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From the outside looking in, the inner circle of any organization can seem impenetrable. Yet people are pulling up their own chairs every day in boardrooms across the country. In her podcast Pull Up a Chair, Cicely Simpson shares a unique perspective won in a storied career earning seats at the table in the public and private sectors. Each episode of Pull Up a Chair is a testament to our capacity to tear down the barriers to success and optimize our lives. Cicely is sitting down with some of the greatest trailblazers from myriad industries, gaining insights into what it takes to achieve relevance, impact, and forge your own destiny in the modern world.

Are you ready to pull up a chair to the big table? Hear Cicely’s latest episodes below!

Episode 14 | Part Two: Sophie Beren

In the conclusion of Cicely’s talk with Sophie Beren, the founder of The Conversationalist, Sophie discusses how she connects with people in her non-partisan community, and she shares some advice for bridging the communication gap been leadership and Gen Z. About Sophie Beren: Sophie is a unifier from Wichita, Kansas. She is the Founder and

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Episode 14 | Part One: Sophie Beren

Sophie Beren takes a seat this week. Sophie is the founder and CEO of The Conversationalist, a non-partisan educational platform empowering the next generation to break out of their echo chambers, have difficult conversations, and unify. Her community of over 70,000 young people is committed to coming together, across differences, through multiple platforms. In part

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Episode 13 | Part Two: Will Guidara

In the conclusion of Cicely’s talk with restaurateur and author of Unreasonable Hospitality, Will Guidara, Will shares why every business can CHOOSE to be a hospitality business and why leaders shouldn’t be afraid of criticizing team members. About Will Guidara: Will is the former owner of Make it Nice, the hospitality group with restaurants covering

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Episode 13 | Part One: Will Guidara

What does it take to build the BEST RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD? Unreasonable hospitality. This week, Cicely is joined by New York City restaurateur and author of Unreasonable Hospitality, Will Guidara. In part one, Will talks about growing up in the restaurant business, the important lessons he learned from his father, and how he helped

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Episode 12 | Part Two: Joe Pardavila

In the conclusion of Cicely’s talk with Joe Pardavila, the author of Good Listen, Joe shares why preparing too many questions is not a good idea and what he learned from his legendary run-in with US Soccer star, Brandi Chastain. About Joe Pardavila: Joe has produced over ten thousand hours of audio content over the

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Episode 12 | Part One: Joe Pardavila

This week, Cicely is joined by author and podcaster, Joe Pardavila. In the new book, Good Listen: Creating Memorable Conversations in Business and Life, Joe shares his insights and knowledge for creating a podcast that will appeal to listeners and leave them clamoring for more. But you don’t need to have a podcast to benefit

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Episode 11 | Part Two : Chuck Garcia

In the conclusion of Cicely’s talk with Chuck Garcia, the founder of Climb Leadership International, Chuck shares how he learned the power of the pause from Mark Twain and what inspired him to climb some of the world’s tallest peaks. About Chuck Garcia: Chuck is the founder of Climb Leadership International and coaches executives on

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Episode 10 | Part Two : Cristina Mendonsa

In the conclusion of Cicely’s conversation with journalist and entrepreneur, Cristina Mendonsa, Cristina shares how she started her own production company and provides some tangible advice for the next generation of broadcasters. About Cristina Mendonsa: Cristina is an EMMY/Edward R. Murrow award-winning multimedia journalist, producer, spokesperson and media entrepreneur. For over two decades, she’s demonstrated

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Episode 10 | Part One : Cristina Mendonsa

Cicely welcomes Cristina Mendonsa to Pull Up Your Chair. Christina anchors 4 hours of radio news daily while also producing documentaries, winning awards, and mentoring upcoming journalists on career strategy and mid-career pivots. In part one, Cristina talks about her first job in journalism, the evolution of electronic media, and what inspired her to shift

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Episode 09 | Part Two: Tara Jaye Frank

In the conclusion of Cicely’s conversation with  Tara Jaye Frank, the author of The Waymakers: Clearing the Path to Workplace Equity with Competence and Confidence, Tara talks about the words of advice she gives companies that are beginning their journey to creating an equitable workplace. About Tara Jaye Frank: Tara is an Equity Strategist who

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Episode 09 | Part One: Tara Jaye Frank

Cicely welcomes Tara Jaye Frank to Pull Up Your Chair. Tara is an Equity Strategist who has advised and educated thousands of executives across industries on how to create an equitable workplace. She’s also the author of the new book, The Waymakers: Clearing the Path to Workplace Equity with Competence and Confidence. In part one, Tara

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Episode 08 | Part Two: Barry Nalebuff

