Steve Parker

Parker On Tap

In partnership with AudioUp – AdWeek’s 2020 Podcast Innovators and Producers of the Year

Parker On Tap is a podcast that explores success with people you need to know. This 12-episode series engages in lively conversations with leaders, artists and entrepreneurs considered the very best at what they do. All 12 episodes live now on your favorite podcasting platforms.

About the Host

Steve Parker Jr. is the CEO & Co-Founder of Levelwing, an advertising agency fortunate to have delivered over a dozen consecutive Super Bowl campaigns and be recognized as ‘most effective in media’ by a jury of industry peers. Steve leads the vision for the agency and would define himself as a lifelong dreamer and entrepreneur that enjoys creating new things and meeting new people. That discovery driven mindset has led him down an amazing path of experiences, lessons, stories and people – some of which he is bringing to the podcast, Parker On Tap.

Season One: Big Thoughts From Big Shots

A Podcast of lively conversation with people you need to know. All 12-episodes live now on your favorite podcasting platform.

Erika Nardini, CEO – Barstool Sports

It would be difficult to welcome a more true-to-brand CEO other than Erika Nardini. She’s been called, “the most controversial woman in sports media,” and while others huff and puff, she’s confidently building the bricks of Barstool. She has led the company from 12 employees to over 200 and has become a force in sports, culture and standing up for what she believes is right, without regret.

In this episode, Erika and I discuss her background, the “El Presidente” Dave Portnoy, her approach to business and life, and how she thrives in a fast-paced environment. In addition, we have an honest conversation about how she is not always great, not every day. It’s eye opening, honest, and truly Erika.

Chi Modu, the Most Prolific Photographer of Hip-hop

Chi Modu is on another level. He’s an entrepreneur, a photographer, a documentarian. You may not know him by name, but you know his work. It’s been written that Chi is “the most important photographer in hip-hop history.” Hence the reason I call him, “The Living Library of Hip-Hop.” His work has graced the cover of everything from The Source, to Rolling Stone to your favorite albums. Tupac, Biggie, Nas, Ice Cube, Snoop, Method Man, Ol’ Dirty Bastard…he knew them all before they were what we know now.

Chi is a true leader of cultural observation and perspective. You will hear his personal stories and perspectives on Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Wu-Tang Clan, and others – it will surprise and astonish. You will experience his process and how he connects to others. This is a conversation you won’t want to miss, and one that I personally keep repeating. Special note: Find out more about Chi on his website

Jen Wong, COO – Reddit

She’s a strong, data-driven business operator leading one of the largest and most notable sources of news and community on the Internet – Reddit. She’s also the breaker of barriers – a female business leader, an Asian-American business leader, a mother, and a member of the LGBTQ community. She and I unpack a lot in this conversation, including the importance of being vulnerable and true – it’s worth a listen simply for that part.

In addition to the above, we discuss what led her to her place in life, her past roles at McKinsey, AOL, and Group Nine (where she is currently on the board of directors), what she learned from each of those business experiences, as well as the impact of content and community on our culture.

Frank Abagnale, International Fraud Expert – Subject of the Film, Catch Me If You Can

Frank Abagnale has led an interesting life, one that was interesting enough to be played out on the silver screen in the award-winning Steven Spielberg film Catch Me If You Can, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. This conversation will stir your thoughts and make you say, “Wow, I had no idea.” See, Frank did all these wild deeds between roughly the ages of 16 – 21. What he has done after will surprise and delight you in ways you never imagined.

From his work with the FBI, to his story of what truly made him a changed man, we discuss the prevalence of fraud today, how you can avoid it, and what is next in the world of fraud prevention. You’ll learn about Frank’s history, his work, his family, and his opinions on fatherhood – among other things. This is an enjoyable and educational listen.

Danielle Lee, Chief Fan Officer – NBA

Highly regarded in the marketing and media world, Danielle Lee maintains one of the most high-profile jobs in sports. When she joined the NBA in 2020, the world had just changed. It was her job to navigate the challenges of the pandemic, keep fans engaged in the “bubble,” and get the season back on track. We discuss her life growing up in Harlem, her role as a female executive, black woman, mother, her superpower, and her career growth and learning in her roles at Showtime, AT&T and Spotify.

Danielle’s career prior to the NBA includes marketing some of the leading original on-demand content at the time, such as: Dexter, Weeds and The L Word while at Showtime. In addition, Danielle was at the forefront of creating innovative solutions that we all use today in mobile marketing at AT&T and was in charge of growing the global footprint of Spotify during an IPO. In this insightful conversation, we dive into topics like diversity and inclusion, taking career risks, being fearless, finding structure and what leadership means to her.

Wenda Harris Millard, Vice-Chairman – Medialink

It has been said, “If you don’t know Wenda Harris Millard, you’re not in marketing.” She transformed Yahoo from a $700m revenue business to over $6 Billion, essentially establishing brand advertising on the internet in the process. She has been CEO of Martha Stewart Living, and today, she serves as Vice-Chairman of one of the most connected companies in the media industry.

