Mark Casady – Chairman, LPL Financial

Mark Casady is chairman of LPL Financial. He joined the company in May 2002 as COO, became president in April 2003, and became chairman and CEO in December 2005. Previously, Mark was managing director, mutual fund group for Deutsche Asset Management, Americas (formerly Scudder Investments). He joined Scudder in 1994 and held roles as managing director, Americas, head of global mutual fund group and head of defined contribution services. He was also a member of the Scudder, Stevens and Clark board of directors and management committee. He is former chairman and a current board member of the Insured Retirement Institute and serves on FINRA’s board of governors.

1. How do you define success?
By how we help others be successful. Sort of the network effect of joint success. The more success my customers, employees, or my family has results in more success for me.

2. What is the key to success?
Hard work. Knowing what you are trying to accomplish with others and not stopping until you attain your goal or beyond.

3. Did you always know you would be successful?
I have always been very focused and have tried to give any activity my all. I am still wondering if I will be successful!

4. When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
My motto is “one step forward.” I don’t worry about getting all adversity solved today, just some part of it. Eventually, you overcome it by pushing ahead.

5. What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
Be good to others. Nice guys and gals do finish first, so keep your elegance and humanity.

6. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love spending time with my family and friends. Boating on Cape Cod or taking long walks wherever I find myself are enjoyable. I also like to travel, especially to new places, to understand other cultures and people.

7. What makes a great leader?
Awareness of others’ needs and goals. Getting alignment and trust are critical to leading.

8. What advice would you give to college students about entering the workforce?
Look for experience in areas where you are passionate. Try it, and if you don’t like it, you can always change later. Your early career is all about getting experience, so get as much as you can the first few years out of school.


This interview is an excerpt from Success: 30 Interviews with Entrepreneurs & Executives by Jason Navallo.

Maria Clawe – President, Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College (HMC) is led by Maria Klawe, HMC’s fifth president, who began her tenure in 2006. A renowned computer scientist and scholar, President Klawe is the first woman to lead the college since its founding in 1955. Prior to joining HMC, she served as dean of engineering and professor of computer science at Princeton University. During her time at Princeton, Klawe led the School of Engineering and Applied Science through a strategic planning exercise that created an exciting and widely-embraced vision for the school. At Harvey Mudd College, she led a similarly ambitious strategic planning initiative, “HMC 2020: Envisioning the Future.”

Maria joined Princeton from the University of British Columbia (UBC) where she served as dean of science from 1998 to 2002, vice president of student and academic services from 1995 to 1998, and head of the Department of Computer Science from 1988 to 1995. Prior to UBC, Maria spent eight years with IBM Research in California, and two years at the University of Toronto. She received her Ph.D. and B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Alberta.

Maria has made significant research contributions in several areas of mathematics and computer science, including functional analysis, discrete mathematics, theoretical computer science, human-computer interaction, gender issues in information technology, and interactive-multimedia for mathematics education. Her current research focuses on discrete mathematics.

Maria is one of 10 members of the board of directors of Microsoft Corporation, a board member of Broadcom Corporation and the nonprofit Math for America, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a trustee for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, and a member of both the Stanford Engineering Advisory Council and the Advisory Council for the Computer Science Teachers Association. She was elected as a fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery in 1996 and as a founding fellow of the Canadian Information Processing Society in 2006.

1. How do you define success?
I’m very goal-oriented so, to me, success is making progress on my key goals.

2. What is the key to success?
It’s a combination of picking the right goal (namely, something important), creating a strategy to achieve the goal, assembling a team or network to work on the goal, persisting in the face of difficulty (everything important is hard to achieve), being willing to re-evaluate the strategy when needed, and asking for help from others.

3. Did you always know you would be successful?
When I was young (under 30 or so), I was sure I would be successful. As I grew older (and became more successful), I developed the imposter syndrome which was exacerbated by a serious head injury at the age of 43. So, these days I feel like a failure most of the time, but I don’t let that stop me from constantly trying to make the world a better place.

4. When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
It’s a combination of having a strong support system (my husband, my children, my sisters, and my friends) and an intensely stubborn nature. The easiest way to get me to work on something is to tell me that it’s impossible.

5. What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
That I learn more from failure than success. I hate failing, but over time, I have recognized that each time I fail, I have to learn new skills and approaches to overcome the failure.

6. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Watercolor painting, kayaking, hiking, reading, bird watching, being with my family and friends, and being with my cats.

7. What makes a great leader?
A leader creates a community and a vision that empowers everyone to do their best work and to support each other in jointly making progress toward the vision.

