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.

Episodes

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    Destiny Malibu: Out of the Shadows

    March 31st, 2021  |  1 hr 22 secs
    2018, 2020, american idol, aron bender, bias, borderline shooting, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, destiny malibu, fatherhood, forgiveness, grief, hard work, instagram, journalism, joy, latin music, latina, loss, love, mental health, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, privilege, race, racism, recovery, self care, self love, struggle, success, therapy, tik tok, twitter, white, white privilege, woolsey fire

    Aron Bender first found Destiny Malibu on LinkedIn. As I started to reconnect with the world after my wife passed away LinkedIn was actually the first social media I spent any time on. And there she was: Destiny Malibu "Singer-Songwriter, Mental Health Advocate." It's the last part for me. That someone would so proudly put into their title they're a "mental health advocate." So I reached out and it’s been such a treat to learn more and follow her these last few months — and it’s cool that my girls can actually watch her videos and listen to her music. We talked about self-care and self-love, how her family got through the Borderline Bar & Grill Shooting and losing their house in the Woolsey Fire in 2018 -- just months after being on American Idol, her upbringing with a mom who had her own singing career, and how she deals with haters and trolls in her IG Live that she does every weeknight at 8. Yes, Destiny is from Malibu but for now she lives in Las Vegas.

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    DJ Hed: How White People Shower

    March 30th, 2021  |  54 mins 32 secs
    2020, aron bender, bias, black, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, dj hed, fatherhood, forgiveness, grief, hard work, instagram, jeans, journalism, joy, los angeles, loss, love, mental health, news, pandemic, poc, podcast, positivity, privilege, race, racism, recovery, self care, shower, struggle, success, therapy, twitter, west coast, white, white privilege

    Aron Bender first talked with DJ Hed for a podcast a couple years ago. Had to bring him back for this new one. Hed and Chuck Dizzle are Home Grown Radio Monday through Saturday nights in Los Angeles on hip hop station Real 92.3. That's fitting because Hed’s all about real, authenticity and honesty. DJ Hed is Southern California born and raised. His motto is "West Coast." We talk about Hed's "white family," how it was growing up as a "square" and a nerd, and I explain to him why I don't always wash my feet in the shower -- and rarely wash my jeans!

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    Chenue Her: #StopAsianHate

    March 26th, 2021  |  21 mins 8 secs
    #stopasianhate, aron bender, asian american, atlanta, bias, chenue her, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, fatherhood, forgiveness, grief, hard work, hmong, instagram, journalism, joy, loss, love, mass shooting, mental health, minneapolis, minnesota, news, pandemic, poc, podcast, positivity, privilege, race, racism, recovery, self care, siblings, spa shooting, struggle, success, therapy, twitter, white privilege

    Aron Bender is joined for this special episode by WXIA TV reporter Chenue Her in Atlanta. The Hmong American who grew up in Minnesota has been covering the March 16th mass shootings at Young's Asian Massage, Gold Massage Spa and Aromatherapy Spa in metro Atlanta. We talk about the disgusting rise in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans, handling all the layers of covering a mass shooting that targeted Asian Americans while being Asian American himself, how to have uncomfortable conversations, how allies can help, and maintaining mental health and self care as someone who grew up in a culture where mental health wasn't talked about.

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    Tyrah Majors: Golden Ticket

    March 25th, 2021  |  42 mins 15 secs
    african-american, aron bender, author, bakersfield, bias, black, children's book, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, csuf, dad life, daughter, depression, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, failure, fatherhood, filters, forgiveness, fullerton, girl dad, grief, hard work, instagram, journalism, joy, loss, love, major moves, mental health, music, networking, news, pandemic, poc, podcast, positivity, privilege, race, racism, recovery, san diego, santa barbara, seattle, self care, siblings, small business, sports, struggle, success, therapy, traffic, twitter, tyrah majors, white privilege

