Marketing Expert Joe Koufman is Today’s Honoree

joekoufmanWith a large, distinguished network of corporate and agency contacts, and a deep passion for helping agencies grow, Joe Koufman founded AgencySparks in early 2014, which provides business development and communications consulting services to independent marketing agencies.  AgencySparks helps brand marketers connect with agencies that are the best at a few marketing disciplines instead of purporting to be good at everything and helps marketing agencies build and develop a sustainable sales funnel.

From December 2007 until January 2014, Joe served as Senior Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for Engauge, with responsibility for marketing to and attracting new clients to the agency. Engauge grew to over 250 people before it was acquired by Publicis Groupe and merged with Moxie.  Koufman was personally involved with landing crucial agency clients such as Cisco Systems, Newell Rubbermaid, AMC Theatres, Chick-fil-A, AT&T, SweetWater Brewing Company, Cox Enterprises, Turner Broadcasting, The Hershey Company, Hanesbrands, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), General Electric, Food Lion, Supercuts, Scientific Games, National Cash Register (NCR), Van Gogh Vodka, and Beazer Homes.

Koufman previously spent eight years at KnowledgeStorm, an online business software directory that was acquired in late 2007 by TechTarget (NASDAQ: TTGT), serving most recently as Director of Strategic Accounts. His business development responsibilities included major technology brands such as Oracle, Infor, Consona, CA, IFS, and Cognos. Previous to KnowledgeStorm, Koufman spent five years in retail management in North Carolina, Louisiana, Wyoming, and Georgia.

Koufman has served on the boards of directors for both Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association (AiMA) and the American Marketing Association’s Atlanta Chapter (AMA – Atlanta).  He is currently very involved in the ChooseATL campaign and serves on the board of advisers for the marketing program at University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.

A sought after speaker, Koufman has spoken at events held by iStrategy, eMarketing Association, Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), Customer Relationship Marketing Association (CRMA), Ticket Summit (both New York and Las Vegas), Kennesaw State University, Atlanta Ad Club, and Online Marketing Summit.

Koufman holds a bachelor’s degree in both Politics and Speech Communications from Wake Forest University.

For fun, Koufman hosts a weekly Internet radio show that can be heard live on Tuesday nights at GumboShow.com.

Visit http://joekoufman.com/ for more information.

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American Negotiation Institute Founder Kwame Christian Esq., M.A is Today’s Honoree

kwamechristianKwame is a business lawyer and the founder of the American Negotiation Institute. He is passionate about teaching entrepreneurs and business professionals the art of negotiation so they can get better deals and advance their careers.

He is regularly invited to give negotiation seminars and consults with individuals and companies to create and implement powerful negotiation strategies.

As a business lawyer Kwame’s goal is to share this critical skill with as many people as possible. That’s why he is part of the American Negotiation Institute and produces “Negotiation for Entrepreneurs,” the top negotiation podcast on iTunes. The show has been downloaded over 19,000 times and has listeners in over 60 different continents. It has also been featured on the iTunes New and Noteworthy List.

Visit https://americannegotiationinstitute.com/about/ for more information.

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The Business Vision Catalyst Stephanie Calahan is Today’s Honoree

stephaniecalahanStephanie Calahan is The Business Vision Catalyst and founder of Calahan Solutions, Inc. She works with purpose-driven entrepreneurs, visionaries, coaches, consultants, health practitioners, authors, speakers and all sorts of remarkable service professionals who are experts in their field, to help them embrace their brilliance, leverage their business and get their message out with power, ease and joy; so that they can make a powerfully positive difference in the world, exponentially grow their income and enjoy a highly-successful and meaningful business… while working less.

With Stephanie’s unique combination of right-brained and left-brained thinking, passion, intuitive insight, results-based coaching and kick-butt systematizing magic, in record time her clients are able to:

  • feel safe and overcome their barriers,
  • fully identify their expertise,
  • gain massive visibility,
  • experience ease and joy in their sales conversations,
  • package their knowledge into information products and services,
  • create time-saving business systems,
  • shift their mindset towards possibilities and
  • take a no-excuses approach to creating a highly successful and meaningful business built around who they are and how they think.

After risking personal health and happiness as a high-achieving executive and jet-lagged consultant in Corporate America, Stephanie vowed to not only create a life of REAL freedom for herself and her family but also teach fellow entrepreneurs how to do the same.

She believes that life is meant to be lived and that fabulous vision combined with practical systems can make that happen very quickly. She loves her roles as dedicated wife, energetic and involved mom, community volunteer, sought-after transformational speaker, mentor, producer and trainer. She lives in Illinois USA with her husband, son and very rambunctious Havanese dog.

