Redefining the Influencer
By Hueman Group Media
Join Mike Burns, a former Army officer with 13 years of service, as he centers the voices of rarely celebrated individuals. In candid and uplifting conversations, listeners will hear stories of those who have navigated a life of sacrifice, found joy in service, and made a commitment to the greater good.
Redefining the InfluencerDec 31, 2020
Caring For The Elderly and Helping Families Navigate Around Death and Dying with Sierra Campbell
For our last episode this year, we are sharing the story of Sierra Campbell, founder of Nurture.Co. Over the past 20 years, Sierra has worked with elders suffering loss of independence through health crises such as illness, a fall, pneumonia, and surgeries and supported more than 100 people and their families by helping them navigate the often scary and uncomfortable areas of death and dying.
In this episode, we talk to Sierra about how she became interested in the needs of the elder population and how her work today focuses on helping others navigate the often difficult and uncomfortable conversations around all things end of life. Sierra is an inspiring reminder that service doesn’t have to fit into a defined template or box.
Why Teachers Play a Critical Role in Overcoming the Impacts of COVID-19 with Eden Lavy
The global pandemic has tested the fortitude of humanity while simultaneously highlighting our ability to overcome, support, and selflessly give. Those who educate our future generations epitomize what it means to truly live all of these verbs.
Our guest today, Eden Lavy is a grade school teacher. Eden took on the new responsibility of division coordinator, right before the first wave of Covid-19, and never imagined how important her role would be of keeping teachers, students, parents, and communities together and informed so they can continue to live with positivity, growth, and kindness.
In this episode, Eden shares how the unfortunate events of 2020 dramatically changed her day to day work — and how teachers like her are helping kids understand and cope with the pandemic. On the show, we also talk about how kids can continue to keep themselves motivated during these challenging times and how all of us can continue to serve, even without a professional title of teacher or educator.
Dealing with Trauma and Grief Inside and Outside the Military with Greg Washington
Greg Washington is a former soldier who is dedicating his life to supporting and letting those who may feel alone and lost, know that there are people and a community that is ready and willing to embrace and support them.
In this episode, Greg talks to us about losing his two best friends to war and why he's dedicated his life to raising awareness for PTSD and complicated grief. Greg takes us on his journey of pain, doubt, understanding, and love and the path that led him to building a community of veterans and non-veterans through his organization, Guards Down.
Building a Community to Uplift Underserved Women and Girls with Amy Heller
This week's episode touches on the power of a community with a shared purpose. Our guest today, Amy Heller, is a transformational thinker and the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of WGIRLS INC. What began as an informal gathering of young professional women in New York City more than a decade ago, WGIRLS INC. is now a thriving philanthropic organization that impacts the lives of women and children in local communities throughout the country.
In this episode, Amy shares when the seeds of her desire for service were planted and how working in the finance industry led her to see the disparities between two worlds — extreme affluence and abject poverty. On the show, we discuss Amy's commitment and motivation to empower underserved women and children and what she still hopes to achieve through her organization.
The Sacrifices and Joys of a Military Spouse with Nicki McCraney
The military spouse is the true unsung hero. They don’t wear a uniform, but still carry the weight of service on their backs. This week, we have the honor of sharing the story of Nicki McCraney. Nicki is a mother of two, educator, counselor, and volunteer. But, maybe the greatest and most demanding title that she wears is “Military Spouse”.
In this episode, Nicki shares how her life evolved from a young military officer's wife into a critical member of the Army spouses community. She talks to us about the importance of communication, such as writing letters and sending packages to their spouses who are deployed in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan — all while taking care of their families at home. Finally, Nicki and I talk about what service means to her now and how we can all find opportunities to serve within our own communities.
Creating a Just Society with Technology and How To Sustain a Service Mentality with Kristina Libby
Kristina Libby is a sought-after thought-leader, brand builder, and technology insider. Her career encompasses advising and building large scale and high growth companies.
She also has one of the coolest jobs in the world as the Chief Science Officer at Hypergiant, an emerging technology company focused on solving the world's biggest problems in the areas of space, defense, and critical infrastructure. Even with such a huge role Kristina somehow still finds time to positively impact lives and serve as a beacon of hope and love through the “Floral Heart Project”. The project began as a memorial to those dying from COVID-19 and to create a space of sympathy and compassion for everyone struggling from the impacts of the pandemic.
