Shining a Light Podcast

A new podcast series, where we put a spotlight on women in leadership and female entrepreneurship.

Welcome to our new podcast: Shining A Light, where we strive to put a spotlight on women in leadership and female entrepreneurship – inspiring the next generation of female entrepreneurs to rise to greater heights than ever before.

Each episode weaves together insight from female business leaders in the Twin Cities, highlighting the diversity of their experience and perspective. We explore the trials and triumphs of leading during a pandemic and racial unrest. We dive into the key qualities of remarkable women creating a legacy in the business world.

Thank you for listening, and we hope you enjoy these conversations.

Beth Kieffer Leonard
Managing Partner of Lurie, LLP

Listen or subscribe on your favorite podcast platform, or visit the episode page to hear the show and access show notes, guest bios and more!

Episode 1: Heart and Humility

With guests:

Kate Kelly, PNC Regional Bank President
Kim Motes, Managing Director of Children’s Theatre Company

If there was ever a time to lead with heart, it was during the trying times of 2020- 2021. This episode explores those who embody heart-based leadership to inspire loyalty and build powerful relationships by being kind, caring, and humble. Leading with heart doesn’t always mean a soft approach; it can also mean high expectations and firm accountability. Beth Kieffer Leonard kicks off this first episode with her vision on leading with heart and what this leadership style can inspire. She moderates the conversation with Kate Kelly from PNC Bank and Kim Motes for the Children’s Theatre Company. Camille Burns, from Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), joins Beth during the episode intro and speaks about the outstanding community of WPO Chapter One.

Episode 2: Equity and Empathy

With guests:

Alison Rempel Brown, CEO of the Science Museum of Minnesota
Anika Ward, President and CEO of the Sankofa Leadership Network

In times of crisis, women leaders rose to the occasion with sensitivity and understanding of the stress, anxiety, and frustration that people are feeling striving to meet needs. Specifically, in this episode, these leaders responded with compassion and empathy during a time of twin pandemics, with both a public health and racial crisis unfolding across the globe. With Minnesota at the epicenter of racial unrest, we learn how these women used compassion at the forefront to spark change and focus their efforts on anti-racism and racial equity within their spheres of influence. 

Episode 3: Community and Connection

With guests:

Lili Hall, CEO of Knock, Inc.
Susan Shields, textiles entrepreneur and designer

Leaders take responsibility for the well-being and improvement of their communities. The COVID-19 pandemic combined with the aftermath of George Floyd brings Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work into closer view. Companies are addressing inequities and also implementing anti-racist strategies that require a structural and personal commitment for unity and change not just in the workplace community but in the greater community in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, and beyond. This episode highlights how intentional work fuels crucial connections that strengthen our community. 

Episode 4: Impact and Influence

With guests:

Anne Behrendt, President, CEO and majority owner of Doran Companies
Kay Phillips, co-owner of ATEK companies

Successful leaders use influence to help others reach their highest potential. The capacity to influence others comes from a place of passion and authenticity that can lead to the greatest impact on work cultures and our greater communities.

We hear from two women doing just that in the spheres of manufacturing, construction, and technologies, using their influence as leaders beyond these realms to make a powerful impact on society.

Episode 5: Invention and Reinvention

With guests:

Michelle Tran Maryns, CEO of We Sparkle Co.
Tammy Lee is CEO of Xena Therapies

One of the long-standing effects of the pandemic is that for many of us, it forever changed the way we work. As the pandemic stretched on, and the lockdown became more of a way of life, businesses had to shift gears, shut down, lay off employees, and start again. In this episode, we hear contrasting stories with similar threads: one woman reinvents herself, and one woman finds the courage to begin her big idea.