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Episode 50

Hiring to Your Weaknesses... AND Strengths?

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Michael Turcotte, proprietor of Turn Cycle Solutions!

Michael built and grew his New Hampshire-based business with the usual hard work and hiring team members to cover his own weaknesses... But he also made the unique decision to hire people with similar strengths to his own. Why would he replace his own strengths with a costly employee, and how did this decision help his business grow? Listen to this episode, and you just might find out!

Episode 49

The True Meaning of Leadership

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Dean Leber, a top leadership consultant at The Leaders Group!

The corporate world is full of bloated questions - "What's the difference between a mission and vision statement?" and "How do I empower my employees to become good leaders?" These questions seem jejune on the surface, but Dean has real, authentic answers to them that can help you, your team, and your business. Listen to this episode to find out how!

Episode 48

From Scraping to Scaping

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Chris Manzela, co-owner of BradManz Landscaping! Chris has been working since he was only 14 years old, but he's progressed a long way since then - from $3.75 an hour bussing tables to owning his own business and a massive football fan cave, Chris' steps forward have not been small! What's his secret? Listen to this episode, and you just might find out!

Episode 47

Ownership vs. Management - Dimitri's Story

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Dimitri Skrinik, the Project Manager at MODS National!

Dimitri's had an exciting journey, between emigrating from Moldova, leveraging internships into running his own blue collar business... And then leaving it to manage construction projects using shipping containers! Why did he choose Project Management over business ownership? What have his experiences taught him? Hear the answers, his story, and more here, in this episode!

Episode 46

Advocating for the Trades - AGC NYS

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Brendan Manning, the Vice President of Education & Environment at AGC New York! The AGC (Associated General Contractors) specializes in discovering and solving the problems caused by federal and state legislation that pertain to the trades, and informing and working with local tradespeople based on that information. Whether it's by focusing on the legal side, directly training local business owners, or partnering with local organizations, the AGC is a fantastic Blue Collar advocate! Listen to this episode to learn more about their important mission!

Episode 45

Revolutionizing Workforce Development with BoomNation

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Brent Flavin and David Johnson, co-founder & CEO, and Sales VP respectively of BoomNation! Finding workers and finding work - that's the biggest challenge the trades are facing. BoomNation breaks through the drawbacks of job boards, combining effective professional services with a fun and personal user experience. If you breathe Blue and want to work Blue, BoomNation is your solution!

Episode 44

Fabricating the Future

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Terrence Musto and Robert Manasier - the creator of Fabbro Industries, and the business mentor that helped him do it! From a humble start building custom bikes to running his own professional fabrication shop, Terrence's business is a stunning example of the kind of value a business mentor like Robert can provide. Want to learn how to take that idea of yours to the next level? Listen to this episode to get a few clues!

Episode 43

Breaking the Blue Collar Stigma with Curtis Lumber

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Doug Ford and Pam Stott, two employees of Curtis Lumber who specialize in workforce development! It's all anyone can talk about now: "Where are all the young workers?" "What will happen to the trades in ten years?" If Doug and Pam have anything to say about it, things will only get better - they're dedicated to educating people across the state about their options, and the wonderful truths about Blue Collar work - it's not "a backup job", it's skilled, profitable, fulfilling, and essential!

Episode 42

Lifelong Skills to Pay the Bills from WSWHE BOCES

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Jared Davis and Samuel Stork - teacher and graduate respectively from WSWHE BOCES! They've got programs in dozens of different subjects for kids and adults alike, but one particular strength of their offerings is the Blue Collar menu! Horticulture, heavy equipment operation, welding, automotive - whatever your shade of blue, BOCES has a program for you!

Episode 41

MLB Unveiled - The Perfect Mix for Success in Project Management

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Kelsey Martin and Craig Dittl, two project managers from MLB Construction! They work with all kinds of people, from experienced Boomers to green Gen Zs, and no matter what the project, they keep the team and clients happy and get things done! What's their secret? Listen to this episode and find out!

Episode 40

Putting Out Fires - Solutions for the Budding Businessman

In this episode, our host Mike Nelson and visionary founder Derek Foster talk to Ben Rieth, co-founder and operator of Daigle Fire Solutions! While his business is literally based around fire prevention, his stories make it clear that every businessman needs to know how to deal with tough situations in the same way! There's plenty of tips for up-and-coming entrepreneurs in this episode!

Episode 39

Inspect & Protect - Morgan's One-Man Operation

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Morgan Pellitteri, the man behind TechSmart Inspections! While he worked white collar and with other employees in the past, Morgan rededicated himself to a new calling - running an entire home inspection operation himself! What made him make the change? How has he achieved success? Listen to this episode and find out!

Episode 38

Heartbreak, Heroes, and the HVCC Community

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview four students at the Blue Collar College - Tim, Jonathan, Jawid and Edon! Their incredible stories showcase the strength of the Blue Collar spirit - between preserving heritage, community values, working hard to chase those dreams, and even acts of genuine heroism, the future for the next generation of Blue Collar workers is looking bright!

Episode 37

Grasshopper Heating & Cooling: Handling Explosive Growth in a Short Time

In this episode, our host Mike Nelson and visionary founder Derek Foster interview three Blue Collar superstars - Amanda Triolo, Brian Correll, and Luke Scarcelli of Grasshopper Heating & Cooling! Grasshopper has been all the buzz - or rather, chirp - on the scene lately as their marvelous marketing, terrific teamwork and stellar service take the community by storm! What's the secret to their raid growth and success? We have some of the answers for you here in this episode!

Episode 36

Jim Dawsey - Decades of Trials and Triumphs

In this episode, our host Mike Nelson and visionary founder Derek Foster interview Jim Dawsey, the President of MLB Construction Services, LLC! Jim's come a long way in his life, from minimum-wage drudgery in a February rainstorm to running a premier multi-million dollar company! He learned no small amount of methods, strategies and secrets along the way... And if you listen to this episode, you just might learn a few for yourself!

Episode 35

Juan, Jason & Matt (Hunt Companies, Inc.)

In this episode, our host Mike Nelson and visionary founder Derek Foster interview the triple threat team of Juan, Jason, and Matt from Argyle's Hunt Companies! They've handled construction for some major players locally, but they didn't just stumble into the trust of those big league clients - they earned it! Have a listen to this episode and find out how!

Episode 34

Mike McGrath (1-800-Paint-Job)

In this episode, our host Mike Nelson and visionary founder Derek Foster interview Mike McGrath, the head honcho at 1-800-Paint-Job! Mike overcame plenty of struggles to get where he is, and faces more every day... But no challenge is too great for a Blue Collar worker! Hear about his struggles and successes here, in this stellar episode!

Episode 33

Taylor Hopeck (Witt Construction)

In this episode, our hosts Mike and Derek interview Taylor Hopeck, the Client Coordinator at Witt Construction! Her story perfectly showcases that sometimes, you choose the Blue Collar life... And sometimes, it chooses you!

Episode 31

Bruce Hoffmann (WSWHE BOCES)

In this episode, Mike and Derek interview Bruce Hoffmann, the Work-Based Learning & Placement Coorindator at WSWHE BOCES! We and our kids have all had those classes that we just didn't want to take and asked the question "Why do I have to learn Trigonometry?" Bruce works hard to make sure his classes are the exact opposite - everything students learn from BOCES has a specific and real purpose! Give this episode a listen and find out just what kind of value BOCES has - not just for your kids, but also for you!

Episode 30

Terry Hubbard (Peak Environmental)

In this episode, our visionary founder Derek Foster interviews Terry Hubbard, the founder, CEO and Sales Manager at Peak Environmental: Landscape Construction & Management Services! Terry's been working in his field since he was only 16 years old, and has grown his business to a multi-team unit with 25 employees, and room for more! How did he do it? What practices have led to his success? Derek learns the answers here, in this stellar episode!

Episode 29

Vince LaTerra (Bonacio Construction Inc.)