In this episode, Kristina talks about what drove her to the tech space and how we can use technology as a force for good — ultimately creating a just and equitable society. She also shares how to sustain a service mentality and how she made people grieving from the tragic impacts of COVID-19 feel less alone.
Finding One's Purpose as a Military Veteran with Neal Conlon
Neal Conlon is the epitome of a modern-day renaissance man. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Neal is a world-renowned entrepreneur, marketing guru, executive leader, and coach. All of this sums up the fact that he is a remarkable human being who is driven to giving back to others because he understands what it is like to feel alone and lack guidance and resources.
In this episode, Neil talks to me about his troubled upbringing and how he found himself joining the Marines at 18 years old. Neil shares the value of finding a support system, mentorship, and how he ultimately found his identity and purpose years after serving in the military — particularly by leading events that help men tackle critical issues around trauma, healing, and masculinity.
The Power of Small Acts of Service with Kara Ross
Kara Ross is a world-renowned and award-winning jewelry designer whose creations have been featured in museums around the country and worn by celebrities and influencers like Kate Hudson, Oprah Winfrey, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Obama.
In 2015, Kara launched DIAMONDS UNLEASHED, a purpose-driven brand whose mission is to inspire women’s self-worth and create educational opportunities for girls. The brand donates 100% of its net profits from the sale of products and sponsorships to organizations that provide educational scholarships for girls.
In this episode, Kara shares her illustrious career as a gemologist of over 25 years and how her journey brought various opportunities to give back and make a tangible difference in people's lives. Kara talks to me about the importance of identifying the needs of your own community, starting your journey of service at the grassroots level, and why hope is essential during this period of political divisiveness and civil and racial unrest. In our conversation, Kara and I also talk about how our paths crossed and why we're honored to have Kara as Head of Creative Design at Service First Inc., the company behind this podcast.
Health and Medicine for the Greater Good with Panagis Galiatsatos
Today’s guest Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos is a modern-day superhero who has always understood that medicine is much bigger than what happens within the walls of hospitals and clinics. For him, it starts with ensuring basic equality across communities.
Panagis is more than a doctor. He is a driver for systemic change that is rooted in cultural understanding, empathy, and access. In this episode, Panagis talks to me about how being part of an immigrant community impacted his own identity and the important question he asked himself as he entered the medical profession. Amidst the darkness brought about by the pandemic, Panagis shares how he continues to see the light and why we shouldn't let this period rob us of our morals and values.
Finding Service Opportunities in Any Role with John Hartsfield
Life has taken our guest down many paths, and in each one found a way to give back selflessly to his community. Originally from El, Paso Texas and now based in San Antonio, John Hartsfield exemplifies the key traits of a servant leader. John wears many hats — entrepreneur, philanthropist, community activist, and father.
In this episode, I talk to John about how he started looking for service opportunities in his city and the connections he built that enabled him to make a profound impact in the lives of underserved youth and kids with cancer, to name a few. John also shares advice on how you can make a difference in whatever role you play.
Creating the Next Generation of Socially Responsible Leaders with Oliver Libby
This week’s guest features an incredible mind and leader in social impact — whose support made Redefining The Influencer possible. Oliver Libby is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of the impact-focused strategy and venture firm Hatzimemos / Libby (H/L). He is also the Chairman and Co-Founder of The Resolution Project, a nonprofit organization creating the next generation of socially responsible leaders by helping them pursue ideas and solutions to issues affecting communities around the world.
On the show, we talk about how his venture firm H/L empowers founders like myself, who are often marginalized and overlooked. In this episode, Oliver also shares the experiences that led him to start The Resolution Project with his best friends from college, as well as his advice for anyone chasing their service dream.
Pursuing a Path of Servant Leadership with Aralyn Hilliard
At just 16 years old, Aralyn Hilliard knows what her future holds. The daughter of two doctors and training in the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (or JROTC), Aralyn believes that to serve is to sacrifice, to assist and empower others is servant leadership, and to impact others is to motivate them to be the best they can be.
As our youngest guest on the podcast so far, Aralyn is the definition of a future leader. In this episode, Aralyn talks about her path so far, what’s to come and her fresh, inspiring and impactful vision.
