Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tiffany Giardina – Singer/Songwriter Performs at Grand Prix for Music Conservatory of White Westchester

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIFFANY GIARDINA, popular singer/songwriter, brilliantly performed two of her new songs in her concert at Grand Prix New York’s new state-of-the-art bowling center, “Spins Bowl”,  for the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s first annual “Winterbowl” benefiting its Music Therapy Institute, which is celebrating its 25th year. The event included bowling, kart racing, food, drinks, and live music featuring Conservatory faculty and students. Grand Prix New York, 333 North Bedford Road, Mount Kisco. (914-241-3131)

Music Conservatory of Westchester

The Conservatory hosts a bevy of events each month in its wonderful recital hall. Their respective faculty and student concert series has been a hit since its inception over five years ago, and over the past year, they’ve extended their stage to local favorites of various genres. MCW’s recent Jazz Series featured established artists including Gil Parris, K.J. Denhert, Neil Alexander, Trio Shalva, and Ted Rosenthal.

Music Conservatory of Westchester Music Therapy Institute

For 25 years, the Music Therapy Institute has been the largest provider of professional music therapy services in the greater Westchester region, working individually and in small groups with over 2,000 children and adults each year. The Institute provides services onsite at the Music Conservatory of Westchester. 216 Central Avenue, White Plains, NY, (914 761 3900), as well as throughout the county through the Institute’s Outreach program.

Music therapy addresses the physical, emotional, social and cognitive well being of children and adults with a wide variety of special needs. Using the inherent qualities of music, board certified therapists design individualized programs to provide opportunities for social interaction, allow for emotional expression, increase attention, promote growth in motor skills, increase communication skills and alleviate pain and stress. Music therapy can make a profound difference in the lives of those who participate, encouraging healing, growth and change.

 

Malcolm Pray, The Pray Achievement Center, Entrepreneur

“In 1939, when I was eleven years old, I went to the New York World’s Fair, and saw a Delahaye at the French Pavillion.  This was a moment that changed my life – for I wanted that car more than anything.  In 1964 I bought that very car, which gave birth to the Pray Automobile Collection.

The Pray Automobile Collection is comprised of a wide variety of automobiles, covering a span of one hundred years.  It is a very unusual museum in that not only do I allow student visitors to touch these rolling works of art, but I encourage my young guests to choose a car to sit in, and envision ownership.  Mypurpose is to create the same desire that I had as a teenage to own the Delahaye.

I have shown my automobiles at car shows and Concours d’Elegance events since 1994 where they have won awards and ribbons.  My most rewarding experience is to see the faces of my visitors when they sit behind the wheel of the car that they choose.  My hope is that this will inspire them to do well in school and think about a career, and to be successful in life.”

Malcolm Pray owned and operated Pray Volkswagen and Pray Porsche in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Advice to young entrepreneurs:  Create a vision for your life out of something you wish you could have and go after your dream!

 

 

Polina Raygorodskaya, Founder Fashion Production Company – Start Your Own Business

Polina Raygorodskaya, originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, has a deeply-rooted passion for the fashion industry. As one of the US’s top models, she has graced the runway with her etherial beauty under the names of fashion’s finest designers.

Fashion Model opens Fashion Production Company

With its beginnings in the Boston office of early 2006, Polina Fashion LLC has always specialized in the fashion industry.  As the company’s founder, Polina Raygorodskaya has enjoyed long-standing experience as a highly-acclaimed fashion model; her industry contacts and business acumen were certainly valuable assets when inspiration came to form a fashion production company.  Her services began with fashion coordination and production services, including photo shoots, fashion shows and event management.  Company philosophy has always encouraged creative thinking and flexibility; by 2007  Polina Fashion branched out into fashion marketing and public relations.

Goals to Become the Best in the World

From its inception, the driving vision behind Polina Fashion has always been to become the best in the world for our event production and fashion PR services. Innovation, a shrewd understanding of our industry, and an utter demand for perfection have driven the company’s success and have always acted as the foundation for her future.

Bi-Coastal Offices

As of 2010, Polina Fashion established a presence in New York and Phoenix to be better equipped in pursuing matters within the world’s fashion hub and the west coast respectively. Peering into the future, we see progress for best practices in fashion PR and a positive social impact internationally.

Tips

-Take experiences in an industry and expand your horizons

-Learn what others before you have done in your same field

-When you find success, duplicate it by expanding offices

 

 

 

Sean Parker, Billionaire Co-creator of Napster, Entrepreneur

Sean Parker co-founded four category defining Internet companies by the age of 28 – Napster, Plaxo, Facebook and the Causes application on Facebook – transforming the way people across the world interact and share information. He is currently the Chairman of Causes and a Managing Partner at Founder’s Fund, a venture capital firm based in San Francisco.

Co-founded Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg

Together with Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz, Sean co-founded Facebook in June 2004. Sean served as the company’s first president, securing financing, assembling a world-class management team and spearheading the design of the site’s transformational “news feed,” ”share,” and “photos” features.

Chairman “Causes on Facebook”

Sean recently established his fourth company, “Causes on Facebook,” where in the role of Chairman, he oversees the company’s mission to harness the power of emerging communication platforms to enable large-scale political and social change. Under Sean’s leadership, the Causes application has become the fastest growing consumer Internet application in history, reaching 50 million users in just two years.

Began Entrepreneurial Career at Age 19

Sean’s entrepreneurial career began at the age of 19, when he helped launch the revolutionary peer-to-peer file-sharing movement as co-founder ofNapster.  Sean has been a featured speaker at universities, conferences and panels across the world including the Aspen Ideas Festival, DLD, CES, Harvard School of Public Health and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He currently lives in San Francisco.

Tips

-Follow your passion.

-Don’t let age stand in your way.

 

 

 

Peter Taunton, Owner “Snap Fitness” – Starting a Business

Peter Taunton dropped out of college when he was 20-years-old to play professional racquetball. A short time later, he was back home and out of work in Wilmar, Minnesota.  The owners of his hometown gym offered him $16,000 to manage the club and agreed to give him a stake in the club every year it was profitable. Six years later, in 1982, Taunton bought out the other owners. In 1990, he renamed the club America’s Fitness, borrowed against it and opened several more big health clubs.  He ran America’s Fitness for 20 years, but was ultimately overwhelmed by the responsibilities and overhead expenses. In 2002, he sold the five gyms and began making a list of essentials for a more basic gym… the beginning of  Snap Fitness.

Consumers Down-Sizing to More Personal Fitness Clubs

Today, as millions of consumers continue to swap over-priced SUV’s for wallet-friendly compact cars, the same trend is taking shape in the multi-billion dollar fitness industry. And Snap Fitness is reaping the benefits, as more and more workout enthusiasts trade in their memberships at big-box facilities for the convenience and affordability offered by its 24/7 compact fitness clubs.

Focusing on Member Wellness

While Snap Fitness www.snapfitness.com offers the same quality equipment as traditional health clubs,  the booming brand is setting industry standards by focusing on complete member wellness and providing a host of products and services designed to give members better results and more value for their money. By scaling down in size and eliminating unnecessary amenities such as swimming pools and racquetball courts, Snap Fitness offers a quality, affordable workout with strong emphasis on customer service and convenience.

Snap Fitness Expands

Today, Snap Fitness has approximately 2,300 clubs open or under development worldwide – including locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico – and is adding 15-20 new stores monthly. Company plans call for a total of 3,500-4,000 clubs within the next five years.

“Story submitted by Mike Misetic at Fishman Public Relations”

Tips

-You may think you are destined for a certain career but destiny plays a role

-If you don’t succeed at first, try, try again

-Do something you are passionate about

 

 

George Naddaff, Founder of Boston Chicken and UFood Grill – Starting a Business

George Naddaff, founder of Boston Chicken and UFood Grill. Never attended college. As he put it, “School and I did not work out. So at age 17 and a half, I joined the Army.” And, when he got out of the Army, his dad said if you’re not going to college, you get a job. He did. The next day.

Chief Executive Officer

George A. Naddaff has been Chief Executive Officer of UFood Restaurant Group, Inc. since September 2007. Mr. Naddaff has extensive restaurant and franchising experience. Mr. Naddaff has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ranch 1, Inc. which has operated a chain of sandwich shops since November 1997.

