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EPISODE 13

The Tortoise and the Shared Jazz Solo

Aaron Craig Mitchell, Entrepreneur & Changemaker, AaronCraigMitchell.com

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In this special episode in honor of Black History Month, Chris is joined by Aaron Craig Mitchell. Aaron is the former director of HR at Netflix Animation Studios, where he helped engineer the company’s pledge to allocate 2 percent of its cash holdings into financial institutions and organizations that directly support Black communities in the U.S.

Aaron describes himself as a tortoise (a nod to the Aesop’s fable that lends this episode its title) because he learned persistence and resilience from an early age—traits that have helped him slowly and steadily drive huge positive change in his career so far.

Aaron has lived a life of extraordinary impact, and he’s only just getting started. In this episode, Chris and Aaron discuss:

  • How Aaron’s struggles as a self-described sickly, shy, clumsy, nerdy kid unlocked a rich inner life of imagination and creativity
  • The hard-ass music teacher who made JK Simmons’ character in the movie Whiplash look like a nice guy, and who introduced Aaron to a lifelong love of jazz that now shapes every part of his work
  • How Aaron worked to fan flames of healthy chaos during Netflix’s “cannonball into the pool of animation”, going from zero to the largest studio in the world inside a year
  • How a Jefferson Dinner in the early days of the pandemic sparked the creation of an initiative at Netflix that has injected $2 billion in cash into Black banks and financial institutions that is now providing access to the loans that Black businesses need to survive, thrive, and grow

And much more!

ABOUT AARON

Aaron’s LinkedIn

Aaron Craig Mitchell is an LA-based entrepreneur, advisor, coach, and changemaker with nearly 20 years’ experience across various industries. He was recently the Director of HR for Netflix Animation, one of the largest and fastest growing animation studios in history. Prior to that, he spent his career as a leader in talent acquisition across various industries, companies, and geographies. An experienced business leader with a demonstrated history of executing change, Aaron has become globally recognized for his historic work pioneering Netflix’s 2% Cash Holdings Pledge of $100 Million into Black-owned banks. This initiative anchored a movement for financial equity and inclusion and opened doors for marginalized communities to flourish. His work has led to features in the New York Times, CNBC, and WIRED. Born in New Haven, CT, he earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and his BBA from Temple University. He resides in LA with his wife and two daughters.

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