The Aron Bender Podcast

Everyone has a story. I get them to tell it.

About the show

The Aron Bender Podcast features conversations with media personalities about their personal and professional lives and journeys. We talk about successes and struggles, failures and firings, loss, grief, forgiveness, parenthood, recovery, mental health, self care, perseverance and love.


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    Dusty Baker: Taking Swings

    March 11th, 2021  |  52 mins 47 secs
    abilene, aron bender, baseball, bias, depression, dusty baker, europe, failure, football, forgiveness, girl dad, grief, hard work, horned frogs, journalism, joy, loss, love, mental health, music, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, race, racism, recovery, self care, sports, struggle, success, tcu, texas, therapy

    Aron Bender's guest this episode grew up in Santa Clarita. With Vin Scully doing play-by-play of our beloved Dodgers, Dusty Baker knew very early on what he wanted to do. And yes, his real name is Dusty Baker. Better believe we get into that during our conversation. Spoiler alert: blame his Dodger fan dad — who also happens to be my daughters’ principal! Dusty just started a new job just up the 101 at KSBY in San Luis Obispo. After graduating from Texas Christian University (Go Frogs!) his first job in TV was at KTAB / KRBC in Abilene, Texas. We talk about why he visited more than a dozen schools trying to pick the right university, and how he ended up visiting a bunch of countries while in college. We get into what life was like growing up as the principal's kid, our love for baseball (the World Champion Dodgers!), his preference for In-N-Out in California over Texas, and why Tex-Mex will never beat Mexican food. Dusty and I also talk about living a life of service to our families, listeners/viewers and communities.

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    Ilyana Capellan: Beyond the Comfort Zone

    March 11th, 2021  |  1 hr 5 mins
    aron bender, bias, cheer, concussion, curly hair, depression, failure, football, forgiveness, girl dad, grief, hard work, hispanic, ilyana capellan, journalism, joy, latina, loss, love, music, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, race, racism, recovery, self care, struggle, success, tennessee, therapy

    Aron Bender's guest this episode is Ilyana Capellan. She grew up in Aliso Viejo in Orange County, California, a Dominicana-Mexicana who learned early on she liked being out of her comfort zone. That would help explain her decision to go to a Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, travel the country on reality TV shoots, and take a TV reporting gig at WDHN in Dothan, Alabama. But now Ilyana is a lot closer to home. She just started as morning reporter at KGET in Bakersfield. We talk about how she developed her love for storytelling, growing up and then going to college surrounded by people who don't look like her, pressure to "fit in" and straighten her super curly hair, and how she manages post-concussion syndrome from a bunch of cheer injuries.

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    Jared Kleinert: Most Connected Millennial

    March 11th, 2021  |  35 mins 47 secs
    aron bender, bias, daughter, depression, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, failure, forgiveness, girl dad, grief, hard work, journalism, joy, linkedin, loss, love, mental health, music, networking, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, privilege, race, racism, recovery, self care, small business, struggle, success, therapy, white privelege

    Aron Bender's guest this episode is a TED speaker USA Today dubbed the “Most Connected Millennial.” He’s the author of “2 Billion Under 20” and “3 Billion Under 30” — and the founder of Meeting of the Minds at He’s currently based in Atlanta but grew up in South Florida. In this conversation we cover white privilege, his top 3 (turns out he gave me 4) networking tips and his big networking "no no."

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    Jake Warner: Big Brother Love

    February 24th, 2021  |  1 hr 10 mins
    aron bender, bias, big brother jake, biking, dating, depression, divorce, failure, forgiveness, gang, girl dad, grief, hard work, ice cube, jake warner, journalism, joy, loss, love, military, music, navy, news, pandemic, podcast, police, positivity, race, racism, recovery, self care, struggle, success, therapy, weight loss

    Aron Bender talks with Jake Warner aka @bigbrotherjake. He is a father of three daughters, hosts The Big Brother Jake Podcast, runs audio for Clippers and LA Kings broadcasts, and wears a lot of hats at Podcast One. Jake's worked alongside such greats as Vin Scully and Ben Maller. We've been wanting to do a podcast together for a long time, and finally knocked it out! We talked about being Girl Dads, how fathers can best talk to their daughters, his divorce, the loss of my wife, growing up on the mean streets of San Bernardino and avoiding gang life, how he ended up in the Navy, how Jake was shamed into attending and graduating from the University of La Verne, surviving financially during the pandemic, and we reminisce about Ice Cube's early days.

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    Nick Valencia: Crying Men are Sexy

    February 24th, 2021  |  32 mins 28 secs
    aron bender, baby, bias, cnn, dad, depression, failure, father, fatherhood, forgiveness, grief, hard work, immigration, journalism, joy, loss, love, music, news, nick valencia, pandemic, podcast, positivity, race, racism, recovery, running, self care, struggle, success, therapy

    Aron Bender is joined by Nick Valencia aka @cnnvalencia. He's one of just a handful of people at CNN to go from teleprompter operator to correspondent. When we talked for another podcast in 2019 we covered his early years growing up in Eagle Rock, the loss of his father when he was a teenager, and life as a new father to a baby girl. We talked for this episode just weeks after the birth of his second child -- a son. We cry together, confess to each other, talk about the importance of openness, vulnerability, therapy, running, self care, loss, grief, failure and hope. This is one of the most important and meaningful conversations I've ever had. Thank you, Nick.

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    Alex Gervasi: Going Global

    February 24th, 2021  |  1 hr 8 mins
    alex gervasi, alexonthemic, aron bender, dating, depression, forgiveness, grief, journalism, joy, music, news, pandemic, playlists, podcast, therapy, umg, universal, universal music group

    Aron Bender hangs out with Alex Gervasi aka @alexonthemic. She turned her years of curating playlists on FM stations in Lexington, Virginia Beach, Austin and Los Angeles into becoming Universal Music Group's first Director of Global Curation Strategy. When we talked for another podcast in 2019 we covered dating life, handling anxiety around body image, self care, women empowerment. Alex and I spent a lot of time during this episode talking about the importance of therapy, dating during the pandemic, giving ourselves grace, forgiveness, taking breaks, and learning to love our flawed selves. The New Jersey native recently resumed her podcast, "Alex Tries Her Best."