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Best Quotes & Worst Notes of 2019 – Highlights from the Workplace Innovator Podcast

Mike Petrusky looks back on some of the best moments from “The Workplace Innovator Podcast” during the past year and gets excited about plans for the show in 2020. This episode features highlights from 2019 with fun “podcast karaoke” memories and inspirational quotes with (in order of appearance): Darlene Frantz & Janel Abbass-O’Neill (Ep. 58), … Continue reading "Best Quotes & Worst Notes of 2019 – Highlights from the Workplace Innovator Podcast"

Best Quotes & Worst Notes of 2019 – Highlights from the Workplace Innovator Podcast

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Mike Petrusky looks back on some of the best moments from “The Workplace Innovator Podcast” during the past year and gets excited about plans for the show in 2020. This episode features highlights from 2019 with fun “podcast karaoke” memories and inspirational quotes with (in order of appearance): Darlene Frantz & Janel Abbass-O’Neill (Ep. 58), Razia Ferdousi-Mayer (Ep. 46), Scottie Benjamin (Ep. 65), Cristina Herrera (Ep. 52), Joseph Geierman (Ep. 57), Jo Sutherland (Ep. 86), Graham Tier (Ep. 42), Neil Usher (Ep. 39), David Wagner (Ep. 80), and Kelly Duff (Ep. 74). Enjoy and Happy New Year!

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Read the full transcript:

Mike P. (00:02):

Hi everyone. Mike P. here and I have two big announcements for you. First, I am thrilled to tell you that we have just launched a new website to serve as the home of this podcast. You can check it out now at There you will find not only the latest episode of the show, but a link to our complete searchable archive of interviews. Plus, the new site has available for free download research reports and white papers about the latest industry trends and available technologies.

            Also, I’m excited to announce that registration is open for the annual iOFFICE User Conference. Our Summit 2020 will take place April 14th to 16th, and I really hope you will plan to join me there. We will bring the future to life with amazing speakers, educational content, and you’ll have the chance to interact with our community, forward-thinking workplace leaders. So join us in Vegas baby, Vegas, where you will be inspired to create connected workplace experiences for your organization.

Jo (01:05):

“The day might not be good, but there is always something good in every day.”

Joseph (01:10):

“Be the change you want to see.”

Chris (01:12):

“A life lived in fear is a life half lived.”

Mike P. (01:15):

Ooh, baby, here I am, signed, sealed, delivered. I’m yours.

Scotty (01:17):

Signed, sealed, delivered. I’m yours.

Mike P. (01:21):

This is the Workplace Innovator Podcast where we talk with corporate real estate and facility management leaders about the industry trends and technologies impacting your organization. This show is powered by iOFFICE. The leading employee experience focused IWMS software that delivers real time data and mobile tools to help you intelligently manage your digital workplace.

            Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of the Workplace Innovator Podcast. My name is Mike, and as the year 2019 comes to a close and we look forward to what I certainly hope will be another great year together in 2020, I just want to take a moment and thank you all for listening to this show and for supporting me with your emails and tweets and your LinkedIn messages. It really has been an amazing privilege to bring you this podcast week after week. And it’s an honor for me to speak to so many incredible industry leaders.

            So, thanks go out of course, to all of my guests this past year. I cannot possibly name them all here. And unfortunately we can’t share highlights from each and every episode. But what I would like to do is reflect back on some of the fun moments we had together here in 2019, inspiring each other, laughing together, and of course, singing a little podcast karaoke. Check this out.

            So it’s great to have you finally on the podcast, Darlene. I’ve been trying to make this happen for years now, it seems like.

Darlene (02:53):

I know Mike, you finally wore me down.

Mike P. (02:54):


Darlene (02:54):

Got me here.

Janelle (02:55):

She’s a busy lady.

Mike P. (02:56):

I did it folks. This is going to be good. Well, you know how it goes. I do like to get to know my guests a little bit personally before we get too much into the business stuff. So my first question is, what kind of music do you guys listen to?

Janelle (03:09):

I don’t have a specific genre that I love to say is my very favorite, but I do have a song that always makes me happy. September, Earth, Wind and Fire always makes me get up and dance.

Darlene (03:22):

Everyone should see Janelle dance.

Mike P. (03:24):

Do your remember? Here we go, everybody.

Janelle (03:26):

The 21st day of September.