She is known for her powerful questioning and unique ability to hone in on her clients truths, helping them achieve desired outcomes.  Through her private work, courses, coaching programs, and products, service professionals soon jump for joy as they learn how to create rapid transformation in their life and business and reap the rewards of time, money and personal freedom.

Visit http://www.stephaniecalahan.com/about-stephanie-lh-calahan/ for more information.

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Comedian Damon Rozier is Today’s Honoree

damonrozierMy name is Damon Rozier and I have been blessed to bring laughter, joy, smiles and happiness in to the hearts and lives of thousands of people over the past 10 years. I was born and raised in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, NY, one of America’s toughest neighborhoods, It was here I gained the tough skin needed to succeed doing comedy. I was in a devastating motor cycle accident in 1997, breaking my neck in two places and leaving me chest down paralyzed. After spending countless hours watching comedy shows and never seeing a person in wheel chair performing I decided I would break that barrier and enter the world of “stand-up comedy”. By developing my own unique brand of “sit-down” comedy I have brought laughter in to the worlds of millions while educating them on the wheel chair life style. I’ve reached diverse audiences and continue to overcome challenges in the entertainment world.

In addition to the comedy I have been blessed to do motivational speaking. Many people get inspired by the fact that I do comedy and I am in a wheel chair but that is just the tip of the iceberg. I am the captain of the professional NY Warriors. This is the local rugby team and we compete al across the country. In my 16 years of playing rugby I have won multiple tournament M.V.P. Awards in addition to helping lead my team to the National Tournament in 2010. I also teach a sit aerobics class at the St. Johns Recreation Center in Brooklyn, NY. I have been blessed to push and finish in 9 NYC/ING Marathons.

While these are all great accomplishments, my biggest and proudest accomplishment has been being able to raise my 2 handsome sons. They are my pride and joy. They were only 1, and 2 years old when I was in my accident and have never known me to walk but still we have a great father and son relationship. Since they were infants I promised myself I would never let them view me as handicapped. I coached their little league baseball team, attend all their bowling meets and got them involved in swimming and basketball at early ages to keep them busy when they are not attending school. My oldest son, Damon Jr., graduated High School in 2013 and his brother Dashaun graduated in June 2014. They are both tremendous bowlers with averages in the 180’s. Every summer I take them on a vacation that they can appreciate and share with their friends. Over the years we have gone to Lake George, Six Flags, Dave & Busters, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Gran Turks and St. Thomas.

I would really love to bring my story and comedy to your next venue so please contact me and yes I am very negotiable with my price but realize I have to hungry teenage boys eating up all my money. I wish you all health and prosperity.

Visit www.DamonRozier.com/ for more information.

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Open Source Gallery Founder Monika Wuhrer is Today’s Honoree

monikaopensourcebrooklynImpacted by the open source movement—which promotes freely shared, educational software and information—Open Source Gallery applies a similar ethos to create an approachable space, dedicated to the dissemination and accessibility of contemporary, visual art.

Open Source is a thriving institution with a growing staff. Founded in 2008 by Monika Wuhrer and Gary Baldwin, the gallery is now comprised of 2 full-time, 1 part-time employees, 5 teaching artists, several interns, and has an active, 10-member Board of Directors. In our 6 years of existence, we have presented numerous contemporary art exhibitions, ranging from site-specific installations and performances to more traditional mediums.

In November of 2010, a boiler explosion at a nearby supermarket ignited a fire which devastated the Open Source project space. In total, the fire destroyed half a city block, as well as severely damaged Monika Wuhrer’s home located at the fire’s edge. Once legal access was regained to the damaged home, a still-displaced Monika turned her derelict residential building into a temporary exhibition space for Open Source. The exhibition held in her home, titled Associated (also the name of the ruined supermarket) included 24 artists, whose work showcased local losses caused by the flames, as well as exhibited work celebrating the neighborhood’s recovery. The curated exhibition was reviewed in The Wall Street Journal and ranked 2nd in L Magazine’s 10 best exhibitions of the year.

6 months after its destruction, Open Source found a new space in a renovated carriage house, located on 17th Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Our gallery creates an alternative space that eschews the traditional notion of the “white cube,” creating an environment that is inclusive and welcoming for all. The residential area in which the gallery is located provides an opportunity for Brooklyn communities underserved by the art world to experience a diverse array of accessible, yet challenging, contemporary visual art.

In the past several years, Open Source has received funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Puffin Foundation, J.P. Morgan Chase, and the Brooklyn Arts Council.