8. What advice would you give to college students about entering the workforce?
Choose a workplace with a mission you believe in and that has a supportive environment and a manager you respect. Try to help others be successful. Volunteer for projects that will help you learn new skills and knowledge. Build a professional network outside your workplace. Don’t let fear of failure stop you from taking on ambitious challenges. Mentor more junior colleagues or students. You will learn as much from them as they will from you. If you can’t find work that inspires you, learn some new skills that will increase your opportunities. For example, no matter what your area of interest is at the moment, learning some computer science will make you more desirable as an employee.


This interview is an excerpt from Success: 30 Interviews with Entrepreneurs & Executives by Jason Navallo.

Kirk Davis – CEO, GateHouse Media

After spending his first eight years working in publishing as a circulation and marketing executive, Kirk Davis served as publisher from 1990 to 1996 with dailies located in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and California. In 1996, Kirk was recruited by Fidelity Capital (now Devonshire Investors), a subsidiary of Fidelity Investments, to become president of their TAB newspaper group in the Boston area, which was part of Community Newspaper Company (CNC). He was later named president of CNC in 1998, as the company grew to 113 daily, weekly and specialty publications, along with its townonline.com community websites serving eastern Massachusetts towns.

In 2004, Kirk was named CEO of Boston-based Enterprise NewsMedia (ENM), a multimedia company owned by Heritage Partners, Inc., a private equity firm in Boston, Massachusetts. While there, he developed a go-to-market community Web platform to serve southeastern Massachusetts towns under the domain Wicked Local.

GateHouse Media, based in Fairport, New York, acquired both Enterprise NewsMedia from Heritage Partners and Community Newspaper Company (CNC) from Herald Media in 2006 and named Kirk as CEO of GateHouse Media New England.

In January 2009, Kirk was promoted to president of GateHouse Media. GateHouse Media is one of the largest publishers of locally-based print and online media in the United States, as measured by its 78 daily publications, 261 weekly newspapers, 92 shoppers, six yellow page directories, and over 400 locally-focused websites and mobile sites. The company currently serves local audiences of more than 10 million per week across 21 states.

1. How do you define success?
Truly enjoying what you do and knowing that you are making a difference in people’s lives. Some of us have the privilege of managing others, which is a serious responsibility. Watching others grow and prosper is yet another way to define success. Managing family and work in tandem is gratifying, too—we need both working to be successful.

2. What is the key to success?
The key for me is knowing when “good enough” really is, and to be able to recognize that. That’s not to say that there isn’t always another goal worth setting, but if you or your staff feels there’s never really a “good enough,” then that’s a tough sell. Life happens in stages and so does success. One must be able to celebrate each stage—individually and with those who contributed and should share in it.

3. Did you always know you would be successful?
No. In fact, I grew up worrying that I might not be. That led to me a near insatiable drive to be successful, measured by promotions and hours worked, getting ahead at a young age—the wrong things. I was on a “treadmill” that was happy to sustain my running until I figured out what I was running to. Eventually, I had to figure that out.

4. When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
I certainly possess a competitive nature, but if I’m being totally honest, I want to lead. Most often, the adversity I face presents challenges for others as well. I have always sought to have as much leadership responsibility as possible because I will commit whatever it takes to work through it. I’ve always wanted the ball in my hands with only seconds left in the game.

5. What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
That leadership is leading while being led. People may not always want to lead, but they sure appreciate being able to contribute. A leader who can draw out those “inputs” will get to better decisions and have more support for them.

6. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Spending free time with my family. Then, if time permits, I squeeze in tennis, running, travel, reading, theater, and dreaming of the next big idea.

7. What makes a great leader?
A great leader thinks about where we are, yet has a realistic view of where we could be. A leader combines aspirational notions with a practical road-map to get there, and provides inspiration, education, and the right tools to achieve our potential.

8. What advice would you give to college students about entering the workforce?
Focus on balancing what you’ve learned with what you’ve yet to learn in doing your job. Most of the time it’s the “people-related” skills that trail education. I think you need to learn the truly powerful dynamics of emotional intelligence, along with being reasonably smart. Also, it’s not so much about “friends and likes” as it is about “connecting.”


This interview is an excerpt from Success: 30 Interviews with Entrepreneurs & Executives by Jason Navallo.

Dr. Kevin Prine – President & CEO, Outreach International

Dr. Kevin Prine is the president and CEO of Outreach International, an organization that has been permanently abolishing poverty for more than three decades. Previously, he was a director and partner at Tradebot Systems and Tradebot Ventures, one of the largest and most successful trading firms in the world.

