Darrah Brustein: Serial Entrepreneur & Networking Guru

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My Native Admission Statement: I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was put on this planet to be a connector. I’m best and putting the puzzle pieces together of who should know whom for the advancement of both. Equal parts teacher, connecter, and founder, my work stands for entrepreneurial empowerment. In the fall of 2018, I launched "Life by Design, Not by Default" sharing stories with visionaries like Deepak Chopra, Adam Grant and Jen Sincero in a 45 speaker online summit reaching over 7,000 people. For the past 10 years, I founded and scaled two businesses in tandem: a networking events company serving 30,000+ people and a payment processing company spanning 38 states. As a writer and interviewer, my articles have been read by over 1 million people across Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Thrive Global.  My motivating motto is "build a life of your own design, a career to fund it, and a network to support it" which has inspired thousands to reach higher and dream bigger. Most recently, I launched the video series “Diving Deep With Deepak & Darrah” to make deep topics relatable and translatable into your life. Also, don’t take yourself too seriously.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Stay true to yourself. There are a lot of entrepreneurs, specifically those in the digital content space, who get caught up comparing themselves to how everyone else is doing it. So, they mimic their style, and water down their authentic voice and message. Thus, not standing out. There is one you. Own it. Also, be sure the business you create is in service to the life you want. I was guilty of getting on the hustle/grind/burnout wagon so that I could build a ‘bigger is better’ company. Until, I realized that I was neglecting my values and things I cared about for years. Then, I reverse-engineered my companies to work in favor of the life I wanted, not consume it.

Jared Lindzon: Freelance journalist, Public speaker & Media consultant

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My Native Admission Statement: When I began thinking about what I want to do with my life as a child, I decided my life would be well lived if I could “do cool shit and write about it” for a living. Today I not only write about it, I speak about it as well. Whether in the pages of Fast Company, the Guardian, Rolling Stone, the New York Times or my own website, NoWordLimit.Blog, whether on stage with rockstars in New Orleans, political analysts in Dallas or business leaders in Lisbon, my career and my life is an endless pursuit of all things a younger version of myself would categorize as cool, and the stories that result. I’m not where I am because I am a particularly talented writer and journalist; There are far too many writers who are on a much higher level of talent yet are still struggling financially for that to be true. I am where I am because I’m particularly talented at hustling. Whatever your grind, whatever your industry, the talent is only as profitable as the hustle behind it.

How did you get into the industry?

My first foray into journalism was a volunteer gig at my school paper, and I instantly fell in love with it. Within that small ecosystem of the university campus I could see how my work was received by readers everyday, and even see changes on campus that resulted from the stories I pursued. From there I went to journalism school and completed my master’s, but I really owe my career to an unpaid internship at the National Post. Though I didn’t make a penny, it was the most valuable experience of my career thus far.

Ivy Knight: Journalist & Cultural Programmer

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My Native Admission Statement: I’m a journalist who writes regularly for Condé Nast, VICE, Playboy and the Globe & Mail. I’m also a cultural programmer and I’ll be taking part in the WCR Conference this month for the first time. I’ll be doing on-stage interviews with a number of chefs from across the country talking about how they are changing the traditional structures of restaurant kitchens. The panel will include people like Martha Hoover, a sex crimes prosecutor turned restaurateur in Indianapolis, and Kelly Fields, a chef and mentorship advocate in New Orleans. The keynote speaker will be Laurie Woolever, former assistant to Anthony Bourdain and co-writer of his last book. She'll be talking about mental health and addiction in the restaurant industry. The lineup is really inspiring and the knowledge these women can share is worth way more than the cost of a ticket. Mentorship, addressing harassment, listening to and empowering employees – these are all things that will change the outdated macho culture of kitchens and ensure better work environments for everyone in the industry. That's for people in the restaurant business. For people in the freelance writing world, there has never been a greater need for content than right now and access is unparalleled. Editors for the biggest publications post their email addresses on their twitter profiles for a reason. They want new voices.

How did you get into the industry?

I started writing while I was working in restaurants. My perspective, as a working line cook and not your typical wealthy gourmand, was not very well represented in the food writing scene at that time. My voice from the kitchen trenches sparked an interested readership before I deserved one. But it gave me confidence to find my voice and it gave me experience as a writer that took the place of schooling. I hustled hard, I worked for free and learned on the job. I don’t work for free anymore but the rest – hustling and learning- is still a big part of what I do.

Abby Schreiber: Paper Magazine Executive Editor

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My Native Admission Statement: I’ve been fortunate enough to spend the past seven years – nearly the entirety of my professional career – at PAPER Magazine. Now, as Executive Editor, I’m responsible for overseeing our four print issues from top to bottom. I’ve been lucky to work on exciting projects like our recent Amanda Bynes cover story, a shoot with Rihanna at a NYC bodega at 2am and a crazy cover shoot with Leo Messi and a bunch of real-life goats in Barcelona. You only get one chance to make a good first impression so whether it’s a cold call, a cover letter or email, make sure it counts. I can’t tell you how many times people have emailed me and referred to the wrong magazine or misspelled my name – that is grounds for definitely seeing the email go in the trash folder. It’s also important to toe the line between being confident and poised while also being respectful and deferential…if you get the ratios wrong, it can really backfire.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

I love the bagel, smoked salmon and cream cheese at Black Seed bagels.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Coffee and black tea in the morning (1-2 cups black tea when I first wake up followed by 1-2 cups coffee mid-morning) and then red wine at night (1 glass if I’m just at home or 2 if I’m out to dinner).

