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What Connects Us

What Connects Us

By Conexus Credit Union
A podcast featuring people in Saskatchewan that explores human connection, meaningful conversation and the role that money plays in our hopes, dreams and fears. Powered by Conexus Credit Union.
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Greg Moore: "The Cost of Leaping at My Dream & the Journey After"
It's the podcast's first birthday and what better way to celebrate than by kicking off a new season! Greg Moore (aka "Wheels" on the radio) is a familiar face/voice in the province as a co-host of the Z99 morning radio show team as well as one half of the well-known content creator pair of Justin & Greg. Greg did what a lot of people dream of doing and handed in his two-weeks notice at his stable, 9-5 job to pursue his passion. In this case, his passion was building a social media personality as part of the tandem Justin & Greg where a humble Facebook live show suddenly turned into the duo creating content resulting in millions of views and the opportunity to collaborate with brands like the Vegas Golden Knights, the Saskatchewan Roughriders and even Facebook themselves. On the surface, everything looked like success for Greg - but today we'll chat about what the struggle to monetize his passion had on his financial well-being and mental health, the successes and lessons he picked up along the way and how he somehow pivoted to becoming the morning show host on one of Saskatchewan's most listened to radio stations. This is truly a story of risk, faith and investing in yourself and is incredibly worthy of our season four premiere.
October 6, 2021
Kaleb Dahlgren: "Surviving & Writing a New Chapter After Tragedy"
The Humboldt Broncos bus crash was a devastating moment in Saskatchewan history and something that our province will never forget. On the season three finale of the What Connects Us podcast, we are joined by Kaleb Dahlgren, one of the 13 survivors of the accident, to chat about his experience struggling and emerging through tragedy. We discuss the perspective he's gained as a Type 1 diabetic, the figurative and literal battle scars he's learned via his resilience journey through the bus crash, what it was like to be thrust into the world's attention and deep level of care, and what the emotional process of writing his best-selling book "Crossroads" was like. We also chat about why building community wherever he goes is so important to Kaleb and how he is giving back to STARS Air Ambulance and the Pegasus Project after their services helped save his life. Kaleb is incredibly vulnerable, reflective and insightful and there is a reason why this one is our season finale!
August 11, 2021
Catherine Okolita: "Funding Positive Change Can Happen at Any Age"
Today's guest is driving positive change before she even has her learner's license. At just 13 years old, Catherine Okolita already has 8 years of philanthropy work under her belt and has raised over $150,000 for a number of different charities, causes and organizations across Saskatchewan. Catherine chats with us about starting and running her own community initiative "Catherine's Cause", the insights she has learned from fundraising and how she has learned to inspire others and ask for help along the way. From helping babies fighting for their lives in the neonatal intensive care unit to spreading kindness and happiness to seniors spending Christmas alone - Catherine makes meaningful differences in our province. This episode will make a difference in your day and inspire you to do good things in your community - regardless of your age.
July 28, 2021
Alexis Losie: "The Priceless Gift a Death Doula Gave My Family"
"If it wasn't going to be saving him. This is the only thing we could have hoped for."  Alexis Losie joins us to talk about a very tough time for her and her family while shedding a light on a service that a lot of people aren't familiar with. This past year, not only was Alexis dealing with a global pandemic, but she was navigating a very private struggle in her family as her brother approached a situation that a lot of people with loved ones with addiction issues fear. As her brother Denis' body began to shut down, Alexis and her family felt hopeless in a caregiving role with no idea what to do or who to turn to next. Alexis tells us how a death doula was a ray of light during a very dark time, how the doulas were able to confirm her family's fear that Denis' health issues would be fatal, the different game changing, financially accessible services that death doulas provided so Alexis could focus on being present and how priceless they were as they moved through Denis' end of life care.
July 14, 2021
Zach Oleynik: "How I Operated Reality TV Stardom & Life After"
Imagine being thrown into a house with strangers for three months while your every move is filmed and broadcast to an international audience. This was Zach Oleynik's reality when he was cast on his favorite reality tv game show, Big Brother Canada. He joins the podcast to tell us all about the intense casting process that forced him to choose between risking years of hard work of being a student athlete for a chance to even go on the show, what it was like to live in a house cut off from the outside world while navigating a cutthroat environment, the psychological impact and search for identity after it ended, navigating newfound celebrity status, and how it impacted his career trajectory as a current med student at the University of Saskatchewan. Whether you are a Big Brother super fan or you have never even heard of the show - there are so many twists and turns to Zach's story that will truly keep you expecting the unexpected.