    Aron Bender is joined by Tyrah Majors -- who is barely out of college but already making major moves. She grew up in San Diego, went to school in Santa Barbara, Orange County and quickly ran through grad school at USC. She just started a new job KOMO 4 TV in Seattle as a reporter and morning traffic anchor, but she also was just awarded a Golden Mike from the Radio Television News Association of Southern California for her work at KBAK in Bakersfield. We talked about her love of storytelling (she's the author of a children's book "Grammy and Me") and how she uses her childhood experience as a model and actress to work through difficult times. Tyrah and I also discuss what life was like growing up as the middle child between two brothers and a baby sister, growing up in mostly-white San Diego, her role as a torchbearer for the next generation of young black women, her self care methods, tips and tricks, and the importance of mental health during and after the pandemic.

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    DJ EFN: Miami on the Map

    March 18th, 2021  |  37 mins 57 secs
    aron bender, bias, cuba, cuban, dad life, daughter, depression, divorce, dj efn, drink champs, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, failure, fatherhood, filters, florida, forgiveness, girl dad, grief, hard work, hiphop, instagram, journalism, joy, latino, loss, love, mental health, miami, mixtape, music, networking, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, privilege, race, racism, rap, recovery, self care, small business, sports, struggle, success, therapy, twitter, white privelege

    Aron Bender raps with DJ EFN -- a legend in Miami hiphop and a trailblazer in the podcast game. Eric Narciandi came up in the 90's and early 2000's dropping dozens of mixtapes that didn’t just put him and his crew on the map. He helped put South Florida on the map. And as we get into in this conversation, he wasn’t about to settle with just music. He’s started an international documentary series called "Coming Home," and is one of the creators of one of the most successful podcasts: "Drink Champs." But his story doesn’t start in Miami … it starts in Southern California. He lived in Anaheim Hills and then South Gate before finally settling in Miami after his Cuban parents divorced. We talk about his relationship with his Vietnam War veteran father, how he broke into the music business shooting his shot at a conference in Miami in the early 90's, his career "pivots," and what it's like being a 40-something dad with two young kids.

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    Beto Duran: Mr. 1099

    March 18th, 2021  |  1 hr 1 min
    aron bender, bias, dad life, daughter, depression, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, failure, filters, forgiveness, girl dad, golf, grief, hard work, instagram, journalism, joy, latino, loss, love, mental health, music, networking, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, privilege, race, racism, recovery, self care, small business, sports, struggle, success, therapy, twitter, white privelege

    Aron Bender hangs out with Beto Duran -- a fixture in Southern California sports media. He came up through the ranks at ESPN, has called and covered all kinds of games and fights, and can be seen Sunday afternoons alongside the legend Jim Hill on CBS2 Sports Central. Beto’s nickname is Mr. 1099 because of all the freelance work he does. We talk about dad life, how he pushes his son to be the best and realest he can be, why he posts the silliest pics on Instagram, and at some point we turn into old men talking about going to school before email and the internet.

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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 talks with Jared Kleinert -- 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 motm.co. 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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    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 talks with 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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    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 hangs out with Dusty Baker, who grew up in Santa Clarita. With Vin Scully doing play-by-play of our beloved Dodgers, Dusty 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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    Bernadette Capulong: Designer, Entrepreneur, Mom

    March 11th, 2021  |  41 mins 51 secs
    adoption, aron bender, bias, daughter, depression, design, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, failure, forgiveness, girl dad, grief, hard work, journalism, joy, loss, love, mental health, music, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, race, racism, recovery, self care, small business, son, struggle, success, therapy

    Aron Bender talks with Bernadette Capulong -- who's no stranger to struggles and challenges. Bernadette started her own design firm pretty much in her kitchen in Southern California during the recession in 2009. She stepped back into the corporate world but a few years later would put the entrepreneur hat back on. And around the same time she stepped into the most meaningful shoes of motherhood: adopting her son. We talk about her leadership philosophy, the challenges of being an entrepreneur and a single parent, and why Bernadette wanted to adopt.

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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."