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.”