Fireside Chats with Prominent Leaders from Chicago’s Business Community

Hosted by Tim Schumm

Live Shows Every Week

Live Q&A with Experts

About Fireside Chicago

Welcome to Fireside Chicago, a show dedicated to fireside chats with prominent leaders from Chicago’s business community.  We interview entrepreneurs, top industry experts, and civic figureheads leading the way in Chicago business. If you’re interested in being a guest on our show, please email Thank you. 

Meet Our May Lineup

Colleen Werner

Colleen Werner attended the University of Michigan where she earned Bachelor’s Degrees in Dance and Kinesiology with a focus on movement science. After spending ten years as a professional dancer, she started LulaFit in 2014. While dancing professionally and studying the science of the human body, Colleen realized that our bodies are the most sophisticated piece of technology we will ever own. Unfortunately, when she looked around her, she saw people she cared about unable to make the time to care for their well-being. She started LulaFit to build community and conversation about our physical, mental, and social wellness in the places we spend the most time: home and work.

Aaron Levy

Aaron Levy sees a future where work doesn’t suck – where work is both challenging and fulfilling, where your manager is your coach – where she is the person who helps develop your skills and unlocks your full potential. Aaron founded, Raise The Bar and wrote the best-selling book Open, Honest, and Direct to create this future by empowering managers with the tools, skills, and training to be better leaders of people.

Aaron is also the host of The Open, Honest, and Direct Podcast, the Co-Director of Startup Grind Chicago, a Thrive Global contributor, an 1871 mentor, an ICF Certified Coach and a member of the Forbes Coaches Council


Jimmy Holloran

Paul Stansik

Jimmy is responsible for working with portfolio companies on talent strategy focusing on organizational design and development as well as communication both within each company and across the portfolio. Prior to joining ParkerGale, Jimmy worked on talent strategy at Home Chef, a venture-backed meal kit company, and Bain & Company working with clients on a variety of engagements including growth strategy and organizational re-design. Earlier in his career, Jimmy worked in sales at Nortel Networks and as a teacher with Teach For America. Jimmy holds a BA in Philosophy from Northwestern University, an MEd from University of Missouri-St. Louis, and an MBA from Yale School of Management.

Paul is responsible for working with the leaders of ParkerGale’s portfolio companies to improve their talent and performance management programs. Prior to joining ParkerGale, Paul worked in the Leadership and Talent practice at Bain & Company. At Bain, he also led private equity, merger integration, and performance improvement client engagements across a variety of industries. Earlier in his career, Paul worked for a boutique financial research firm and an international retailer. He was also a professional lacrosse player for Major League Lacrosse. Paul holds a BSBA in Management from Bucknell University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Head of Sales Jam Session on May 19th

Jon Repka

Jon Repka

VP, Sales @ Paro

Emma Galler

Emma Galler

VP, Sales @ Builtin

Adam Johnson

Adam Johnson

VP, Sales @ ActiveCampaign

Julie Novack

Julie is the CEO and Co-Founder of PartySlate, a Houzz-like website where leading event professionals share their work, build their brand and drive leads. Before founding PartySlate, Julie held executive positions at top-tier digital agencies such as Razorfish, Vibes Mobile, and With over 20 years of digital marketing experience with some of the biggest brands in the world, Julie is excited to bring this expertise to the events industry. Julie received an MBA in marketing and finance from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Amanda Lannert

Amanda Lannert is the CEO of Jellyvision, the maker of interactive benefits communication software ALEX. Since taking over Jellyvision’s helm in 2011, Amanda has played a key role in the company’s success: she spearheaded Jellyvision’s pivot from a services agency to a profitable software-as-a-service company, growing the company’s customer count by 250% in the last three years.

Amanda was named CEO of the Year at the Moxie Awards in 2014 and 2015, Woman in Tech in 2016, Woman of the Year for the Chicago Rotary Club of 2018, and was recognized as 2016’s Industry Champion and 2018’s CEO of the Year by the Illinois Technology Association.

Joe Holberg

Joe is the Founder & CEO of Holberg Financial (, a financial wellness benefit for employees. Holberg Financial helps employees reduce financial stress and helps companies recruit and retain top talent while saving them money through increased employee productivity. He is the author of both “Rogue Finances: The “Un-system” Designed to Help You Become Financially Healthy, Successful, and Awesome” and most recently, “A Brief Discourse on the Definition and Tenets of Financial Justice” His perspective is drawn from a variety of experiences including working at Google, teaching middle school math on the West Side of Chicago, and having created a loan underwriting system for the Capital Good Fund, one of the country’s largest microfinance organizations. He is an avid coffee drinker, a reader, and a wanna-be-bibliophile