The ROCC Pod

The ROCC Pod

We are excited to launch the first ever podcast for the Royal Oak Michigan Chamber of Commerce, "The ROCC Pod!" This will be a unique podcast with an all-star cast of hosts. Join us, as we get to know our Royal Oak Chamber members on a more personal level. Want to be featured as a guest on our show? Email us!


February 15, 2024 22 mins

To kick off Season 3 of the ROCC Pod, we welcome Jennifer McCallum from Firefly Pet Photography.  Jennifer shares her journey from being a third-level sommelier to a passionate pet photographer. She emphasizes her love for animals, detailing her extensive experience in animal rescue and fostering.

Jennifer's transition into pet photography stemmed from her realization that she could make a greater impact through her business. She hi...

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In this episode of the ROCC Pod, we welcome Kayla Lopez from Good Business. Kayla, a seasoned corporate executive turned consultant, shares her journey and insights into the world of consulting, emphasizing her diverse experience in various industries such as mortgage, banking, automotive, manufacturing, healthcare, and food service.

Kayla begins by defines consulting as providing expert advice for compensation. She reflects on her ...

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In our latest episode of the ROCC Pod, we dive into the world of fitness and entrepreneurship with Erin Szaroleta and Moe Ashley from Home Turf Gym. We start with the common January fitness surge, with many of us feeling the aftermath of holiday indulgence. Erin shares her journey from a collegiate athlete to finding balance in her fitness and diet post-college. She emphasizes the importance of adapting workout routines to fit a bu...

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January 4, 2024 17 mins

Today's guest is Marjorie Saulson from Vibrant Vocal Power. Marjorie, a communication confidence coach, shares her insights on overcoming the fear of public speaking and effective communication strategies.

Marjorie defines public speaking as any form of communication beyond self-talk. She identifies the emotional fears associated with public speaking, highlighting criticism, rejection, and failure as the primary concerns. We delve i...

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December 21, 2023 19 mins

Joel Chinsky's journey in the world of technology began in the late 80s when his father worked for a company that allowed him to work from home, making them one of the few families to own a home computer at the time. Joel fell in love with technology, spending hours playing games and learning basic programming. This early exposure ignited his passion for technology and set him on a path of exploration and discovery.

Joel’s curiosity...

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December 7, 2023 19 mins

Jon Gay and Lisa Bibbee welcome Joe Haney, the President of AssuredPartners of Michigan, one of our state's leading workplace insurance providers. 

We start by acknowledging the importance of mental health support in the workplace. Joe discusses the significance of employee assistance programs (EAP) in addressing the mental health challenges that emerged, especially during and after COVID-19.

The discussion delves into the changing d...

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November 16, 2023 12 mins

Just in time for Thanksgiving, we are visiting with new Chamber member Jannie Teitelbaum from Great Lakes Pot Pies.

She was semi-retired and was experimenting with healthy bars, when she brough a pie to a Women's event.  She was told "this should be your business." Jannie's business took off from there, with her pies gaining popularity at the Royal Oak Farmer's Market, which played a crucial role in expanding her customer base and n...

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November 2, 2023 17 mins

Dustin Ryan Walker from Ross Mortgage joins us today. Dustin's insights into the current housing market shed light on the factors affecting housing prices and inventory shortages. The pandemic, work shortages in shipping, and a growing population have all contributed to the current situation. The idea of a housing bubble or collapse is dispelled, and we touch on the impact of factors like Airbnb and the growth of wealth among prope...

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In this episode of The ROCC Pod presented by the Royal Oak Michigan Chamber of Commerce, we welcome Andrea Hicks, a local insurance agent specializing in Medicare. Andrea clarifies the intricacies of Medicare enrollment and the importance of understanding the difference between annual enrollment and open enrollment periods. She emphasizes the significance of having an independent agent to navigate the complex world of Medicare plan...

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October 5, 2023 14 mins

On this episode of the ROCC Pod, presented by the Royal Oak Michigan Chamber of Commerce, we have a special guest, Chef Dewayne Gordon from Gus's Fried Chicken, located at the corner of 13 and Woodward. 