In the conclusion of Cicely’s conversation with Barry Nalebuff, the author of Split the Pie, Barry shares what it was like to negotiate with Coca-Cola and why empathy is the key to negotiating. About Barry Nalebuff: Barry is the Milton Steinbach Professor at Yale School of Management strategy. This is his seventh book. (His bestsellers

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Episode 08 | Part One: Barry Nalebuff

Cicely welcomes Barry Nalebuff to the podcast. Barry is an entrepreneur, a professor at Yale School of Management, and an expert in negotiating. He’s the best-selling author of several books, including “Thinking Strategically” and “The Art of Strategy.” His latest, “Split the Pie: A Radical New Way to Negotiate” is out now. In part one,

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Episode 07 | Part Two: Steve Palmer

In the conclusion of Cicely’s conversation with Steve Palmer, the founder of The Indigo Road, Steve talks about the culture he’s built and why he was inspired to build a community of hospitality workers committed to helping others battling addiction. About Steve Palmer: Steve is the managing partner and founder of The Indigo Road Hospitality

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Episode 07 | Part One: Steve Palmer

Cicely’s guest this week is Steve Palmer, the founder of The Indigo Road Hospitality Group and the author of “Say Grace: How the Restaurant Business Saved My Life.” Steve founded the company in 2009 with one restaurant and expanded to more than twenty restaurants throughout the southeastern United States. In part one, Steve talks about

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Episode 06 | Part Two : April Rinne

In the conclusion of Cicely’s conversation with change navigator, April Rinne, April runs down the 8 superpowers needed for thriving in constant change and talks about the concept of how getting lost is how you get found.

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Episode 06 | Part One : April Rinse

We’re living in a world of change…and some of us are better equipped than others, but if you don’t have that skill set, how can you embrace change? This week, Cicely welcomes April Rinne to the podcast. April has made a living out of helping people rethink and reshape their relationship with change, and has been named one of the

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Episode 05 | Part Two : Vanessa Bohns

In the conclusion of Cicely’s chat with social psychologist & award-winning researcher, Vanessa Bohns, Vanessa shares why she thinks power is a responsibility and what inspired her to write her new book, You Have More Influence Than You Think. About Vanessa Bohns: Vanessa is a social psychologist and professor of organizational behavior at Cornell University, and

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Episode 05 | Part One : Vanessa Bohns

Cicely welcomes Vanessa Bohns to the podcast. Vanessa is a social psychologist, an award-winning researcher, and a professor at Cornell. She’s also the author of the new book, You Have More Influence Than You Think. In part one, Vanessa shares how growing up on a bird farm prepared her to become a researcher, why she isn’t

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Episode 03 | Part Two : Ilene Rein

About Ilene Rein: Ilene is a Partner and an Executive Recruiter and Managing Partner at Marketing & Sales Resources, an executive search firm focused on the placement of marketing, sales, and engineers. After hearing many stories of difficulties in finding employment, Ilene developed the program Pounding Pavement 101 sharing the deep secrets from the view of

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Episode 03 | Part One : Ilene Rein

About Ilene Rein: Ilene is a Partner and an Executive Recruiter and Managing Partner at Marketing & Sales Resources, an executive search firm focused on the placement of marketing, sales, and engineers. After hearing many stories of difficulties in finding employment, Ilene developed the program Pounding Pavement 101 sharing the deep secrets from the view of

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Episode 02 | Part Two: Scotty Alpaugh

Cicely wraps up her conversation with Scotty Alpaugh, the author of the book “Have no fear, there’s always F-ing next year: (a COVID-19 tale)”. In part two, Scotty shares the importance of perspective, if he reads the reviews of his book on Amazon, and why everyone should watch Ted Lasso. Scotty Alpaugh: Scott “Scotty” Alpaugh

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Episode 02 | Part One: Scotty Alpaugh

Scotty Alpaugh pulls up a chair this week. Scotty works at one of the world’s largest wealth management companies, he served in the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division before being injured in combat in Baghdad, and he is a cancer survivor. He’s also the author of the book “Have no fear, there’s always F-ing next year:

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Episode 01 | Part Two: Sergeant Major Keith Craig

Cicely wraps up her conversation with Sergeant Major Keith Craig, the author of Serving To Lead. In part two, Sergeant Major talks about the benefits of adding veterans to corporate teams, the importance of knowing your purpose, and why service & leadership is represented by three words: Be Know Do. About Keith Craig: Sergeant Major Keith L. Craig

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Episode 01 | Part One: Sergeant Major Keith Craig

Cicely welcomes her first guest on the podcast, Sergeant Major Keith Craig. The Sergeant Major is a public speaker, entertainment executive, philanthropist, and U.S. Army Veteran. He’s also the author of Serving To Lead: Lessons in Adversity and Resilience from the Battlefield, Gridiron, and the Corporate World. In part one, Sergeant Major shares his journey from homelessness to

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