Mike P. (03:30):

September. What does he say? Something in September. On and on, dancing in September, on and on. Darlene, can you top that?

Darlene (03:42):

No, actually I can’t.

Mike P. (03:44):

What kind of music gets you inspired?

Darlene (03:48):

I love all different types of music. I would say that my favorite type of music is live music.

Mike P. (03:53):


Darlene (03:54):

So recently, was just at the Kenny Chesney concert down at the Anthem and the D.C. Wharf, which was fantastic.

Mike P. (04:00):

Great venue.

Darlene (04:00):

Before that, we were at a Fleetwood Mac, which is the throwback, ages me just a bit.

Mike P. (04:11):

But now you’re talking my language now, ’70s and ’80s rock.

Darlene (04:11):


Mike P. (04:11):

Come on we’ve got to pick a Fleetwood Mac song we can sing together.

Darlene (04:12):

Oh my gosh.

Mike P. (04:14):

You can go your own way.

Darlene (04:17):

You can go your own way.

Mike P. (04:20):

You can call it another lonely day.

Darlene (04:24):

Such a lonely …

Mike P. (04:25):

Such a lonely day. All right. That was fantastic. That was awesome. You guys are great. Thanks for playing along.

            Music is my favorite subject. So Razia what type of music are you listening to?

Razia (04:43):

I’m an old soul. I listened to mostly the Beatles, Frank Sinatra.

Mike P. (04:50):


Razia (04:51):

Bob Marley. Bollywood.

Mike P. (04:53):


Razia (04:54):


Mike P. (04:55):

I love it. The soundtrack to Slumdog Millionaire, that was awesome.

Razia (04:59):

Yeah, it was incredible. A. R. Rahman is very talented and I listened to his music quite often.

Mike P. (05:06):

Really? Well, I mean my favorite song …

Razia (05:13):

Yeah. A lot of people know that song. Jai ho.

Mike P. (05:16):

There you go. What’s great about Bollywood music from my perspective is it’s this combination of the drums, obviously, the guitars. Or is it sitars, they throw in there? Those really cool sounding guitars. It’s an eclectic sound. Right?

Razia (05:30):

Absolutely. I agree. It’s my preferred music, when I’m working out, when I’m running. It gets you all energized.

Mike P. (05:38):

Let’s do it together.

Razia (05:39):

Ready to go. Oh yeah.

Mike P. (05:39):

Jai ho.

Razia (05:39):

Jai ho.

Mike P. (05:49):

Yeah. Awesome.

            And Scotty, I’ve got to ask because it’s one of my favorite questions. What kind of music do you listen to? Do you have a favorite genre or artist?

Scotty (05:59):

I’m a huge Stevie Wonder fan.

Mike P. (06:02):


Scotty (06:03):

I’ve been a Stevie fan for years. And currently some of the new artists, I find myself listen to a lot of Bruno Mars.

Mike P. (06:11):

Bruno Mars, yeah. He’s like the modern day Stevie.

Scotty (06:14):

He’s the modern day Stevie. You’re right.

Mike P. (06:15):

Yeah. He’s got that same vibe, that same groove and attitude.

Scotty (06:19):


Mike P. (06:20):

I got to think, what’s your favorite Stevie wonder song?

Scotty (06:22):

Well, the album song of the Key of Life, a double album. Had a lot of really good hits on there. Sir Duke. Need a Love Today and several others. I’ve always liked Stevie’s music because if you ever sit down and listen to his lyrics, he really tells a story. I mean a lot of artists try to do that, but I really liked the way Stevie tells his stories in his music.

Mike P. (06:45):

I grew up playing the trumpet and that horn section of Sir Duke is my favorite. Let’s do it.

            Very cool. That’s a great one. How about, Ooh baby, here I am signed, sealed, delivered. I’m yours. Was that on that album too?

Scotty (07:10):

I don’t think that was-

Mike P. (07:10):

No, that was a different one.

Scotty (07:12):

That was a different one. A little more recent in songs is Key to Life.

Mike P. (07:14):

That’s awesome. Yeah.

            What kind of music is Chris listening to?

Chris (07:21):

Okay. So I love ’90s music. I spend a lot of time listening to La Bouche and Technotronic.

Mike P. (07:30):

Is that Pump Up the Jam?

Chris (07:30):


Mike P. (07:32):

Is it … Hold on. Hold on. Pump up the jam. Pump it up.

