Jeff Gaeckle – Carolina Pool Management

This is no typical summer, for sure. Two months of stay-at-home orders make us eager to get out in the sunshine and fresh air, and in summer, that means pools too. But the logistics of pool openings this year are a little more complicated than years past. Luckily, we have an expert with us today on the BrandBuilders Podcast to talk about that. Jeff Gaeckle is well-known in our swimming community as a former SwimMAC coach who ran the UltraSwim swim meet every year in uptown, as it brought in Olympians like Michael Phelps and his international counterparts. He also is the founder and president of Carolina Pool Management, which runs 160 pools in the Charlotte area, including its first owned-and-operated pool at Starclaire Recreation Club, which re-opens with a whole new facility this summer. If there’s anyone who knows about opening pools for summer, it’s Jeff.


Kristin Young – RMDH

We can’t imagine anything worse than having a child so sick that they need to be in the hospital for care. There are so many things running through your mind — what’s going on, what’s the treatment, when will they get better… and if you don’t live close to Charlotte or the hospital your child is in… where can I stay, and how long will I be able to do that? Ronald McDonald Houses relieve some of that burden for parents by giving families a place to stay while their children are in the hospital. Kristin Young from Ronald McDonald House Charlotte joins us to tell us what’s going on there right now.


Jeff Brokaw – Tabbris

We know that if you want to start a company, it takes money to make money. Enter venture capitalists like Jeff Brokaw of Tabbris, who is a serial entrepreneur who’s always starting something… and when he’s not starting his own company, he’s giving advice and mentoring others. Jeff is a regular on the Charlotte entrepreneur scene, and his current ventures include a fin-tech firm, a co-working hub for disruptive new companies, and an e-sports team. That’s quite a mix!


James Ormond – Ormond Group

You can get anyone from a neighborhood teenager to a giant national franchise to mow your lawn.. but if you want a lawn DESIGN, you need a landscape professional. This can mean a lot of different things – James Ormond of The Ormond Group is a Certified Landscape Professional, or CLP. And he’s going to tell us about all the things we need to be doing right now to really make our yards “another room of our house.”


Stacy Cassio – Pink Mentor Network

We know having a mentor is the best way to learn a business, and if you’ve had one, you’re grateful someone would “show you the ropes.” Stacy Cassio is grateful for having many great mentors in her past, and wanted to create a way for women, in particular, to get mentorship. That’s how Pink Mentor Network was born. It’s Charlotte’s first female mentorship community. Stacy joins us on the BrandBuilders Podcast to teach us her vision about mentorship.. and why she’s still learning.


Clifford Blanquicet – Blanq Real Estate

Who loves to golf on their day off? I know a lot of you are raising your hands now.. but our next guest on the BrandBuilders Podcast is an actual pro golfer, who is now, also, a commercial real estate broker. He’s also one of Charlotte Agenda’s “30 under 30”.. and a father of “4 under 4.” YES — 4 children under the age of 4. How does he do it all? We’ve got Cliff Blanquicet here from Blanq Real Estate and we’re sure he has some stories to tell!!


Adam Farber – Middle C Jazz

It’s been a while… specifically, 25 years… since Uptown Charlotte had one of these. Do you know what it is? You’ll be surprised when I tell you…. it’s a jazz club. Yes, it’s been THAT long since there was one dedicated place you could listen to live jazz in uptown. A long time, right?

Well we’re happy to report that there is now live jazz in uptown at the corner of MLK and Brevard streets, across from the Convention Center. You can find concerts 3 nights a week, and great, comfortable surroundings. And who would be brave enough to bring jazz back to Charlotte? A family with deep roots in local entertainment – including jazz. Adam Farber with Middle C Jazz is here to fill us in.


John Morgan – Queen Charlotte’s Pimento Cheese

You have not truly tasted the South, until you have eaten pimento cheese. If you’re not “from here,” pimento cheese is a delightful spread made of cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, maybe some other ingredients like bacon or chives, and a few secret seasonings only the maker of said-brand cheese will ever know and certainly not tell you.

One of these cheeses to gain a lot of popularity here over the last 5 years since it was publicly “born” is Queen Charlotte’s Pimento Cheese. As the name suggests, it’s born and made right here in Charlotte and its owner and creator John Morgan has an interesting history, and a one-of-a-kind “how I got here” story.


Jessica Graham – Fionix Consulting

You want people to think positive thoughts about your business, right? Building a good brand message is essential to your sales and profits, and building a good corporate image is important to your place in the community. Books have been written on how to do that, and our next guest on BrandBuilders Podcast does that for a living.

Jessica Martin Graham owns Fionix Consulting, and has more than 25 years designing and leading strategic communications and community outreach for companies. She helps them look good and communicate what they’re about to the public — in other words, public relations.


Mecklenburg County Boy Scouts

One of the oldest and most venerable institutions in Charlotte turns 105 this year, and hundreds of thousands of young men and boys.. and now girls.. can say they’ve been a part of it. We’re talking about the Boy Scouts, and if you weren’t one, you know someone who was.

We’re delighted to have a few folks from the Mecklenburg County Council with us on the BrandBuilders Podcast today. The local council here in Mecklenburg County boasts 349 packs, troops, teams, crews, and posts — and includes nearly 12-thousand participants! Welcome Mark Turner, Eric Davis, and Jennifer Clutter.