting tech?

Kamales describes how bridging generational divides is a part of digital transformation efforts. She discusses how different generations of people have different values and demand different things from companies, such as stability and purpose, and what that means for companies.

Kamales also talks about diversity as part of an effective digital transformation strategy and many other things, including the importance of artificial intelligence (AI), and how technology is affecting humanity. Listen to the episode to hear the full interview.

Words of Wisdom:

The new generation of people knows there is an alternative to the 9-5 job.

Technology has not only triggered a change in behavior, but also it has triggered a change in mindset.

I am a technology optimist. I believe in the transformative capabilities in tech, the good in tech.

There is a darker side to technology if we don’t apply it well. A diverse ecosystem provides checks and balances.

There are hype cycles of technology, but there are no “silver bullets.”

Technology can allow us as humans to focus on deeper interactions.

Contact Kamales Lardi:

Book: The Human Side of Digital Business Transformation (Wiley) is currently available on Amazon

and wherever books are sold.





Sarah Tenisi: Supporting Employee Growth

Sarah Tenisi is the CEO of TenisiTech, an IT Service provider firm. They to help companies build the IT foundation to support their business goals and manage the IT as the business evolves to ensure that the IT continues to be a tool not a hindrance. Sarah also hosts a podcast for people interested in technology and leadership called Tech Me Seriously. She is used to interviewing people but has agreed for today to be the guest and be interviewed.


Q: How did you become interested in IT?

Sarah describes how she was actually discouraged from studying computer science and engineering in college, and how she held true to herself and made her way in.

Q: What is your work experience?

Sarah describes how she started out as an administrative assistant at Hewlett Packard and Adobe, but her managers knew she had studied computer science and supported her growth to move into an IT role.

Q: How did you transition to starting your own IT company?

Sarah talks about how she developed skills in the area of organizational growth in one of her IT jobs and how that gave her the confidence to start Tenisi Tech. She talks about what she learned about IT from the business perspective and how to produce seamless IT transitions for her clients.

Listen to the episode to hear Sarah describe how she supports her team so they can have lives in addition to work, how she overcame a tendency toward perfectionism, listen to her team, and support their growth. She also discusses her experience as a woman in tech and how to get more women in technology.

Words of Wisdom:

IT is about being resourceful.

Perfectionism will ruin your team.

We all have an interesting story.

Leadership teams don’t want to talk about technology; they want to talk about productivity, service, security, and scalability.

Contact Sarah Tenisi:

Tech Me Seriously podcast

Sarah Tenisi on LinkedIn

Tenisi Tech company website

Pat Cullen: Leading Through Growth

Pat Cullen is the VP of Engineering at Carrot Fertility, the leading global fertility healthcare and family-forming benefits provider for employers and health plans. Pat oversees and directs Carrot’s information security, data, and engineering teams. He has more than a decade of experience as a technologist & thought-leader who builds effective teams by driving engineering best practices, empowering developer productivity, and promoting deliverable alignment. Pat discusses leading through growth, how his business background helped him, and his specific approaches to leading tech teams.


Q: Tell us about your background and how getting an MBA helped you in the field of software development.

Pat says he had an MBA planned from the start, from when he was a junior in high school. He describes how participating in team sports and activities helped him see how important it was to learn to learn more about leading teams. Having a business background helped him as a software developer know more about the big picture and as a manager better understand where other functional teams were coming from.

Q: What leadership challenges have you faced as Carrot grew from a startup to a midsize company?

Pat explains how having managed growing departments at larger companies gave him experience with growth. He also describes how he had to learn how to let go of control and how to help others become more comfortable with change and uncertainty. Pat brings in specific tech and business examples to illustrate his points.

Q: What is good about slime mold?

Pat describes how focusing on outcomes as opposed to outputs can lead to more innovative solutions and how slime mold does that organically. It’s a great story of letting your team overcome barriers, make mistakes, and generate powerful solutions.