Wenda and I discuss the fundamental principles that have guided her career, her experiences excelling in a male-dominated industry, the keen eye of Martha Stewart dinner inspections, the meanest thing anyone has ever said to her, and what truly matters to people. It’s no wonder Wenda has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential women in advertising over the last 100 years – it’s well earned.

Carlos Saldanha, Director/Producer – Blue Sky Studios

Carlos Saldanha is one of the most prolific storytellers, writers, producers and directors of our generation. He was born in Brazil and his choice to move to New York City and study animation has provided some of our favorite and highest grossing films in history – Ice Age, Rio, Robots, Ferdinand and many more. Children and adults love his work; he’s directed the biggest names in Hollywood, including: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Queen Latifah, Jay Leno, Will.I.Am, John Cena, Kate McKinnon and many more.

Carlos and I discuss how he landed at Blue Sky Studios. How they made their first film – the success of that film – the crush of reality that came shortly after, and how they learned to not only create films but build the business. There is a lot to learn in this brief episode including his personal feelings about Rio, a film dedicated to his hometown and love of Brazil. Special note: Carlos’ first live-action project, Invisible City, can be found on Netflix.

Cathy & Martin Kays, Owners of Jao Camp – Top 50 Hotel in the World

The Kays family have been a staple of the Okavango Delta since 1887, with a family history akin to stories of Indiana Jones as written by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. The Okavango Delta is a key to the health of planet Earth and something so stunning it will literally change your life. A remote inland river delta, in southern Africa, located in modern day Botswana and dotted with thousands of small islands, the Okavango hosts some of the largest concentrations of wildlife on the planet.

Listen to Cathy, and her son Martin, discuss what makes the Okavango such a special place and why their family has remined there for many generations. They also discuss how to manage staff and high-expectation guests at a collection of six safari camps in the center of the delta, including their Premier camp Jao – consistently named one of the Top 50 Hotels in the World.

Anthony Giglio, Author and Wine Director – Centurion Lounge by American Express

Anthony Giglio has been featured on the Today Show, The Food Network and in the New York Times – many times. He currently serves as the Director of Wine for the American Express Centurion Lounge Network.
He and I discuss his deeply entrenched Italian upbringing, his grandmother’s kitchen, how his skipping out on work led to a career in wine and, yes, we discuss wine. In fact, you are guaranteed to never look at a wine label the same way ever again after this podcast.

Anthony is a skillful storyteller and he’s perhaps the most approachable and sweet natured sommelier you will ever meet. He’s written 12 books including the Mr. Boston Official Bartenders Guide and Passport to Italian Wines. He’s a sought after thought leader at events around the globe. If you are listening while driving – stop and get a bottle of wine on the way home, then sit back and enjoy what you learned on this podcast.

Andrew “Hawk” Hawkins, former NFL player – SpringHill Company, NFL & ESPN

He may very well be the leading digital-centric personality in sports media. Hawk, as he prefers to be called, works alongside Maverick Carter and LeBron James developing content for SpringHill Company (Uninterrupted, Kneading Dough, More Than and The Shop) while simultaneously working as on-air talent for ESPN and the NFL. He’s also an Emmy nominated former NFL wide receiver with an MBA from Columbia University.

Don’t misread his path to today though – Hawk is an anomaly. A walk-on in college, undrafted by the NFL, signed, cut, signed, cut, and signed again finally finding his way to a six-year career in the NFL. Yet, his proudest moment in football wasn’t what he had dreamed about his whole life – it was being a voice for the unheard. You need to hear this story and the depth of passion Hawk has for others.

James Bartlett, Chief Curator – International African American Museum

James is a thought-leader of contemporary African Arts and African American history, as well as an exceptionally educated and accomplished entrepreneur, artist and historian. His knowledge of the history of African American people is extensive. His vision for how to tell the story of the past as well as connect it to the present and future is thoughtful and innovative. In addition to over 30 past exhibitions, he is currently overseeing the curation of the International African American Museum being built in Charleston, SC.

Join me as James and I discuss history, growing up in Louisville, KY with a musician father, his education at Loyola Chicago and NYU, what he has learned while living in other countries and what he thinks matters most in today’s divided America.

Ori Eisen, CEO & Founder – Trusona

Ori Eisen arrived in New York City at 21, from Israel, with $1,000 in his pocket and unsure where to go. He just knew he had to be there. Today he holds over two-dozen cybersecurity patents, sold his last company, 41st Parameter, a fraud detection solution to Experian for over $300 million. His current company, Trusona, has a mission to rid the world of passwords. Ori is a true online crime fighter, with the earned nickname, “The Fraud Father.”

But that’s only part of Ori’s story. He tells the story of six words that changed his life forever. He’s caring, even gets choked up in our conversation at the memory of the family that provided his first job in America, at a Dunkin’ Donuts. Ori is curious, compassionate and fully dedicated to the growth and wellbeing of others.” Special note: Though his charity, Ball-To-All, he provides soccer balls to kids worldwide - listen to find out why.

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