Local Leaders Recommend Books, Podcasts


Leadership is a word used often in the job descriptions and mission statements of companies and nonprofits. Great leadership is usually linked to the success of the organization. That’s appropriate.

But many successful people will tell you that leadership goes beyond the bottom line. Leadership is also about teaching, sharing and developing people in the workforce of an organization. The more involved the CEO in this process, the better.

One such CEO is Larry Moliterno of Meridian HealthCare. Moliterno teaches in a leadership academy at Meridian for employees who aspire to positions of leadership.  

Meridian sponsored the Power of Care Leadership series of videos and podcasts, hosted by Moliterno. Full disclosure: Farris Marketing created and produced the series.

One concept we developed was to ask local leaders to share some of their favorite books and podcasts. We had a great response. For this column, I cherry-picked responses from local “marketing-savvy” leaders. Marketing-savvy leaders take an active role in positioning, promoting and guiding the growth of their organizations.

In the following space, these local leaders share the sources they seek for inspiration and knowledge.

Catherine Cercone-Miller, mayor of Struthers. Mayor “Cat’s” favorite podcast is Simon Arias’ “Grind Cast.” As you may know, Cercone-Miller is the first woman and the youngest person to take the top office in Struthers.

Sam Covelli, owner/operator of Covelli Enterprises. The book Sam recommends: “The Winners Manual for the Game of Life” by Jim Tressel.

Barb Ewing, CEO, Youngstown Business Incubator. Recommended book: “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ” by Daniel Goleman.

Aimee Fifarek, executive director of the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County. One of the many books Aimee recommends: “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown.  

Mark Levy, president/CEO of Revenue Development Resources. Mark, who now makes Dallas his home, recommends: “Our Iceberg Is Melting” by John Kotter.

Jeff Herrmann, CEO of Youngstown Publishing Co. – publisher of The Business Journal. Jeff recommends “The Ride of a Lifetime” by Bob Iger (former CEO of The Walt Disney Co.).

Chris Jaskiewicz, president of Advantage Video Productions. Chris recommends this book: “First Things First” by Steven Covey.

Jim Kinnick, executive director of Eastgate Regional Council of Governments. Jim recommends “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by John C. Maxwell.

Julie Michael Smith, vice president of Vista AST. Julie’s preferred podcast is The New York Times Daily Podcast.

Tim Petrey, managing partner at HD Davis CPAs. Tim’s preferred podcast: “How I Built This,” with Guy Raz,

Ellie Platt, owner of Platt Insurance. Ellie’s book recommendation: “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.

Elijah Stambaugh, founder of Learn Map. The book Elijah recommends: “The Maxwell Leadership Bible” by John C. Maxwell.

What book would I recommend today? “Tribe of Mentors” by Timothy Ferriss, a compilation of tools, tactics and habits from 130-plus of the world’s top performers.  

As far as podcasts go, “Business Wars” by Wondery is my favorite. The podcast is far and away the most

informative and entertaining I’ve heard.

If you need an additional incentive to share information and knowledge, you should know that helping others in this manner also benefits the positioning of your organization. So it’s a win-win situation.

George Farris is CEO of Farris Marketing. Email gff@FarrisMarketing.com.