Voices of Experience

Voices of Experience

Each month, we sit down with CEOs and other business leaders to explore topics at the intersection of business and the public good, from ethics and corporate responsibility to lessons in leadership and where industries are headed. No matter the topic, you’ll gain valuable insights and advice to use in your own career and beyond. The VOE Podcast is an extension of Voices of Experience, the signature speaker series at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business.


May 30, 2023 28 mins
In a thick, well-loved, black sketchbook, Kirsten Benefiel keeps the lessons she's learned over her career as an executive. Benefiel's resume includes stops at Accenture, Newmont Mining, ViaWest and HSS, where she recently served as CEO. On this episode of the Voices of Experience podcast, Benefiel cracks open her notebook and shares her advice for stepping off the corporate ladder, communicating and selling a vision, navigating an...
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Lauren Guthrie wasn't much of a trekker or backpacker, but there she was, climbing 9,000 feet to reach the base camp at Mount Everest. The opportunity to join an all-Black team of climbers was too good to pass up—plus, it taught her valuable lessons about diversity in the corporate space. Guthrie is the vice president of global inclusion, diversity, equity and action (IDEA) and talent development at VF Corporation, the company behi...
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Leigh Hitz is a strategic advisor in the hospitality industry that retired as CEO of Stout Street Hospitality in 2016. Hitz worked at Stout Street for nearly three decades, learning to manage all aspects of the hotel space, from the front of the house to the penthouse. In 2008, Hitz and her husband, James, established a scholarship fund for female students pursuing a hospitality degree at the University of Denver’s School Fritz Kno...
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It was once the stuff of sci-fi stories, but in 2023 the metaverse is very real. Virtual reality, mixed reality and extended reality come together for an immersive experience that an increasing number of businesses are dipping their toes into. Colleen Reilly, senior vice president of business development for ImmersiveWorlds, explains how the metaverse works, how companies are putting it to use and what it means for the future. Tab...
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February 20, 2023 27 mins
Jodie Antypas (MBA 2005) didn't grow up playing video games. They weren't expressly forbidden in her house, but they also weren't encouraged. So, how does a non-gamer end up leading large teams at Nintendo and Electronic Arts (EA) in the consumer marketing space? Antypas isn't quite sure, but she's quickly become an expert in the field, using player data and consumer opinions to drive the past, present and future of the video game ...
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January 23, 2023 30 mins
Watching George Floyd's murder on TV shook Rob Cohen to his core. He was well aware of racial injustices and inequities; he had already implemented diversity, equity and inclusion policies at IMA Financial Group, where he serves as chairman and CEO. But he realized he needed to step up to create even greater change. On this episode of the Voices of Experience podcast, Cohen explains the "listen, learn, then lead" approach he used i...
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December 19, 2022 23 mins
When people think of philanthropy, they often think of wealth—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Alan Frosh (BA 2005, JD 2011, MBA 2020) calls himself a “next-generation philanthropist,” and he’s spreading the word about how to make an impact on a smaller budget. Frosh is co-owner of Denver’s Tattered Cover Book Store and the Denver market director at Notley Ventures, where he supports people, businesses and nonprofits striving fo...
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November 14, 2022 28 mins
With a lifetime spent in real estate and development, Chris Frampton has seen and built it all. From a bustling transit hub like Denver's Union Station to a village at an internationally known ski resort like Steamboat, Frampton has managed a variety of projects in his career as CEO of East West Partners. On the Voices of Experience podcast, Frampton shares the path that led him to a top Denver-based developer, his thoughts on the ...
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October 24, 2022 29 mins
She had a comfortable job with a six-figure salary in a familiar industry, but Taylor Iascone (MS 2017) wasn't happy with where she was. Her gut told her she needed to do more for herself—and for the environment. So Iascone changed course, moving to Denver to pursue a degree from the Burns School of Construction Management and a career in sustainability. As the senior ESG manager at Verdani Partners, she works with companies, inves...
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The first time the spotlight found Arjun Murti, he didn't like it very much. An analyst at Goldman Sachs, Murti (BSBA 1992) had made a bold—but ultimately correct—prediction about a "super spike" in the price of oil, and his career would never be the same. He shied from the limelight and finished his career in mostly private-facing roles. But now, he's raising his voice, hoping it can change the way the country talks about a transi...
