Saturday, November 26, 2011

November 2011 Update

It’s been WAY TOO LONG since the last update, however while enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday I thought about of all the reasons to be thankful our health, safety, family and friends. Life tends to gets in the way if you let it, but many people in our friends network continue to pursue their passions. It is important to celebrate their achievements.

In this post, you’ll find a wide range of opportunities to support. Take a little time to review the items below and please, continue to do good things and help each other prosper. All the best.

1. BRANDON BROWN – PEACE CORPS IN SIERRA LEONE, WEST AFRICA – ( – Brandon was highlighted in the last update too because he’s truly doing “great things”. He and his team in Sierra Leone are holding a fundraiser to help the wonderful people in his community. With the generous contributions received so far, they have paid all five of their unpaid teachers through the next two years, amassed an army of tools they will use to work in their school farm and we are now in the planning stages of erecting a structure to start a school library. A contribution of $100 pays a teacher for 3 months, and $420 pays a teacher for an entire year. $1,700 pays for the first school farm which will improve community farming techniques as well as raise money for the school. They are already putting donor's money to good use bypaying for the salary of Zainab Kongoteh, the lone female teacher at St. Peter's this year! Please consider a donation of any size!!!!

2. APRIL WRIGHT – GOING ATTRACTIONS; A DOCUMENTARY ON AMERICAN DRIVE-IN MOVIE THEATRES – ( – April continues to pursue her dreams in filmmaking. She has a wonderful documentary based on the culture and recent resurgence of drive in threatres. She’s looking to raise finishing funds for the film if you or others you know might be interested in supporting her.

3. WUNDABAR PILATES – ( – A good friend from grad-school, Amy Sowers Jordan, opened her first Pilates studio in Montrose, CA in 2008. She has gone on to open additional studios and now WundaBar Pilates. This is Pilates reinvented, with a revolutionary piece of equipment called the WundaFormer. For an amazing workout or to inquire about franchises, check out her website for more information.

4. FUNDERTAINMENT – ( – A good friend, Jeff Paradowski, is connected with Fundertainment to help with school fundraising efforts. For those who are actively involved in your schools, please take a few minutes to consider Fundertainment. They have created a partnership with major Hollywood studios to offer high quality DVD and Blu-Ray movies for purchase with up to 50% of the proceeds going to the schools. There are no upfront costs, however there is lots of potential!

5. OCULU.COM – ( – John Cecil is a great guy and his video production company, Innovate Media Group ( has officially launched their new online video platform. It’s been six years in the making and could not happen at a better time. If you are looking to put video on your website, you need to talk with John about all the possibilities.

6. COMMON LAW TV SERIES – ( – Great friends, Karim Zreik, Dan Schotz and Job Turteltaub are currently filming a new TV series set to premiere on USA in early 2012. The show follows former petty criminal and ladies man Travis Marks (Michael Ealy) and methodical ex-lawyer Wes Mitchell (Warren Kole), two acclaimed LAPD homicide detectives whose longtime partnership, like a bad marriage, is on the rocks. So their captain (Jack McGee) sends them to couples therapist Dr. Ryan (Sonya Walger) to help them work out their issues. Here’s a link to the trailer (

7. LUCKY DOG FLIGHTS – (http:// – Tracey Coldewey, a good friend from Chicago, knows the folks at Lucky Dog Flights. They are dedicated to providing charitable flights to those in need at no cost, with an emphasis on animal rescue flights. Their services are available to financially distressed individuals and families that are in a time-sensitive, but non-emergency situation due to a medical condition. They transport people for medical treatments that are not available in their area. Sometimes they transport people to hospice care and they provide compassion flights as well, so that family members can visit those who are critically ill. Lucky Dog Rescue Flights has rescued over 300 dogs that would otherwise have been killed. For more information, please check out their website!

8. BOOK: VIRTUALLY VERTICAL: PRAGMATIC GUIDE TO STREAMLINING THE CORPORATION – ( – Sumantra Sengputa has been a good friend for many years, starting back when he worked with Hitachi Consulting. He has decades of incredible operational experience and has been published many times over his career. Additionally, he recently founded EVM Partners ( which provides top-notch strategic, operational, financial and technical management consulting.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January 2011 Update

2011 is upon us (wow, was Y2K really that long ago!?!?!). Tons of great things are taking place in our extended network of friends, which is great news. We continue to hear throughout the different media channels that this might be a jobless recovery. Not good for all those struggling to make ends meet.

