Off the Cuff with John Inserra
Season 03, Episode 06: Taking Initiative by Setting His Own Tone for Personal Development with Special Guest Jamaal Hardgrow

Season 03, Episode 06: Taking Initiative by Setting His Own Tone for Personal Development with Special Guest Jamaal Hardgrow

October 15, 2019

Jamaal’s approach to any given day, opportunity or situation is centered on positive energy and an active mindset - two key attributes to any self-starter looking to take initiative. Over his 5 years with Cooper’s Hawk, he has been using his time wisely, taking full advantage of building relationships and prioritizing his commitment to personal and professional growth. This episode shares his story. Enjoy!

Season 03, Episode 05: Taught Early in Life to Work Towards Something Larger than Himself with Special Guest Bryce Starling

Season 03, Episode 05: Taught Early in Life to Work Towards Something Larger than Himself with Special Guest Bryce Starling

October 8, 2019

Bryce learned to take initiative early on in his career in order to satisfy his hunger for knowledge, experience and growth. He played Elite Junior Hockey growing up and discovered that there was way more to life than sitting around playing video games. At a very young age, he fell in love with the “heat” of the kitchen and ventured down a culinary path just like skating down an ice rink, embracing the curves, the struggles, and the personal satisfaction along the way that comes with the comradery of any team. He joined the CH family two years ago in Tampa and has since never stopped moving. With the help of others and the understanding of how to take initiative on his own, Bryce is poised for some major upcoming career steps.

Season 03, Episode 04: Taking Off the Blinders and Trusting Your Gut in Taking Initiative with Special Guest Aimee Molik

Season 03, Episode 04: Taking Off the Blinders and Trusting Your Gut in Taking Initiative with Special Guest Aimee Molik

October 1, 2019

Excited to share Aimee’s life-long focus on not being afraid to put herself in uncomfortable situations, taking full advantage of those opportunities presented to her at CH and those she uncovered herself, and taking initiative in order to grow both personally and professionally.

Season 03, Episode 03: A “Never Standing Still” Approach to Taking Initiative with Special Guest Suzette Zimomra

Season 03, Episode 03: A “Never Standing Still” Approach to Taking Initiative with Special Guest Suzette Zimomra

September 25, 2019

Over the last two years, Suzette has been on a constant growth curve at Cooper’s Hawk, following her ever-evolving career dreams. Bravely, there has not been a challenge encountered along the way that she was not willing to face and conquer, having the courage to take risks and overcome many obstacles. This attitude in taking initiative has lead her recently to her first management role in Virginia Beach and I am excited to share her story. 

Season 03, Episode 02: The Opportunity to Act Before Others with Special Guest Brandon Villareal

Season 03, Episode 02: The Opportunity to Act Before Others with Special Guest Brandon Villareal

September 17, 2019

As a lifelong restaurant apprentice and now 12-year industry “student,” including the last 5 years with Cooper’s Hawk, Brandon is motivated daily to take initiative through his genuine love for learning. Brandon chooses NOT to switch his love “on and off” each day, but instead incorporates the lessons from each day at work into everything he stands for outside of work. Brandon shares how he takes the initiative to simply replace any unmet expectation in any given day with genuine gratitude for what he actually does have, allowing him to face all challenges with unlimited positivity. I met up with Brandon at the CH Kentwood, Michigan NRO so he could share a bit of his story and thoughts around taking initiative in life.

Season 03, Episode 01: Taking Initiative

Season 03, Episode 01: Taking Initiative

September 10, 2019

Season 3 of Off the Cuff with John Inserra dives deep into the power of taking initiative in life, personally and professionally. Throughout this new season, John shares his personal thoughts on how important the principle of taking initiative is to the continued growth of Cooper’s Hawk. Cooper’s Hawk was built upon the shoulders of Tim McEnery’s self-starting energy which should be, by itself, a daily reminder to focus on going the extra mile, beyond your normal capacity or routine, in order to meet the growing demands of taking care of each other and our guests as we continue to create community in existing and new markets. To emphasize this point, throughout Season 3, John will be hosting conversations with Team Members from across the organization sharing their stories of how impactful taking initiative has been on their careers, both on a personal level and a professional basis. This fall, let’s all take the initiative to tune in and listen to this new season of Off the Cuff and continue to grow together by consistently staying alert with the willingness to get things started and completed on our own, proactively solving problems that others might not see.

Season 02, Episode 15: The Power of Persistence with Very Special Guest Tim McEnery

Season 02, Episode 15: The Power of Persistence with Very Special Guest Tim McEnery

May 7, 2019

As we bring Season 2 of Off the Cuff to its end, I had the distinct pleasure to sit down in conversation with Tim. Even with his intense schedule, Tim was fully present, locked in, and fully engaged, sharing a few thoughts about his life-to-date philosophy, including the evolution of our special culture, the power of hospitality, and how deeply meaningful his persistence has been along the way in building our iconic brand. To no surprise, Tim modeled exactly who he has grown into as a committed, influential leader during our conversation. This episode is honestly one of my greatest pleasures to share with the CH nation! 

Look for Off the Cuff to start up again this summer with the launch of Season 3. In the meantime, please pass the word, encouraging all TMs to subscribe and get caught up on all our past episodes in support of One vision; One voice. #CHStrong!

Season 02, Episode 14: Finding the Silver Lining with Special Guest Brian Egly

Season 02, Episode 14: Finding the Silver Lining with Special Guest Brian Egly

April 30, 2019

Like many of us, Brian fell in love with the restaurant business while earning college spending money. He brought 13 years of service and hospitality experience as an opening team member to our new CH location in New Lenox. Over the past 6 months, he has found a home with Cooper’s Hawk, taking on the very first LRT role in addition to his server responsibilities. I really enjoyed this conversation centered around how the CH culture in New Lenox has reinforced Brian’s commitment to positive behaviors, including finding the silver lining(s) that allows him to achieve all the rewards a day might have to offer.  

Season 02, Episode 13: When We Organically Get Excited to Come to Work Each Day, it is So Much Easier to be Ourselves with Special Guest Jordan Pavisich

Season 02, Episode 13: When We Organically Get Excited to Come to Work Each Day, it is So Much Easier to be Ourselves with Special Guest Jordan Pavisich

April 23, 2019

Jordan’s natural smile, energetic approach to life and enthusiasm for Cooper’s Hawk is contagious and I had a blast chatting with her recently in New Lenox. She has over a decade of restaurant experience, including the last 4 years with CH, opening both the Oak Lawn and New Lenox locations as a bartender. Most recently, she supported the opening in Virginia Beach as the Bar NROT.  Enjoy!

Season 02, Episode 12: Wanting to be at Work Instead of Having to be at Work with Special Guest Chris Finn

Season 02, Episode 12: Wanting to be at Work Instead of Having to be at Work with Special Guest Chris Finn

April 16, 2019

A 7-year CH veteran, Chris started as a server in South Barrington before moving into a leadership role quickly thereafter. Chris opened our restaurants in Ashburn, Oak Park and New Lenox and is currently a Senior Restaurant Manager back in South Barrington, building strong TM and Guest relationships along the way. I am excited to share a small part of Chris’ story, including his inspiring outlook through statements like, “(At CH) it does not matter where you start, it is about the work that you put in and where you want to go at the end of the day!”