Single & Successful 2017

Single & Successful 2017

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    You picked ‘em, we chatted with ‘em! They’re sharing their goals, what success means to them, and what they enjoy doing outside of work! Learn more about Cincy Chic’s 2017 Single & Successful selections, and how you can meet them in person soon!

    Check out our interviews below with the men selected to be part of our 2017 Single & Successful class! You can even meet them at our upcoming Single & Successful event this Thursday, June 29, at Igby’s as we partner with Cincinnati Profile and A-List Introductions! Click here to RSVP!

    Kash Shaikh, Founder & CEO of Besomebody, Inc.

    Kash Shaikh, Founder & CEO of Besomebody, Inc.

    Cincy Chic: What does it mean to you to be “successful?”
    Shaikh: I believe success is relative, and personal. And success can be measured in a lifetime, or an afternoon, depending on what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. For me, being successful mixes in three core components: 1) Making a difference; 2) Loving what you do; 3) Inspiring others to make a difference and love what they do too.

    The road to success is a different conversation. Because success does not come easy, no matter what measure you’re using or what goal you’re choosing. But, I believe that path is the same for all of us. The first week I started my own company (Besomebody), as I was brimming with excitement, proud of myself for “all I gave up” to chase my dream, someone gave my some sage advice. He said, “Sacrifice is just the first step. After the sacrifice, comes the struggle. After the struggle, comes the suffering… And then, after you suffer, then you’ll succeed. So don’t stop!”

    That conversation taught me two important things that have kept me going during the darkest of days: 1) It’s going to get harder, before I get where I want to go.  And, 2) Most people stop at the suffering, because it sucks to suffer. It’s painful… So most people stop, never knowing they are just one step away from success. So, I realized that no matter how hard things get, you gotta keep going. Success may only be one step away.

    Cincy Chic: What do you do professionally?
    Shaikh: I’m the Founder & CEO of Besomebody, Inc. We give people hands-on skills training for great jobs through our “Besomebody Paths.” We do this by reverse-engineering the typical education model, beginning with employers and then working backwards. We partner with great companies in fast-growing industries that have a lot of job openings to really understand the SKILLS needed to succeed at those jobs. Then, we co-create a curriculum designed to teach people those skills, and bring on industry experts to lead all the instruction. Finally, we open up those Paths to people who are passionate about that industry and/or excited to work for that employer. On average, our Paths are about 10x less expensive and 20x faster than traditional alternatives like community college and for-profit schools. And most importantly, we guaranteed every graduate a job with the endorsing employer (or we give them a full refund on their tuition).

    We created our Paths because we saw two crises colliding in this country: the student debt crisis and the skilled worker crisis. Last year was a record year of student debt – $1.3 Trillion. And student debt is going to reach $6 Trillion in 6 years. Right now is the most expensive time in history to get a college degree. And on the flip side, after spending all that money and time (an average of 6 years for most college students) on college, 80% of college grads didn’t have a job at graduation last year. And even more importantly, 90% of employers say college grads are NOT ready for the workforce. Companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars having to retrain new hires for the job, and lose hundreds of millions of more dollars due to retention and recruiting-related losses. There are nearly 6 million jobs available in America right now, but only 20% of applicants have the skills they need to get those jobs.

    That is where we believe we can help. We want to bridge those gaps, and make education and employment more accessible, practical and passion-based.

    Cincy Chic: When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?
    Shaikh: I am always working because I love what I do, I believe in why I am doing it and I care about whom we are doing it for… I started sharing the “#besomebody” mantra and message over seven years ago while working at Procter & Gamble here in Cincinnati. I started a blog and would create content just to try and inspire people to do what they love and ignite that fire they had inside them. It was a passion project of mine that became my entire life. So I feel blessed for the opportunity to build this company, and grateful for the chance to create this dream.

    Because my company and me are so intertwined, I have been able to weave in my own passions into it. Some of those include, writing, running and my best friend/dog, “Love”. (Yes, that’s her name, and she is also the official mascot of Besomebody. 🙂

    Cincy Chic: What inspires you?
    Shaikh: I am inspired by effort, and hard work, and passion. Witnessing someone pour their heart and soul into something. Building something from nothing. That’s inspiring. Whether you’re building a business, a community, a campaign, a team, a family… whatever it is; the process of going for it, and putting the work in to make it happen – that’s inspiring to watch. And it’s even more inspiring to be a part of.

