Pilgrim on the 405

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Brandy Nava-State Farm Insurance

September 15th, 2017 · Comments



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Abner Aponte- COO at Consolidated Benefits & Insurance Services

September 8th, 2017 · Comments



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Cary Facer-Co-founder at Warren Street Wealth Advisors

September 8th, 2017 · Comments



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Anthony Beltran and Scott Campbell from Capstone Partners Financial and Insurance Services

August 22nd, 2017 · Comments



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Peter M. Vessenes CEO and Chairman of the Board of ProfitSee, Inc.

August 22nd, 2017 · Comments




Peter has served as a high-level corporate adviser since 1983. Projects that began with assisting presidents of Fortune 100 companies broadened to include mid-sized corporations, closely held companies, start-ups, and capital formation. Peter is a popular platform speaker and the co-author of two books, Building Your Multi-Million-Dollar Practice and The Golden Rules of Economics: The Real Way Out Of America’s Financial Crisis. His works have been published in Investment News, Wall Street On-Line, The Journal of Financial Planning, Producers Web, Horsesmouth, The Register, Financial Planning Magazine, Adviser Max, American Management Magazine, American Venture Magazine, Broker Dealer Magazine, and more. As the founder and CEO of ProfitSee Inc., his team has created a suite of cloud based software tools that provide Fortune 100 level financial analytics and tools to CPAs and other consultative service organizations that help the fiscal management of their small to mid-sized business clients. ProfitSee is far more than a reporting tool providing powerful insights to manage cash flow, grow profitability, and increase valuation.

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Steve Bender - Advocate for the Underdog

August 22nd, 2017 · Comments



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Kelly Peeler - CEO of NextGen Vest

August 1st, 2017 · Comments



Kelly is the founder and CEO of NextGenVest.com, the Money Mentor for every student. NextGenVest helps students save time and money with all major financial decisions, starting with paying for college, over text message by connecting them to a Money Mentor, a real person over a 24/7 hotline. Students leave $2.7 billion unclaimed every year in free federal aid for college because they do not fill out the appropriate forms. NextGenVest has helped thousands of students across 40 states get more money for college – last week alone they saved students $143,000 in tuition costs.
Prior to starting NextGenVest, Kelly was an analyst at JPMorgan’s Investment Bank covering financial institutions and also as a financial advisor. Alongside her time at JPMorgan, she ran a non-profit that brought entrepreneurship programs to Iraqi Universities (after she traveled to Iraq). After graduating from Harvard, she was selected as one of the eight Kauffman Foundation Global Scholars, accepted as one of 30 up and coming women in Women In America, named by Goldman Sachs as one of the100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs, and a named a White House #StartTheSpark Ambassador. Her TED Talk entitled “How to Change the World as a Millennial – Don’t be Stupid With Your Money” is here.

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Kenton Hyatt & Cheryl De Ciantis - Clarify Your Values

December 10th, 2016 · Comments


Some think that values are part of an individual’s unchanging core, the essence of who each one of us is. Indeed there may be some ‘hard-wiring’ involved in each of our personal set of values, and we may hold certain values very deeply and for a lifetime. However, just as humans can and do change as a result of experience and learning, values, too, are fundamentally changeable. Here is the key: once our values become conscious, they can be changed. They are subject to individual choice. Understanding how values operate in your life to drive your dreams, decisions, and actions will help you to make more conscious value choices in your life and work


We have said that many choices we make are impelled by factors of which we may be unaware. These factors, such as what we are taught as children, or the cultural frameworks we have been brought up in, contribute to creating values we may hold. Some we will be very aware of; others we may not be aware of as a driving force in our lives. Some values, such as those for example having to do with belonging to a group or recognition for our accomplishments, may have been in place so long that they operate below the level of consciousness, and we may not even realize they are working, and energizing—or de-energizing—to us. Being asked a simple question, for example if a boss takes the time to ask “How do you want to be rewarded?” can bring a value like recognition into conscious focus. Not only that, but we may also find in this conscious focus the opportunity to reflect on what recognition means to us (A cash reward? My name announced in a group meeting? My boss taking my spouse and me out to lunch and telling my spouse how much I contribute to the team?)  When a value comes into conscious focus through choice, or through being called into awareness by circumstances, it is equally important that we take the time to understand exactly what that value means to us.

New values may be presented to us by necessity. