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.”

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June 2010 Update

“Why choose failure, when success is an option” – I recite this quote every day (sometimes several times per day). It keeps me focused on the things I need to do to make a positive impact on those around me. What keeps you on track?

Too many people settle for less in life, to only look back and wonder what might have happened if they made a change to follow their passion. Well, yesterday was June 15th, the mid-way point of 2010. How are things going? Are you achieving the personal and professional goals that you’ve charted for yourself? Are you working on the things that make you the happiest and make a difference in lives of other people?

Here are some great achievements taking place around you – in your expanded network of friends, family and colleagues. Support them because they are working on their dreams and goals. They are choosing success and can use all the help they can get.

All the best and make it a great week.

1. LUCY WOODWARD LAUNCHES DEBUT VERVE ALBUM “HOOKED” – ( – Lucy is a very good friend who just released an amazing album, “Hooked”. She’s receiving well deserved press on Access Hollywood, Marie Clare magazine and through many other media sources. Make some time to enjoy her songs and you’ll definitely be hooked (pun intended).

2. IQUBZ LLC – ( – Stephan and Ashu are great friends and Managing Directors for IQubz LLC. The software we use at my company, Profitiviti, was built and currently supported by IQubz and we could not ask for a better business partner. Please keep them in mind for any systems work that you might be considering. In summary, IQubz is a global software solutions and service provider specializing in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Business Intelligence (BI). IQubz, a Microsoft Certified Partner, offers solutions and services based on Microsoft technology and Microsoft Dynamics business solutions platform. IQubz is owned and managed by professionals with solid backgrounds in variety of industries including financial services, hospitality and travel, retail and wholesale distribution, field service and professional services.

3. SONRISA SCHOOL (MISSION VIEJO) – ( – Ashu (profiled above in IQubz) and his wife Priya have operated an amazing school for kids with special needs for over 10 years. Recently, their school Sonrisa was profiled in the Orange County Register ( As you know, helping kids with special needs is a strong passion for my wife and I. Having a connection with Ashu and Priya is terrific and we are very proud of the services and support they provide.

4. SHARED PERFORMANCE – ( – My friend Steve Tiches recently launched a new company called Shared Performance that focuses on helping organizations achieve desired results by maximizing the efficiencies of individuals. The Shared Performance software determines what things must be achieved in order for a company to obtain specific results, who is responsible for each achievement, and provides companies with an understanding of what they get for the money they spend on obtaining specific results.

5. MYSMARTBIO – ( – A friend for the past 15+ years, Steve Walters has launched a very nice website with some business partners. MySmartBio is a free online utility for sharing and managing your personal career information. For young and mid-career professionals, SmartBio offers a lifelong home for managing social network profiles, building online personas/resumes, showcasing work samples, professional development, connecting with 1000+ job sites and more. Whether you appear on a social network, job board, recruiter or employer site, SmartBio allows you to control and update your online presence anytime, anywhere in a single click. Here is a recent Wall Street Journal article:

6. WILBUR RANCH TOFFEE – ( – Melinda Miller used to work at Universal Studios and recently launched Wilbur Ranch Toffee. Inspired by her grandmother, Melinda began baking when she was a young girl and developed a passion for making exceptionally delicious desserts and candies. She is best known for her gourmet almond toffee which she made for special occasions and gifts. Encouraged by her friends and family, she has turned her love for making toffee into a business. Wilbur Ranch Toffee’s mission is to create distinctively delicious toffee products and promote elegant gift giving. Exclusively made in small handcrafted batches, discover the most exquisite toffee your palate will savor. Wilbur Ranch Toffee uses only the finest premium quality ingredients in each of its creations. The gourmet toffee is also available for holidays, special occasions, corporate events, parties, weddings, showers, charity dinners or private affairs. Melinda can be reached at

7. MAEDAWN WELLNESS CENTER – ( a friend from the Sony Pictures Days, Gina Candido, has launched a new career as a Wellness Coach. In short, they offer guidance and counseling for people to live more natural lives through Holistic Therapies. Her area of expertise is energy therapy (Reiki) for stress relief and relaxation. Additionally, she is getting her certification to be a Hypnotherapist. She is also teaming up with a family therapist (38 years experience) and a nutritionist to offer the full holistic experience - caring for the body, mind, emotions and spirit. Check out their website or Facebook for more information: .

