Author Archives: denaliexecutives

President of Denali Executives: About Me

About Me


Name: Glenn Cunningham

Position: President

Birthdate: October 4th

College Major: Biology/Chemistry

Why did you start at Denali: I opened the company October 1st, 2012 because of 3 things: 1. I’ve always wanted to work for myself (not having a boss you hate is kinda cool) 2. I want to live financially free and not be confined by a company telling me what I’m worth. (I’ll determine that thank you…) 3. I love helping people, it’s the best feeling in the world.

Best Experience in the company: Watching young professionals grow and develop on a daily basis.

What do you like most about working at Denali: Working with great people, the positive environment, massive growth potential, and being able to travel at will.

Random Questions:

  1. What’s is your favorite movie? Answer: No favorite, just nothing scary. I like to sleep at night.
  2. What did you want to be when you grew up? Answer: When I was a kid I remember drawing a picture of a man wearing a suit, holding a briefcase and standing in front of a tall building. We were supposed to draw what we wanted to do when we grew up…its funny how your visions become realities if you work hard.
  3. Do you have any irrational fears? What? Answer: Chimpanzees. No, seriously chimpanzees. They’re crazy and can’t be trusted.
  4. What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Answer: cleaning the bathroom
  5. Morning person or night person? Answer: Night person for sure. I played poker for a living through college so I’ve never been a morning person.
  6. Would you rather live in the country or city? Answer: Really? COUNTRY!
  7. If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would do? Answer: Invest 90% of it and play with the other 10%
  8. If you could stay one age forever, what would it be? Answer: 28. You’re still in your 20s but more mature than the beginning of them.
  9. What is one thing most people do not know about you? Answer: I’m a country guy at heart. I wear a suit and own a company during the day but bring me back down south and you’ll find me shooting guns, riding 4-wheeler, fishing, and staying outdoors 95% of the time.
  10. What is one talent you wish you had? Answer: Hit a golf ball like the pros.


When I’m home I love to ride 4-wheelers.


Back in Arkansas, I went gator hunting for a reptile biology class. (we didn’t kill them, we surgically implanted tracking devices and helped set state laws on hunting)


I was a collegiate cheerleader and competed nationally. (They paid my tuition)


My Throwback picture…No caption needed

About Me: Account Executive Stephanie Julian

About Me


Name: Stephanie Julian

Position: Account Executive

Birthdate: December 18th

College Major: Criminal Justice and Sociology

Why did you start at Denali: I wanted the opportunity to start in an entry level position and learn from the ground up. With Denali being a 100% merit based company, I have been able to demonstrate my work ethic, help other people, and get rewarded for it, which is exactly what I was looking for.

Best Experience in the company: I love being rewarded for hard work. I set a goal with Glenn, hit it, and earned the right to travel out to Boston to help train with another client we work with. I learned a ton and had fun while doing it!

What do you like most about working at Denali: My favorite part about working with Denali is the ability to train and coach other people. I love watching people grow and develop and it is a great feeling to know I had a hand in it.

Random Questions:

  1. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod? Happy by Pharrell Williams.
  2. What is one of your favorite quotes? Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game
  3. What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Volleyball, it brings out my competitive side.
  4. What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Laundry
  5. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for? Most people like to say I look like the Wendy’s girl….
  6. What would you name the autobiography of your life? I do what I want #independentwoman
  7. What do you miss most about being a kid? No worries, besides what you were doing after school.
  8. What was the first thing you bought with your own money? My car
  9. What is one thing most people do not know about you? I’m obsessed with Mountain Dew
  10. Favorite TV show? Tv, this girl doesn’t watch it.

Sand Volleyball really brings out my competitive side.


I love kids! I’m the favorite cousin. On holidays, you can find me at the kids’ table.


With that being said, I also love dogs! I’m the go to dog sitter. One day I will have my own! Until then, I will play with everyone else’s dogs.


A little throw back. I carry it in my wallet, just ask and I’ll show you.

All About Me: Andre Kennedy an Account Executive

About Me


Name: Andre K. Kennedy

Position: Account Executive

Birthdate: 05/28/1988

College Major: Business

Why did you start at Denali: I started at Denali for the opportunity of growth and advancement within a company.

Best Experience in the company: My best experience of Denali was when I went to Los Angeles. This was my best experience because I had never been to L.A and Denali gave me that opportunity. In LA I was able to go to a huge conference which had several keynote speakers, including fortune 500 Jim Majeski.

What do you like most about working at Denali: I like the upbeat, and positive work environment the most about Denali.

Random Questions:

  1. If you were a dinosaur, what kind would you be? If I was a dinosaur I would be a Triceratops. I would be a triceratops because it looks big and dangerous but it is actually nice and harmless.