    Cincy Chic: What are your biggest turn-ons/turn-offs?
    Shaikh: Turn-ons: Intelligence, vision, courtesy, work ethic, generosity, eloquence of spoken and written words, class, travel, self-awareness, fitness and a healthy lifestyle, loyalty, compassion and the authentic desire to help people. Oh, and if you love sports, animals and can make great French toast then, at a minimum, we are friends for life. 🙂 Turn-offs: Selfishness, lack of self-awareness, prejudice and discrimination, haters, laziness, all talk and no action.

    RSVP for our upcoming Single & Successful event at www.june29ss.eventbrite.com

    Cincy Chic: What’s something you hope to accomplish this year?
    Shaikh: Within the next 12 months I want to get at least 100 people jobs through our Besomebody Paths. From unemployed/underemployed to employed, because of the training, inspiration and connections we help provide. That would be freakin awesome.

    I believe my purpose in life is to help people live their passion. And I really believe Besomebody is the vehicle in which I can best live that purpose. We are starting with education and employment – learning what you love and doing what you love. That’s the foundation. But there’s so much more I want to do, and so much more I know we can and will do. When I first started this company back in 2014, I tried to do it all at once, and I failed. I was writing and speaking at conferences and we were hosting events and selling gear and we created (and sold) an app and we were shooting videos and the list went on and on… and I wasn’t able to dedicate the attention and focus each one of those things deserved. So, while I am writing and creating content from time to time, I am single-mindedly focused on our Paths and helping people get jobs. Once we build that foundation, we’ll expand when and where it makes sense.

    On a broader note, I believe that for all of us, our purpose has actually nothing to do with us… passion is about you – it’s about what you love. But purpose has NOTHING to do with you. I believe your purpose must start with one of these three words: help, give or serve. You should be able to say, “My purpose is to help/give/serve ______.” A big part of our lives is about figuring out how and what to fill in that blank. But once we do, everything starts to make sense.

    Giovanni Piccolo, VP of Project Management and Application at Salvagnini America Inc.

    Giovanni Piccolo, VP of Project Management and Application at Salvagnini America Inc.

    Cincy Chic: What does it mean to you to be “successful?”
    Piccolo: Being successful means first to be conscious about your talents, then to cultivate them and make good use. Success is also something that can go through thick and thin, therefore you need to persevere and do not give up regardless the odds, in few words the most important success is your peace of mind and self-confidence.

    Cincy Chic: What do you do professionally?
    Piccolo: I am the Vice President of Project Management and Application in Salvagnini America Inc. www.salvagnini.com. The headquarters is European, in Italy, and I moved to the U.S. in January 2016. Our company supplies high tech machinery to process sheet metal and plates, and we work with some of the most famous corporations in the  States. In the past, I covered many positions, from purely technical ones such as Software Developer, to purely commercial such as Regional Sales Manager for northern Europe. My current position is the perfect mix of both experiences.

    Cincy Chic: When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?
    Piccolo: I recently moved the States, therefore my #1 hobby is to enlarge my social links. Being naturally shy, this activity challenges me, but the return is so far incredible. On top of this, I like to swim in the sea and hike. Living in the Midwest, I naturally had to relent the first passion.

    Cincy Chic: What inspires you?
    Piccolo: Passion and honesty are my biggest drives and inspiration. I truly admire people who are driven by these values.

    Cincy Chic: What are your biggest turn-ons/turn-offs?
    Piccolo: Turn-ons: sense of humor, smiles, good food, and the sea. Turn-offs: violence, greed, selfishness.

    Cincy Chic: What’s something you hope to accomplish this year?
    Piccolo: Develop the marketing and the brand of my company in the USA to surpass the target of $100 million sales/year.

    Cincy Chic: What’s a long-term goal/dream?
    Piccolo: To become a chef and a rock star! Joking aside, I truly enjoy people and good food, and in my future I can see me running my own restaurant by the sea, where the climate is warm all year around.