Chris (07:38):

Pump it up while you’re feet are stomping. Pump it.

Mike P. (07:42):

Oh, why. I place to stay. What is it?

Chris (07:45):

Get your booty on the floor tonight. Make my day.

Mike P. (07:46):

On the floor tonight. Make my day. Oh, why a place to stay. Get your booty on the floor tonight. Make my day.

Chris (07:56):

Oh, why a place to stay. Get your booty on the floor tonight. Make my day. Make my day. Make my day. Make my day.

Mike P. (08:03):

Yes. We are in a ’90s dance club here, folks, on the Workplace Innovator Podcast. There are no boundaries to what we will do here.

Chris (08:11):

Breaking all the limits.

Mike P. (08:13):

That’s awesome.

            What type of music gets you inspired, Joseph.

Joseph (08:18):

So I like anything. That’s got a lot of synth to it.

Mike P. (08:18):

Synth. All right.

Joseph (08:23):

Yeah. Actually ’80s new wave was always my favorite genre.

Mike P. (08:27):

Love it.

Joseph (08:28):

Yeah, I mean New Order. New Order’s great.

Mike P. (08:30):

Let’s do a little New Order.

            Which one’s that? Is that the-

Joseph (08:40):

Yeah, Blue Minded is the biggest song.

Mike P. (08:43):

So you want to be the drums and I’ll be the synth? Or do you want to be the keyboards?

            Our first time doing new wave synth on the Workplace Innovator Podcast. This is awesome. Good stuff, man. All right. Thanks for doing that.

            What if you’re in the shower trying to get your day started energized? What inspires you?

Jo (09:07):

Oh, do you know what? I mean, I’m going to confess this and I imagine people are going to mock me, but hey, here goes. I do love a bit of Disney.

Mike P. (09:15):


Jo (09:15):

Yeah. I love it. I mean, it’s a great way to start your day. It’s happy and you can’t be upset or depressed listening to Disney.

Mike P. (09:25):

Let it go. Let it go.

Jo (09:26):

Oh, there we go.

Mike P. (09:28):

Can’t hold it back anymore. Come on, Jo, join me. Let it go. I’m kidding.

Jo (09:28):

Let it go.

Mike P. (09:33):

Oh, you are going to sing.

Jo (09:36):

Okay, I just did there. I really did. That’s all you’re getting. That’s the teaser for later.

Mike P. (09:37):

That was awesome. I’m sorry to interrupt it.

            What kind of music gets you excited, Graham?

Graham (09:44):

If it’s sporting related, if I’m the treadmill, there’s nothing better than the Eye of the Tiger. That really gets you going doesn’t it?

Mike P. (09:49):

Ah, yes. Survivor.

Graham (09:51):

Yeah, exactly. But for me, when I think about the work environment and I think about really pushing the limits of the career, for me, it’s Jessie J with Masterpiece. It’s a fantastic song and it really is inspirational and can be related to what we’re trying to achieve in our day to day careers. And I don’t know if you know any of the words, maybe you can hum a few songs or you can sing a few words for us out of the lyrics.

Mike P. (10:18):

Yeah, you actually shared the video with me. So I was prepared for this very moment. Ready?

Graham (10:23):

Hit it. Hit it, Mike.

Mike P. (10:25):

I still fall on my face sometimes and I can’t color inside the lines because I’m perfectly incomplete. I’m still working on my masterpiece. How about that? Yeah.

Graham (10:38):

Right. Not bad. I think her singing career is safe.

Mike P. (10:42):

That’s right. That’s right.

Graham (10:43):

And as she goes on to say that you haven’t seen the best of me and I think that’s the key message here, as well.

Mike P. (10:49):

Great stuff.

            Well, I enjoyed reading your book very much and I have it right here with me. I have a signed copy from Neil Usher because I had the privilege of meeting you in person at Workplace Week in New York City, which was an amazing event. And I also had a chance to hear you speak that day. I really enjoyed the pop culture references during your presentation. You showed us a silhouette of a band, which I immediately identified as the Ramones. Awesome. Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock and roll high school. So remind me, what does one of the greatest punk bands of all time have to do with the workplace?

Neil Usher (11:28):

I think it was about the punk spirit, really. I was talking about some of the behaviors in the workplace. I grew up with punk, was a child of punk rock in the late ’70s, early ’80s here. Obviously, I had the Ramones in there because it was a presentation in the U.S. so I wanted to make sure everybody recognized the band.