  1. Where is your dream vacation? My Dream Vacation would be to take my entire family on a European tour taking stops at every football and Rugby stadium along the way.


  1. If you had a super power, what would yours be? If I had a super power it would be the power to travel to any place that I vision in the matter of moments. (Become a Jumper)
  1. What was your favorite cartoon growing up? My favorite cartoon as a kid was Captain Planet because he is my HERO!!!


  1. What was your best Halloween costume? Freddy Kruger was my favorite costume and I wore it for 4 years straight.
  1. Dog person or Cat person? Dog person by far and my favorite breed would be the Rottweiler.


  1. Do you have a nickname? What? My nick name was Andre 3000 and I never figured out why!
  1. What movie deserves a sequel? Forest Gump deserves a sequel because it was 1 of my favorite movies of all time and I still wonder how the son turned out.
  1. What is one thing most people do not know about you? Most people don’t know that I took up Japanese as a second language in high school. “Domo Arigatou Gozaimasu”
  1. To what would you like to devote more time? I would like to demote more time to coaching youth in football and giving back to my community.




Freshman year of college we won the Junior College Divisional Championship!!!


I love to watch sports and I’m a huge Detroit sports fan!! LETS GO!!

Denali Executives Inc.- Get to know us! HR edition

About Me

Name: Kerri Connaughton

Position: Human Resource Director

Birthdate: May 16th

College Major: Early Childhood Education

Why did you start at Denali: I wanted to get my foot in the door with a company and gain experience in Human Resources.   Denali offered me that and I have the opportunity to grow with the company.

Best Experience in the company: The traveling! I went to the Kentucky Derby, Atlantis, Dallas- just to name a few!

What do you like most about working at Denali: Since I moved from a much smaller town in Arkansas to Indianapolis, I did not know a lot of people at all here. I have made a lot of life long friends from working at Denali. Denali has brought me out of my shell as well. I was a very shy person before working here!

Random Questions:

  1. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod? Pretty Girl Rock by Keri Hilson – I mean come on this song was written for me!
  2. What is one of your favorite quotes? This is your world. Shape it or someone else will.
  3. What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Horseback riding
  4. What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Folding the laundry is the worst!
  5. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for? I don’t see it but I have several people say Miley Cyrus.
  6. What would you name the autobiography of your life? I Do My Own Thing
  7. What do you miss most about being a kid? No bills.
  8. What was the first thing you bought with your own money? I bought one of my horses!
  9. What is one thing most people do not know about you? I’m a lifetime Girl Scout.
  10. Favorite TV show? Breaking Bad but if I had to pick one that is currently on, Lip Sync Battle

My horse that is at my parent’s farm in Arkansas

I competed in Barrels and Poles before moving to Indianapolis

I have stood up on EVERY horse I have owned!

My Furbabies- Sassy, Cooper, and Bentley

Just a throw back picture! Sassy even as a kid…

7 Leadership Lessons from John Wooden’s Final Title

When it comes to college basketball coaches, John Wooden’s legacy rises high above anyone else’s.

His UCLA teams won 10 titles in a 12-year span (beginning in 1964, depicted above). Four of these championship teams posted undefeated seasons (1964, 1967, 1972, and 1973). Wooden’s epic 12-year run also included a span of seven straight titles (1967-73).

This year’s NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament marks the 40th anniversary of Wooden’s final season, during which his UCLA squad won yet another title (with a 92-85 victory over Kentucky). Here are seven leadership and team-building lessons from that final season. My source is Seth Davis’s superb biography, Wooden: A Coach’s Life.

1. Never stop teaching, but keep it brief.

Prior to the season, Wooden granted permission to two psychology professors, Roland Tharp and Ronald Gallimore, to observe his afternoon practices. All told, they observed 30 hours of practices and coded 2,326 discrete acts of teaching. Here’s Tharp’s summary:

His teaching utterances or comments were short, punctuated, and numerous. There were no lectures, no extended harangues. Although frequent and often in rapid-fire order, his utterances were so distinct we could code each one as a separate event. He rarely spoke longer than 20 seconds….The major findings of our coding scheme can be summarized as follows: 75 percent of all utterances carried information, much of which was repetitive. Minimal use of praises and reproofs.

In his book, Davis points out that Wooden gradually honed his communicative efficiency over a long career. His methods in practice were “the result of a lifetime of small, almost unnoticeable advancements.”

2. No matter how successful you become, you’ll deal with critics and loudmouths.

Shortly after winning the 1975 title, Wooden stood outside the team’s locker room and spoke to reporters. A UCLA alum came up to him and said: “Congratulations, Coach. You let us down last year, but this made up for it.”