He was also an entrepreneurship and business strategy professor for almost 20 years, with the typical list of publications and atypical top 1% national student evaluations. During that time, he also built and led a Students in Free Enterprise (now Enactus) team that won the USA National Championship (out of 500 competing universities) and placed second (out of 34 countries) at the World Cup in Paris, France.

1. How do you define success?
The full expression of the potential of the self in combination with magnifying the potential of others.

2. What is the key to success?
The ability to focus on the actions that bring about joyful personal outcomes, rather than activities that temporarily eliminate boredom/sadness/pain.

3. Did you always know you would be successful?
“Successful” is a dynamic path, rather than a static destination. I continue to try to make progress and enjoy my surroundings and companions on that path, but I’ve never thought of myself as having achieved success.

4. When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
The illumination from the lanterns held by others.

5. What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
A = (G + D + T) L

Humans can achieve Anything, but that achievement is largely a function of Genetics (and epigenetics), Drive, and Time. Additionally, for reasons we don’t seem to understand or be able to control, a periodic Luck factor intervenes.

And so, for example, even if I am not blessed with the perfect genetics to be an outstanding athlete, with enough drive and time, I’m still able to become world class. Too often, we forget about this important combination of factors, or, we focus on only one of those elements, including praying for a miracle during final exams.

6. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Making measurable progress in at least a couple of areas (for example, investments or physical challenges), balanced with being mindfully present.

7. What makes a great leader?
Traditional intelligence. Emotional intelligence. Strategic intelligence. Finding oneself in the right place at the right time.

8. What advice would you give to college students about entering the workforce?
Consistently put yourself in situations where you can over-deliver on the expectations of others.


This interview is an excerpt from Success: 30 Interviews with Entrepreneurs & Executives by Jason Navallo.

Jalak Jobanputra – Founder & Managing Partner, FuturePerfect Ventures

Jalak Jobanputra is a founding partner of FuturePerfect Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund in New York City (NYC). Previously, she was the director of mobile investments at Omidyar Network, a philanthro-capitalist fund started by Pierre Omidyar, co-founder of eBay. While there, she created a mobile investment strategy, invested in an East African mobile tech incubator, invested in an Indian mobile classifieds site, and closed Omidyar’s largest for-profit investment ($5 million) to date in Latin America. She has over 18 years of experience in venture capital, media, and technology. She was previously senior vice president at the New York City Investment Fund (NYCIF), a private economic development fund founded by Henry Kravis, where she managed the fund’s technology and digital media venture investments. While there, Jalak spearheaded the formation of NYCSeed in 2008, a seed fund dedicated to funding early-stage tech entrepreneurs in NYC. She also was on the selection committee and served as a mentor and speaker for NYCSeedStart, NYC’s first summer accelerator program, and helped launch the FinTech Innovation Lab, which has since been replicated in London. Jalak worked closely with the Bloomberg administration and NYCEDC to implement initiatives to help diversify the NYC economy through NYC’s growing tech/digital sectors and served on Governor Paterson’s Small Business Taskforce. Her portfolio at NYCIF included outside.in (acquired by AOL), Imagespan, Thumbplay, and TXVia (acquired by Google), in addition to seed investments Magnetic, Ticketfly, Enterproid, and SeatGeek.

Prior to NYCIF, she was a principal at New Venture Partners (NVP), a $300M early-stage venture fund which commercialized technology out of corporate labs. At NVP, she founded and served as interim CEO of Real Time Content (spun out of British Telecom), a personalized video ad platform, and was a director of Procelerate Technologies, a SaaS workflow management tool for the aerospace industry. She also incubated a range of other technologies, including speech recognition/NLP, 3D displays, video surveillance, 4G wireless broadband, and music recommendation software.

From 1999-2003, Jalak was at Intel Capital in Silicon Valley, where she invested in enterprise software, Internet and digital media startups, including Demantra (sold to Oracle), Extricity (sold to Peregrine), Viacore (sold to IBM), R Systems (IPO), Financial Engines (IPO), Yodlee and Zinio. In 1997, during the early days of Silicon Alley (in NYC), she launched and managed product development for online financial information startup Horsesmouth. She began her career in media, telecom, and tech investment banking at Lehman Brothers and Broadview in NYC and London.

