City of Champions
Ep: 97 | Victor Valimaki | The Fighting Spirit

Ep: 97 | Victor Valimaki | The Fighting Spirit

September 24, 2020

My guest this episode is Victor Valimaki. He was the first Edmontonian to fight in the UFC. Back in 2018 Vic and I were supposed to sit down and talk about his fight career, but he was suddenly struck by a serious medical condition, called Neuromyelitis Optica, which threw his life into chaos. Two and a half years later – not to mention 17 MRI's, 7 spinal taps, two lung biopsies, a brain biopsy, and countless other medical procedures – Vic is doing substantially better and I finally got a chance to meet him face-to-face.

Episode Links

Victor Valimaki - Facebook | Fight Stats

Neuromyelitis Optica

Ep: 96 | Ashif Mawji - Data Driven Community Solutions & The Edmonton Police Foundation

Ep: 96 | Ashif Mawji - Data Driven Community Solutions & The Edmonton Police Foundation

September 18, 2020

My guest today is Ashif Mawji who is making his second appearance on the podcast. Ashif is a tech entrepreneur and investor. Last time we talked about his incredible life story growing up in Kenya, moving to Canada, and starting his first business ventures. This time around we are focusing on his role as Chair of the Edmonton Police Foundation, how the foundation began, and their current projects aimed at making Edmonton a safer and more prosperous community. Through their Community Solutions Accelerator, and the analysis of datasets, EPF is tackling issues of liquor store theft, first responder mental health & wellness, and homelessness.

Episode Links

Edmonton Police Foundation

Community Solutions Accelerator

Ashif Mawji - Bio | Twitter

Ep: 95 | Amos Kajner-Nonnekes | DESIGN, et cetera.

Ep: 95 | Amos Kajner-Nonnekes | DESIGN, et cetera.

July 20, 2020

Amos Kajner-Nonnekesis the founder of DESIGN, et cetera. – a company whose work explores the activation of under-utilized spaces in the city through placemaking, public art, architecture, and urban design in Edmonton. Most recently, they created the Rainbow Road mural just off of Whyte Ave. In addition to making our city more beautiful and livable for everyone, Amos and his group also work with City Hall and various groups to accommodate Edmonton’s marginalized community through strategic and thoughtful design.

 

Episode Links

Amos Kajner-Nonnekes | LinkedIn | Twitter

DESIGN, et cetera.

Rainbow Road Mural

Recover: Edmonton

 

Your Host,

Shane Fennessey | Instagram | Twitter

Ep: 94 | Edmonton Police Chief Dale McFee | Protests, Policing, and Progress

Ep: 94 | Edmonton Police Chief Dale McFee | Protests, Policing, and Progress

July 9, 2020

On February 1, 2019, Dale McFee was sworn in as Edmonton’s 23rd Chief of Police for the Edmonton Police Service. He spent 26 years as a police officer in Prince Albert and 9 years as their Chief of Police. He also spent 6 years as the Deputy Minister of Corrections and Policing in the Ministry of Justice for the Saskatchewan government. From 2011 to 2014 he served as President and Past President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. He has previously held the positions of President of the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police, President of the Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers, and Director of the Canadian Police Association.

Chief McFee and I talk about the killing of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter, Edmonton’s vulnerable population, social work, data analysis, leadership and culture, plus so much more. His experience, expertise, and ancillary training give him a great perspective to discuss these issues in a dispassionate and levelheaded way.

Episode Links

Chief Dale McFee | Twitter

Edmonton Police Service | Twitter

Community Solutions Accelerator

Your Host, Shane Fennessey | Twitter | Instagram

Ep: 93 | Rick Bronson @ The Comic Strip | The Life and Times of a Comedian

Ep: 93 | Rick Bronson @ The Comic Strip | The Life and Times of a Comedian

February 14, 2020

Rick Bronson has done it all in the entertainment industry. He's an award-winning comedian, TV Host, Writer, Producer, and the owner of Rick Bronson's 'The Comic Strip' in West Edmonton Mall. In this conversation, with special guest co-host, Derek Stone, Rick hilariously recounts his life as comic on the circuit, with tangents about Jewish Mothers, Bill Clinton, Lance Armstrong, and what he really thinks about political correctness.

