In the summer of 2022, our marketing department was in the middle of an intense brainstorming session, discussing big and small ideas, no limits.

Along with Fridays off and bring-your-dog-to-work suggestions (which are still great ideas, BTW), someone suggested starting a podcast.

A podcast? – about what? Insurance? Financial services? The market?

“When I was asked to consider hosting a podcast,” explains TPG President Sarah Friend, “I knew if I was going to commit, it needed to be focused on an issue that is significant to me personally, important to our business, and valuable for our audience. We talked about a lot of potential subjects and about what fell inside the center of those three areas of focus. We chose to showcase the stories of women in leadership and the lessons that all leaders, regardless of gender, can take away and apply in their lives.”

And that was the genesis of At the Core With Sarah Friend, in which TPG’s president talks with colleagues in leadership – the hows and the whys of their careers and life, what they would have done differently, what challenges and funny moments they’ve encountered, and more.

In the summer of 2023, Friend and TPG’s marketing team released their first episode of At the Core With Sarah Friend.

“Why showcase the stories of women leaders?” asks Friend. “While women make up two-thirds of the workforce in the insurance industry, only 21% of senior leadership positions are held by women. That differential represents a ‘broken rung’ in the corporate ladder in our industry.

“I am proud that at The Partners Group, our senior leadership team has an equal representation of men and women. That is rare in our industry. Representation and diversity of thought, life experiences, and perspectives strengthen teams and help them make better decisions and build stronger companies and cultures. It creates pathways for everyone to thrive in their careers with equal opportunity and growth potential. This podcast celebrates the impact of incredible leaders, provides valuable lessons for the audience, and I hope sparks a little inspiration, too.”

Six episodes of At the Core With Sarah Friend are currently available, with the seventh scheduled to release in late January.

Season 1

Ep. 1: “Accidental Entrepreneur,” with guest Melanie Marconi, founder and CEO of VIDA Coworking

Ep. 2: “Unapologetic Leadership,” with Cyreena Boston-Ashby, CEO of Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest

Ep. 3: “Resilient Leadership,” with Lorna Day, executive director of Sam Day Foundation

Ep. 4: “Embrace the Unexpected,” with Sheila Murty, EVP of People and Culture, Tillamook County Creamery Association

Ep. 5: “Raising Your Hand,” with Julie Woodward, Director of Forestry, Oregon Forest Resources Institute

Ep. 6: “2023 Reflections,” with Sarah Friend, Podcast Host & President, The Partners Group

Season 2

Ep. 1: “Unexpected Paths,” with Doreen Barnhouse, EVP of Culture & Integration, The Partners Group

Listen and subscribe to At the Core With Sarah Friend on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you stream your content. Or visit the TPG website for the entire season of shows.

Sarah and the podcast team – Alyssa Mueller (project management), Taylor Capek (audio production and graphics), Kyle Lusk (digital production), Kerry Conroy (content editor), and Courtney Itami (production oversight) – are happy to hear your feedback, guests suggestions, and comments. Email them at