Listen to the episode to also hear Pat talk about his experience in larger companies, dealing with layoffs, building feedback loops, and more.

Words of Wisdom:

Come to every situation prepared with two to three possible outcomes.

Stop the meeting five minutes early and rate the meeting around the room.

Give little “f” feedback not big “F” feedback.

Contact Pat Cullen:

Happy to chat with whoever whenever, here’s my Calendly:

The simplest way to connect with me is LinkedIn:

Kristeen Barth: Creating a Healthy Relationship with Work

Joanie has a conversation with an IT-manager-turned-coach, Kristeen Barth. Kristeen works with people and teams to challenge their current thinking, and she is committed to their growth experience. Kristeen also has a nerdy background. She has worked in IT project and product management as well as cultural integration. Her current work focuses on team culture and individual growth. Kristeen Barth believes that a healthy relationship with your work is key to a healthy life. That’s what we talk about in this episode.


Q: How did you become interested in technology management and what roles did you have in IT?

Kristeen holds a BS in Technology Management and MBA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She worked in the telecom and toy industries as a business analyst, then moved into IT program management in the finance industry. It was in this role that she discovered the field of learning and development.

Q: What inspired you to transition from IT to learning & development?

Kristeen said that, working in IT, she had focused on improving systems and using Agile methodologies to improve productivity, but she found it even more rewarding to be able to focus on the people. She was interested in how people work together, why they work the way they work, and so on.

Q: How do you define a person’s relationship with work? What kinds of unhealthy work relationships have you seen, particularly in the tech fields and what does a healthy relationship with work look like?

Kristeen describes three components of a relationship with work: meaning, growth, and shared goals. The extent to which these factors are positive and balanced indicates the health of the relationship. Listen to the podcast to learn more about these factors, how they appear in tech jobs, and tips to develop healthier relationships with work.

Words of Wisdom:

If you are depleted, you won’t be fresh and ready for an urgent situation, like an outage.

Customer service can be healthy or unhealthy, depending on what is driving it.

Fear of making a mistake can lead to an unhealthy relationship with work.

A healthy work relationship is when you are standing up tall and strong and are ready to take on a challenge.

Contact Kristeen Barth for a free 30-minute coaching session:


Saboteur Assessment & Coaching Offer:

Joanie Connell Speaks about her Book on Consulting to Technical Leaders


In this unique episode, Joanie presents a short overview of her new book, Consulting to Technical Leaders, Teams, and Organizations: Building Leadership in STEM Environments and responds to audience questions. She differentiates technical leaders and industries from nontechnical leaders and industries and answers questions on a variety of topics ranging from how did she come to write the book to is it nature or nurture that determines the personalities of technical leaders.

Use discount code FLYER25 for purchasing the book at 25% off the list price until March 31, 2022 at the American Psychological Association bookstore. The book is also available on

Shout Out:

Joanie talks about how to increase diversity in STEM and gives an opportunity to donate to the All Girls STEM Society. Joanie is donating all proceeds from her books sold at her book launch event on March 31, 2022, to the San Diego Chapter of the All Girls STEM Society. You don’t have to attend to donate.

  1. Go to the Book Party Event website at
  2. Click on Tickets and look for the Donation option.

If you want to attend, get a ticket for the event.

Contact Joanie:

Visit for more info on the book, Joanie, and consulting/coaching programs.


Keith Mangold: A Technical Leader’s Dream Job

Keith Mangold is a Senior Manager of IT Applications at Make-A-Wish Foundation. His passion is finding the right technology for organizations and helping improve their processes through innovative and new ideas. He loves playing with new tech, but his specialty is making the tech work for the organization’s needs. In this episode, Keith talks about his IT management journey, how he landed his dream job at Make-A-Wish Foundation (and why), and how he is able to be both an IT manager and a Jazzercise fitness instructor.


Q: Tell us about your passion for technology and when you first knew you wanted to go into IT.

Keith tells how he has had a lifelong passion for playing with the latest technology and he tells what his latest gadget is. Hint: it’s bigger than a bread box.

