Skip to main content
Thriving Room

Thriving Room

By HS Yang
Our interview guests are atypical in a way, such as an activity they devote energy to, a part of their background, or an approach to life. Together we learn what shapes them and take transferable lessons from their experiences. As they express themselves, we explore with you how we articulate, harness, experiment with, embody, and nurture what makes us who we are. Perspectives on emotional, relational, and mental health and wellness inescapably surface, and we can each choose to act on the views that we find useful.

To see companion resources or get in touch, visit
Listen on Spotify
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Stitcher Logo


Currently playing episode

Ben Zeidler of Nonfiction Research, Uncensored

Thriving Room

Genevieve Leveille on Agriculture and Blockchain
Genevieve Leveille is the Principal Founder and CEO of AgriLedger. AgriLedger enables trust, transparency, and traceability through blockchain across the agricultural supply chain. Genevieve led a collaboration with Haiti’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry to deliver a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) pilot sponsored by the World Bank. The project went live in May 2020, allowing Haitian fruit farmers and consumers to reap the benefits of fairer prices and improved food security.  Genevieve was nominated by the Financial Times to the top 100 BAME in UK technology in 2019, named a winner of the ComputerWeekly 2020 Women in Software, and one of the top 5 finalists for Quesnay’s Female Founders in FinTech in 2019. She is vice-chair of techUK’s Distributed Ledger Technologies Working Group, which provides strategic direction for all UK activities related to DLT and is an inaugural member of the Advisory Group for the Estonian Government’s eResidency initiative. Genevieve has spoken on emerging technologies at numerous conferences and engagements globally and is fluent in English, French, Haitian Creole, and Spanish.  "I always like to imagine the impossible and then try to make it possible." - Genevieve Leveille  We talk about how Genevieve's company uplifts smallholder farmers, how her 25 years of financial services and payments experience helped her to combine AgTech and FinTech, Zoom's upcoming olfactory feature, Haitian soup, and gratitude for family and friends.  At the links below, keep up with Genevieve:  Twitter:  LinkedIn:  Facebook:  Instagram:  And AgriLedger:  Twitter:  LinkedIn:  Facebook:  Instagram:  We would love to hear from you. To get additional resources related to this and other episodes, please subscribe to our newsletter at  E-mail: 
May 17, 2021
Preventative Mental Wellness with Bill Lennan
Raised on islands and diversely educated, Bill Lennan has always focused on solving human as well as technical problems. Over the span of his technology career, he has built products, teams, and solutions for mobile, recruiting, e-commerce, social media, and now education. He has helped companies ranging from Google and Walmart to hotels and restaurants. Building high-functioning teams has been fundamental to Bill’s success. His team successes are directly attributable to the skills taught in the HAERT™ Curriculum, which you can learn about at We talk about comfortable and uncomfortable conversations, what catastrophizing is, creating career flexibility, curiosity, communicating with experts, finding ease, and choosing where to apply struggle.  Bill also tells us stories about surfing and breaking bones.  We would love to hear from you. To get additional resources related to this and other episodes, please subscribe to our newsletter at E-mail:
April 08, 2021
Ben Zeidler of Nonfiction Research, Uncensored
Ben Zeidler is Co-Founder of Nonfiction company on a mission to understand the informal, unfiltered lives of customers. Before co-founding Nonfiction Research, Ben was Global Head of Consumer Packaged Goods Research at L2, where he worked directly with the world’s largest consumer brands, including Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Nestlé. Prior to L2, he established Tenthwave's research and analytics practice, which he grew in revenue annually. Ben is on the advisory board at Harvard Business Review and is routinely quoted and featured in industry news. He is a graduate of Georgetown University. Learn about the value of research areas where there is a difference between people's public and private lives, Nonfiction's origin story, Ben's mighty partnership with Co-Founder Gunny Scarfo and their team, and how Ben's upbringing indelibly influenced him. Get a preview of Nonfiction's upcoming studies. For a quick tip on how to assess the value of feedback you get when you put yourself out there, check out 16:30, when Ben talks about discerning whether a comment is in good faith or not. To get a sense of how a leader like Ben envisions the future, take a listen at 43:15. We would love to hear from you. To get additional resources related to this and other episodes, please subscribe to our newsletter at E-mail:
March 01, 2021
Multiculturalism, Human Connection, and Knowing Ourselves with Stéphane Emmanuel Fouché
Stéphane E. Fouché is a sociologist turned entrepreneur navigating obstacles with clients, with a keen eye on culture.  His experiences in the United States, Caribbean, Asia, and Africa are the basis for his work as an ambassador for businesses.  We learn about the roles of self-knowledge, healthy relationships, and emotions such as fear and jealousy in his multicultural career and life.  Below are two provocative quotes from Stéphane.  23:45 - "I'd rather get hurt than lose the potential of having a great friend."  35:10 - "I see jealousy as a desire I had, I just never knew I had."  We would love to hear from you.  To get additional resources related to this and other episodes, please subscribe to our newsletter at  E-mail: 
February 04, 2021
Getting Unstuck: Discovering Grit and Grace
Project Reclass is a nonprofit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia that teaches technical skills to incarcerated veterans. Co-founder Tay Nishimura joins us in this episode to discuss her experiences, which shape her outlook on diversity, failure, and leadership: working in technology and serving as an unarmed police officer in New York City. She shares a candid tale about mental health, passion, and second chances. To contact Tay: Project Reclass on LinkedIn Project Reclass Website E-mail: To contact Thriving Room: To get additional resources related to this and other episodes, please subscribe to our newsletter. E-mail: Show notes: 00:48 - Mission of Project Reclass. 01:15 - How Project Reclass is especially relevant with COVID-19. 01:48 - Get personal on why Tay co-founded Project Reclass with Kunal Jha. 02:07 - The role of dance in Tay's why. 03:13 - Experience of discouragement on the job. 04:16 - Exposure to new people and experiences. 04:44 - Learning from a play about the life of West Point cadets. 05:15 - Reframing challenges and understanding what grit is. 05:52 - Feeling stuck at work. 06:27 - Bloomberg Women in Tech. 06:47 - Becoming an unarmed police officer. 07:26 - Recognizing privilege and questioning what makes people succeed. 13:00 - Challenges of 2020, including unemployment and engaging in controversial dialogue. 17:24 - Tay finds power in what she can do, uniting her passions for computer networking and creating resources for others. 22:46 - "One of our goals as an organization is that, even if it is not computer networking, our incarcerated veterans who go through our program feel they are capable of finding that career path that is right for them, through learning what we teach them." 24:11 - What is surge capacity? 27:10 - The notion of leadership as a profession. 28:10 - An experience in humility. 29:33 - If you work on social media, we see you and how hard your job can be. 32:18 - "It's my job to protect my volunteers from burning out.  You can't just surge when other people's lives are involved in the project." 33:24 - Radical transparency and thanking a pivotal first manager. 34:58 - "People don't want to spend their free time that they are dedicating to a mission being criticized." 36:27 - What is the 'trust wobble' in empowered leadership? 39:01 - "People come to Reclass to be rejuvenated.  Morale gets us to the next level.  Once everyone is passionate, there are a lot of ways that we can work on our flaws." 39:40 - What assumptions do we make when we talk with people? 43:37 - Tay thanks the West Point cadets who influence her life. 45:25 - How to contact Tay.
January 10, 2021