Hermann Elger, EVP & GM, Travel, Entertainment, & Health Security, Sharecare

Events are starting back up…

Rick talks with Hermann Elger, EVP and GM at Sharecare this week.

Elger, talks about the long-term planning and tools stadiums and arenas need to be using to fully rebuild their businesses and fan trust.

With a light at the end of the tunnel, some leagues have started to welcome fans back into stadiums (re: MSG and Barclays) and others are in the preparation stages. However, it will take more than revamped cleaning procedures to truly win back the trust of fans and visitors.

Previously the Chief Operating Officer of Baccarat Hotels & Resorts, Hermann has been helping the hospitality, entertainment and sports industries get back on their feet with Sharecare’s VERIFIED®, a multi-pronged digital verification and accountability system in partnership with Forbes Travel Guide and supported by CAA Icon and OVG. Most recently, the State Farm Arena in Atlanta announced the integration of VERIFIED® into their recovery plans to establish confidence from fans in their safety efforts.


Why on-site COVID testing, mobile ordering, digital health passports and cleaning procedures won’t be enough to fully recover entertainment/sporting events

The value people are placing on health security, digital accountability and a verification standard for venues

How COVID’s permanently changed the way people think about events and how stadiums need to communicate with visitors

Hermann Elger is executive vice president and GM of travel, entertainment, and health security at Sharecare, the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place.

In this role, Elger is responsible for leveraging the company’s digital capabilities and health expertise to help employers and businesses across service industries ensure public health safety as part of overall consumer well-being. With channel partners such as Forbes Travel Guide, Elger oversees the delivery and global expansion of Sharecare’s Health Security VERIFIED™ solution, a platform and verification system designed to help hospitality organizations comply with proactive and reactive measures to minimize the risk and impact of acute public health events.

A well-respected, widely traveled, and assured leader in luxury hospitality, Elger brings a wealth of expertise and 25 years of global experience to Sharecare. Prior to joining the company, Elger served as managing director of Baccarat New York and chief operating officer of Baccarat Hotels and Resorts, leading the development of new properties and overseeing day-to-day operations and quality guest experiences for the flagship hotel. Previously, Elger also served as general manager for Baccarat Hotels and Resorts, overseeing operations and the guest experience at luxury properties such as The St. Regis New York and Montage Beverly Hills. He also spent 18 years with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, where supported the development of new hotels as an opening team leader for The Ritz-Carlton Aspen Highlands, Philadelphia, Dubai, and Kuala Lumpur.

Born and raised in Mexico City, Elger followed his father into the hotel industry and earned a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from the University of Denver. His talents are recognized with honors including “Best GM in US and Canada” in the Travvy Awards and “Most Innovative GM” by American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts, both awarded in 2016. Elger also was named one of the “40 Most Influential Leaders in Tourism in Mexico” by Lideres magazine.

Joshua Smith, Hamilton, Ohio City Manager on the Economic Impact of Sports

Rick is joined on “Tech of Sports” this week, by Joshua Smith, the City Manager of the great city of Hamilton, Ohio.

Hamilton, Ohio is located in the heart of the Rust Belt, a region in Northeastern and Midwestern United States that has been experiencing industrial decline since the 1980s. In its heyday, Hamilton became a manufacturing powerhouse due to early investments in hydroelectric power and logistics infrastructure. Hamilton was billed as “The greatest manufacturing city of its size in the world.” Companies in the city produced paper, safes, machine tools, farm equipment, cans for vegetables, automobile parts and printing presses. Also, like many great American industrial cities of the day, Hamilton contributed greatly to the war efforts during both World Wars. Hamilton factories manufactured war materials, such as ship engines and gun lathes.

However, by 1980s manufacturing had changed in the United States. A good deal of manufacturing was moved overseas to reduce labor expenses, resulting in the closure of factories across the country. Hamilton felt the impact of this globalization as factories closed and thousands of residents lost their jobs. This change in the economy also impacted other businesses in the community. Retail and restaurants were severely impacted by lost and reduced wages, as well. As a result, Hamilton’s once vibrant downtown and surrounding areas were hit particularly hard by the outsourcing of jobs, leaving many storefronts empty and buildings left to deteriorate.

After feeling like they were forgotten by the rest of America and watching the opioid epidemic plaque their communities, Rust Belt cities like Hamilton have taken their destiny into their own hands. Instead of waiting for broken promises by politicians of bringing manufacturing back to the Rust Belt, the Rust Belt is taking action themselves, creating new industries to revitalize their communities. From partnering with the state to secure tax incentives, to utility rate guarantees, to direct assistance through various funding sources, Hamilton has taken an all-hands-on-deck approach to revitalization. Hamilton has partnered with a variety of organizations to rehabilitate abandoned properties for rent, or put them into the hands of new ownership who put the buildings back into use. The urban core of Hamilton has welcomed over 90 new small businesses in the last ten years, and experienced over $250 million dollars in investment.

The city also has created Upper Floor Residential Rehabilitation Program to encourage activation of the upper floors in the Main Street Business District. The goal is to get people to work and live downtown, turning the once bleak downtown into a vibrant city center.

Hamilton also has emphasized the importance of a diverse business base, including advanced manufacturing, breweries, retail, and tourism. Hamilton now has a variety of industries that operate in the city. A diverse mix within a local economy helps to weather the storm when macroeconomics tip the scales. Instead of having one large industry, which created the deterioration of the Rust Belt, Hamilton now has a diverse slate of industry.


