Zachary Houle

A Look At Music That's Different

Marc Sparks: Rugged Individualist…and Caring Communitarian

The phrase “rugged individualist” was once common in America. It referred to a person who made his or her own way in life with little assistance. Taming the wilderness, cultivating rocky soil and settling in inhospitable environments all characterized the rugged individualist. With the end of the frontier and the misery of the Great Depression, rugged individualism fell from favor as a popular expression and celebrated ideal. Yet this concept never escaped the American bloodstream. In modern times, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists still prosper—and create jobs—from the most meager beginnings. A 21st-century example is Marc Sparks. Learn more:

Often called a “serial entrepreneur,” Marc Sparks was born to do business. Like many with boundless energy and restless imaginations, he chafed at the confines and structures of traditional schooling, graduating from high school with a mediocre grade point average. From there, he shot out of the gate and never looked back. Among his creations was a software production firm that—at its peak—sold $200 million worth of computer programs annually. Another of Sparks’ start-ups was an enterprise that held ownership in multiple insurance companies (he developed this business out of his bedroom). At one point this business concern exceeded a billion dollars in value—which plummeted to nearly zero in just three months.

It is his failures to which Sparks credits his successes. Each loss revealed insights which he later used to win. This philosophy rests at the heart of Sparks’ 2014 book, They Can’t Eat You: My Unorthodox Path to Outrageous Success. In the book, he shares “Fifty Sparks,” gleaned from both triumphs and defeats, that readers can apply to their own commercial ventures. Underlying it all is the conviction that a willingness to lose everything is the paradoxical key to phenomenal professional and financial success. Sparks practices this in his own private equity company, Timber Creek Capital, LP. Based in Dallas, Texas, that supports promising start-up firms with financing, infrastructure and marketing expertise. Key components in his criteria are uniqueness of product or service; laser-like focus on the business; and “an outrageous sense of urgency.” Learn more:

Timber Creek is one of Sparks’ winners, profiting from thriving partner companies in real estate, media, technology and health care. Still, Marc Sparks does not make money to simply hoard or spend it. A generous philanthropist, he directs large donations to causes like Habitat for Humanity, homeless shelters, magnet schools for at-risk youth and pet adoption programs. Is Marc Sparks a rugged individualist? Yes, he did get far on his own instincts, guts and savvy. At the same time, his passion is for partnering, mentoring and giving. To indulge this zeal, he needs people as much as people need him. Learn more:

JHSF continues to lead Brazilian real estate space under AuriemoNeto’s leadership

In the Brazilian real estate market, no name stands out more than that of JHSF Participacaoes. The company has built more square footage of luxury real estate than any other firm in the history of Brazil. It continues to hold one of the largest luxury real estate portfolios, including high-rise condominiums, shopping centers and even an entire private airport. It has been a major contributor to the development of Brazil’s luxury real estate sector, an industry which has drawn national attention and which has attracted a great deal of capital and high esteem to the country.

The company was founded in 1972 by family patriarch Fabio Auriemo. Throughout the 70s and 80s, the company focused primarily on building luxury hotel and living space. It was during this time that JHSF Participacaoes built the first five-star luxury hotel in the Rio De Janeiro area. Named Hotel Transmerica, the hotel was an international magnet for the rich, famous and powerful.

The company continued under the leadership of Fabio Auriemo until the early 2000s, when he stepped aside and handed the reins over to his son. Jose AuriemoNeto has since proven to be an even more able leader than his father, leading the company through its IPO and building millions of square feet of luxury real estate. Projects have included gigantic mixed-use properties as well as an airport and many shopping centers that feature some of the most renowned global brands.

Today, JHSF Participacaoes is an international corporation, with a presence in America, Uruguay and Brazil. It has significant holdings in the cities of Manaus, Salvador, Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro, among others. It has a multi-million dollar real estate portfolio, many properties in which it both owns and operates.

One of its most impressive projects today has been the ParqueCidadeJardim, a gigantic multi-use complex in the heart of Sao Paulo. The development features nine residential towers, four Class A office space towers, a180-store luxury shopping center and many other amenities and facilities for the residents and visitors. The development is unique in both its scope and size, proving that Sao Paulo can build at the same level as other first cities throughout the globe.

Lefkofsky Seeks to Find Connections in Cancer Patients

Eric Lefkofsky, CEO and co-founder of Tempus, feels that several data points are the only way to successfully treat cancer. His company Tempus has the goal of creating databases about data from cancer patients. These databases, he hopes, will help to create individualized goals in the cancer treatment field.Lefkofsky explained at a recent conference that data is in no short supply. There is an overabundance of genomic and therapeutic data, but there is no current databases that combine them. Cancer patients have multiple kinds of data collected on them, but he feels like there needs to be one database that combines them. What kind of therapy worked? What outcome did this treatment have? Multiple data points are gathered during the treatment, but a database that combines the all would allow doctors to make an informed decision about cancer treatment and next steps.

He feels information should flow more freely and the doctors need to know what treatments are working and what is not. An example he gave was about the breast cancer patients who are taking herceptin. If only 40% of patients are being effectively treated, then why is the other 60% falling short? What other factors are causing their treatments to not respond? His idea behind a database connecting all of this data will help to find those answers.

This entrepreneur originally started in the business as a co-founder of Groupon. When his wife was diagnosed with cancer, he quickly changed his focus. He went with his wife to her treatments and saw how the information was exchanged between doctors. His idea is to build another layer to the existing databases. This layer will help to find a connection between patients, treatments, and results. This database will help to judge the effectiveness of any given treatment and why it worked for that patient. You can also follow him on twitter :


Making Money With Traveling Vineyard – Is It Reliable Income?

Traveling Vineyard is by far one of the best companies today in the world of wine because of their great opportunities for those looking to make extra money. There’s several questions you may be having in regards to whether this is a reliable job or not. It’s true that it can definitely be an up and down process, but here’s a quick up and down understanding on this process. Making money with Traveling Vineyard can definitely be interesting.

Like Traveling Vineyard on Facebook.

You may earn anywhere between $80-$100 from a single wine tasting event. It can change and something that goes lower and even higher depending on your efforts. The truth is that you are not in any way or form limited by that at all. In fact, you can make money and make sales on a daily basis by simply chatting it up with good friends, old colleagues, family, and the people you meet throughout your day. Networking events are greta too because then you can keep in contact with each other knowing that it is a business setting involved. Making money in this industry is very interesting and can be quite rewarding. Traveling Vineyard is the one place to be because they can give you all the great opportunities to make some serious cash and also learn from their experts. This is a business worth pursuing. It can open doors for you and give you great chances to grow as a person to develop your craft in networking and speaking to other people constantly.

Check YouTube for more details about Traveling Vineyard.

Dick DeVos; the Compassionate Businessman

Compassion and selflessness are both virtues hard to exercise in a business setting. Any business’ primary aim is to maximize profits for its owner(s). Therefore, it takes uniqueness and compassion to be both a businessperson and a philanthropist simultaneously. However, Dick DeVos has defied all odds and practiced both of these arts excellently without failure in either.

Dick DeVos was born in 1955 and is the son of Richard DeVos co-founder of Amway. DeVos has served as CEO of consumer supplying company for roughly nine years. In 2006, he ran for Michigan Governorship but unfortunately lost. Backtracking to 2012, he was named as the 67th richest person in America with an approximate net worth of 5.1 billion dollars. DeVos is a family man whose wife, Betsy DeVos, is the current United States Secretary of Education.

Dick DeVos with his wife’s support has been a major financier of the international art competition and festivals for the last eight years. The event has caught the eye of the globe and has hence attracted many visitors. They provided the financial muscle of 1.7 million dollars to launch the competition through their family foundation. Moreover, they have provided an extra 450,000 dollars to cater for the contest’s prizes and rewards.

Dick’s family charitable acts mainly revolve around the education sector. Having noted the huge cracks in the system, the family could not just sit and fold hands as if all was well. The system was in shambles, and they had to act swiftly. In 2015, they made allotment of over 3 million dollars to the education system in the country, which was tantamount to only 26 percent of their giving in that lone year. Besides, their family foundation extended a total of 357,000 dollars towards education reform groups.

In that very same year, the family made generous offers that amounted to 11.6 million dollars while their extended family handed out well over 104 million dollars in charity donations. In Forbes scale, the family ranked 24th among America’s Top Givers. The family’s lifetime giving to date has led the way amounting to 1.33 billion dollars which amount to 25% of their whole family fortune.