In 2013, L Magazine named Open Source one of the best alternative art spaces in New York City. Our exhibitions have also received reviews and acclamations in a number of local and national publications, such as: The Brooklyn Rail, BOMB Magazine, New York Times, The Brooklyn Paper, The Gothamist, Daily News, Art in America, and New York Magazine. Our programming has received reviews in: the Village Voice, Brooklyn Based, New York Daily News, and the Epoch Times.

Visit http://open-source-gallery.org/staff/ for more information.

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Author Jeffrey R. Fidel, MD is Today’s Honoree

jeffreyfidelJeffrey R. Fidel, MD refused to live his life medicated for Bipolar I disorder. In near complete solitude, he endured over a full year of intense mental anguish. Utilizing mainly the ancient teachings of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, he learned how to connect to a voice originating from his heart.

The “voice within” teaches him that our true identity is “beyond thought” and that we and the universe are I(One)…

Dr. Fidel is now sharing these ancient teachings to help others discover their answer inside. He says, “By quieting the constant chattering of our minds, we begin to hear the inner voice that originates from our hearts. By surrendering the ‘thought of who we are,’ we can begin to accept this inner voice as our teacher. This inner voice teaches us that we are one.”

He has authored I: One M.D.’s Inward Journey to Liberate Himself from Mental Suffering—And The Help It Offers for Those Diagnosed Bipolar, Mentally Ill or Depressed to share his story and show people a new way to lead a fulfilling, peaceful and productive life. He is also a speaker and workshop leader.

Jeffrey R. Fidel graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. He earned his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. Dr. Fidel is a board certified-MRI fellowship trained diagnostic radiologist who completed both his residency and fellowship training at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida.

Visit http://www.jeffreyfidelmd.com/ for more information.

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Writer and Director Mikayla Davic is Today’s Honoree

paradiseMikayla Davic, sophomore at Baldwin High School in the Baldwin-Whitehall School District has written, produced and directed her third annual musical for the exclusive benefit of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The production is titled PARADISE and will run January 5, 6 and 7 at Baldwin High School – open to the public. Mikayla has always had the passion to write, act and sing.  Her love for the stage began in second grade when she had the opportunity to be a munchkin in the Baldwin High School production of Wizard of Oz.  In fourth grade, she performed in the high school’s production – Children of Eden.  This led her to where she is today, writing original musicals to benefit those in need.

For Mikayla’s seventh grade gifted project, she wrote a musical and asked if she could bring it to the stage.  The District held that musical, “A Not So Magical Story,” in the fall of 2014.   “I wanted to find a charity that helped all children no matter what illness they had.  That is why I chose Make-A-Wish,” said Ms. Davic. “We raised over $8,000 which was enough to send two families to Disney World.”  In January of 2015, Mikayla produced  her second musical entitled “Murder on 34^th Street.”  That musical brought propelled her contributions to Make-A-Wish to $17,200 total. She has committed herself to raise $50,000 for Make-A-Wish by graduation and plans to study film, screenwriting and playwriting at UCLA, USC or NYU.

Make-A-Wish children always attend Mikayla’s productions, seated in the front row, where they are treated – “like royalty.”

Cast and Crew of Paradise

Writer and Director – Mikayla Davic

Producer – Jessica Kubas (a mom of one of the cast members that ran a musical theater company in Louisville. KY)

Choreography – Jess Hansen

Photography – Paige Crawley

*47 cast members ranging from pre-school thru 12^th grade

Summary of Production

“Paradise,” is about a group of four estranged best friends in their late twenties who return to their small hometown to prevent the imminent industrialization bound to follow the construction of a touristy casino that has the potential of stomping out the close-knit community. The major roles include the four best friends and the contractor (an old classmate) and their younger counterparts in flashback scenes. There is also an older woman (a sort of advocate of the town), an uncle to one of the friends, and the wife of one of the friends. There is also the ensemble, which is the group of kids who don’t have a singing it speaking role but participate in musical numbers and play the people of the town.

ABOUT MAKE-A-WISH

The mission of Make-A-Wish is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. One of the greatest misconceptions is that we only grant wishes to terminally-ill children. This is not true, in fact, more than 80% of our  kids are still fighting. More than just a nice experience, we believe that the wish experience can actually aide in a child’s healing process, making them feel stronger, more energetic and more willing to fight.

The Greater Pennsylania/West Virginia Make-A-Wish chapter is one of the most active in the country, and grants about 700 wishes each year.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/mikswish/  for more information.

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