8. “SELF REFLECTION” GUITAR ALBUM – ( – Gus Tepper has been a long time friend after we met at Sony Pictures. Gus is from Argentina and love South American music. He recently created a website where he can share his songs and albums: “South America Guitar” and “Self Reflection”.

9. DESIGNED2DREAM SPECIAL EVENTS DESIGNER – ( – Sherri Curtis is a friend from Herbalife who has been playing special events for over 15 years. Designed2Dream’s vision is to create an atmosphere of excellence, excitement and of great anticipation. Your event will be a day of elegance, a day you are sure to never forget. You will leave your dreams and walk into reality!

10. HANDS ON CONCEPTS – ( – A friend Teidi Tucker’s husband founded a fantastic company called, Hands On Concepts. He runs a complete product development company that creates amazing producible goods for the disabled products industry: MonoSki, Outriggers, Mono Hauler, Wheelchairs, etc. These high-end adaptive living products allow individuals with disabilities to enjoy sports and other everyday living experiences to the fullest.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

January 2010 Update

Happy TWENTY-10!!!! Hope you all enjoyed a happy, safe and fun holiday season. Hard to believe we’ve already closed the first decade of the 2000’s. In our Profitiviti blog ( I asked the question, “What’s in your highlight reel?” Here the exercise was to reflect on your accomplishments, learnings and experiences to relive the year and decade through a virtual memory book. From me, it was a great couple hours of un-plugging from work to mentally review some amazing and challenging times. Additionally, the beginning of the year is a great time to focus on your positive impacts your will have in the future.

In this “Friends Doing Good Things” update there are a ton of great things to share! I continue to be amazed at all of your awesome accomplishments, despite some of the most challenging economic times of our lives. As always, I urge you to support the efforts of your network of friends and pass forward their contact information within your own network of friends and family. All the best for a life-changing 2010!!!!

1. YEARN FOUNDATION – ( – Brent Dance is a friend that I met while he was a member of a very strong Deloitte Strategy team that we were working with at Herbalife. He and his wife recently welcomed a new baby into their family and it’s been a pleasure keeping in touch with him over the years. I’m inspired by his new organization: the Yearn Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of Russian orphans. Yearn is based on the principle that what we yearn for, we can achieve, no matter our circumstances. Yearn's mission is two-fold: (1) provide for the material and medical needs of children and (2) implement life skills education and career development programs in orphanages to help orphans adapt and succeed in society once "emancipated." Recently, Yearn experienced small success. Just last month, Yearn raised money for Kostya - a small boy with spina bifida and hydrocephalus - to pay for critical medical operations allowing him to walk again. Yearn was also recently selected by Lost Lake Creative to be featured in the documentary film the Identity Project. Currently they are raising funds for an orphanage in Eastern Siberia. They are excited for what the future holds and encourage you to join our Facebook and LinkedIn groups to stay connected and help them create some serious Yearn!

2. FRESH CONSULTING – ( – Keeping the accomplishments in the family for a bit, Fresh Consulting was founded by Brent’s cousin, Jeff Dance – another strong team member from Deloitte that we enjoyed working with a few years ago. Fresh Consulting is a team of strategic business consultants that focus on emerging web technology to deliver business results. Their capabilities in strategy development, website design/implementation and social media are second to none. Jeff also helped launched another great resource to discover the best of the web by evaluating a comprehensive list of capabilities and services available online,

3. PAMPERED CUSTOMIZED SKIN CARE SOLUTIONS – (Studio: – Debbie Luscomb Figuredo is a good friend that moved out of the corporate world to follow her passion of helping clients with their skin care needs. She is a member of the Associated Skin Care Professionals and has set up her studio in the South Bay, on Hawthorne Blvd in Torrance. She is currently offering all of her services to you and your extended family and friends. What that means to you is a $20 referral discount off your next appointment, and for them a locked in low rate on all services offered: Microderm, photo-facials and peels. Her rates will be $50 per hour for a limited time through June and all treatments can be customized to be completed in this time frame.