The remark upset Wooden, especially because the previous season was a great one. UCLA had finished with a record of 26-4. The team made the Final Four before losing in double overtime to the North Carolina State squad that won the title.

Moreover, prior to Wooden’s arrival in 1948, UCLA’s basketball teams weren’t particularly distinguished. In the previous 17 seasons, the team only twice had a winning record. Under Wooden, the team had a winning record every season.

So the alum had voiced disappointment with Wooden, yet it was Wooden’s distinguished tenure that had created (and inflated) the alum’s lofty expectations. The point is: Sustained success can distort levels of expectation. Likewise, it can breed a disproportionate sense of disappointment.

3. Measure yourself on the maximization of potential, not necessarily the bottom-line result, and…

4. When the light shines on you, deflect it to another who’s deserving.

Wooden exemplified both of these lessons shortly after winning the 1975 title. After the game, reporters–knowing of Wooden’s imminent retirement–asked him how he wished to be remembered. Wooden took the opportunity to give a shout-out to another coach. He said:

I’d like to be remembered as a person who tried to do his best, I guess. A man I’ve admired for so long, Tony Hinkle of Butler, never got the recognition he deserved because his won-lost record wasn’t that great. But no coach ever got more out of his players. It’s hard to keep things in perspective sometimes, but we ought to try.

In other words, Wooden used his crowning moment to honor the legacy of another coach. And that legacy was not wins and losses, but potential fulfilled.

5. You’ll win with star performers who’ve learned humility.

Marques Johnson, a star 6-foot-5 forward on the 1975 UCLA team, could ordinarily overcome taller players with his strength and quickness. But the title game against Kentucky–a team boasting three 6-foot-10 big men–presented “the one occasion where he was overmatched,” Davis writes.

So when Kentucky established a six-point lead in the first half, Wooden replaced Johnson with seven-footer Ralph Drollinger. Rather than fume, Johnson cheered. “It wasn’t about me and my minutes,” he told Davis. “It was like, we need to win this game by any means necessary.”

6. Don’t hold grudges.

Prior to the 1975 season, Wooden allowed Los Angeles Times reporter Dwight Chapin to join him on his daily five-mile walk on UCLA’s track.

It may seem like nothing, but as Davis points out, it was actually a sign that Wooden didn’t hold a grudge. Chapin had coauthored a 1973 Wooden bio called The Wizard of Westwood. The book corrected the long-held myth that Wooden had never had a losing season on any level. It also shined a light on a UCLA booster named Sam Gilbert. In other words, it wasn’t all roses and sunshine.

Still, Wooden relinquished any anger he held toward Chapin and opened up to the reporter prior to his final season.

7. Don’t forget to have fun.

Players on Wooden’s final team tell tales of how their coach loosened up in his final season.

After practice one day, freshman guard Raymond Townsend was playfully taking half-court shots. “In previous years, Wooden might have ripped into Townsend for horsing around,” Davis writes.

On this occasion, Wooden–64-years-old at the time–asked Townsend for the ball. The coach promptly took his own half-court shot–and made it. “Child’s play,” he said to Townsend, before walking away.

On another occasion, Wooden spotted Johnson shooting pool in the student union. Johnson thought he was about to get scolded. Wooden didn’t scold–he just asked Johnson to borrow the cue stick. The coach promptly “made five or six in a row, maybe more,” Johnson told Davis.

“Then he handed me the cue and walked out. Didn’t say a word. Didn’t say one word the whole time.”

Do you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe??


Aaron Orendorff
Freelance Copywriter and Content Strategist
October 2, 2014

By her own admission, Mindy Kaling is an unlikely celebrity.

She’s even more of an unlikely leader. The daughter of first-generation Indian immigrants with an Ivy-league education in (gasp) playwriting, Mindy is the antithesis of just about every Hollywood stereotype there is.

Still, the creator, producer, writer and star of FOX’s The Mindy Project doesn’t shy away from the responsibility her entrepreneurial fame entails.

Related: Success Lessons From 2 Innovators Who Came Out Swinging

What can the world-dominating success of an unlikely entrepreneur teach us?

1. Be passionate

As trite as it might sound, nothing trumps passion. Carmine Gallo, in his insightful book Talk Like TED, lays it out plain:

“In any language, on any continent, in every country, those speakers who genuinely express their passion and enthusiasm for the topic are the ones who stand apart as inspiring leaders.”

Gallo’s point is that while mastery of a particular skill gives people a “platform,” it’s the passion that undergirds that mastery that makes them “connect.” Why? Because passion is contagious. People love it.

