The UpRight&Better Podcast
Episode 7 - On Cheating, Money, and Important Truths About Growth

Episode 7 - On Cheating, Money, and Important Truths About Growth

July 17, 2017

On Episode 7 of Up Right & Better, I talk with Stephen Green, one of my favorite Portlanders and startup thinkers. He's an economist, entrepreneur & general do-gooder. A Portland native and recovering banker and venture capitalist, he is a champion of the little gal/guy, creator of the event PitchBlack and the Oregon Public House. He spends his days as Community Manger for Townsquared, a tech startup connecting small businesses with the knowledge they need to succeed and grow. On this episode, we'll be talking about funding, why you might not need money, how to cheat, and more - join us!

Learn more about Stephen Green and see the full transcript at!

Episode 6 - Experience is Everything

Episode 6 - Experience is Everything

July 3, 2017

On Episode 6 of Up Right & Better, Emily Griffith, the Ambassador of Awesome at FINE, a brand agency for the digital age. Based in the Portland office, she works fast and goes creatively big, empowering people to create their best version of great, while maintaining grace under fire. Curating a bonafide Awesome office culture is a juggling act of operations, studio management, hospitality, event planning, and communications, and no day is ever the same. Emily knows first impressions are lasting, so she makes them meaningful for both staff and clients, taking FINE's "bring friends" credo and running barefoot with it.

Learn more about FINE and see the full transcript at!

Episode 5 - Don’t Compromise on Employee Experience

Episode 5 - Don’t Compromise on Employee Experience

June 19, 2017

On Episode 5 of Up Right & Better, Jill Nelson, founder and CEO of business communications company Ruby Receptionists, shares with us her guiding principles for developing an employee-centric culture that in turn makes her company one of the most awarded in Portland!

From humble beginnings 14 years ago, Jill Nelson has grown Ruby Receptionists into a four-time winner of FORTUNE magazine’s top five Best Small Companies to Work for, and a Portland Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Companies in Oregon recipient for the past nine years. Today, Ruby’s 400 employees provide friendly live receptionist service to more than 6,000 small businesses throughout North America. In addition to her own entrepreneurial endeavors, Jill has been recognized for her contributions to Oregon's business and technology communities, receiving the Technology Association of Oregon's 2017 Technology Executive of the Year Award as well as EO's 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year award. A sought after speaker on culture driven growth, Jill has shared her management philosophy of incenting, inspiring, and empowering employees with global brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Leroy Merlin of Europe, and Kiabi of France. Her vision for Ruby includes a workplace employees are excited to come to each day and are inspired to learn, grow, and connect with others. 

Learn more about Ruby Receptionists here and see the full transcript at!

Episode 4 - It May Be Working, But It May Not Be Right

Episode 4 - It May Be Working, But It May Not Be Right

June 5, 2017

On Episode 4 of Up Right & Better, Luke Kanies, founder and former CEO of Puppet, joins us to talk frankly and openly about the challenges of being a CEO, understanding that the facts live outside the building, and how he worked to be intentional about culture at his company. 

Luke has been publishing and speaking on his work in system administration since 1997, focusing on development since 2001. His work with Puppet has been an important part of dev ops and delivering on the promise of cloud computing. He currently serves as director of Puppet Labs, but recently he's be writing things like, "The Wrong Successes Kill Companies," in which he reminds us that just because it's working doesn't make it right.

Read more from Luke on Medium and see the full transcript at!



Episode 3 - What is Culture, Anyway?

Episode 3 - What is Culture, Anyway?

May 21, 2017

On Episode 3 of Up Right & Better, we'll have Dara Blumenthal on the podcast today. We get to talk about her research and how it relates to the culture work she does today and what it actually means to do strategy in a company.

Dr. Dara Blumenthal is a scholar of identity and embodiment who is passionate about humanizing the workplace. She is the head of Strategy and Culture at Live Grey, where she specializes in cultivating more authentic and emotionally intelligent cultures by weaving together group dynamics, interpersonal coaching, and organization design. 

In our conversation, we discuss what culture really is in the context of the organization, why sense making is key to work, and how to go about understanding and creating culture in your organization. Read the full transcript at!

Episode 2 - Leading, Not Managing, Projects

Episode 2 - Leading, Not Managing, Projects

May 8, 2017

On Episode 2 of Up Right & Better, we're talking about project leadership vs. project management. Every organizational change project, whether it's learning and development focused, HR, sales focused, or otherwise, has to be project managed. But project management might not be getting you the results you're looking for. 

