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 September Lineup

Desmond Clark

Desmond Clark has built a strong professional reputation as a Former NFL player for the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears. His leadership on the field, and now off the field, is shown in his keynote addresses and seminars.

Desmond is now leading his own companies as CEO of Desmond Clark Investment Group, The Insurance People along with Des Clark Speaks. He is the author of Principles of Winning: 5 Keys to Create a Standard of Excellence. With “Standards over Feelings” as the mantra for Desmond, he leads his audiences through real-life personal and professional experiences to help shine a light on effective leadership. Desmond’s 5 keys to Why Others Will Follow will undoubtedly unlock even more leadership potential.

Casey Clark

As a motivated business leader, Casey is a passionate entrepreneur who got his start owning a home service franchise. After nearly a decade, he successfully exited his role with 90+ franchise owners and over 600+ employees. Casey went on to co-found Cultivate Advisors, one of the largest small business advising firms in North America. As the CEO of Cultivate, his team has helped thousands of business owners reach their growth objectives through core business skill development and scalable systemization. 

In both 2019 & 2020, Cultivate ranked within the top 800 fastest growing businesses in the United States on the Inc 5000 list. The mission of Cultivate Advisors is to partner with committed entrepreneurs to propel their business beyond expectations. In 2019, the average business within the Cultivate portfolio grew by 68% in year over year revenue and 108% in profit, proving that when you prioritize the growth of your clients, the business grows as well.

Orazio Buzza

Since its founding in 2011, Orazio Buzza has been the Founder & CEO of Fooda. Headquartered in Chicago, Fooda manages food service programs for 2000+ employers across 24 metro areas. Before Fooda, Orazio was a C-Level executive on the founding teams of two Chicago companies that IPO’d: President at Echo Global Logistics (2005- 2010) and CFO/COO at InnerWorkings (2003-2005). Orazio is a CPA and has degrees in Accounting and Supply Chain Management from the University of Illinois.

Shelton Banks

Shelton Banks is CEO of re:work training, a Chicago-based non-profit that is reshaping hiring trends by training and supporting individuals from underrepresented, underserved, and non-traditional backgrounds; empowering them to start and keep careers in sales & technology. Shelton joined re:work in July of 2018 to drive the organization’s vision of solving three major problems: the growing wealth gap between Chicago’s South and West Sides and the rest of the city, the tech industry’s staggering lack of Black and Latinx professionals, as well as the way companies have historically thought about hiring candidates who may not check all the typical boxes. Under his direction, re:work candidates on average jump from making around $19,000 to $55,000/year base salary with full benefits – not including commission and bonuses – and the nonprofit has helped create $3M and counting in earned income that empowers not only alumni, but their families and neighborhoods as well. 

His efforts have been recognized by major local news outlets, like Fox News Chicago, WGN News Radio, Money Matters with Adam Torres, and tastytrade’s Bootstrapping in America.