So, what inspires Mindy? The answer (as unlikely as it sounds) is tragedy.

Related: 9 Traits That Will Lead You to Success

Two years ago, on the very day The Mindy Project was green lit by FOX, Mindy’s mother — an obstetrician — passed away from pancreatic cancer.

However, far from undoing her, her mother’s death became fuel for the fire. As Mindy explained, “My dream is to be able to become so famous that I can actually make a difference in pancreatic cancer research.”

In other words, rarely will our skills be coterminous with our passion. Mindy is a master at comedy. And yet it’s what lies behind her mastery — the dream to make a difference — that really set her apart.

What’s yours?

2. Be everywhere

You’ve heard the old adage: “Jack of all trades. Master of none.”

Now, I’m not one to buck tradition, but in Mindy’s case, the proof’s in the pudding.

In a recent Elle Magazine cover story, Bela Bajaria, executive vice president of Universal Television, described the staggering extent of Mindy’s on and off-set omnipresence:

“She’s in the writer’s room, she’s on set, she’s in postproduction, she’s e-mailing studio and network executives at two in the morning. … She’s so creative, but she has an appreciation and understanding of the business part, too.”

Getting your hands dirty lies at the core of all genuine success, especially entrepreneurial successful. Such ethos is risky because it means going “out there” into the real world — into the lives, workplaces, and trenches of the people you work with and for.

The classic example of getting out there was Richard Anderson’s miraculous turnaround of Delta Airlines. Anderson, who took over as CEO in 2007 just two years after Delta filed for bankruptcy, credits a major portion of his success to his monthly cockpit rides with Delta’s pilots and a single two-day event in which he solicited suggestions from over 2,000 employees.

Related: How to Think, Train and Thrive Like a Champion

Sure being everywhere is scary. But don’t let that fear hold you back.

3. Be a gangster

This wonderful nugget comes from B. J. Novak, Mindy’s one-time squeeze and current co-collaborator. “She’s a gangster,” Novak explains, “This is not a girl who waits by the phone. This is a girl who picks up the phone and calls whoever she wants.”

Case in point, when Mindy wanted long-time friend James Franco to guest star but his schedule wouldn’t allow it, no wasn’t an option. According to Franco, “She just made it happen.”

In other words, to be successful you gotta know what you want and gotta go after it.

It’s absolutely insane how few people can actually articulate what they want. And yet, having a clear, impassioned vision for where you want to go is the very first step in getting there. In fact, as author and consultant Warren Bennis famously wrote, “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Without vision, the people perish.

But being a gangster means more than just knowing what you want. It also mean getting it.

4. Be voracious

Alongside her aforementioned omnipresence, Mindy is also a voracious learner.

Related: The 4 Habits You Need to Be Successful

As Novak tells Elle, “She has a big me-too-ism in her. She always wants to know what everyone else is doing and if that’s more fun.”

The discipline of lifelong learning is a constant refrain among the world’s most successful people. Steve Jobs’ famous two-part takeaway from his 2005 Stanford Commencement Address captured this principle perfectly: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

The problem with being successful is just that: “being.”

As soon as you get full or get smart — as soon as you arrive — you’ve lost it. The key is to cultivate your hunger … and your foolishness. Always be willing to learn, to grow, to make mistakes, to admit limitations, to embrace other people’s ideas, to do what’s new and uncomfortable and to pursue humility as an end in itself.

5. Be noble

A lot can be said about Mindy’s nobility. In fact, a lot is said.

There was her epic commencement speech at Harvard Law School earlier this year: “Please, just try to be the kind of people that give advice to celebrities, not the other way around.”

There was the controversy surrounding the Elle magazine cover story: “What, Elle, you can’t put her big, fat body on the magazine?”

But, perhaps the best example came a few days ago when she stopped by HuffPost Live and revealed that her character’s on-screen love interest Danny and her wouldn’t be splitting up for the sake of ratings. As Mindy explained:

“A lot of shows I think break characters up for no reason because the show has to last for seven or eight years. We thought, no. People can still be interesting when they are together.”

While it might not seem like a big deal — certainly not as big a deal as beauty and body image — Mindy’s bravery to stick to her guns, to be an “artist” (even when her art is a weekly sitcom) speaks volumes about what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur.

As Mindy told Lena Dunham in a Rolling Stone interview:

“I love women who are bosses and who don’t constantly worry about what their employees think of them. I love women who don’t ask, “Is that OK?” after everything they say. I love when women are courageous in the face of unthinkable circumstances.”

Call it credibility. Call it courage. Call it ethics. Call it a backbone. Heck call it whatever you want …Success by any other name — unlikely or not — would certainly smell as sweet.