Hamilton is betting on a 42-acre abandoned paper mill that is in the process of being redeveloped into North America’s largest indoor sports complex. Expecting more than one million visitors each year, the $144 million complex brings new life to the former home of a legacy Hamilton industry. The project will include an on-site hotel, brewery, restaurant, and convention center. Before this construction started and it sat empty in the middle of the city, it was a sad reminder of the past and everything they lost, now it is symbol of the future.

Joshua talks about that and more, including being a Cyclone, lie RIck this week…


Jim Rossini, Rick’s Former Juniors Doubles Partner, CEO of Workforce Eng. Solutions

A “Throwback Thursday” for the ages as Rick is joined by one of his former tennis doubles partners, Jim Rossini.

Jim, an accomplished tennis player, grew up with Rick in Racine, Wisc. is currently CEO of Workforce Engineering Solutions in the Chicago area.

Rick and Jim talk about tennis and growing up in Wisconsin. They dig deep into tennis technology and the state of the game.

Fun discussion and great catching up with Jim.

Mallory Weggemann, Paralympic Swimmer for Team USA, ESPY Winner, Author

Rick has the pleasure of being joined by Paralympian, Mallory Weggemann, this week on Tech of Sports.

Weggemann is a record-setting, two-time Paralympic swimmer for Team USA. She has set fifteen world records and thirty-four American records, and is also the recipient of an ESPY Award, a 15-time World Champion, and a Paralympic gold and bronze medalist. Weggemann has also served as a commentator on NBC for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games, the first female reporter in a wheelchair ever to serve in that capacity. Weggemann has established herself as a leader outside of the pool, as well; she is an inclusion advocate serving on the Advisory Board of Disability for Delta Air Lines as well as a cofounder and co-CEO of TFA Group, a social impact agency and production studio.

She has a new book out and you should get it!

In LIMITLESS: THE POWER OF HOPE AND RESILIENCE TO OVERCOME CIRCUMSTANCE LIMITLESS, Mallory shares her remarkable story and the lessons she learned by pushing past every obstacle, expectation, and limitation that stood in her way, and she helps readers to discover how, they, too, can choose to rewrite their own stories to overcome the challenges they face.

“Sharing her journey with authenticity and vulnerability, Mallory doesn’t just bring us into her heart—she empowers us to reflect on our own journey, finding the power that exists when we honor our truth. At its core, Limitless is a reminder to all of us of the strength of the human spirit to overcome circumstance.”

Thanks to Mallory and a great segment that really inspires!

Scott Andrew, The Rugged Entrepreneur

Rick talks with serial entrepreneur and author, Scott Andrew this week.

The Rugged Entrepreneur.

“Success is yours if you want it to be.” Those are the words of serial entrepreneur Scott Andrew, who along with wife Daphne, has built more than thirty different national and international businesses in the multi-million-dollar playing field.Now he’s telling you how he did it.In his brilliant new book, The Rugged Entrepreneur, What Every Disruptive Business Leader Should Know, Andrew describes what it takes to achieve your dreams, and shares a wealth of personal stories to motivate and inspire.

Carlton Scott Andrew, who goes by his middle name Scott, is a student of life and business, and passionate about sharing what he has learned with budding entrepreneurs. He and his wife Daphne have together owned/founded and run thirty businesses, both national and international, and have disrupted several market systems, showing that inspiration, faith, and hard work make a near-unstoppable force. Their businesses include the furniture industry, the cleaning industry, the beverage industry, real-estate development, rodeo productions, entertainment and more. As part of his “forever learning” attitude, Andrew seeks out successful people in all trades of life, and studies their techniques. Andrew has taken his passion for learning to East Tennessee State University, and implemented the Rugged Buc Labs, an interdisciplinary “experiential” career skills accelerator that connects companies with students. His inspiring new book, The Rugged Entrepreneur, is a blueprint for business leaders and contains the knowledge that he has garnered over his decades in business. He and his wife live in Tennessee and have two grown children. Andrew is at work on his next book. Visit: RuggedEntrepreneur.com.

A great talk with Scott, enjoy this episode.


Jordan Babineaux, former NFL player, Author, Entrepreneur and Business Coach

Jordan Babineaux, former NFL player turned entrepreneur and business coach, joins Rick this week. He helps people embrace change and pivot for growth — using their strengths to overcome adversity, staying motivated for the long run.

Babineaux, a serial entrepreneur, shares his insights in his new book, PIVOT TO WIN.

Topics include:

• Why you should establish a personal “Ground Zero” with time to reflect on what’s important to you
• Why you need to find people who will hold you accountable
• What to do when you come up against a “no”
• How to stay focused on what’s ahead, rather than be distracted by what’s in the rear view mirror
* How to employ both a growth and service mindset

By sharing his accomplishments, failures, and missteps in PIVOT TO WIN, Babineaux gives readers dozens of tools that they can apply to themselves. His book is the ultimate guide to success in life, sports, and business.

Jordan Babineaux, author of PIVOT TO WIN, transitioned from nearly a decade playing in the NFL to become a sports broadcaster, entrepreneur, and business executive. He currently serves as the “voice” of the Seattle Seahawks on both television and radio, while also helping organizations, teams, and leaders navigate their pivots.

Babineaux and his brother Jonathan, former defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons, founded a company that produced several filmed comedy specials as well as the movie Woman Thou Art Loosed. They also launched a specialized car service in Seattle and created the Babineaux Foundation, a nonprofit that gives back to their hometown of Port Arthur, Texas, and contributes to Lupus research.

Jordan Babineaux holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Southern Arkansas University and an MBA from Seattle University. He lives in Seattle with his wife and three children.