4. PREP & LANDING – ( – A good and long-time friend from elementary school, Ian Cooney, was the EFX Supervisor on the recent Disney holiday program, Prep & Landing. A great, family show that we enjoyed – great job Ian and team. For additional information, see their facebook page:

5. iPHONE VOICE BAND APPLICATION by WAVE MACHINE LABS– ( – While working for Andersen Consulting and living in Chicago for two years back in the mid-1990’s, I met Tracey Coldewey. She has been a good friend ever since and is now married to Rim Buntinas, a very talented musician, artist and entrepreneur. Rim is President of WaveMachine Labs is proud to announce Voice Band 1.0 for the iPhone. Voice Band turns your voice into a musical instrument, allowing you to create complete songs by simply singing a melody into your iPhone. A built-in recorder lets you create songs one instrument at a time. Voice Band works in real time as you sing, and includes ten instruments: two electric guitars, bass, saxophone, two synthesizers, organ and drums. Check out this YouTube link to see Rim and Voice Band in action: WaveMachine Labs, located in Chicago, IL has been producing music software for over ten years. Its flagship product Drumagog, a drum replacer, has won several critical awards and is used worldwide in recording studios.

6. NATIVE CALIFORNIA LANDSCAPES – My cousin’s Dave & Brenda Matea are inspiring in their efforts to conserve water, but also they are making their home and community more attractive through their installation of a native California landscape ( Their slogan is, "Changing the environment, one landscape at a time!" In order to pass along more information if you are interested, here are some links for their landscaper ( and an upcoming Native Plant Garden Tour (

7. BOOK RELEASE: “COURT REPORTING: BAD GRAMMAR/GOOD PUNCTUATION” – ( – I’ve known Margie Wakeman for around 33 years and her son Tedd has been a good friend since our days of U5 AYSO soccer. Margie has been teaching for 46 years, of which 34 have been spent teaching court reporting. She has taught over 300 seminars all over the country on English grammar and punctuation. Her book, Court Reporting: Bad Grammar/Good Punctuation, is a textbook/reference book on how to punctuate the court reporting transcript. It is being published by the National Court Reporters’ Association and will be available in March at the online bookstore at There will be a book signing at the NCRA Midyear Convention in San Francisco

8. JOSE CORRAL APPOINTED TO PROTOTYPES NON-PROFIT BOARD – ( – PROTOTYPES was featured in our “Friends Doing Good Things” blog back in February 2009. This is a great organization providing treatment services in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, trauma, health issues, domestic violence, and reentry and prevention, outreach, and education services to women, children and families. A friend from Pepperdine grad-school is the CEO of this organization and another good friend from Pepperdine was just appointed to their Board.

Jose Corral serves on the Board of Directors of PROTOTYPES whose mission is to rebuild the lives of women, children, and communities impacted by substance abuse, mental illness, and domestic violence. PROTOTYPES’ programs ensure that children have a place where they feel safe and nurtured as their mothers receive the residential counseling and treatment they need. To learn more about PROTOTYPES, please visit to see testimonials from alumni, take a video tour, donate to the cause, and learn more about their treatment programs. PROTOTYPES relies on financial support from people in our communities. Help them spread the word about their amazing work by becoming a fan on Facebook at” I know that Jose, Cassandra and the rest of the Board of Directors thank you for anything you can help with in supporting their mission.

Friday, October 9, 2009

October 2009 Update

Well, the time has come to include our own efforts and accomplishments in this BLOG. Recently we unveiled our new company, Profitiviti. This has been a major part of our Master Plan and has been in the works for many, many years. You can image how incredibly excited we are for this to actually be taking place. Last October we launched our consulting business (Part 1 of the Master Plan) and now we are launching the software solution (Part 2). It’s been an amazing, amazing year – we are very blessed.

And Part 3 of our Master Plan is also in place – today we are also launching our non-profit organization (filing in process) – Expand-Abilities. As you know, we are passionate about serving children with special needs. Expand-Abilities’ mission does just that.

