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Zachary Houle

A Look At Music That's Different

Green Park CEO Livio Bisterzo Secures New Funding For Hippeas Brand Snacks

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio and a private equity firm located in Chicago, Strand Equity Partners, have both contributed substantially to Hippeas chickpea puff snacks.

The CEO and Founder of Green Park Brands Inc., Livio Bisterzo, declined to comment on the exact amount of these contributions. Green Park is the parent company of Hippeas. Bisterzo did say that $2.5 million has been raised thanks to various investors and friends of the company.

Hippeas are currently available in stores such as Vons, Starbucks, and Albertsons. Green Park plans to offer Hippeas at Target and Kroger Co. later this year. Various stores also sell the snacks in the UK, and the company has an office there.

A Different Sort of Snack and Company

Investment in Green Park Holdings comes at a surprising time for the chickpea. Sales of chickpea-based snacks are up more than 150 percent according to 2016 data. Bisterzo believes he is one of the first to tap into the new snack craze, and he’s also proud to remind consumers that chickpeas replenish depleted soil with much-needed nitrogen.

Green Park donates two cents to Farm Africa for each bag of Hippeas sold. Farm Africa helps African farmers grow sustainable and eco-friendly crops. Bisterzo believes this philanthropic gesture to be essential to his company’s success.

At the moment, Livio Bisterzo has product branding on his mind. He plans to use the new funds from Strand Equity and Leonardo DiCaprio to build up distribution networks, marketing, and general product branding. Strand Equity believes that Hippeas is an almost ideal snack food. They’re good for you, they’re good for the environment, and the product represents a donation to help Africans.

Bisterzo’s Successes

Livio Bisterzo’s family originally came from Italy, but he moved to the UK to study at London’s University of the Arts. He eventually created an events business, and his business portfolio ranged from consumer brands to hospitality services. Bisterzo’s brands were featured in Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ, and many other high-profile sources. He got out of the event business in 2010.

In 2011, Bisterzo acquired a Danish beverage business called Little Miracles. Little Miracles offered a unique organic blend of tea and juice. The brand quickly grew across Europe, and it won several international awards. Bisterzo moved to Los Angeles in 2016, and he began his US-based work with Green Park and the Hippeas brand.

Sheldon Lavin Transforms the Food Industry

Sheldon Lavin was a former national fish and wildlife director. He serves as General Trustee of Rush University. Sheldon is also currently the chairman and chief executive of OSI Group, LLC. He is a highly profiled in meat and food processing industries. Lavin is a board member for Ronald McDonald House Charities, Goodman Theater, the president, and director of The Sheba Foundation and Rush University Medical Center. Sheldon developed his knowledge in the food industry when he got involved with the Otto & Sons in 1970. Later the company changed its name to OSI Group under Lavin leadership. He acquires excellent skills such as leadership and team inspiration international business, operations and traveler.

On February 20, 2016, Mr. Sheldon received a global visionary award by India visions world academy. He received the awards for his incredible accomplishment in making OSI Group International and contributing to new employment opportunities globally. OSI Group has almost 60 facilities and around 20, 000 employees in 17 regions. The company supports future growth and global presence of uncountable food establishments. OSI Team supplies quality meat to leading global retail and food services industries. The company headquarters is in Aurora, Illinois. Click here to know more.

OSI Group received a lengthy list of environmental and sustainability awards under Lavin’s watch. Lavin encourages the succeeding generations of corporate leaders will continue to prioritize. At eighty years old, he remains active in OSI activities. OSI Group also received a prestigious globe of honor award for 2016 from the British safety council because of its sound environmental risk management. OSI being one the 18 organizations achieved the maximum five stars in the British safety council audit scheme from August 2015 to July 2016. The private company also demonstrated to an independent panel of expertise in environmental management throughout the business.

His LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheldon-lavin-a325b98

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: http://www.marcsparks.com/

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: http://timbercreekcapital.com/

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: http://thebrotalk.com/bro-recommendations/dallas-entrepreneur-marc-sparks-spills-must-visit-list-wineries-dfw/