But with that being said, your network of contacts has never been more important. And your ability to help your extended network is also very critical. If nothing else, pass along the information that you feel is relevant, but please help spread the word for all those who are taking risks to follow their dreams.

When I made my documentary film, “Life Is An Attitude”, I ended the film with a quote that developed while we were filming: “The Power of a Dream and the Determination to Make it Happen.” Follow your dreams and have the determination to continue, because determination is a must for any business or social entrepreneur.

Continue to do good things and help each other.

1. BRANDON BROWN – PEACE CORPS IN SIERRA LEONE, WEST AFRICA – ( – A lot of people talk about foregoing corporate life and consistent salaries to help those in need, Brandon is doing it. As a group of friends for over 20 years, we could not be prouder of him. And who knew how good of a writer he really was! Ha. Please follow him, support him and most of all, support those who make life changes to significantly impact the lives of others less fortunate. If you’d like to help, let me know and we’ll arrange things with his family here in the States. Brandon, we pray for your safety and success. We look forward to all the stories and life experiences.

2. MY AMI PORTABLE ENTERTAINMENT DEVICE– ( and!/pages/My-Ami/302990866397) – a good friend from USC and his wife (Louis & Bea Fahrberger) put together a pretty awesome portable child’s entertainment device. We just got one and the kids love it. Connect in your iPhone, iTouch, etc. and the kids will sit and watch videos and play games. It’s great for traveling, going out to dinner and any other situation where you need the kids to chill out for a bit. If you’re like us, whatever keeps the kids sitting down and quiet for a period of time is worth its weight in gold – the My Ami does that nicely.

3. FETCH RECRUITING – ( – My friend (and fellow dog lover), Janine Davis, is a very talented recruiter. She focuses on technical and business recruiting for a variety of clients across multiple industries. The job market is tough, so having people like Janine in your network can be huge when looking to land a new career opportunity. Her mission at Fetch is “to maximize the hit ratio and minimize the sleaze.”

4. KAT5 HOMES – ( – Reuse. Recycle. Go Green. Sustainability. A friend from high school, Bill Hinchliff, is helping the environment while building some pretty impressive homes and offices. Check out his website if you’d like to see how cool shipping containers can look as a living room!

5. VELOPE.TV – ( – Mike Gregor has been a friend for over 15 years. He’s a super talented guy and currently runs a company in San Francisco called, Velope TV – Interactive Television Consulting, Design and Engineering. From their website, “Velope creates rich user interfaces for connected televisions and media devices. Our solutions address the constraints of your entire technology stack and leverage production techniques that facilitate cinematic user experience.”

6. PACKAGING CALCULATOR – ( – I met Sanford Fitleson at Herbalife, as he was one of the global packaging engineers. This is a free website for packaging engineers (or anyone else that wants to convert something to something else). The site performs basic conversions, as well as geometric, density and corrugate calculations.

7. SUSAN CRAMM’S BOOK: 8 THINGS WE HATE ABOUT IT – ( - – Susan Cramm was an Executive Coach for my department when I was working at Sony Pictures. She terrific! She’s a recognized industry expert in information technology leadership who has held CxO positions at several industry leading companies. Her book is great and discusses the “relationships” between IT and the Business, while focusing on the human interactions and leadership skills needed to be successful.

8. BILL NEWMAN’S BOOK: UNDERSTANDING SAP BUSINESSOBJECTS ENTERPRISE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT – ( - – Bill Newman and I met during business development activities for my company Profitiviti. He runs a nice consulting firm called Newport Consulting Group. His book provides a strategic look at corporate performance and how EPM solutions can be applied. With a scenario-based approach and plenty of practical examples, this book enables you to understand the tools and techniques that are used during enterprise performance management.

9. JENNIFER SERTL’S BOOK: STRATEGY, LEADERSHIP AND THE SOUL – ( – Like Bill Newman, I met Jennifer while doing business development for Profitiviti. She’s a great lady who’s with many skills and talents: thought leader in corporate consciousness, keynote speaker, organizational effectiveness, etc. Her book “presents a unique analysis of the dynamics of organizational evolution since 1850 to the present day, reflecting on how the context of the changing nature of society over time has informed the necessary adjustments in structure and leadership, and in what way these have been vital to the sustainability of those organizations.”