In 2013, the DeVos made huge donations totaling to 90.9 million dollars. The money was given towards the development of education, churches, community services, health and in support of art& culture. In 2014, they made a subsequent back-to-back hand out of 94 million dollars which were allotted to the same sectors. Dick DeVos and his entire family believe in giving, and they insist that it is not about the material possession one would acquire with their vast wealth but by how much one gives with the aim of helping others.

Dick and Betsy Devos’ Big Hearts

Dick and Betsy DeVos are passionate about giving a helping hand to the less fortunate and their generosity has lift an eyebrow to some people who claim they are after political popularity. The truth, however, is the couple believes that being wealth is not about what one wears or what car one drives but the ability to give to those in need. Recently, Forbes ranked them position twenty-four in the top giver list. The family gave an account of how they have given the one hundred and thirty-nine million dollars.

The DeVos’ first passion is helping schools so that all the school especially the ones at less fortunate neighborhood can have privilege as the rest. In 2015, they gave a total twenty-six percent of their total donations to schools. They have helped many schools and accountability of the support is important to them; they want to make sure what they do helps the children. Five years ago they launched an aviation school and forty percent of the students are from less fortunate families.

Art and Culture are Dicks and Betsy second focus, twenty-one percent of their charitable contributions fall here; they believe high-quality culture is a start to a great art culture. They previously had contributed twenty-two million dollars to launch DeVos Institute of Art Management at the University of Maryland.

The remainder of the share of the donation went to Health and Human Services five percent, civic, community and others sixteen percent, churches four percent, public policy twelve percent and leadership and development thirteen percent. The couple is never interested in getting anything back, as long as they are sure the contributions are helping someone they are good. At Spectrum Health Foundation for instance, they were so pleased that donation will assist in finding a solution for childhood brain cancer. DeVos and his wife have included their children in their philanthropic work; they also know and understand the donation their parents make.

Dick DeVos has a vast of experience since he began his career path in 1974. He started working at Amway a company his father founded, before becoming the vice president in 1984 he held different positions in marketing, sales R$D, and finance. As vice president, DeVos led the company to triple its sales in foreign markets and opening new markets. He later was the president and CEO of Orlando Magic a basketball franchise, before he was appointed everyone believed in him, guests called him a business and political specialized. He then left to take over the presidency of Amway after his dad’s retirement and during his reign, the company flourished and expanded business to over fifty countries; he then retired from his father’s company to be the President of the Windquest Group.


Strategies of Kenneth Goodgame.

Kenneth Goodgame is one of the corporate leaders that have succeeded in leading and directing corporate institutions to perform their duties successfully. One basic fact about the leadership of Kenneth Goodgame is edge cutting skills that are proactive; it involves analysis of the situation before It happens the devising the appropriate strategies to counter. He is a leader of one of the major firms that deal with the management of sales and retailing. He has corporate leadership skills on the part of financial management and smart business strategies. The innovative skills applied by him have made his employees, and those under him be oriented towards the values and culture of the corporate, hard work, innovation, and good strategy implementation. Employees are the most important part of any corporation; they are the ones that fit the structure of the corporate. Employees are responsible for designing the business image and implementing the strategies. Good employee orientation and motivation have the ability to increase the performance of the corporate. Through testimonials, he has always stressed that he focuses his effort on employee motivation, quality assurance and improving profitability of his venture. The growth strategy that he has applied is holistic with quality leadership, quality improvements, close cost monitoring and enhancing productivity. He is a veteran in market analysis and strategies to ensure success in the marketing of products and services.

Many are times when clients default from buying their preferred products due to abnormal shift in the prices. This is one of the issues that have been dealt with by Kenneth Goodgame by making sure that price changes are minimized. It is done by the study of the market and detecting the prospective increase in the prices of the product; specific strategies are then put in place to curb the sudden inflation. The market study is used to cushion the customers from the sudden increase in prices while availing products and services that meet their needs. It would also be important to note that pet food has been going on prices, it is a lucrative venture to take part in but to customers, it could be hard to keep up with the persistent increase in the prices. However, pet owners need not worry anymore since the retail expert Kenneth Goodgame is here to give them something to satisfy their needs at their preferred prices.

