Trish Hobson – The Relatives

It’s no secret the teen and preteen years can be tough years.. and sometimes, youth find themselves wanting to just run away from it all. We also know, that can create a lot of unsafe conditions for children who are vulnerable to crime and trafficking. The Relatives was established in 1974 for this reason – it is a safe place kids can go, while getting trained help to work on issues that can keep them with their families or another safe place.

Trish Hobson joins the BrandBuilders Podcast to tell us more about this important work being done right in the heart of Dilworth, on East Boulevard.


Gerard Littlejohn – Steve Smith Foundation

If you know anything about Panthers football, you know one of the greatest to ever play the game in Bank of America Stadium is Steve Smith Senior. And if you know anything about Steve Smith Senior, you probably know the phrase, “Ice up Son.” Well not only is the Panthers great in the Hall of Honor, he’s doing some very honorable work in the community.

The Steve Smith Family Foundation has committed itself to stopping domestic violence, and promoting the emotional, physical, medical, and spiritual needs of families. The Smith Family Wellness Center provides medical care for families, and events like the Strike Out Domestic Violence and Lace Up Son 5k raise money to support these programs. Gerard Littlejohn is their Executive Director and joins us now on the BrandBuilders Podcast to tell us more how the foundation’s work is running touchdowns for Charlotte.


Kim Brattain

If you’ve been around Charlotte for a while, you probably know the name Kim Brattain. She was a news anchor for 16 years at WSOC, where she won multiple Emmy and Associated Press awards. Since leaving the news in 2008, she has owned her own media company, Kim Brattain Media, where she has done everything from corporate videos to sports to live events to documentaries that have appeared in film festivals from coast to coast. She’s here to share how she built it all.


Exceptional Yoga

We all know yoga is a great exercise for mind and body. Bridget Zapolnik and Emily Reindollar also see it as a way for special needs children to get all the benefits of this great exercise, when far fewer sports are open to them. They started a program called Exceptional Yoga, and it is currently available to special needs students in more than 10 Charlotte-area schools. They join us, along with Noelle Glass, on the BrandBuilders Podcast today.


Jeremy Schumacher – Arcadia Homes

It’s no secret that Charlotte is growing fast — about 60 people a DAY fast — and all of those people need to live somewhere. While some move to apartments in and around uptown, others want houses, and that’s where our next guest on the BrandBuilders Podcast comes in. He builds really NICE houses. In fact, Arcadia Homes of Charlotte won Custom Home Builder of the Year from the National Association of Home Builders. That’s a pretty big honor, and their president and managing partner Jeremy Schumacher is here with us today to talk about building our community in a beautiful way.


Sakib Kadak – Axiom Path

Starting a business is tough, full of making the right decisions at the right time. We don’t always know the right path to take, which is why business consultants can help us a great deal as we grow and change, hire new employees, or upgrade our technology. Sakib Kadak is someone who can do that, with his organization Axiom Path. Axiom Path’s services range from recruiting and retaining top talent, to IT, to AI, to applied analytics. And he’s visiting us today on the BrandBuilders Podcast to explain how the right analytics can help any business.


Furnish For Good

We often hear about the struggles of living on the street… food, shelter, warmth, and the search for stable employment and housing. But once someone has secured a job and a place to live, what’s left over for basic necessities like a bed, or pillows, or a dining room table to eat on? Not much. Furnish for Good is a Charlotte non-profit that helps families with those necessities that are hard to come by after moving off the streets or temporary shelters, and into stable living spaces. They can furnish basic items families can’t afford after paying deposits for rent, electricity, and water. We have the founders with us today on the BrandBuilders Podcast to tell us all about how Furnish for Good got started.


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!