    Terry Lukemire, Director/Editor at Barking Fish Entertainment

    Cincy Chic: What does it mean to you to be “successful?”
    Lukemire: I think having freedom and independence is the definition of success for me. I also think that being able to find something that makes you happy and pursuing it because you’re passionate about it and not because it’s a “job” is important. As the old saying goes, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.”

    Terry Lukemire, Director/Editor at Barking Fish Entertainment

    Cincy Chic: What do you do professionally?
    Lukemire: I am a Director/Editor and Partner at Barking Fish Entertainment telling stories that range from Independent films to commercials and corporate work. I’ve been very fortunate to have been able to make documentaries about the playing career of Pete Rose called “4192: The Crowning of the Hit King” and the 1981 Simon Kentucky Basketball State Championship season, “Rebound: a basketball story”, narrated by Nick Clooney. I’ve also edited films starring James Franco, Val Kilmer, Ving Rhames and for you Oprah fans, “Brothers of the Borderland” at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

    Cincy Chic: When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?
    Lukemire: I spend a lot of time with my two year old chocolate lab Sienna hiking and going for rides in my Jeep. I also love playing golf, catching a Reds game and supporting our local micro brews and kickin’ it with friends. Really just about anything outdoors!

    Cincy Chic: What inspires you?
    Lukemire: I love meeting “characters” in life who live their life on their own, unique terms. Many of the stories I’ve been able to tell have been inspirational to me.   I have many extremely creative friends whose own work pushes me to want to be better at what I do. Also personally, my Mom and Dad just celebrated their 50th Anniversary last year and they inspire me everyday.

    Lukemire with actor JK Simmons

    Cincy Chic: What are your biggest turn-ons/turn-offs?
    Lukemire: I think smiles are infectious and a fun-loving sense of humor are big time turn-ons.. The word “no” is a huge turn off. Negativity in general. Close-mindedness.

    Cincy Chic: What’s something you hope to accomplish this year?
    Lukemire: I’m really wanting to direct a scripted narrative with a decent budget and some star power this year. We’ve been building towards this and definitely ready to put our know how out in front of a big theatrical audience. It’s been great watching all of the Hollywood films coming to Cincinnati, but I think it’s our turn now!

    Cincy Chic: What’s a long-term goal/dream?
    Lukemire: I think finding that special someone who I can share a life full of laughs and adventures with. As far as career goals, after all of the years of developing projects, it would be fantastic to see something sold to a Network and ride that wave for awhile.

    Les Fultz, Valere Studios

    Les Fultz, Founder of Valere Studios

    Cincy Chic: What does it mean to you to be “successful?”
    Fultz: Successful to me does not mean the fanciest cars or a vacation home in Hilton Head. While earning a sustainable income and being happy are key parts of success, it more about the impact my service or work provides the people I serve. I’ll never forget the feedback I received from someone who ended up in an event video I shot for Loveland Canoe and Kayak. Her dog was majestically starring into the river during the Frog Man Race. “May I film your Golden Retriever?” I asked. Without question she replied “yes.”  Shortly after the video was published I received a note thanking me for the work. Not only did her husband win that race, but their dog was not going to be with them for much longer. She was grateful that her dog was featured in the video. Knowing that my work and purpose far exceeds monetary value absolutely defines success to me.  

    Cincy Chic: What do you do professionally?  
    Fultz: I’m a digital content producer. The Founder of Valere Studios. Creative at the core. I start with a dream and a purpose and create something that drives business activity for local brands. More recently I’ve made the shift to producing my own content. An editorial style show called “MORE with Les” and “Music Live” produced at our live broadcasting studio in Westwood. When the content I produced was changing the lives the clients I served, I questioned why I wasn’t focused on the same exact format for my own business. We just aired Music Live soon to be recognized by Roland A/V in a nationally published use case due to the success of the programming. I’m overjoyed. I’m officially a Facebook Live Content Producer. I’m proud of that title.

    Cincy Chic: When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?  
    Fultz: Spending time outdoors and hanging with my best friend at the dog park. Minnie Cooper. She’s a 4 year old Min Pin. That’s how I de-stress from the adventurous lifestyle as an entrepreneur.  I love the Pacific Northwest.  When I’m able, often between the months of June and August, I get outdoors.  There’s almost nothing like the Cascades.  Majestic waterfalls, rain forests, volcanic moutaintops, and endless out door activities. The seafood in the Northwest is nothing short of amazing.  From Dungeness crab cocktail to sockeye it’s one of my favorite places to escape.  