June 30, 2021
Josephine Kroeker: "My Transgender Journey & How I Invest in My Authenticity"
We are chatting with a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, Josephine Kroeker - a transgender woman from Saskatoon with a captivating and illuminating story of self-discovery. Josephine tells us how it took her nearly four decades to find peace in her trans identity, the costs of medically transitioning, the importance of using proper pronouns, how she is navigating this journey with her life partner and daughter and the euphoria that comes with living authentically. We also explore ways to chat with your financial advisor about personal or sensitive savings goals to help you arrive at your moment sooner. This episode is filled with inspiration, information and an overwhelming sense of pride. In the episode, we mention the essay Josephine wrote for CBC. You can find it here:
June 16, 2021
Vaughn Wyant: "Driving Community Support Through Family Owned Values"
Imagine the feeling of hand delivering a $1 million dollar cheque to fund an initiative you knew would do great things for your community on behalf of your family owned business that you built from the ground up. On this episode, we're sitting down with Vaughn Wyant, one of Saskatchewan's most successful and beloved entrepreneurs to chat about how special this moment was for him. Vaughn takes us through his journey from the sales room floor to the driver's seat of the Wyant Group. Vaughn shares the perspective that inspires him to lead with humility, the benefits and challenges of a family owned and operated business and the importance of investing time and money into supporting the province through initiatives like the Remai Modern Art Gallery of Saskatchewan, Merlis Belsher Place and the the Pegasus Project supporting STARS Air Ambulance. Vaughn is known for his larger than life personality, quick wit and authentic care for people and that is on full display during this conversation. Enjoy the ride!
June 2, 2021
Kim Coates: "My Road to Hollywood Was Pure Anarchy"
Season three of the What Connects Us Podcast is starting off with a bang as we welcome Kim Coates who has spent four decades travelling the world as a very successful actor in movies, television, Broadway and plays. We chat with Kim about how his Saskatoon upbringing and passion for acting propelled him to stardom in Blackhawk Down, Waterworld, The Last Boy Scout, Pearl Harbour, Prison Break, CSI Miami and especially his role as Tig Trager in one of televisions most well-known series - Sons of Anarchy. We talk about what sparked his passion for acting, how he took an unconventional path to the big screen, the difficulties of establishing financial wellness as an actor, how he continues to give back to the prairies through initiatives like the Pegasus Project, and of course, the wild motorcycle ride that was Sons of Anarchy. Join us as we hear Kim's remarkable story of how he navigated his way from Toon Town to Tinseltown.
May 19, 2021
Kira Novak: "Taking My Life Back From Addiction"
Kira Novak secretly battled an alcohol addiction for years but has very recently taken the steps to take back her life. Kira is over a year sober after spending 60 days at a private addiction treatment center in British Columbia and she is holding nothing back to tell her story about her dark rumble with alcoholism, how it impacted her physically, mentally, emotionally and financially, and how much of a grip it had on her and her relationships. She also goes through how her family saved her, what treatment at a rehabilitation center is like and how she has navigated sobriety during a worldwide pandemic. Kira is as educational and insightful as she is raw and vulnerable. This emotional episode is a reminder that it is never too late to take control of your life or help others change their trajectory when they need it most.
April 8, 2021
Tahnee Smerchynski: "The Perspective I See Through My Grief Glasses"
On July 14, 2009, Tahnee Smerchynski's life changed forever when she received the tragic news that her younger brother Taylor had tragically drowned. Tahnee joins the podcast to revisit how she navigated that very public trauma in her life, share the perspective she has learned over the past decade, discuss the different seasons of grief and how it is a continuous journey, and reveal how costly grief can be both mentally and financially. Now working as a Human Resources professional, Tahnee provides insights and tips for supporting yourself and others through grief while providing options and resources to help others navigating their own grief journeys.  Trigger warning: death and grieving of a loved one
March 24, 2021
Sara Strueby: "Silencing the Shame in Infertility"
Infertility is something that 1 in 8 couples face but it isn't something you hear a lot about. Unless you know someone who is open about their own infertility, it might be hard to fully empathize with the struggle that a lot of people face in silence due to feelings of shame, embarrassment and trauma from unsuccessful attempts. Sara Strueby joins the podcast to share her and her husband's emotional and very personal journey to their daughter Reese. Sara will tell us all about how tough it was to receive the news and the pressure it places on a relationship, just how costly fertility treatments are both financially and physically, and how her fourth attempt at in-vitro fertilization finally paid off after a very touch and go pregnancy. This episode also approaches misconceptions about fertility treatments and equips you with ways to support someone you know who is going through a similar experience.
March 10, 2021
Kasey Mahnic: "How I Shoulder Stress & Prioritize My Self-Care"
For the past year, we have all been asked to shoulder an immense amount of stress during a very traumatic year. On top of that, we all have our own jobs, relationships and responsibilities that require us to take on further worry, empathy and anxiety. Kasey Mahnic, a social worker with Creative Options Regina loans us some hard lessons she has learned about balancing emotional stress in her professional and personal life with her own self-care and mental health. Kasey chats about her very interesting journey in social work, how she maintains her empathy without sacrificing her own mental health, her experience dating and providing support to a recovering alcoholic, how she utilizes thrifting in her own self-care routine and she gives us some tips and techniques to help us compartmentalize our own stresses and triggers. I'm sure the majority of us have approached some sort of burnout or breakdown during COVID-19 and this episode aims to give you the self-permission you need to turn to yourself a little more without feeling any guilt.
