Cathy Corison: Napa’s Modern Day Pioneer

A Historical Perspective What do Cathy Corison, a Franciscan missionary from Mexico named Father Serra, a Frenchman from Bordeaux named Jean-Louis Vignes, and a bunch of German Utopians have in common? They all are pioneers in the California wine world.  From the 1770’s to the 1840’s, the latter three introduced wine to the California landscape, planting their vines in places now known as San Diego, Los Angeles and Anaheim.  Two centuries later, Cathy Corison continues this tradition.  A closer look at those 200 years offers a backdrop to Cathy’s story. In 1848, a significant happening in Northern California accelerated the nascent wine industry’s momentum – the discovery of gold. The ensuing gold rush brought with it huge growth in population, commerce and wealth, including industrious Europeans voyaging west to seek their fortunes. While most didn’t find gold, they found something just as valuable – a climate and soil ideal for growing grapes and making wine. Established vine cuttings were imported from Europe, and the number of vineyards and barrels of drinkable wine grew exponentially. In 1869, the transcontinental railroad was

Dr. Noah Charney On Art Crimes & Jewel Thieves

Accomplishing the perfect heist can turn into a complicated game of cat and mouse. This past summer, on July 30th , a pair of thieves swiped a king’s ransom of treasures from their display case at Strangas Cathedral in Sweden. The 17th century Swedish royal crown jewels, including a scepter, crowns, and an orb made of gold and bedecked with precious gems, used by King Charles IX, were ferried off by speedboat. In a cinematic twist, the boat was chased by police in helicopters, boats, and cars, but managed to escape in the labyrinth that is the Swedish coast, pocked with islands and tributaries. A theft of such filmic ingenuity seems to suggest ingenious thieves. But then on February 5th, those same crown jewels were found by a security guard in a plastic bag, atop a garbage can in a suburb of Stockholm. This rediscovery coincides with the trial of the only suspect arrested in conjunction with the theft, a 22-year-old man who denies involvement in the crown jewel heist but admitted to having stolen a bicycle and the speedboat used in

Russell Gibbons: A Thriving Dog Food Taster

Not many would consider it possible to thrive as a dog food taster, but for Russell Gibbons, life is indeed thriving. The Australian native tastes dog food as one small component of the quality control process for ‘Huds and Toke,’ his internationally recognized gourmet pet treats company. Primarily, Gibbons is a family man who has made a career out of the passions he shares with his wife, Emma-Louise, and their two children, Arthur and Barkeley. There’s also plenty of tender love left over for their two pet dragons whose names are, you guessed it, ‘Huds’ and ‘Toke’. Luckily for the Gibbons these dragons were imaginary, but Arthur and Barkeley loved and cared for them nonetheless. Inspired by their devotion for their imaginary pets, Gibbons embarked on a journey to create a business that embodied what mattered most in his life – his love for his family and his family’s love for animals. With a Bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness, a Masters in Professional Accounting, and an Associate Diploma in Applied Science (with a concentration in Stock Feed Manufacturing), Gibbons’ extensive training

Dru Riess of Popular Ink: From Dreams to Riches

At first glance he saw the impossible. On second glance he saw an opportunity of a lifetime. This remarkable millionaire story starts with a blue collar guy who went from cooking burgers and hotdogs, to working on the shipping docks for Coca Cola, an assembly line in a Steel Factory, waited tables at several restaurants, and ultimately found his path to being a CEO/Entrepreneur of a multimillion dollar business. In 2005, Dru Riess graduated from the University of Cincinnati in Marketing/Entrepreneurship. After graduating and moving to Colorado Dru tried the corporate world for a year, but went back to waiting tables at a restaurant in Colorado Springs. Yearning to make more of his life he kept his head up and looked for an opportunity to do something special. Maybe Texas would be the place where his dreams would come true. With no printing experience, no business experience, and no resources Dru took on an opportunity that many turned down. A friend of his knew a guy with a bankrupted printing company and when asked if he would like to try

Coss Marte: From Penitentiary to Prosperity

How one man found calling behind bars and developed a health regimen to elevate himself and then others. An inspirational life story of redemption, empathy, and self-improvement. Light was peeking through the prison bars, finally. The sun was coming up. An inmate sits on his bed and stares out the small slit through the iron bars. He takes all the bedsheets from his tiny mattress and wraps it all up into a makeshift backpack. He begins to step up on the bed, then back down, up and down… His time is up, even in confinement there is no rest. The silence is unbearable. The endless hours are mind-numbing. Time passes, and chatter grows outside as inmates are moved to the yard. Coss Marte has years to go in his sentence, but before his release… there’s work to do. A decade of prison time, sent in while overweight, he was already captive in his own skin. When It’s All You Know On the Lower East Side of Manhattan, there was a small scrappy building on Rivington Street. There, as a young