    Cincy Chic: What inspires you?  
    Fultz: Earlier this year I was hired to film Dennis Roady a YouTube personality at Sundance Film Festival.   It was an incredible eye opening experience. Surrounded by film and creative professionals and celebrities. I knew that there is so much opportunity by controlling what I do with a camera. For good. One day I hope to be recognized on one of those stages.

    Cincy Chic: What are your biggest turn-ons/turn-offs?
    Fultz: I’d say go getters. Someone with as much hustle and desire to succeed as I do.  Couch potatoes big turn off. Rarely do I sit around contemplating on the future. I make it happen.

    Cincy Chic: What’s something you hope to accomplish this year?
    Fultz: Hire additional staff to help grow the company.

    Cincy Chic: What’s a long-term goal/dream?  
    Fultz: Long term I’ll probably want to retire in the northwest with a beautiful log home and a boat similar to the Boston Whaler 345 Conquest. Enjoying the peacefulness of the outdoors.

    Zach Franke, Certified Holistic Health Counselor

    Zach Franke, Certified Holistic Health Counselor

    Cincy Chic: What does it mean to you to be “successful?”
    Franke: To me, being successful is a process, not an event. It’s staying in the ring and being willing to get punched. It’s getting back up when you are knocked down and then having the perseverance to keep on swinging. That said, I’ve learned that a big part of success is not just being willing to stand there and take punishment and being willing to keep on going, but to actually get better and have a real strategy to win long-term! Success really starts to come together when we can learn from those punches, and actively avoid the same ones in the future. One thing that’s abundantly clear to me though, we MUST be in the ring to even have a chance.

    Cincy Chic: What do you do professionally?
    Franke: Right now, a little bit of a lot of things! I am a Certified Holistic Health Counselor and have a handful of high-end private clients here locally. I also am the Lead Health Coach at an online Holistic Health company called Rebooted Body. I host a podcast called “Bite-Size Wellness” (check it out on iTunes) and finally, I work part-time as a Chastity Educator for grade schoolers and high schoolers at Pregnancy Center West. Like I said, a little bit of everything!

    Cincy Chic: When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?
    Franke: I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend, and nurturing the other relationships in my life that are most important. I also love hiking, running, and practicing martial arts with a group of inspiring young men at a local dojo called Aikido Works a few times a week. Last, I am actively involved in several volunteer endeavors that keep me pretty occupied as well!

    Cincy Chic: What inspires you?
    Franke: People who are in the ring trying to live out their life while tapping into their fullest potential. People who treat others well and always try to do the right thing even when no one is looking. People who share their failures and fears with others and live out life courageously despite the obstacles they may be facing. People that have had incredible challenges come along and still have found a way to rise above whatever could have easily stopped most of us.

    Cincy Chic: What are your biggest turn-ons/turn-offs?
    Franke: My biggest turn-ons are honesty and a willingness to be wrong. My biggest turn-offs are confrontational hypocrites and perpetual complainers.

    Cincy Chic: What’s something you hope to accomplish this year?
    Franke: I really want to take the lessons I have learned and the failures that I have experienced from being a health coach over the past four years and transform them into meaningful change that can more efficiently and easily inspire and activate* lifelong health changes in my clients’ lives. Bringing authentic and lasting health transformations to people I’ve learned is NOT easy. I’ve been constantly tweaking my approach through lots of trial and error and I now have some exciting plans to rock out this year that I can’t wait to watch unfold.

    Cincy Chic: What’s a long-term goal/dream?
    Franke: My long-term goal is to live a life of lasting meaning to the people I look up to, love, and admire the most. I used to have dreams of “changing the world” and “waking people up” and “becoming enlightened” and all kinds of crazy stuff. No bueno! These days, instead of thinking really “big,” it’s much more about the tiny little daily decisions I make, choosing to do the “right thing” despite not really wanting to a lot of the times, that I feel brings me closer to my accomplishing my dreams every day.