Public Service and Life in the Navy with David and Brittany Forman
This week, we’re featuring David and Brittany Forman — a married couple who found themselves pursuing a life of service. Although they took disparate paths of bettering the world, they have come together due to their shared values and purpose. In this episode, David tells stories of his time in the Navy, while Brittany shares her experiences as a community organizer, her passion for solving social issues, and finding opportunities to serve in whatever role you find yourself in (including motherhood!)
Women in the Military with Lisa Jaster
Today, we’re introducing you to a dear friend who has inspired our team at Service First, the brand behind this podcast, since the day we crossed paths. In this episode, Lisa Jaster shares the details of what it’s truly like to serve as a woman in the military. Her story exposes the challenges she and many others face, being a woman in ranger school, and how she became a trailblazer in the field.
Mindfulness for Kids with Casey Hayward
Education is one of the keystones of service and educators play one of the most important roles in society. With kids going back to school this month and how most are adjusting to the "new normal" of learning from home, we are keen to hear from our guest, Casey Hayward, a middle school science teacher based in Massachusetts.
In this episode, Casey speaks to her experience teaching remotely during the global pandemic, incorporating mindfulness and meditation into her curriculum, and how activism has begun to play a role in the classroom.
360-Degree Hug in Mental Health with Nicole Glick and Jennifer Grossman
Innovating and pioneering critical areas of service is something we value through our company, Service First. For this week’s episode, you’ll hear from Jennifer Grossman and Nicole Glick, co-founders of the non-profit Whole Family Mental Health. They will share their views of the mental health space and how they teamed up to reimagine it by providing a “360-degree hug” for their clients.
Epic Days for Kids with Cancer with Manny Diotte
This week's guest, Manny Diotte—the founder and mastermind behind "The Ferrari Kid", a non-for-profit that gives children fighting cancer an epic day they'll never forget. Manny's personal experiences taught him the value of service and the power of even the smallest act. There are 50 kids a day that are told that they have cancer—one of the hardest things to hear. He wants to help those kids and their families all over the country know that they are not alone.
In this episode, Manny shares his own cancer journey that started at 7 years old, including 50 surgeries he had to go through to beat the disease. He also talks about the moment which led him to dedicate his life to kids and their families who are broken by illnesses. On the podcast, Manny also speaks about his vision for his organization and his advice for anyone who wants to find their place in the service space.
The Global Volunteer with Jessica Feingold
Sometimes, you hear the call of service at a very young age and it drives you throughout your entire life. That’s true of our guest today — Jessica Feingold. She found her passion for serving others through her Jewish upbringing and has touched many people’s lives through her work in a number of fields.
From volunteering in public health in India to educating in France to supporting sustainability efforts in Australia, Jessica shares her story of service that has led her around the world and back again as a non-for-profit leader and futurist.
Living Service First with Mike Burns and Albert Vallejos
On the first episode of Redefining the Influencer, host Mike Burns shares the story of how he found and followed his own call of service. Throughout Mike’s 13 years of experience in the US Army working as a helicopter pilot and civil military advisor, he met incredible people who led him to where he is today. In this episode, Mike is joined by Albert Vallejos, co-founder at Service First, a jewelry brand that symbolizes what it means to live service first. They talk about the extreme challenges, misconceptions and the pivotal relationships they built during their time in the military and beyond.
In this conversation, Mike also shares how Service First inspired their mission for the podcast: to celebrate the stories of a new breed of influencers — individuals who have made remarkable contributions to society through their acts of service.
This podcast is brought to you by Service First and produced by Hueman Group Media.
Follow us on Instagram @liveservicefirst, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Redefining the Influencer - Trailer
A podcast that shares powerful stories of heroes that don’t typically show up on your feed. Redefining the Influencer introduces you to exceptional people who have followed a call of service — from military veterans, doctors, and teachers to nonprofit leaders, first responders, and mothers. A former Army officer with more than 13 years in the military, host Mike Burns knows first-hand what it’s like to serve, protect, and put the lives of others before your own.
In each episode, Mike centers the voices of rarely celebrated individuals. In candid and uplifting conversations, listeners will hear stories of those who have navigated a life of sacrifice, found joy in service, and made a commitment to the greater good.
More than ever, we need to come together and honor those who put their lives second, and share what it means to live a life of service first.