Chef Dewayne shares his inspiring journey from a career in IT to becoming a chef. His passion for serving people and cooking led him to work his way up from washing dishes to becoming a chef at Peas and Carrots Hospitality. When the...

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September 21, 2023 17 mins

Olga Schmidt from Creative Society joins the Rock Pod to discuss the organization's mission and how it aims to create a sustainable and harmonious society. The Creative Society project started about ten years ago when volunteers from around the world conducted interviews and research to understand people's desires for a better society. Based on millions of interviews, eight pillars of the Creative Society were formed. The organizat...

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September 7, 2023 13 mins

Mallory Slusser is the campaign development manager for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, LLS.  Their signature event, Light The Night, is happening at Hart Plaza October 5th.  If you've never beenm it's an incredibly powerful gathering of survivors, supporters, and more.   And while the LLS appreciates all fundraising, raising money is not a requirement for attendance.   LLS is simply looking for support.

Mallory is very passionat...

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Matthew Stransky, founder of Stransky and Company, shares his journey into real estate and how he built his successful team. He discusses the advantages of working with a real estate team and the importance of delivering excellent service to clients. Matthew also provides insights into the Royal Oak real estate market and explains why now is a great time to buy a home. He concludes by sharing his predictions for the future of the r...

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Bob Chapa, owner of Signarama in Troy/Metro Detroit, joins the ROCC Pod to discuss the importance of branding for businesses. He explains how signs play a crucial role in branding, as they are often the first visual representation of a company that people see. Bob shares a powerful customer service story about his daughter's experience at an oil change shop, highlighting the impact of personalized and attentive service on brand per...

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July 20, 2023 20 mins

You may think you know what a notary does,  but Debbie Lowery from On The Go Notary Pro joins us today to really take us to school on all the different things she does.

First, she explains that a notary doesn't necessarily notarize a document, but the actual signing of the document.  Debbie tells us why that's important.

Today's guest is both a mobile notary (she can come to you), and a remote online notary.   You may be wondering ho...

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 Carolyn Elliot, Director of HR Advisory Solutions at HR Pro, delves into the various challenges that employers have faced in the last six months. The discussion revolves around the complexities of HR management and how to navigate them effectively.

Carolyn shares her valuable insights on how to establish a strong foundation for HR compliance, which includes understanding the legal requirements and regulations that govern the workpl...

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In 2001, Ed Nahhat had the idea to bring William Shakespeare's classic stories to Royal Oak.   It began a tradition that has survived everything from 9/11 to a global pandemic.    Ed joins us today to talk about how it started, as well as this year's plays and programs.

This year's "preseason" event will be called "A Labor of Love," at the Royal Oak Farmers Market on June 29th.  It's a "meet the cast event" where even small donation...

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June 8, 2023 26 mins

Today, we are joined by the women of Monarch Coaching, specialists in the space of transformational leadership.   Taylor Miller and Erika Rivera start with their fascinating backstories.   Taylor went from entry-level retail employee to store manager and leadership coach.    Erika, a native of Colombia, lived in South Korea for several years before coming to the United States.

The two quickly hit it off when working together in the ...

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If you haven't heard of dog or pet massage, you're not alone.   Today's guest, Jill Valuet of Radiant Paws, hadn't heard of it either.  But in 2018, she needed a career change.   She looked inward to see what she was passionate about.  The answer: dogs.


She found a program in Toledo that she could get certified in dog massage, and Radian Paws was born.  Today she explains what she does.   Yes, dog massage is very different - requir...

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May 4, 2023 18 mins

Tiffany Wisnieski of Twiz Creative joins Jon, Lisa, and Trish today to talk about marketing and branding - and how important it is for your business.


Having graduated from the College for Creative Studies in advertising design, Tiffany has always been passionate about branding.  She worked in several agencies, before deciding in 2020 to go out on her own and start Twiz Creative, which she did while going on a cross-country road tri...

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