I'm so excited to share with you today's guest for Upright and Better's second episode. Monica Borrell is currently the CEO of Cardsmith, a visual project management tool patterned after Sticky Notes, and the co-founder of Project Elevate. Fun fact about Monica, is that she's been self employed since 1992. She's founded seven companies including Go East, Matrix, Corner Star, LoveJoyFood, Cardsmith and now Project Elevate. She's also a PMI Certified Project Manager and a theory of constraints Jonah. Monica is way into Sticky Notes.

Monica helped forge the revolutionary project management system that supported BP's clean up efforts after the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. Her team solution notably involving multi-colored construction paper and yarn proved that low tech is sometimes the right tech. She brought her new and improved digital version to the masses with Cardsmith, and now she's bringing project leadership to life with Project Elevate.

Read the full transcript at!

Episode 1 - Focus… on the Learner

Episode 1 - Focus… on the Learner

April 23, 2017

Join us for our very first full-length episode! Jillian Douglas and Shannon McKenzie, co-founders of Idea Learning Group, are here to tell us about designing learning experiences for the learner. It might seem, well, intuitive, but you'd be surprised! 

I'm thrilled to welcome Jillian Douglas and Shannon McKenzie today to the podcast, and the fact that they are our first interview just makes my heart so happy! Jillian Douglas and Shannon McKenzie are the co-founders of the Idea Learning Group here, in Portland, Oregon. Idea Learning Group is on a mission to transform workplace learning by providing clients with creative, engaging, and custom learning experiences. I can personally attest to how amazing this pair is, and I've been lucky enough for the past few years to have Jillian as a mentor. She's been absolutely integral in shaping Edify with me, and I can't imagine growing the company without her mentorship.

Read the entire transcript on Up Right & Better!

Welcome to UpRight&Better!

Welcome to UpRight&Better!

April 10, 2017

Hello, and welcome to Up, Right, and Better, where CEO’s, experts, and thought leaders challenge conventional business wisdom  to help you scale your company up and to the right AND up and better. I’m your host, Kristen Gallagher.

UpRight&Better is a new podcast, produced and edited by me. UpRight&Better isn’t a product of my company, Edify, but it is informed by the work Edify has been involved in. If you’re familiar with the tech scene or venture-backed business world, you’ve probably heard that successful businesses are going “up and to the right” - or maybe you’ve heard of the ubiquitous “hockey stick” plan. Well, we think there’s more to life than profit and growth for growth’s sake - and that’s what we’ll be talking about in UpRight&Better.

We’ll be talking about culture, development, management, people, benefits, and knowledge. This podcast sits at the intersection of Organizational Development, Company Culture, Knowledge Management, and Learning & Development. It’s your bi-weekly opportunity to to hear about major wins, big screw-ups, and hard-won lessons learned from people who are trying to grow their businesses up and to the right and up and better.


So who should listen to UpRight&Better? We think CEO’s, Business Owners, Venture Capitalists, L&D folks, Change Management Professionals, and human resources professionals might wanna drop in.


We’re gambling here, but we think people will listen because:

  • Engaging bursts of conversation around a multi-faceted topic are interesting (and useful!)
  • Jargon is the worst, and we won’t use it
  • There will be actionable chunks of things you can try right now at work
  • We’ll make sure that each episode is relatable and accessible
  • It’s useful to hear content that combines fields that need to be talked about together
  • If you want to help your business succeed AND do the right thing (both for your employees and the bigger picture), then you’re in the right spot (just put in your headphones)

There is nowhere that people can learn about both the people side of business and the mechanics of actually operating a business that is both profitable and good. Right now, there are Human Resources and business management podcasts out there, but we think they’re not only boring and preachy, but worse, they’re compliance-focused or overly academic.

Business owners, CEO’s, HR Leaders, and idea builders need a resource that’s actionable and doesn’t take itself too seriously, so that’s where UpRight&Better comes in. You can expect to hear us be Lighthearted (and not too serious), Sarcastic, Skeptical, and honest. You can expect about two episodes per month, plus mini-episodes that dive into a particular topic in depth. In general, each episode will be about 20-35 minutes.

We hope you’ll join us - UpRight&Better could become the best place to learn about building sustainable, intentional businesses with your help! We look forward to having you along for the ride. See you next time!