Marla Isackson

Cues and Views

Mission-driven leader Marla Isackson, in brief.

Marla Isackson

Home: New Jersey.  Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY.  Profession: Ad booking platform, two-sided marketplace and network for podcasts hosted and produced by women and non-binary podcasters. Organization: Ossa Collective Inc.  Title: Founder and CEO.  Significant other: Robert Isackson, my husband.

Current project: Ossa is a network for women and non-binary podcasters.  We launched our first-ever crowdfunding  campaign on StartEngine, an investment platform for start-ups and growing businesses.  Our aim is to become one of the first creator and listener-owned podcast networks in history.  Latest accomplishment: Ossa has just launched its new app, designed to empower its podcasters via an array of essential tools, including production services, access to performance data, how-to content and ways to connect marketers to Ossa’s podcasters and listeners. Latest contribution to others: Ossa hosted its first Production Camp in Los Angeles.  A diverse group of creators were immersed in the experience of creating a fully sponsored podcast, with each team given a brief and all necessary tools to write, edit, produce, host and pitch a concept for advertisers.  What’s been your big (or biggest) leap? The launch of our new product, the Ossa app, as well as the crowdfunding campaign with StartEngine.  Hobbies: Baking; reading murder mysteries.  Recent unique acquisition: A pizza stone.  It makes all the difference when making pizza.

Personality profile: Nurturing, risk-taker, mission-driven.  Moral compass: I trust my gut and I focus on doing the right thing.  How do you define an ideal business relationship? Respectful, transparent, collaborative.  What is your greatest joy? My two adult children and my husband. What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate layer cake.  I cannot be in the same room.  What is at the top of your bucket list? Purchasing my dream beach home, Casa Ossa.

What book have you repeatedly read? The Power Broker, by Robert Moses; The Rise and Fall of New York, by Robert Caro.  What’s featured prominently on your home or office wall? The name of my company, Ossa, in big letters.  What is the best advice you received in your career? High risk, high reward.  Go for it!  What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? My Nespresso machine.  What is your favorite app? Slack.  The best app to stay connected with my team.  What is your go-to source of creative inspiration? Driving long-distance.  What company or organization do you most admire? Patagonia.  I admire their stance on environmental issues.

What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field?

To increase the number of women and non-binary podcasters.  

What change would you like to see in the world? Greater focus on climate change.  What mega-trend most excites you? ESG investing; investing in companies that push society forward.

Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? My mother.  As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? An astronaut.  What object would you first save from your burning home? My grandfather’s silver prayer cups.  What advice would you give your younger self? Go "all-in" when pursuing a big life goal.  Move beyond the fear, embrace your decision and do what it takes to achieve your goal.

Personal mission: To increase the visibility, influence and earning power of women in podcasting and to elevate underrepresented voices.  Personal motto: “Everything is Figureoutable” (Marie Forleo).  Favorite quote: “A rising tide lifts all boats” (John F. Kennedy).

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