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster have a chat with Vince LaTerra, the Project Manager at Bonacio Construction! If you live in Saratoga, you've heard of these guys, and there's a lot of advice this successful businessman has to offer in this episode! What is it? You'll have to listen to find out!

Episode 28

Ivan Bell (IBS Septic & Drain)

In this episode, our host Mike Nelson interviews Ivan Bell, the main man behind IBS Septic & Drain! He's got a lot to say about balancing home life and family life, giving 110%... And, most importantly, loving what you do!

Episode 27

Jim Countryman (HVCC)

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Jim Countryman - the assistant professor of Applied Technologies at Hudson Valley Community College; AKA, The Blue Collar College! We know, we know - we've often said college isn't for everybody... But with amazing programs like Jim's, you can learn Blue Collar skills from start to finish - like automotive mechanics, aviation mechanics, HVAC, electrical engineering, and much, much more! Get the inside scoop on HVCC's stellar, affordable offerings for any and all students here, in this informative episode!

Episode 26

Paul Lambert (Bonacio Construction)

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Paul Lambert, the Project Manager at Bonacio Construction! If you're from Saratoga Springs or Rome, New York, you know these guys - but if not, don't worry! We'll fill you in on everything you need to know about Bonacio Construction and Paul Lambert here, in this stellar episode!

Episode 25

Dustin Manny (Manny Topsoil and Gravel)

In this episode, our Host Mike Nelson and Visionary Founder Derek Foster interview Dustin Manny, the main man behind Manny Topsoil and Gravel! Dustin is all about working hard and doing the job right, and he tells us all about his methods, beliefs and styles right here in this episode!

Episode 24

Ryan van Amburgh (Career Jam)

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster talk to Ryan van Amburgh, the co-founder of Career Jam! His organization helps youths realize their potential and find the career pathways that are right for them, along with fostering development of the Blue Collar labor force and helping local companies find their next generation of workers!

Episode 23

Tom Shanley (Daigle Cleaning Systems of Westchester)

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Tom Shanley, a Daigle Cleaning Systems franchisee from Westchester, New York! They discuss the many benefits of franchising - including streamlined processes, scalable goalsetting, and more! Take a listen and find out how both Derek and Tom made Daigle Cleaning Systems great!

Episode 22

Brad Lewis (Lewis Lawn Care & Masonry)

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Brad Lewis, the hard-working owner of Lewis Lawn Care & Masonry! He started at a very young age without even having a car to take him between clients; but he grew his "side hustle" into a successful business with hard work and dedication! Take a listen and find out how!

Episode 21

Mark Miller (Performance Industrial)

In this episode, our host Mike Nelson interviews Mark Miller - his old boss, and the main man behind Performance Industrial! They talk about the struggles early businesses face and how they overcame them, Mark's well-studied practices and methods, and even how Mark overcame a complete relabeling and brand change! You won't want to miss this informative episode!

Episode 20

Luke Michaels (Michaels Group Homes)

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Luke Michaels, the main man behind Michaels Group Homes! His third-generation business has undergone a lot of trials and changes throughout the years, and Derek and Mike can definitely relate - find out just what they went through by giving this episode a listen!

Episode 19

Anthony Caruso (Caruso Builders)

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Anthony Caruso, the main man behind Caruso Builders of New York! They discuss Anthony's start at 20 years of age, how he grew his business to work on multi-million dollar homes, how his company dealt with the COVID crisis and the labor shortage, and more in this in-depth episode!

Episode 18

Tom Brizzell (Custom Craft Builders)

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Tom Brizzell, the main man behind Custom Craft Builders of Brunswick! They discuss Tom's zen-like approach towards his business, the challenges he faced starting both his business and his family in his twenties, and more in this in-depth episode!

Episode 17

Matt Phelps (Metabolic Fitness)

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Matt Phelps, the owner of Metabolic Fitness! They discuss how Matt got started, the stellar programs the facilities offer, and more in this informative episode!