Roy Schwartz: Axios President & Co-Founder

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Bio: Roy Schwartz is a cofounder and president of Axios – a breakout startup news and information platform that helps people quickly and easily understand the most consequential topics in the world. Roy is the former chief revenue officer for POLITICO, the digital media company that upended and forever changed political and policy journalism in Washington, New York, and Europe. Prior to POLITICO, Roy was a Partner at Gallup’s management consulting practice in Washington, D.C. and California advising Fortune 500 companies on employee and customer engagement. Roy was featured in the 2015 FOLIO 100 as a “Corporate Catalyst” and by the Washington Business Journal in its 2015 “40 under 40.” An expert in digital media, business, and strategy, he is a frequent speaker at media conferences including SXSW, Min Folio, Digital East, Interactive Media Conference, etc. A proud Terrapin, Roy holds an MBA and bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland. 

Axios is available online through axios.com, via one of our nearly 20 newsletters, through engaging Axios360 newsmaker events and much more – all meant to get you smarter faster on the news that matters. 

Twitter/Instagram: @Axios

How and why did you start Axios?

A few years ago, Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, and I all left our cool, safe jobs to start a new company with this shared belief: Media is broken – stories are too long, too boring, and websites are a maddening mess of pop-up and banner ads.

Following a year-long listening tour, we founded Axios in 2017 with the mission of delivering the cleanest, smartest, most efficient and trustworthy experience for readers and advertisers alike. Our solution to the problems plaguing the media industry is Smart Brevity: the idea that news and information should be quick, smart and worthy of your time. Since launch, we have advanced our Smart Brevity format to adapt to newslettersevents, a podcastsocial medianews stream, and an HBO show, with more in the works. 

Any emerging industry trends? 

The need for companies to clearly share concise corporate social responsibility messaging has never been so important – consumers, employees and stockholders continue to prove again and again that they care about the initiatives and principles that a brand upholds. But the days of long-form native advertising are slipping away – media ad sales teams and advertisers need to help Brands find smart, efficient ways of sharing what they are doing that is good and amplifying that message.

What is your long-term vision for Axios?

We have been extremely fortunate over the last two years. We have grown from 3 to nearly 20 newsletters, hosted dozens of events across the country, aired an HBO series and broke hundreds of crucial news scoops, all in Smart Brevity. 

In the future we want to continue to expand the ways in which we can stretch our efficient format – both through editorial and advertising means. We are constantly trying new experiments and working to bring Axios into different spaces – from different coverage areas (education, smart cities, blockchain, space) to new platforms and beyond. My long-term vision for the company is to continue growing, building and innovating with Smart Brevity and our audience-first mentality.  

My Goal of the Day:

Before I start each day, I always take a moment to prioritize several goals that I can set out to accomplish – from helping Axios land a new client to getting our new New York City office up and running. Throughout the day I revisit these goals as a check on myself and my team. Only by keeping clear goals are you able to make real progress.

My Deed of the Day:

I care tremendously about the people I work with – their development, ideas, and wellbeing – so I try to connect with at least one person each day, to take the time to really listen and ask them how they are doing, and if they are happy.

My Tip of the Day:

Every work day is about winning, getting ahead and continuing to adapt because if you sit still, someone is going to eat your lunch. Be ferocious about optimizing each day and each meeting so you can accomplish your goals and keep moving forward.  

Favorite Breakfast meal & restaurant: 

My kitchen- coffee & and a mini bagel.  Or if I have the chance, The Greenhouse at the Jefferson in DC is a really cool restaurant. 

What are you doing at.. 

6:00 a.m. = Working out 

10:00 a.m. = In a meeting

12:00 p.m. & Favorite Lunch Spot:

Lunch as a meeting in the office (salad) 

7:00 p.m. = Playing with my kids! 

11:00 p.m. = Have been asleep for two hours. 

What drink do you need to get through the day?

One coffee first thing in the morning keeps me going throughout the day. 

Favorite App: Stand-up Comedy on Youtube

Instagram Account: @Axios, of course!  

What should everyone try at least once: 

A Startup – you’re either going to love it or hate it, but it’s going to change your life. It’s not for everyone, but if it’s for you, you can never go back. 

Where do you enjoy getting lost: 

On a racetrack – I love going go-karting with my kids! 

Graham McDonnell: International Creative Director, New York Times

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Click to Read Full Native Influence Q+A

Career advice to those in your industry?:

The best advice to me was ‘If you’re not happy, change something’. When I was younger I landed a dream job at a company with a great reputation and thought I would end my career there. After three months I’d had enough, booked a flight for South East Asia and didn’t come back for five months! I’d also say you can’t expect to progress if you’re not in the picture, so go to all the events, meet all the people, say yes to all the opportunities. You’d be surprised how quickly doors start to open.

Motto?:

There was an old commercial in England a few years ago that featured a cat that decided to ‘Be More Dog’. Instead of lounging around all day looking depressed like most cats, it would play fetch in the park, splash in the river and generally be more positive about every scenario. Quite a good way to live your life and definitely gives you some of the best stories to tell 🙂

Gabrielle Korn: Editor-in-Chief, NYLON Media

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Bio:

Gabrielle Korn is the Editor-in-Chief at NYLON Media, where she oversees all digital content creation across platforms. Gabrielle joined NYLON in 2014 as Senior Editor, and held a slew of different positions before she became Editor-in-Chief in September 2017. She's NYLON's youngest-ever EIC, as well as the first gay woman to hold the position. Under her editorial leadership

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Stacy Adimando: Executive Editor, Saveur

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Bio:

Stacy Adimando is a food and travel journalist, cookbook author, recipe developer, and the Executive Editor at Saveur magazine. Stacy is the former Test Kitchen Director at Saveur, Food Editor at Every Day with Rachael Ray, and recipes editor at Food Network. She has written for a variety of food, travel and lifestyle publications including NPR, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Vogue, Forbes,

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