Tips:

-Sometimes you just have to take ANY action to move ahead

-If you family and friends say “Get a Job”, it’s time to listen

-Your future will unfold as you take actions

 

 

Ben Nighthorse Campbell, U.S. Representative/Senator – Business Opportunities

Ben Campbell (he added “Nighthorse” as an adult) was born in Auburn, California,  a Portuguese immigrant, and a member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe. He had a hard childhood with a mother frequently hospitalized for tuberculosis.  Campbell’s father was an alcoholic who failed to support the family, and his mother was often too sick to take care of and support the children. At such times she placed Campbell and his younger sister, Alberta, in the care of an orphanage, where he spent half of his life.

A Troubled Youth

With little supervision at home, the youngster spent much of his time in the streets getting into trouble. He was frequently absent from high school, earning mostly poor grades. While still a teenager he was involved in such activities as stealing guns and cars, shoplifting, and driving drunk. At age fifteen he was arrested for stealing gasoline. A year later he was arrested and briefly jailed for driving drunk and crashing into a gas station. The police released him back into the custody of his parents.

Life began to change as Campbell learned a new skill. While working as a fruit picker some Japanese youths taught him judo. That sport, according to the senator, “kept me off the streets and out of jail.” After leaving high school at age 17, he served in the U.S. Air Force He studied and received his GED and continued with his judo training earning a brown belt in the sport.

From judo to jewelry

After finishing his military service, Campbell entered San Jose State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in physical education.  Upon graduation he moved to Tokyo for four years to work on his judo and study at Meiji University. Although Campbell worked many jobs, he found financial success as a designer of Native American jewelry, an interest he had from childhood. In Japan he learned how to laminate different metals. He won more than two hundred design awards for his handmade jewelry and some of his work sold for as much as twenty thousand dollars.

 

Beginnings of political career

Campbell’s involvement in politics came about because he was unable to fly his single-engine airplane to the West Coast to deliver some jewelry because of heavy storms.  He visited a meeting of Colorado Democrats who were seeking a candidate for the state’s Fifty-ninth House District. At that meeting Democratic leaders persuaded Campbell to run for that office. To nearly everyone’s surprise he defeated his better-known opponent and served in the state legislature for four years.  With this victory Campbell became only the eighth Native American ever elected to Congress. He won reelection to this seat three times.

Campbell as senator

After six years in the House of Representatives, Campbell decided to run for the Senate seat whereupon he won. On March 3, 1995, decided to move from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.  Campbell served the remainder of his first six-year term as a Republican and was reelected for a second term in 1998, after running as a Republican.

Tips:

-If you have made mistakes , wipe your slate clean and start over

-You may have more than one career – Just get started on one

 

 

 

Jimmy Santiago Baca, Poet, Activist, and Filmmaker – Starting Your Own Business Ideas

Jimmy Santiago Baca, poet, activist, and filmmaker. At a young age, he ran away from the orphanage and lived on the streets, spending some time in juvenile detention centers. Before he was imprisoned for seven years for a narcotics conviction (a charge he’s denied), he was functionally illiterate. During his time in prison, he taught himself to read and write, eventually earning a GED. Baca has written ten books of poetry, a memoir, a book of essays, a book of short stories, a play, and a screenplay for the 1993 film Bound by Honor.

Turned His Life Around in Prison

Born in New Mexico of Indio-Mexican descent, Jimmy Santiago Baca was raised first by his grandmother and later sent to an orphanage. A runaway at age 13, it was after Baca was sentenced to five years in a maximum security prison that he began to turn his life around: he learned to read and write and unearthed a voracious passion for poetry.  During a fateful conflict with another inmate, Jimmy was shaken by the voices of Neruda and Lorca, and made a choice that would alter his destiny.    Instead of becoming a hardened criminal, he emerged from prison a writer. Baca sent three of his poems to Denise Levertov, the poetry editor of Mother Jones.  The poems were published and became part of  Immigrants in Our Own Land,  published in 1979, the year he was released from prison. He earned his GED later that same year.

Devoted His Life to Teaching Others to Overcome Hardships

Baca has devoted his post-prison life to writing and teaching others who are overcoming hardship. His themes include American Southwest barrios, addiction, injustice, education, community, love and beyond. He has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in prisons, community centers, libraries, and universities throughout the country.  
   In 2005 he created Cedar Tree Inc., a nonprofit foundation that works to give people of all walks of life the opportunity to become educated and improve their lives.  Baca is currently finishing a novel, a play and three poetry manuscripts to be published in 2007. He is also producing a two hour documentary about the power of literature and how it can change lives.

