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Monthly Archives: June 2019

Jonathan Stein: The King of Bling

A sparkling social conscience from a passionate visual storyteller and conceptual artist. A bright, middle child yearning for his voice in the world gently pushed colorful foods around on his dinner plate in lieu of eating them. The shapes began to resemble art, in a way. Abstract it may have been, but it was also art. These food paintings were the first art pieces ever made by Jonathan Stein and a precursor to the food art he would become famous for on several continents. Big Apple Beginnings Stein grew up in the Bronx, New York with creativity and kindness coursing through his veins. Always seeking an outlet for this creativity, he began experimenting with the aforementioned food art as well as food mosaics and sketching in grade school. His talents would come in handy pacifying the odd playground bully, who opted to see Stein’s personalized sketch of their visage instead of pummeling him. Kindhearted Art Perhaps it was these rough encounters that inspired young Stein to teach art to the underserved and overlooked while still in middle school. At a very

Crisis Behavior: Lessons Learned

For over 30 years, nearly every business day, I sat at my Merrill Lynch financial advisory desk serving our clients. I was there for them in good times and bad – especially the bad. That’s when people need their financial advisors the most. For a large majority of my career, times were good. In retrospect, my timing looks impeccable. When I was hired by Merrill Lynch in 1983, the Dow Jones Index traded at 1200. The year I retired, 2017, the same index traded at 25,000. Not bad at all. Because the Dow Jones Index tracks a diversified mix of 30 of America’s largest and most stable companies, otherwise known as ‘Blue Chips,’ it is a good indicator of the health of the U.S. and global economies. Can you just imagine if the U.S. Treasury had been smart and optimistic enough to invest a portion of its Social Security trust fund in the American economy, instead of timidly settling for the lowest return available every year (i.e. the three-month treasury bill)? In short, there wouldn’t be a chance of ever

Barry Moltz: The Unstuck Guy

Entrepreneurial success and failure have molded a man on a mission to cure the small business blues with his extensive wealth of knowledge. Barry Moltz, a small business and entrepreneur expert, has a unique talent for helping business owners regain focus and grow their potential for success. He is a best-selling author of several books on practical business advice. His first book, “You Need to Be A Little Crazy: The Truth about Starting and Growing Your Business” is in its fifth reprint with translations in Chinese, Russian, Korean, and Thai. His books cover a range of entrepreneurial and small business topics such as reputation management, profitability, business confidence, digital strategies, customer service, and more. Getting Stuck One of his favorite quotes to live by is, “Start from where you are.” This is where the launchpad for change takes place and where the mindset for success begins. Small business owners and entrepreneurs often dive in whole-heartedly into fulfilling their business dreams, but soon realize they have shortcomings in critical areas to keep them afloat, such as finance know-how and marketing skills. He

Black Rifle Coffee Company

“Among the numerous luxuries of the table, coffee may be considered as one of the most valuable. It excites cheerfulness without intoxication; and the pleasing flow of spirits which it occasions is never followed by sadness, languor or debility.” -Benjamin Franklin There’s a special place in my heart for organizations managed by, and employing, veterans of our armed forces. In my opinion, all of us should be grateful for their contributions to our great country, and should give back as a way of saying thanks at each and every opportunity. I am embarrassed to admit, however, that when it comes to my obsession with coffee and my quest for the perfect cup, I tend to set aside my preferences about veterans. I sincerely apologize for that, but I have to be honest. Well, I’m excited to report, I have found the best of both worlds – a veteran-owned company that makes the best coffee I have ever tasted! Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC)is a premium small-batch, roast-to-order, veteran-owned coffee company. BRCC imports their high-quality coffee beans directly from Colombia and Brazil. Then, they personally blend and roast

Coravin: Keeping Wines Fresh Forever

How physics, mechanical engineering, nuclear power, and medical devices changed the world of wine. I am not a wine aficionado, to say the least, but I enjoy an occasional glass or two. I must admit, however, that I find it very frustrating that if I don’t finish the bottle in one sitting, or certainly, within 24 hours, I find myself pouring it down the drain! That becomes pretty painful when considering price and quality. A Fine Gadget for Fine Wine When discussing my frustrations with a friend recently, he looked at me like I was a moron and asked “Haven’t you heard about Coravin?” Well, no, I’d never heard of Coravin at that time, but I’ve certainly learned a lot since then. So, what is Coravin? It’s a device that inserts a needle into a bottle of wine, allowing you to enjoy its contents without removing the cork and, more importantly, without spoiling the rest of the bottle. Can you imagine? Every sip will taste as good as the first, you can enjoy multiple bottles at the same time, and