Episode 16

Vince Laurenzo

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Vince Laurenzo from Quick Response Restoration! Vince's story really hammers home that sometimes, working in a Blue Collar field chooses you, and it's up to you whether you answer the call with your own hard work and dedication!
Episode 15

Anthony Guadagnino

In this Episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Anthony Guadagnino, owner and operator of Veteran-Made Woodworks! Anthony shares some great stories about past successes - and failures - and discusses his workman's philosophy in this brand new episode!
Episode 14

Patrick Farnan

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Patrick Farnan from Next Level Finishes! Patrick really hit it home for us that running a successful business doesn't need to wait - it can start as soon as you're willing to put the time and work in!

Episode 13

Matthew Perry

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Matthew Perry from the Auto-Body Program at Hudson Valley Community College! Matt highlights for us that there need not always be a line between a college degree and trade schooling; sometimes, you can have both!

Episode 12

Matt DeFazio

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Matt DeFazio from DeFazio's Pizza in Troy and Albany! This episode really highlights that starting with an already-successful business is one thing, but it's what you (and your team) put into it that can make it grow... Or let it crash and burn!

Episode 11

Jennifer Lawrence

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Jennifer Lawrence from SEAT Center! Jennifer makes it clear for us that with the right training and support, anyone can succeed!

Episode 10

Mike Robyck & Matt Roberts

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Mike Robyck and Matt Roberts from MR² Construction Services! They make it clear for us that no matter what your background or how you start up, you can make your business shine with enough work - and a little luck!

Episode 9

Randy Rowe

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Randy Rowe from Farrell Brothers Plumbing & Heating! Randy makes it clear for us that running a franchise (or two) can be in the cards for anyone who's willing to put the work in!

Episode 8

Bryan Berry

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Bryan Berry from Color Code Painting! Bryan makes it clear for us that no amount of adversity is insurmountable as long as you're willing to put your nose to the grindstone and work towards your goals!

Episode 7

Dr. Turina Parker

In this episode, our host Mike Nelson interviews Dr. Turina Parker from New York BOCES! Dr. Parker makes it clear for us that properly directed education is the best route towards success - whatever you happen to study!

Episode 6

Matt Smith

In this episode, our host Mike Nelson interviews Matt Smith from Ace Home Inspections! Matt makes it clear for us that the best thing about blue-collar businesses is the motivation that goes behind them - if you believe, you can achieve!

Episode 5

Josh Jewett (Cole's Collision)

In this episode, our host Mike Nelson interviews Josh Jewett from Cole’s Collision... Some really great stories here on growing a business from zero to 90 employees, with multiple locations and more! Definitely a must-hear episode!

Episode 4

Jamie Magur

In this episode, our Host Mike Nelson interviews Jamie Magur from Troy Grooming Company. Jamie really highlighted for us that no matter what your story is, no matter where the road has taken you... You CAN start over, and you CAN be successful!

Episode 3

Devon Camenga

In this episode, our host Mike Nelson interviews Devon Camenga from Camenga Construction. Devon really highlights how to go from no-hustle to side-hustle, and then how to turn that side-hustle into your full-time gig! Big secret to success here? We'll give you a hint: Reputation.

Episode 2

Derek Foster

In this episode, Mike interviews Derek Foster: co-founder of Blue Collar StartUp, president of Daigle Cleaning Systems, and CEO of DCS Franchises. Derek has grown a commercial cleaning and janitorial business from his side hustle to a thriving multi-million dollar business with over 100 employees! In this podcast, Derek fills us in on how he got started, going from side hustle to full time, and what it takes to grow a successful business in the janitorial industry.

Episode 1

You Gotta' Start Somewhere

In our first episode, Derek Foster and Mike Nelson discuss what the podcast is about, who it is for, and what is behind it all. 

We (MIke) did make a couple mistakes while recording so our audio is a little off on this one. We also discovered that Mike should not be allowed to chew gum during recording. As the title says though: "You gotta' start somewhere", and we look forward to improving the quality of the recording as we go. 


Welcome to Blue Collar Startup: The Podcast. 

Our mission is simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners. 


Details

  • Creators

    Mike Nelson
    Derek Foster


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