Carl Smith from Bureau of Digital

May 7, 2018
Welcome to Episode 4 of Season 2.
On today's episode, Carl Smith from the Bureau of Digital talks to us about the "Jellyfish" model of business, his work building nGen and deciding to take over the Bureau of Digital, and his philosophies on work, management, and building trust and intimacy amongst groups of people.

Carl was a theatre major who decided to act like he understood business. He spent 14 years in advertising before launching his digital agency in nGen Works in 2003. nGen went on for 12 years and constantly experimented with different models of management and team structure, including the Jellyfish model, which was flat before flat was cool. Toward the end of nGen's run, Carl attended the very first Bureau event and fell madly in love with the concept of building community in the web industry. So much that a few years ago he later bought out his partner to run the Bureau in 2016. Now Carl spends every day connecting digital professionals to give them the support they need.

Check out the full transcript here

Dan Szuc and Jo Wong from Apogee and Make Meaningful Work

April 30, 2018
Welcome to Episode 3 of Season 2.
On today's episode, Dan and Jo from Apogee discuss how to create a "bedrock" for meaningful work, some of the models and tools they use in their work, and how they view everything in life through this lens of health, reflection, and improvement.

Dan Szuc is co-founder and principle at Apogee and co-founder of Make Meaningful Work and UX Hong Kong. He's been involved in the UX field for 25 years and has been based in Hong Kong for over 20 years. He's lectured about user centered design globally and has co-authored two books including Global UX with Whitney Quesenbery and The Usability Kit with Gerry Gaffney. 

Jo Wong is also co-founder and principle at Apogee and Make Meaningful Work, and co-founder of UX Hong Kong. Jo grew up in multicultural Hong Kong with a Chinese-Burmese father and Chinese-Indonesian mother. She collaborates with global teams conducting research in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. Jo is passionate about the environment, political and economic systems, and how we can live healthier and happier lives while not adversely impacting less fortunate people.
Check out the full transcript here.

Special Episode: Change Management within HR

February 13, 2018

Join us for a special episode of Up Right & Better, where we welcome Elise Raher of Mammoth HR to share her experience of change managing through rapid growth at her company. This week's episode is especially relevant to Human.School attendees - don't forget, Human.School is Feb. 27 and 28 here in Portland, Oregon!

Read the full transcript online!


Season 2, Episode 1: Taking Care of Yourself to Grow Your Company

January 30, 2018

Welcome to the second season of Up Right & Better!

On today's episode, Reini Chipman joins us to talk about HR self care, what growing a better business can look like, and how to build yourself while you help grow the business. 

In college, Reini studied psychology and social work and always envisioned helping, supporting and being involved with people. Like may HR folks, HR fell into her lap. Overtime, she's noticed it's become interesting and complex and every organization has some form of it, so she's leaned into it for the last 18 years. Over her career, Reini has supported many different types and sizes of organizations in human resources, operational and executive roles. She's worked with thousands of talented individuals, hundreds of teams and several companies who are recognized as best places to work. Through these experiences, she's learned that although every organization is unique, there's some very powerful strategies that can be applied din almost any organization to increase engagement and performance. Now, Reini's a coach and mentor and continues her HR work in the Portland tech ecosystem.

Check out the full episode transcription here.


Season 1 Finale: A conversation with Stephen Green, Luke Kanies, and Mara Zepeda

October 9, 2017

Welcome to the final episode of Season 1! Today, we have three of our earlier guests - Luke Kanies, Stephen Green, and Mara Zepeda. I highly encourage you to go back and listen to their episodes; they're some of the most lively and they're fan favorites. Today we talk about what we've all learned this year, how we're taking that into 2018, and what "better" really means. Join us!

Read the transcript at! 


Episode 12 - Better Systems

September 25, 2017

In today's episode, I get to interview Kronda Adair - recovering Wordpress developer turned marketer - about the systems she's built in her business. We talk about growth, getting it together, and why systems are the new gospel. If you're building a business that you want to scale, you need to listen to Kronda! Read the transcript and learn more about Kronda at! 


Episode 11 - The Laws of Physics

September 11, 2017

In today's episode, Caleb Dean and I ponder if big business is breaking the laws of physics, what sustainable business really means, and so much more. Caleb is Founder and Managing Director of Owl, Fox & Dean. He and his team work at the intersection of organizational design, change management, and leadership development to help bold companies and individuals increase their capacity to evolve and generate value for people and place. Join me in the conversation and read the full transcript at!


Episode 10 - Designing Businesses for Sustainability

August 28, 2017

On today's episode, Ciara Pressler joins us from her studio in Pregame HQ! Ciara is dedicated to discovering the best business ideas & practices through the advising she provides to entrepreneurs, business leaders, and creative professionals. She has managed marketing and communications initiatives for clients from startups to the best-known brands in the world. She has been a guest expert on business, including segments for NBC, ABC, NPR, and The Huffington Post. Ciara is the author of two business/career optimization books, creator of entrepreneurial development courses, and a guest speaker for conferences, schools, and organizations. Today, we talk about designing businesses, burn out, what makes a sustainable business, and how to build a profitable, better business! Read the full transcript at


Episode 9 - When You Don’t Fit the Model, Break It

August 14, 2017

Today's episode features Mara Zepeda, the co-founder and CEO of Switchboard, a founder of Business For a Better Portland and XXcelerate Fund. She also co-wrote the Zebra Manifesto which gave birth to the Zebras Unite movement and soon, the first DazzleCon. Don't miss this episode, especially if you don't buy into the "scale for scaling's sake" zeitgeist! Listen along as Mara educates us about what's really going on in the gender gap in startup funding, what many women are doing about it, and how she's broken that model to allow her startup to succeed.

Read the show notes at!


Episode 8 - Visualize This: Your Strategy, Better

July 31, 2017


Today’s guest is Nitya Wakhlu, a personal friend and a professional collaborator of mine. Nitya is the founder at Drawbridge Innovations, where she specializes in using visual thinking and experiential learning to create whole-brain experiences that support group learning, innovation, and change. Nitya has a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and an MBA focused on Human Resources and Industrial Relations. Nitya’s best known for her work as a graphic recorder and visual facilitator, and she brings over eight years of experience working with corporate, government, and nonprofit groups from across North America, India, Africa, and Europe. On the podcast today, we're going to talk about the difference between graphic recording and facilitation, putting a more human lens on human resources, and learning how to start your graphic recording process!

Learn more about Nitya Wakhlu and see the full transcript at!