Happy Father’s Day from the Luckiest Dad

First, I want to say Happy Father’s Day to all dads. Hearing our children call us “dad, daddy, papa,” or whatever name, is one of the greatest gifts we’re given.  It’s often said but cannot be said enough…regardless of our world, our children’s comments and hugs quickly change the day (even when they’re teenagers with attitudes😊.) Second, thanks to CHOA and the team at Sibley for everything you do. You’re the superstars. You live in a world with so much on your shoulders, yet your spirit, talent, and caring never cease to amaze. Third, thanks to Sibley for asking me to write about Taylor, knowing ahead of time that I’m going to be a little schmaltzy. It’s great to be given a blank canvas on which to express the feelings of being a father. I have the greatest Father’s Day gift – two amazing daughters who are each, in their own unique ways, my heroes. Emerson, 12, is my hummingbird, who throughout the entire ordeal with Taylor, stayed positive and brightened everyone’s day.  Taylor’s story is a miracle, and the

Father’s Day 2019: The Coolest Gifts To Blow His Mind

Happy Father’s Day to one and all! I have some unique gift ideas that most dads will be thankful for.  Let’s see if any spark your interest! BEN & JERRY’S PINT LOCK We need to start with the ultimate “fun” gift for anyone and everyone. Yes, we are talking about the Ben & Jerry’s pint lock. As it says on the Ben & Jerry’s website, “they can steal your heart, but don’t let them steal a single scoop . . . ” It’s only $9.99 if you buy it directly from their website. EX OFFICIO UNDERWEAR A few years ago, I went on the greatest trip of my life – an African safari!  It seemed like I had to buy a new wardrobe because you are only allowed to bring a small duffel bag that will easily fit on the little airplanes that take you from one camp to another! I read an article that had mentioned this special travel underwear whose slogan is “17 countries. 6 wees. One pair of award-winning underwear. (OK, maybe two).” Several years later, my

Vien Truong: Social & Environmental Warrior

She came from abject poverty, experienced social injustice, witnessed the ravaging of the environment, saw the connection of these issues maintained by a broken system, and became a voice for change. Vietnam was torn and ravaged by war when the Truong family fled to the United States. This era in Vietnamese history was known as the “Rationized Period’,” when the free economy was abolished and private enterprise and property ownership, were forbidden. Vien Truong’s family escaped this dark chapter of the country. The Pursuit to Freedom Her mom was pregnant, carrying Vien in her belly, when she got on that boat to escape war-torn Vietnam. She got in a boat with her husband, 9 children, and grandma. They were to row 500 miles in treacherous waters to get to safety in Macau. The very waters where many had perished in similar attempts. Luckily, their family was rescued by the Red Cross and sent to a refugee camp in Hong Kong – where baby Vien was born and lived her first year of life. The family ultimately made their way to Oregon.

Sherri Franklin: Rescuing the Least Among Us

Muttville: Finding new homes one frosted face at a time. It’s all snuggles, hugs, and love at first sight when a brand new puppy becomes the latest member of a family. As the years pass the furry family member has seen the kids grow up, go to college, and then embark on their careers, while mom and dad contemplate over their new empty nest. Ideally, Fido can live out his days in the loving care he has always known. But for some, they are turned out to pasture, or rather, dumped or sent to a shelter. Imagine in your old day being permanently separated from those you love and the comforts of home. The reasons are plenteous, sometimes a pet outlives its master, or age-related veterinarian bills become unaffordable, or an owner is no longer able to care for their beloved pet. It’s a sad ending for one who brought years of unconditional love, loyalty, and devotion to its human counterpart. But this is not the ending that Sherri Franklin will let happen to those furry seniors that cross her

Sharon ‘Ife’ Charles: A Chosen Life- Faithful, Fearless, Free

The Racial Divide In 1998, a young mother living in Crown Heights, N.Y. felt inspired to get more involved in her community. Only eight years after the infamous Crown Heights riots of 1991, she recognized that a growing racial division was once again resulting in violence on the streets. Sharon ‘Ife’ Charles had been observing the deteriorating conditions in her Brooklyn community since giving birth to her first child in 1989. But significant progress had been made since the riots and she was determined that Crown Heights would never again return to those dreadful days. The children, including her own, would have a safe community wherein to grow and prosper. To ensure that outcome, Charles knew a courageous change agent would be needed. As she did her grass roots work on the street during the day, and then searched her heart at night, she knew precisely who that agent would need to be. In fact, that soon-to-be heroic person was visible with every glance in her mirror. She was known on the street as ‘Ife.’ A Watershed Workshop To build