            But I mean, I think the amazing thing in those days was that people just tried stuff. People that ordinarily wouldn’t have been in the band suddenly found themselves in a band. And that spirit of their experimentation and that you don’t need permission. You can just crack on and do this and you can try stuff, I think is one of those behaviors that is essential to an effective workplace.

Joseph (12:11):

I think a question that you asked a lot of times is what a person’s favorite quote is. And the one that I’ve always said and really believed in, and I’m not sure exactly who said this, but it’s, “Be the change you want to see.”

Mike P. (12:24):

Gandhi. That a Gandhi quote.

Joseph (12:26):

Well, I know it’s attributed to Gandhi, but I’ve heard it could be apocryphal.

Mike P. (12:32):

You know what I’ll say? I think it’s a Kate North quote. She shared that on the show once. Kate North from our Workplace Evolutionaries Community.

Joseph (12:39):

Kate is great.

Mike P. (12:39):

Yeah. And we’ll attribute it to her. It could be Gandhi, could be-

Joseph (12:43):

Could be Kate.

Mike P. (12:44):

Could be Kate.

            Great for you, man. That’s excellent. You’re an elected … You know what? Joseph, you are the first elected politician to appear on this podcast. So congrats.

Joseph (12:56):

I would like to say I’m a public servant, rather than a politician. My [inaudible 00:13:03] do not extend beyond Doraville.

Mike P. (13:04):

Excellent. Excellent. But no. Great. You’re being the change. You’re serving your community and that’s what we’re trying to do on this show is help people. And I think our motives are similar in that way. So happy to have you here.

            Chris, I know your story is inspiring to many. Can you bring it down to a particular quote that can sum up this journey you’ve had so far?

Chris (13:29):

So my favorite movie is an Aussie classic, Strictly Ballroom. And the quote that has captivated me and been my motto throughout my whole life is, “A life lived in fear is a life half lived.”

Mike P. (13:42):

Wow. That’s from a movie.

Chris (13:45):


Mike P. (13:46):

Is it a rom-com, Chris? I’m not sure I can sit down through a-

Chris (13:50):

It is a big fat rom-com.

Mike P. (13:53):

Well, maybe I’ll watch it with my wife and daughter sometime. But great quote. “A life lived in fear is a life half lived.” Yes. We’ve got to break out of our fear and get out of our comfort zone, I always say. And your bravery coming here and starting this career in the U.S. is an amazing testimonial to the fact that it can be done.

Chris (14:14):

It can be done. It’s scary. It’s definitely scary. And I had to use change management techniques on myself. But that’s what makes life worth it, going ahead and just jumping into the deep end and trying to conquer it.

Mike P. (14:28):

So it’s not like the fear isn’t there. You just deal with it and say, “I’m going to do this.” And then you get on the other side of it. And you’re like, “That wasn’t so bad.”

Chris (14:36):

That’s right. I did it.

Mike P. (14:38):

Even when it comes to crossing the other side of the globe.

            Do you have an inspirational quote you could share with us?

Speaker 1 (14:44):

I actually have a couple. And in my mind over the years, I’ve tried to separate them from business and personal. But in the end, gosh, they blend and they, it covers it all. Right?

Mike P. (14:55):

All right.

Speaker 1 (14:56):

So I think the one that I’ve landed on, on more than one occasion, has been that, “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. And it’s the courage to continue that really counts.” And that actually came from Winston Churchill.

Mike P. (15:10):

Winston Churchill, one of my favorites.

Speaker 1 (15:11):

Yeah. You remember that one?

Mike P. (15:12):

I do.

Speaker 1 (15:13):

Yeah. And then the other one along the lines that I think I probably tried to advise my kids on, but I could probably take my own advice more often than not. Right? Is that, “Sometimes you never really know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

Mike P. (15:25):

Wow. Yeah. I like that.

Speaker 1 (15:26):

Is the popular Dr. Seuss. So I’ve got Winston Churchill and Dr. Seuss.

Mike P. (15:32):

Deep thoughts by Dr. Seuss. That’s awesome.

Speaker 1 (15:34):


Mike P. (15:36):

Do you have an inspirational quote you could share with our audience?