Annual Performance Assessment Structures Are Not Efficient In Improving Employee Productivity

Most entrepreneurs often face a challenge on how they can raise a start-up company to a leading competitor. It needs an experienced and focused entrepreneur to compete against competitors who have existed in the industry for a longer time.

For entrepreneurs in Chicago, Raj Fernando has outlined some of the core competencies that can develop a start-up within a short period. Raj Fernando has a wealth of experience having served top positions like Scoutahead’s CEO and founder, Chicago Board of Trade and other leading companies in the finance industry.

For this reason, Raj bears management skills that are crucial to the success of any business in Chicago. According to Raj, Chicago is amongst the cities that have plenty business opportunities. The diverse industries have created a business society that needs each other for success.

However, most entrepreneurs miss out the opportunity to excel due to poor management skills. One of the old skills that most entrepreneurs adopt from top companies is the annual performance assessment structure.

The performance structure is used to gauge the productivity of employees, but Raj Fernando considers it inappropriate. The performance structure rates an employee’s performance on a scale of 1-5, leaving out the exceptional skills of an employee. Fernando suggests that besides the structure, a manager should consider the unique talents of each employee. As a result, Raj believes that annual performance assessment structures are not efficient in improving employee productivity.

According to Mr. Fernando, successful managers do not work with perfect employees but rather, they spot an employee’s weaknesses and support him or her. Oftentimes, good managers encourage employees to support one another to come up with a unified, stronger and professional team.

The annual performance assessment structures do not support long-term employee productivity. A successful enterprise does not require an employee who performs once per year. Rather, employees should be directed towards long-term continuous improvement.

Fernando’s skills helped Chopper Trading to develop into a leading trading company serving its clients like CME, LSE, Eurex, and Nasdaq through a dedicated task force of more than 250 employees. Unlike Chopper Trading Competitors who often lay off its workers, Chopper Trading maintained its employees until retirement.

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Eric Pulier Has Proven To Be Great For Kids

Eric Pulier has proven to be great for kids in our community, and it looks really good for me because it is something that people can all benefit from. We have to make sure that we are giving kids all the chances that we can to have better lives, and we are also looking for new technology that will help them. There are a lot of people working on technology for kids, but it was once just Eric Pulier helping kids who had special needs. That is is pretty important, and he started People Doing Things to make sure that he could help as many kids as he could.

The best part of this for us was that we knew that our kids would start to do better in school. It meant that they would have real help, and it meant that they would be able to go to class like normal kids and still do well. The idea that they could do anything was real, and the idea that they could succeed without a problem was something that we could preach to them because they now had something that made going to school easy.

It was all about making sure that kids would be able to get out of that label of special needs and into the successes they wanted to have. These kids were trying to make sure that they could graduate, and I knew that we needed to keep asking Eric Pulier back so that he could help more kids. He works in enterprise tech today, but he is still the person who started the trend of helping kids with special needs through technology. I am forever grateful, and I know that the kids are, too. They got to have normal lives because of simple technology created by Eric Pulier.

Check out Eric’s Facebook Page.

Technology Marketing Solutions Gives Innovative Award to Talk Fusion

Small business owners around the globe are excited about the new video chat capabilities from Talk Fusion. This innovative program recently won the 2016 Communications Solutions Products of the Year award from Technology Marketing Solutions.

The development team at Talk Fusion is equally enthusiastic about what this new capability can do for small businesses who lack a large marketing budget. The video chat program is based on open source WebRTC technology. Users on any platform can watch the videos without having to install special equipment because it is all based in html and JavaScript. Those businesses who have already paid for large conferencing rooms and equipment will not be at a loss because they can now add new clients to their existing networks at no additional cost.

Imagine the possibilities for real-time communications across different platforms. Talk Fusion, however, did not end their innovations there. They further developed templates allowing businesses to easily embed videos inside emails. They also developed video newsletters allowing families, charities and businesses to easily keep everyone in the loop.

Furthermore, they developed a live meeting platform where up to 500 people can attend the meeting without having to download any new software. At the same time, these video meetings can be recorded to share later with those who were unable to attend or as a record of what went on at the meeting.

Talk Fusion loves to work with its clients. Therefore, they would love to hear about how you are planning to use this new program that allows everyone to communicate in real time. They know that the best ideas come from other business owners that are willing to share what is working for them.

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