Hosted by Sam Coates

Driven By

Sharing experiences, insights, and the drivers behind why my guests have built what they have built and how this applies to what drives you.

Latest Episodes

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September 17, 2020

My guest this week is Ken Utech. What happens when you spend close to 40 years traveling the country and working with close to 1,000 businesses, organizations, individuals, non-profits, and more. You learn about how we as people operate and how to address things as they are, get to the root cause, and work through them. I have yet to hear where a conversation like this will not apply to any person’s situation or life. Ken and the Utech Group have served and impacted organizations as large as the United States Army and other Billion-Dollar Organizations to large private companies, family businesses, non-profits, religious organizations, and much more. I am glad to release this week’s episode with Ken Utech.

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I have received lots of feedback about this episode and how much you enjoyed it. I spoke with Mike last week and he mentioned that the things we talk about in this episode are the most common topics talked about when he speaks or when he meets with people when they are trying to learn from him and his experience.

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September 3, 2020

My guest this week is Peter Abell, the CEO of Memphis Symphony Orchestra. I’ve heard about how much transformation MSO had undergone over the last few years. Today we’re talking about deeper reasons that push you into your interests, how to transform a struggling non-profit, the X-factors that create a significant impact, how a symphony drives the classical music within a city, how to step back and look at challenges differently, how to adjust when COVID-19 affects your organization, how to address your need for control, the feeling when you know it’s going to be hard, and more. I hope you enjoy this week’s episode.

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August 27, 2020

My guest this week is Tom Kadien. Tom spent 40 years working for International Paper. For those that don’t know, IP is the largest pulp and paper company in the world, with $21 billion in revenue. While at IP, Tom was over many parts of the company including Head of IP Europe, IP Asia, IP India, Head of Global Citizenship and more. After retiring from IP, Tom took over the leadership of UMRF Ventures, which was created to give students economic opportunity and real world experience while getting their degree at University of Memphis. This is a great conversation, let’s get started.

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August 20, 2020

Can you imagine having to flee your country and walk over 200 miles? Can you imagine staying in a refugee camp for 5 years in horrible conditions, spending all your money to get to the United States and then starting a refugee empowerment program? In fact, you care so much about this work that you work the first 6 months without pay. That’s what this organization is about. Today we have the directors of Refugee Empowerment Program, Sara Babb and Cam Echols with me on my show.

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Even in the midst of challenges and difficulty, there is good and value created in the world we live in. I believe that every person is wired to create value in our society and culture. In Conversations That Create Change, I interview people who have experiences and insights to share that are applicable to everyday life as we know it.

My hope is that by the end of each episode, you will be entertained and take away something that you will be able to apply to your own life.


Sam Coates


Sam Coates is an entrepreneur based in Memphis, TN.