Jo (15:40):

Yeah. Do you know what? So at Magenta, we focus a lot on wellbeing and we have a wellbeing wall. So on the wellbeing wall, we have everything from what we can do around town. So whether there’s any theater shows, whether there’s any healthy restaurants we should try out. And then obviously on the wall, there’s also motivational quotes. So I often walk past it and have a look at them. And the one that I really like is, “The day might not be good, but there is always something good in every day.”

Mike P. (16:11):

The cup is half full, regardless of what’s going on in our lives.

Jo (16:14):

Absolutely. So what do they say? The glass is half full, whichever way you look at it, half full of water or half full of air.

Mike P. (16:22):

That’s right.

Jo (16:22):

It’s quite nice. Right?

Mike P. (16:23):

You have another one?

Jo (16:24):

Yeah. Well, I’m a big, big fan of traveling. I love exploring new cultures and going away on holiday, as I’m sure most people do. And so one of my other favorite quotes is, is Herman Melville. So he’s the guy who wrote Moby Dick. And check this out. So, “I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.”

Mike P. (16:46):

What does that mean to you, that quote? Poetic of course, but is there a deeper meaning?

Jo (16:50):

Maybe. I mean, I love to say all forbidden seas. So you love to explore the places that haven’t been explored before or the places that are slightly outside of your comfort zone, perhaps what that bit means. Push yourself further. Push yourself into different cultures, into different cities that you never thought you’d be in. Perhaps that ties into that.

Mike P. (17:12):

That’s it. Perfect.

Jo (17:13):

And barbarous coasts. Yes. I mean, same really, I think.

Mike P. (17:18):

Well that’s what we’re here to do is inspire our audience to get out of their comfort zone and continue to evolve as people and as workplace leaders, because it’s a fast moving environment in which we operate, for sure.

Jo (17:31):

It really is. And the energy that’s required to really make a difference, especially in light of the fact that there is such a big focus now on the employee experience or the human experience. So if we’re going to be the leaders of that, and we’re going to pioneer change for the better of everyone’s lives, then we need to have that energy. Right? And we need to have that curiosity and that will to reach new heights, as it were.

Mike P. (17:59):

Hey Kelly, we like to inspire our audience a little bit, when given the chance. Do you have a favorite inspirational quote you could share?

Kelly (18:06):

Oh gosh, I do. And when I told my husband that this was my favorite inspirational quote, he started to cry a little bit because we’re huge Apple users in this house.

Mike P. (18:17):

Oh, same here.

Kelly (18:18):

And I will tell you that people mistake this quote for being said by Steve Jobs, it was actually said by Jack Kerouac. But it’s the quote that says, “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in square holes, the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them glorify or vilify them. But The only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” And I just got goosebumps.

Mike P. (18:58):

Wow. Yeah. Well that was a commercial for Apple back in the day.

Kelly (19:02):

Yep. And it’s so inspiring. I mean, you have to think differently. And I feel that aligns so well to the work that we’re doing these days in facility management, because we’re not building the offices that we used to build. It’s not Mad Men anymore. It’s not cube land. It’s open environments. It’s collaboration space and more. It’s wellness. It’s gaming. And these are the things that are really driving the industry forward. And I feel I’m a bit seasoned when it comes to space planning, but I am learning so many new things in my back nine of my career that you know of what’s desirable and what’s hot. And what do the next generation want when they go to work?

Mike P. (19:55):

There you have it folks, just a few examples of the fun and inspirational stuff we captured here on the show in 2019. Voices from around the world, bringing their expertise, their passion, and their unique personalities to help us make the workplace a more human place for the people occupying our facilities each and every day.

            It’s now the start of the year 2020. Can you believe it? I am so excited to share more great conversations with you, more stories from people just like you, like all of us. Facing the fast changing world of the workplace together. So happy new year everybody. I hope you will continue to join me here on the show in the weeks to come as we encourage each other to be a workplace innovator. Peace out.

            You’ve been listening to the Workplace Innovator Podcast. I hope you found this discussion beneficial as we work together to build partnerships that lead to innovative workplace solutions. For more information about how iOFFICE can help you create an employee centric workspace by delivering digital technology that enhances the employee experience visit


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As the host of both the Workplace Innovator Podcast and the Asset Champion Podcast, Mike's role at Eptura is to share thought leadership with CRE, FM, and IT leaders in the digital and hybrid workplace. As an in-demand public speaker, Mike engages audiences with his focus on the human element of workplace and facility management at International Facility Management Association, CoreNet, and other industry events.

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