TIps:

-When life hands you lemons, make lemonade

-Service to others is a key to keeping on the straight and narrow

David Geffen, Music and Movie Mogul – Entrepreneur

Born in Brooklyn, New York, David Geffen is widely regarded as the wealthiest man in the U.S. film industry. A self-styled “boy from Brooklyn” who became a millionaire by the age of 25, the ambitious, energetic music and movie executive established a vast Hollywood-based empire. With Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, he cofounded Dreamworks, ensuring that he will continue to shape the world entertainment landscape into the next century.

Learned Entrepreneurial Skills from His Mother

His parents were Soviet Jews who had emigrated to Brooklyn’s thriving Russian community. Geffen’s father, Abraham, was a pattern maker. His mother, Batya, made and sold women’s garments out of a tiny shop. Geffen claims to have learned the basic principles of entrepreneurial skills at his mother’s knee.

Started with Odd Jobs

Upon graduating from high school, Geffen headed but to the University of Texas at Austin. He lasted only one semester until he flunked out with poor grades. Admittedly, “I was a lousy student.” He worked at a series of odd jobs in New York City before landing a position as an usher at the CBS-TV studio. He loved the job. “I got to watch them rehearse TV shows with people like Judy Garland and Red Skelton,” he said in a Forbes article, “and I was thinking, ‘Well, I’m not talented, what can I do?’” He worked his way up to a receptionist position on the CBS series The Reporters, but was fired after suggesting some script improvements to a producer. When the show’s casting director jokingly remarked that Geffen might make a good agent, Geffen followed up on the idea. Looking through the Yellow Pages, he contacted the William Morris Talent Agency-the one with the biggest ad. He began with a job in the mailroom there in 1964. There he earned $55 a week sorting letters, but quickly aspired to greater things. “I’m delivering the mail to people’s offices,” he told The New Yorker “and I hear them on the phone, and I think, I can do that. Talk on the phone. This I can do.”

Began Managing Careers

While developing relationships with musical talent, Geffen was made a junior agent a year and a half after joining William Morris Talent Agency and was soon managing the career of the promising singer/songwriter Laura Nyro. That led to contacts with other up-and-coming stars such as Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, and Janis Joplin. In 1969, Geffen made his first million by selling out the music publishing operation he had started with Nyro. Geffen, who is single and openly gay, lives out of a New York City apartment and a beach house in Malibu, California. He collects fine art, but his major passion remains his work. He reportedly spends the majority of his day on the telephone, making deals and listening to creative pitches.

Tips:

-Odd jobs can teach you lessons

-Diverse jobs can lead you to your passion

-Do not be afraid to be who you are

 

 

 

 

Jack Crawford Taylor, Founder of Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Entrepreneur

Jack Crawford Taylor is an American businessman and the founder of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company. He is ranked by Forbes as the 18th-richest American and the 40th-richest person in the world. Born and raised in St. Louis, Taylor briefly attended Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., and Washington University in St. Louis, before enlisting in the United States Navy after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He became an F6F Hellcat fighter pilot and saw combat duty in the Pacific Theatre from the decks of the aircraft carriers U.S.S. Essex and U.S.S. Enterprise (for which he later named his company.) Taylor was twice decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross, and also received the Navy Air Medal.

Founded Enterprise Rent-A-Car

In 1957, Jack Taylor founded Enterprise Rent-A-Car (then called Executive Leasing) in the basement of a Cadillac dealership where he worked as a salesman in his hometown of St. Louis. In the coming decades, as the rest of the rental car industry focused on serving airports, Taylor created the “home city” rental market. By renting cars from convenient, neighborhood locations to meet a variety of customer needs, Enterprise became the industry leader by quietly but steadily developing a nearly $10 billion market that is now the largest and most hotly contested segment in the roughly $19 billion U.S. car rental industry.

Balanced Business with Community Involvement

A quiet and unassuming man by nature, Taylor founded his company on a simple philosophy that has been the company’s hallmark for half a century: “Take care of your customers and employees first, and profits will follow.” While privately held Enterprise does not disclose profit figures, growth and success have certainly followed. Today, Enterprise is a $9.04 billion company serving customers in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, and Germany from more than 6,900 locations, including more than 229 on-airport branches.  Taylor has balanced his business accomplishments with community involvement and has established himself as a philanthropist.

Tips:

-Learn lessons in everything you do

-Parlay your strengths into business