February 24, 2021
Craig Reynolds: "A Walk in My Green & White Shoes"
Imagine going from being a fan in the stands of Mosaic Stadium to sitting in front of national media while being named the new President & CEO of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Craig Reynolds joins the podcast to chat about how he landed at the Riders via an adventurous journey that took him from Foam Lake to Arizona, Luxembourg, London, Calgary, and Fort McMurray before making his way back to Saskatchewan. Craig takes us through how he had to quickly adjust from being comfortable behind the scenes to being thrust into the public spotlight and the pressures of leading one of Canada's top 3 sports franchises that has seen so many emotional ups and downs since he began - including navigating COVID-19. You'll see a different side of Craig than you are probably used to seeing in front of a press conference and it's a great reminder that the person you see in front of a camera is typically just a small town kid living their dream.
February 10, 2021
Megan Reves: "Hard Fought Lessons From a Foster & Adoptive Mom"
We're diving into the world of fostering and adoption to squash some misconceptions and learn from someone who's been there. Megan Reves joins us to chat about the intense roller coaster that comes with fostering, talk about the long emotional process that came with adopting her three kids and she sets the record straight on the financial impacts that comes with both fostering and adoption. You'll leave this podcast with an appreciation for the selflessness and battle scars that foster parents earn when they open up their house to make it a home for a child in need.
January 27, 2021
Brianne Urzada: "The Cost of Cancer & Why It No Longer Defines Me"
Being diagnosed with cancer is a very real fear for so many of us and a lot of us have the privilege of only imagining what it is like to rumble with the disease. To kick off Season 2, Brianne Urzada joins us to tell her story of how her life was impacted when she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin's Lymphoma when she was only 23-years old. Brianne takes us through the emotional, physical and financial impacts of her battle and how it altered her career path. Brianne also fills us in on how she is closing this narrative in her life and focusing her energy on being both a mom and an entrepreneur through Arthouse by Brianne Urzada.
January 13, 2021
Dan Clark: "How I'm Homegrown & Tackling a Tough Year"
Bring 'em out! This week we're joined by Dan Clark who is a homegrown star of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Dan was born and raised in Saskatchewan and declined multiple scholarship opportunities outside of the province to stay rooted in Saskatchewan and through hard work and cashing in on his opportunities, he's found his way to being a starting offensive lineman for the team he grew up cheering for. Because of COVID-19, Dan has had to trade in his cleats and game cheques to completely pivot to a brand new lifestyle in order to support his family during a vulnerable time. We chat with Dan about his journey from the stands to the tunnel of Mosaic Stadium and how tough this year has been for him. 
December 9, 2020
Cadmus Delorme: "How I Protect, Progress & Disrupt Culture"
It’s not every day you meet a Chief of a First Nation serving his second term and they are only in their mid-thirties. Cadmus Delorme is a young and fearless Indigenous trailblazer widely known for his progressive leadership as Chief of Cowessess First Nation. Cadmus joins us to discuss how he’s disrupted tradition and sparked innovation by refusing to let his First Nation live in third-world conditions or socio-economic challenges. Cadmus also reveals his secret for how he was able to build a strong and authentic connection with his community as a young leader.
November 26, 2020
Cole Thorpe: "Why I'm Proud to Invest in Prairie Values"
Cole Thorpe is a young entrepreneur in Saskatchewan who has been sparking true pride in the prairies. Cole founded Prairie Proud, a social enterprise where a portion of the proceeds from the clothing and apparel they sell are re-invested back into charities in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba. Originally from Spy Hill, Cole took the risky leap to start Prairie Proud right after University but in 6 years, Prairie Proud has taken off in Western Canada and they have already donated $56,000 to prairie-based organizations. Cole tells us all about how his small town roots led to his decision to start Prairie Proud, the ups and downs he’s experienced and how he has been navigating Prairie Proud through COVID-19.
November 12, 2020
Chelsea Petterson: "What Rumbling With Bankruptcy Taught Me"
Chelsea Petterson was a co-owner of Coda & Cade, a well known clothing boutique that saw a lot of success in Regina for over a decade. Very recently, Chelsea had to make the difficult decision to permanently close Coda & Cade's doors and she joins us to tell a very personal and vulnerable story about the rise and fall of the business and what it is like to rumble with bankruptcy to help shed a light on the technical and emotional process that is taboo for so many people. 
October 28, 2020
Kirk Morrison: "What I Learned From Pivoting & Risk Taking"
For episode #2, we sat down with Moose Jaw's own Kirk Morrison to discuss how he made the choice to leave his stable income and a role he loved to make the jump to the startup lifestyle as one of the founders of Krugo. We also talk about how COVID-19 has ravaged Krugo's industry and how Krugofest was born during a global pandemic. This is truly a story of "Should I stay or should I Krugo?"
October 14, 2020
Krista Broda: "What Identity Theft Stole From Me"
It's our first episode! Krista Broda joins the podcast to tell us her scarily relatable story about what happened when typical paranoia about leaving her flat iron on turned into a half-year long chase to catch fraudsters who stole her identity. 
October 1, 2020
Introducing: What Connects Us!
Meaningful conversation, human connection, storytelling from people in Saskatchewan and a pinch of financial literacy. The What Connects Us Podcast is coming very soon! 
May 8, 2020