Along with all of our hard work, many others are following their dreams and passions. All of these efforts continue to be innovative and exciting. Keep supporting your friends and family members, pass along these leads to others – Tweet about them, put them in your BLOGs, send them to your distribution lists. There is no better time than now to support developing businesses.

Thanks for all your compassion and support. Make today great!

1. PROFITIVITI – ( – Basically, we conduct a thorough and detailed analysis of our client's business operations. This assessment results in improved strategy development, enhanced cost control initiatives, better alignment of investments for growth and an optimized product portfolio.

We've used this methodology for a few years with Excel and Access tools, however Profitiviti is our new enterprise solution. Literally, we've made and saved companies millions of dollars over the years. Our clients have ranged from $50 Million to over $3 Billion. Our approach is great for senior executives (COOs, CFOs, SVPs of Strategy, General Managers) along with Venture Capital / Private Equity firms. This approach is a great way to monitor/evaluate a company’s ability to execute over time and provides additional insight not available through Board presentations or financial statements.

Let me know if you have questions, would like a demo, have any referrals you would share (bonuses available!) or just want to chat.

2. EXPAND-ABILITIES – ( – Even before Catherine and I welcomed our daughter Julia into our lives, we truly enjoyed working with children with special needs. The magic that Julia brings our family is wonderful – our entire family learns so much for each other every day and we never take anything for granted. With Expand-Abilities, we’ve team up with several other dedicated friends who share a similar mission – we believe in setting high expectations and fulfilling the rights to unconditional access and opportunity. Profitiviti has chosen Expand-Abilities as its charity of choice. We hope you look to Expand-Abilities as well, since we work every day to fulfill our tagline: Developing Skills. Empowering Families. Strengthening Communities.

3. MATEA DESIGN – ( – Dave Matea is my cousin and a very talented. He has produced several incredible logos for my companies along with on-target marketing collateral. He is the sole designer behind our Profitiviti brand and we could not be happier. Matea Design is an independently operated design service that delivers a smart approach to purposed driven graphic design solutions. Specializing in corporate communications, Identity systems, and web design. The end result is to express ideas that inspire, endure and elevate marketplace presence.

4. COOLEY CAREER COACHING – ( – David Cooley is a great career coach. We met when I was finishing up grad school and when I was trying to figure out my next career steps. David has a masterful skill of helping one reflect internally to truly define a “personal brand.” With that “personal brand”, David weaves a story around personal and career accomplishments to create a targeted value proposition for employers, tying together a strong common themed resume, cover letter and interviewing approach. I’ve referred many people to David over the years and believe in his approach. Check him out in a recent story for FOX (

5. ARTICLE ONE PARTNERS – ( – My USC college roommate, Ray Felts, is the Chief Operating Officer of Article One Partners. They are in a new space termed "crowdsourcing", where the wisdom of a crowd is better than a few individuals doing the work. They created a global community of patent researchers that help industry clients discover prior art to resolve patent disputes and get higher confidence in the valuation of IP. In June 2009, they received the Top Award at Startup 2009 Conference.

6. PIVOTAL RESOURCES JOB POSTING – ( – Pivotal Resources is a leading consulting firm focused on helping their clients drive new levels of financial performance and customer satisfaction. Their suite of training and consulting services revolve around Process Improvement, Performance Management and Leadership Development. They serve a broad range of organizations, with a concentration in service industries such as healthcare, financial services and technology with clients including some of the world’s most respected brands: Starwood Hotels, Charles Schwab, Kaiser Permanente, Cisco Systems and GE. While I was leading the Global Continuous Improvement Program (Lean Six Sigma) at Herbalife and were very happy with Pivotal’s assistance, insight and services. They are looking for a Sales & Business Development Associate. Click on the following link for more information,, or let me know and I'll connect you with them directly.

7. AQUENT JOB POSTING – ( – Aquent is a leading talent agency for marketing and designers. A friend of mine Sharon Strauss is hiring 4 additional sales people in LA, and 4 in the Bay Area. All need to have 5+ years sales experience in either a Marketing, Interactive or Graphic Design organization!! Please reach out to Sharon directly at