Blue Delta Jeans: Bespoke Raw Denim Specialists

Made in America, you won’t be singing the blues in these jeans. Genesis of Blue Delta Jeans With a motto of “Bespoke, Be You,” Mississippi-based Blue Delta Jeans Company creates one-of-a-kind, handmade, high-quality, American-made denim jeans, individually crafted for each customer’s unique specifications. Founded in 2011 by two high school buddies, Josh West, a former financial advisor, approached his friend Nick Weaver with the idea, “Let’s start a blue jeans company.” Weaver looked askance at West.  “I don’t like the way Josh dresses,” he says jokingly. Despite his hesitation, in the fall of 2010, the two met for dinner and over that auspicious meal, sketched out their business plan on a dinner napkin. “I wanted to make garments, because I have always been fashion forward, and what’s cooler than blue jeans?” says West, CEO, whohandles the design of the product and most of the manufacturing. Weaver, the COO, goes by his calling naturally, coming from a family of sharecroppers. “Four generations of my family have all hand-picked cotton,” he says. “I’m the first one not to hand-pick cotton in my

Howard Bloom: Master Social Physicist

Meet the man who melded science with social evolution and sparked a new era of pop culture, influencing the lives of every boomer. “I know a lot of people. A lot. And I ask a lot of prying questions. But I’ve never run into a more intriguing biography than Howard Bloom’s in all my born days.” Paul Solmon, Business and Economics Correspondent, PBS NewsHour How did a boomer called “next in a lineage of seminal thinkers that includes Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Freud, and Buckminster Fuller” by Britain’s Channel4 TV, “the next Stephen Hawking” by Gear Magazine, and “The Buckminster Fuller and Arthur C. Clarke of the new millennium” by Buckminster Fuller’s archivist shape the soundtrack of your life and mine? How did he give unexpected substance to the pop culture of the 1970s and 1980s? An intuitive young man from Buffalo, New York, Howard Bloom developed a desire to understand the universe and everything in it from quarks to rock concerts. Through the study of theoretical physics, microbiology, and an acute aptitude in public relations, Howard Bloom met everyone on

John Deatrick: Paradise Lost

Finding Perspective and Gratitude in Tragedy For most of us, it is a few minutes segment on the news and then we’re on to the next story. For those involved though, it is an enduring nightmare. Time seems to slow down to a crawl – each minute feels like an hour – each hour a day – each day a lifetime. John Deatrick knows best because he recently lived the nightmare. “People see what’s on TV, and they see the videos, but it’s much worse. It was unreal,” he said. “You hear about Hurricane Katrina, and I know it was awful, but I didn’t really understand what people were going through. I wasn’t there, I didn’t see it with my own eyes. I didn’t see the suffering, I didn’t see the people trying to get their lives back together. I feel like I have a much greater perspective on that now. It’s surreal. I still can’t believe, five months later, that it happened.” ESCAPE FROM PARADISE At 8:30 a.m. on the morning of November 8, 2018, John and Donna Deatrick

Jessica Cox: A Real-Life Superwoman

At its core, this is a human story of grit, resilience and extraordinary achievement. People who soar to great heights while inspiring others to do the same are an uncommon breed. They come from all backgrounds and arrive in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most develop their abilities over their lifetimes, little-by-little, as their experiences shape them. More uncommon still are the few who are simply born to be leaders. Let’s meet an extraordinarily rare born leader.    Baby Jessica first graced our earth in February 1983 when born to Inez and William Cox in Sierra Vista, Arizona, a mountainous Sonoran Desert suburb of Tucson. Her parents’ hearts were broken, their sense of normalcy shattered when they first saw their baby’s body. Due to a rare birth defect, Jessica was born without upper limbs. One of life’s great moments of pride and joy shifted sharply to grief and worry. The Grieving Process Everyone’s grieving process is unique and personal. While the Cox’s worked through their initial stages, including denial, anger and guilt, they mostly worried for their beautiful little girl’s

Nancy G. Brinker: For the Love of a Sister

Ambassador to the world, she carries the banner to eradicate breast cancer on a global scale. Most of us have seen the waves of pink-clad walkers and pink-lit city structures. We have come to know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Over the years, many organizations have made valiant attempts to bring awareness to the disease. But it took a single promise made to a dying sister that would launch a mission to bring breast cancer awareness into every household and on the world stage. Woman of Accomplishment Nancy G. Brinker, former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary and U.S. Chief of Protocol is well known as a communications and policy expert. She is a four-time Presidential Appointee, twice with Senate Confirmation. Her distinguished career has led her to audiences with world leaders, corporate executives, academic thought leaders, and experts in medical science and healthcare. She has many feathers in her cap to be sure. But it is fulfilling her sister’s wish that has created the most enduring legacy, directly impacting the lives of everyday people, policymakers, scientific