Born in Nairobi to Indian parents, Jalak has invested, and traveled extensively, in North and South America, India, Europe, Africa, East Asia, and Latin America. She is also active in supporting education reform and social entrepreneurship and served as a trustee of Achievement First Bushwick Charter Schools (Brooklyn) and sits on the executive committee of the Social Investment Council of Echoing Green. She is on the board of directors of the Center for an Urban Future, advisory board of L’Oréal’s Women in Digital Initiative, and Access to Capital subcommittee member of the U.S. Secretary of State Women’s Leadership Council. She served as a mentor for the Unreasonable Institute in Boulder in the summer of 2010, a summer accelerator for social entrepreneurs worldwide. In 2003, she took a year-long sabbatical from venture capital to consult on replication strategy for Gates Foundation funded charter schools, including the Big Picture Company. Jalak spent four months setting up microfinance programs and training women entrepreneurs in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania after receiving her M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management in 1999. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Communications from the Annenberg School and a B.S. in Finance from the Wharton School.

Jalak was selected as an Outstanding 50 Asian American in Business in 2010 by the Asian American Development Center. She was selected as a U.S. State Department delegate to Indonesia in the summer of 2011, where she met with entrepreneurs, angel investors, and business leaders to promote tech entrepreneurship. Jalak is a Techstars NYC mentor, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator mentor, charter member of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs), advisory board member of Astia NYC, the Wharton Private Equity Network, Kellogg Entrepreneurs, and is a frequent speaker and judge at entrepreneur and venture conferences, including Mobile World Congress, CTIA, TechCrunch Disrupt, Bloomberg and AlwaysOn. She has been asked to speak on entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems by the Obama administration at the White House, as well as governments worldwide.

1. How do you define success?
To me, success is staying true to your ideals and the life you set out to live (as long as you aren’t hurting anyone else). I see too many people who are living a life that others have prescribed for them, whether it is society or another person. Life is too short to do that—a teacher in a small town who works part-time to also spend time with family and a CEO of a major corporation are, in my eyes, equally successful if they are doing what they want to be doing and treating those around them with respect.

2. What is the key to success?
First and foremost, I believe self-awareness is key to the type of success I’ve defined above. Positivity, hard work, passion and resilience are also important components of success.

3. Did you always know you would be successful?
I was raised to follow my passions—in that sense, I knew I would always be successful. Whether it was working in the slums of Kenya, consulting with charter schools, working on an M&A deal in the boardroom of a Fortune 50 company or launching a VC fund (which I am doing now), I have, at any given point in time, done what I’ve wanted to be doing. If you love what you do, the inevitable obstacles you encounter along the way become surmountable. If you treat others with respect, you will find yourself surrounded by people who will support you—and you will be successful.

4. When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
I was born in Nairobi and grew up traveling to the developing world when plumbing and electricity were luxuries. When you are exposed to those environments at an early age, you don’t take much for granted. I am constantly aware that I am fortunate to have the opportunities that I’ve had—and that puts any adversity I face in perspective. Additionally, my parents left a good (although politically tenuous) life in Africa and moved us to the United States—it’s a sacrifice I am so grateful for. Any adversity I face pales in comparison to starting completely over in a new country (with a family dependent on you).

5. What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
Life is too short for negativity or pettiness. I’ve lost quite a few people close to me over the past few years—some my age, some younger, and some older—and it makes you realize that health and good friends and family are gifts to be treasured. Any time you spend away from positive influences impedes the quality of your life. I’ve rooted out a lot of negativity—whether people, words or situations—and believe this is an important component of my success and happiness.

6. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Along the same lines, I treasure spending time with friends and family. Traveling is a big passion of mine—especially off the beaten path and in nature. I’m quite adventurous—I hitchhiked around Burma in 2007 by myself and also went to Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to see firsthand the devastation that has transpired there. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda was an unforgettable experience. Bali is one of my favorite places to rejuvenate, and I love the food in Italy. I’m pretty much up for going anywhere and seeing as much of the world as I can.

7. What makes a great leader?
I’m going to go back to self-awareness. I think knowing what you know and what you don’t is paramount to being a great leader. That way you can surround yourself with people who complement you. You also need to be a good listener—too many people are too quick to talk and judge when they’d be better served by listening and learning.

8. What advice would you give to college students about entering the workforce?
Be open-minded and willing to learn. Don’t forget that everyone starts somewhere and that it’s a long-term game. I worked 100+ hour weeks in investment banking out of school, but learned so much and pitched in wherever I was needed. Some of the people I worked with back then are now investing in my fund, and others have become some of my closest friends—and this is 20 years later.


This interview is an excerpt from Success: 30 Interviews with Entrepreneurs & Executives by Jason Navallo.