Episode Links

Rick Bronson's The Comic Strip

Derek Stone

Telus World of Science Edmonton

Taproot Edmonton

Alberta Podcast Network

Ep: 92 | Evan Gallant | A Conversation About Alcohol and Drugs

Ep: 92 | Evan Gallant | A Conversation About Alcohol and Drugs

January 29, 2020

My guest today is Evan Gallant. Evan’s main gig is marketing, but he is also big in the Edmonton charity scene, working as the Community Director for the Urban Spirits Rotary Club and co-founding HEALYEG, an Edmonton-based non-profit. Evan’s an incredibly social guy. He’s funny, gregarious, and is always the life of the life of the party out in the Edmonton bar scene. However, Evan reached out to me to shed some light on the darker side of this scene. Evan opened up about his mental health struggles, his drug and alcohol abuse, and about it all came crashing down on him last year. Countless people struggle with these issues. Evan and I both know this will resonate with people, and we hope it helps.

Episode Links

Evan Gallant

HEALYEG

Urban Spirits Rotary Club

Taproot Edmonton

Inventures Canada

Alberta Podcast Network

Ep: 91 | Councillor Mike Nickel | Big “Value for Taxes” Guy

Ep: 91 | Councillor Mike Nickel | Big “Value for Taxes” Guy

January 22, 2020

Edmonton Ward 11 City Councillor, Mike Nickel, is a strong advocate for the effective utilization of tax dollars; In other words, he's trying to make your money go farther in government. He brings a lifetime of business experience to City Council, and the passion in which he talks about our city is evident and super inspiring. 

Episode Links

Councillor Mike Nickel | Blog | Twitter | Mike Check Podcast

Unit B Coworking

Alberta Health Services

Alberta Podcast Network

Ep: 90 | Kris Harvey | Take Me To Chvrch

Ep: 90 | Kris Harvey | Take Me To Chvrch

January 10, 2020

Kris Harvey is a guy a lot of you know and love. He’s a DJ, event promoter, and the owner and creative mind behind Church of John, one of the city’s most unique and vibrant nightlife spots. Kris is an entrepreneur and huge booster for the City of Champions.

Episode Links

Kris Harvey | Instagram

Chvrch of John

Seat Giant - Promo Code "APN"

ATB Entrepreneur Centre 

Alberta Podcast Network

Ep: 89 | Grant Fuhr | “I’m a hockey player but I’m here for golf”

Ep: 89 | Grant Fuhr | “I’m a hockey player but I’m here for golf”

December 16, 2019

Hall of Fame goaltender, Grant Fuhr, joins me on the podcast this week. Anyone who knows hockey knows Grant was a key member of the 1980's Oilers' dynasty, winning 5 Stanley Cups in his 10 seasons with the team. Grant went on to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, and St. Louis Blues, where he had a career resurgence in his mid 30's carrying the team to the second round of the playoffs before disaster (Nick Kypreos) struck, destroying his knee and forcing him to undergo a double ACL and MCL surgery, the first of its kind to that point.

Grant now spends his days on the golf course making the rounds on the pro-am circuit. His magnetic personality has bestowed upon him a diverse group of friends outside the world of hockey including legends like Jim McMahon, Marshall Faulk, and Charles Barkley. We had a chance to talk about the experience of making his documentary, his life after hockey, and some of his thoughts on the NHL today. We, of course, also spent time reminiscing about some of his favourite stories from his playing days.

Episode Links

Grant Fuhr | Twitter

Taproot Edmonton

Speaking Municipally

Alberta Podcast Network

Ep: 88 | Daniel Matishak | Building the Best, Badass Company Culture

Ep: 88 | Daniel Matishak | Building the Best, Badass Company Culture

November 20, 2019

Very special episode of the podcast with sharp and successful entrepreneur, Daniel Matishak, and co-hosted by former City of Champions guest and great friend, Derek Stone. This was recorded back in February 2019 when Derek and I played around with the idea of starting a new podcast. Ultimately our schedules didn't allow it, but Derek was kind enough to let me release this under the City of Champions banner. Dan is the founder of Mindable, a marketing optimization company. Dan’s had some incredible experiences like hanging on Necker Island with Richard Branson and attending Formula 1 in Monaco. This is a must listen for any burgeoning entrepreneurs out there!

Episode Link

Daniel Matishak - Instagram | LinkedIn

Mindable

Telus World of Science Edmonton - Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes

Love Alberta Forests

Alberta Podcast Network

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