What do you do at Make-A-Wish Foundation and why is it your dream job?

Keith describes how he gets to use the latest tech but, more importantly, at the end of the day, he gets to help make the world a better place. The mission of Make-A-Wish is what enabled them to retain his talent.

Q: Can you tell us about the mission of Make-A-Wish Foundation?

Make-A-Wish’s mission is to create life changing wishes for children with critical illness. Keith describes how everything he does at Make-A-Wish is to help grant as many wishes as possible in as short a time as possible to spread that joy to every single eligible child. Their product, if you will, is granting wishes.

Q: You say that your least favorite words are “That’s the way we’ve always done it!” and you aspire to look at things from different viewpoints.  How do you bring others on board with you when you do this?

To get people to have open eyes, Keith says he has to have equally, if not more, open eyes. He says he wants to understand why people have always done it that way. That allows him to determine if there really is a need to change. Often there is a really good reason why people are doing things a certain way. Having an open mind himself allows him to ask the questions to get others to think about the way they are doing it.

Listen to the episode to learn Keith’s approach to managing teams by taking the work aspect out of it, how he builds connection in the team, how he shows up both as a senior tech manager and a Jazzercise instructor, and what his tips are for nerds to stay fit.

Words of Wisdom:

I have found I can’t change other people.

As a manager, I have grown more heavily by asking questions than by providing direction.

Learn and understand how someone likes to communicate.

To stay fit, don’t stop moving.

Shout Outs:

Help make the world a better place by making a donation to Make-A-Wish Foundation (

Stay fit while having fun. Join a Jazzercise class.

Contact Keith Mangold:

Email Keith:

Fabrice Paracuellos: Supporting People Through Holiday Stress

Joanie hosts a special holiday episode with Fabrice Paracuellos. Fabrice is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California.  He helps individuals, couples, teams, and organizations with emotions, relationships, self-worth, and wellness. In addition, Fabrice has a technical background with multiple degrees in engineering and business and he’s worked for startups and large tech companies. Today, Fabrice talks about how technical leaders can be supportive to others both at work and at home to people who are stressed out or feeling bad during the holiday season.


Q: Tell us about your background, including your international studies and your work, and how you came to become a therapist and specialize in wellness and relationships.

Fabrice received therapy when he was a teen and it was a wonderful experience for him.  He studied math and physics in high school and engineering in college.  He worked in IT for several years. Having a daughter opened his eyes to doing something that was more meaningful to him, and he transitioned to international relations and business.  Later, when he was ready, he trained to become a therapist.

Q: Technical leaders often say that they want to be a good partner or a good manager or a good friend, but they don’t know what to say to someone when that person says they are stressed out about family dynamics during the holidays. Can you help explain what kinds of stressors and emotions that holidays can bring up for people?

Fabrice explains that what’s called for in this situation may not play to the strength of a person who is really good at solving problems, as technical leaders often are. Simply listening and understanding the emotions that the person is experiencing may be all that is needed. Empathizing by acknowledging their stress may also help. He advises a straightforward statement, such as “That sounds very stressful.”

Fabrice has noticed that lots of tech folks, for various reasons, may not have developed a comfort level with emotions. He says that the trick can be to recognize the emotion the person you’re dealing with is experiencing and validating it. He recommends practicing with a good friend.

He also has found that technical leaders are often used to working in an autonomous fashion.  Asking for help may not come naturally. A good friend can be a good place to start.

Listen to the episode to hear more from Frabrice about how to be a better listener, how to offer support at the workplace without getting too personal or intrusive, and how to manage your own emotions and stress during the holidays so you don’t become a tyrant at work.

Word of Wisdom:

In lots of situations, what’s called for is not what we’re good at.

Emotions are really logical when you are given the right theory and tools.

Noticing emotions is a form of data collection.

Emotions usually have valuable information in them that eventually need attending.

Contact Fabrice Paracuellos: