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GGU Presents

GGU Presents

By Golden Gate University
Thought-provoking interviews showcasing experts from within and outside GGU with a broad range of unique perspectives, talents, and stories.
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Shaping and Building Culture within Organizations

GGU Presents

The Workplace Environment in a Pandemic World
The pandemic and the new working-from-home shift has brought into stark relief the evolving dynamics of the workplace, especially changes around how space is built and utilized and the importance of creating collaborative working environments that maintain the conscience and mission of an organization. Marijke A. Smit, Principal at San Francisco architecture strategy firm MKThink, talks about why intelligent space planning is so important, particularly now, for the user experience and meeting organizational goals.
October 28, 2021
Cross-cultural negotiations and how to avoid miscommunications
Golden Gate University instructor Christopher Lynch shares insights on cross-cultural negotiations and how to avoid miscommunications. Learn about cultural considerations for body language, hierarchy, food, social events, gender roles, and stereotypes.
June 14, 2021
Amy Kweskin on Art and Business
What is the link between business and art? Marc Singer talks with adjunct instructor Amy Kweskin, of Artsightful and Intersection for the Arts, about that connection. They discuss how artists can engage in strategic planning as they navigate rising costs in the changing Bay Area arts community, the need for artists to adapt and reach audiences in new ways, and the surprising role GGU has played in the Bay Area arts ecosystem. Amy Kweskin is the Principal of Artsightful, through which she shares insights into the business of art. She specializes in developing inspiring and accomplishable strategic plans with artists and arts organizations. Amy uses tools developed as an adjunct faculty member at Golden Gate University, St. Mary’s College, and previously as a full-time faculty member at The Art Institute of California – San Francisco. Her approach is captured in the Center for Cultural Innovation Business of Art publication.  Find more GGU Presents programming, including video, at
May 18, 2021
Ron Glait of the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco
Marc Singer talks with Ron Glait, Educator and Museum Technology Manager at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco (located two blocks from GGU), about the challenges the museum has faced during the pandemic and the role museums play in shaping communities’ sense of identity and connection in the Bay Area. See all our GGU Presents programming at
May 06, 2021
GGU alumna and new CEO of Tides Janiece Evans-Page
In this episode of Back to the Baysics, Marc Singer chats with GGU alum and new CEO of Tides, Janiece Evans-Page. They discuss Janiece’s transition from helming corporate philanthropy and diversity initiatives for major companies to her new role heading up a global social impact nonprofit. Janiece Evans-Page is the Chief Executive Officer of Tides, leading the organization as it seeks to broaden the reach of its impact and deepen its commitment to social change with dynamic tools, deep expertise, novel collaborations and innovative ideas. Ms. Evans-Page previously served as the inaugural Chief Sustainability and Diversity Officer at Fossil Group and Head of Fossil Foundation. During her 20-plus year tenure at Hewlett-Packard Co., Ms. Evans-Page served as vice president and general manager of HP’s Imaging and Printing Attach Organization, which she launched and grew into a $600 million+ global enterprise. In 2018, she was honored by Ebony Magazine as one of its Power 100 awardees in the “Women Up” category.  View more GGU Presents programming at
May 04, 2021
Shaping and Building Culture within Organizations
Dr. Jeff Yergler discusses with Marc Singer how leaders shape and build culture within organizations. Leadership is more than management: good leaders create an atmosphere, a climate, and a sense of purpose within an organization. Among the topics they will cover are the importance of culture in an organization, how a strong positive culture can support team members and employees, and how lack of attention to culture and climate can hurt morale and affect productivity and retention. This is episode is part one of our Leading and Managing During Turbulent Times series. Jeffrey D. Yergler, D.Min., Ph.D. is Professor of Management and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, San Francisco. As an instructor in higher education, Jeffrey specializes in local, national, and global leadership, management, diversity in organizations, emotional intelligence and agility, coaching and mentoring, and human skills development. Alongside his work as a professor, Jeffrey has served as Principal for Integer Leadership Consulting since 2004.
April 08, 2021
GGU Law Alum Gregory Hodge and Students Discuss Working for Racial Equity
Join us for a conversation with social change activist, organizational development consultant and GGU law alumnus, Gregory Hodge. Student leaders Marthea Alley-Caliz, representing the university’s Race & Justice Task Force, and Amye Osakue, President of the Black Law School Association (BLSA) will host Gregory for a discussion on his education and career path; working for racial equity, and key personal and organizational considerations for moving from talk to action with an equity agenda; racial disparities in health outcomes related to COVID-19; and more. Gregory Hodge is a social change activist and organizational development consultant with Khepera Consulting. Working as a strategist, meeting designer, racial equity trainer, facilitator and coach, Gregory works with a range of groups from small non-profits and foundations to public agencies, particularly school districts and foundations. He works as the Chief Network Officer for the Oakland-based Brotherhood of Elders Network and is a coordinating partner in designing the Healing Generations Institute with the National Compadres Network.   As a leader in his community, Gregory served two four-year terms as a member of the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education beginning in January 2000, including a year as president of the board. Gregory is a Fulbright-Hayes Fellow, recipient of the Gerbode Fellowship and board chair of the Rockwood Leadership Institute. 
February 26, 2021
Building and Sustaining Employee Engagement and Morale in the Pandemic
In the latest Back to the Baysics, Marc Singer talks with Jeffrey Yergler, PhD, about his work on organizational leadership and human skills development in the workplace. Despite the limitations and constraints imposed by the pandemic, requiring many people to work virtually, managers have the opportunity to use new tools and insights that can build and sustain engagement and morale. Management approaches that worked in the past will not work moving forward: what employees need to thrive in this environment must inform how managers connect with their employees. As recent research suggests, this will require ongoing changes in the way managers lead and connect with their employees and teams to keep connections strong and ensure that employees feel engaged, supported, and valued. Jeffrey D. Yergler, D.Min., Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Management and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, San Francisco. As an instructor in higher education, Jeffrey specializes in local, national, and global leadership, management, diversity in organizations, emotional intelligence and agility, coaching and mentoring, and human skills development. Alongside his work as a professor, Jeffrey has served as Principal for Integer Leadership Consulting since 2004.
February 05, 2021
John Martin, former CEO of Gilead Sciences
Join us as Robert Shoffner, GGU's Director of MBA Programs and Entrepreneurship, speaks with John Martin about his journey from scientist to CEO, including earning his MBA from GGU at night. John will discuss his vision for education and how having GGU's MBA program offered at Gilead has impacted the company. Gilead's groundbreaking work, including the company's recent efforts to find a vaccine for COVID-19, will be discussed along with your questions. John Martin served as CEO of leading biotech company, Gilead Sciences for 20 years. Under John's leadership, Gilead cemented its position as an industry leader, developed many breakthrough therapies, and began a long relationship with GGU's Ageno School of Business. For years, Gilead has offered employees an opportunity to earn their GGU MBA degree on site.
February 04, 2021
Sahaar Rezaie, Executive Director, Genesys Works Bay Area
Marc Singer, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, talks with Sahaar Rezaie about the work of Genesys Works and how it serves students and the Bay Area business community through its innovative programs. They discuss the goals of the program, how the people they serve have been affected by the shelter-in-place orders, and what they are learning about their programs and what the future might look like. They also talk about a unique partnership between GWBA and GGU. Sahaar Rezaie is Executive Director of Genesys Works Bay Area, part of a national college access and workforce development program that empowers high school seniors through classroom training and a year-long paid internship. Students utilize their program experience as a springboard into college and career success. Genesys Works continues working with students as they progress through college by providing support in applying for scholarships, additional internship opportunities, financial literacy resources, and more. Genesys Works Bay Area currently serves 500 students locally (and more than 4,000 nationally), and program participants are graduating from college at a rate 3.5 times higher than that of their peers. Additionally, 40% of program graduates go on to pursue degrees in STEM education. The goal of Genesys Works is to break the cycle of poverty through access to the economic mainstream, all while building a more diverse workforce.
December 31, 2020
Oakland Restaurateur and GGU Law Alumna Jana Pastena
Marc Singer talks with Jana Pastena, GGU Law School alumna and Oakland restaurateur, about the restaurant business, the pandemic and George Floyd protests, the need for community involvement and activism, and the unique challenges that face black-owned businesses, 41 percent of which have closed permanently since February.
December 02, 2020
Michele Neitz on Blockchain, State Economies, Regulators, and Ethics
GGU Professor of Law Michele Neitz talks about her work on blockchain technology, implications for state economies and government operations, challenges for regulators, and the ethical questions it raises (and possibly resolves). Blockchain technology powers and supports the digital currency space using secure code over a distributed network, but many believe that it has the potential for many other applications and uses beyond cryptocurrencies. We discuss  Michele Neitz is Professor of Law at GGU, and an expert on blockchain. She is a member of the California Blockchain Working Group, which was created to research and document the developing technology’s potential uses, risks and benefits to state government and California-based businesses in a report to the Legislature by July 1, 2020. Professor Neitz teaches Blockchain and the Law, Business Associations, Poverty Law, Professional Responsibility, and Corporate Compliance. She has been voted “Most Outstanding Professor” by the graduating class of GGU Law four times. This episode originally aired on video on May 29, 2020. View the video here:
November 25, 2020
Storytelling for Leaders and Influencers
Stories are universal and core to who we are as humans. So why is storytelling so rarely used in the business world? In this new Back to the Baysics episode, Marc Singer talks with management consultant and GGU Adjunct Professor Larry Ebert about why storytelling is an incredibly powerful, but underused, form of communication for leaders in business and how we can mine our internal stories to clarify values and move and shape teams and the world. Larry Ebert delivers workshops and coaching on Storytelling for Leaders and other management skills as part of a consulting practice focused on management strategy and communications. Larry is a senior adjunct instructor of leadership and communications at GGU. He holds an MBA and Systems Engineering degree, and is also a musician. About Storytelling for Leaders: When leaders tell great stories they connect, inspire, and galvanize teams towards a greater vision. Stories engage in a special and powerful way. Compared to reports, data and statistics, and flat Powerpoint presentations, stories are more memorable, more engaging and more connective. Well-told stories engage the head and heart.
November 19, 2020
The Neuroscience of Leading Amid the Volatility of COVID-19
Marcia Ruben and Nola Masterson Learn the basics about your brain and the biology of COVID 19 in order to keep yourself calm and focused so you can be an effective leader during these volatile times. Lifting into the present moment is a skill set you can achieve which can impact your effectiveness in times of stress. Dr. Marcia Ruben is an Associate Professor and Program Director for Golden Gate University's MS Leadership program. She was the 2016-2018 Russell T. Sharpe Research Professor, focusing on neuroscience, leadership, and complexity. Dr. Ruben also maintains a private executive leadership development practice. Nola Elizabeth Masterson, MSc. is a biotechnology industry leader and forward thinker with more than 45 years of business experience in the life sciences industry and in venture capital investment.
November 18, 2020
Nina Coveney, Project Manager with Biederman Redevelopment Ventures, on Placemaking
Marc Singer talks with Nina Coveney, Project Manager with Biederman Redevelopment Ventures, about the idea of placemaking, particularly in San Francisco around GGU. How does public space affect daily life in a city? How does a park or a common area affect economic development and a sense of community? What kinds of event programming can enhance the use of public space? And how will the pandemic and shelter-in-place policies affect us and the way we think about places like Salesforce Park and Bryant Park? Nina Coveney is a Project Manager on park and urban redevelopment projects for Biederman Redevelopment Ventures. She is primarily responsible for large events, operations, and revenue generation at Salesforce Park. Previously she was Events Manager at Bryant Park Corporation and 34th Street Partnership in New York City. She also worked for the Town of Ithaca Planning Department in Ithaca, New York and as a researcher for a non-profit organization that provides supportive housing for the homeless.
November 18, 2020
Westin Thatcher and Robbie Sintich, Jr. on Legal Cannabis
Marc Singer, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, talks with Robbie Sintich, Jr., and Westin Thatcher of Supreme Oak, entrepreneurs in the legal cannabis industry. Learn about all of the challenges and opportunities presented by the burgeoning cannabis industry, and all of the ways in which this sector of the economy differs from other businesses: finance and banking, supply chain and distribution, quality control, and conflicting laws and regulations across jurisdictions. The industry is evolving rapidly--learn where things stand now.
November 18, 2020