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July 11, 2022 25 mins
Steve Lucas Korn Ferry estimates that by 2030, 80 million high-skilled jobs will go unfilled globally. This means companies will have to compete for talent—more than they already are. Yet, the CEO of ICIMS says there's currently a lack of qualified employers. What does CEO Steve Lucas mean? And, what does he think companies should do to attract high-quality talent?  Steve Lucas joined the VOE Podcast to talk about talent acquisiti...
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June 13, 2022 26 mins
Bryan Leach took an unorthodox path to becoming the founder and CEO of Denver-based Ibotta, beginning his career as a lawyer. After a lightbulb moment and swift career change, Leach has led the cashback technology company for a decade, guiding it to more than 40 million downloads and delivering over $1.1 billion in cash rewards to its users. And, with nearly 750 total employees, Ibotta has been named one of the fastest-growing comp...
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The practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has come a long way during Helen Drexler's career. What started as some charitable donations and the occasional volunteer project has become a nonstop, comprehensive commitment to the community and its people—including a company's own employees. It's an expectation. Drexler, the CEO of Delta Dental of Colorado and managing director of Ensemble Innovation Ventures, joined the VOE...
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April 5, 2022 25 mins
The VOE Podcast is focusing on Earth Day, Friday, April 22. We're talking to a leader in the sustainability arena, to someone who is really hoping to drive results in this space. That person is Kathleen Pitre, president of Beverage Packaging in North and Central America for Ball Corporation. The Daniels College of Business has had a great relationship with Ball Corporation, hosting CEO John Hayes for Voice of Experience in 2016, pr...
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February 11, 2022 29 mins
We're looking ahead to International Women's Day which is Tuesday, March 8 as we discuss the glass cliff, a phenomenon where women often get promoted during times of crisis. That very thing has happened to Chief Operating Officer Andrea Westcott Passman. Passman joins the VOE Podcast to discuss how she's navigated the glass cliff, advice she has for women and we learn about her career in oil and gas. She is currently the COO of Cae...
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January 6, 2022 25 mins
The COVID-19 pandemic had a dramatic impact on the airline industry as travel advisories and bans grounded planes across the globe. As travel opened up, airlines took on new challenges with health and safety concerns. And, today, airlines, like other industries struggle to hire the full workforce needed for success. Jon Roitman, chief operating officer of United Airlines, is in a unique position to discuss all of this as a guest of...
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December 10, 2021 24 mins
Welcome back to the VOE Podcast! In our latest episode, we dive into the importance of human capital investment and effective human resources management with Amy Blair (MBA 1998)—senior vice president and chief people officer for Liberty Global, a world leader in converged broadband, video and mobile communications services. Blair shares the interconnectedness of her human resources career in the cable and telecommunications indust...
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November 8, 2021 21 mins
In our latest episode about the ongoing labor and employment crisis, we sit down with Mischa Fisher—chief economist at Angi, the digital home-services marketplace—to discuss the current state of the skilled trades industry. Fisher's latest research found that the industry, like many others, is experiencing a labor shortage, but it's not due to the "great resignation." Rather, Fisher explains, the stories we tell about the skilled t...
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October 7, 2021 21 mins
The way people work was changing long before the COVID-19 pandemic. But, the pandemic accelerated many changes including the employees wanting more flexibility and variety in their work. We continue our episode series on the labor and employment crisis with a conversation with John Winsor (MBA 1986). Winsor is the CEO of Open Assembly and an executive-in-resident at Harvard Business School's Laboratory for Innovation Science. He is...
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September 9, 2021 18 mins
This episode of the VOE Podcast features Daniels alumna Megan Smith (BSBA 2006), CEO of Symbia Logistics, for a conversation about the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on labor and employment--especially for women in the workforce. She comments on the findings from the National Women's Law Center that 2.3 million women left the workplace since February 2020 and that women's participation in the workforce fell to 57%--the lowest it's been...
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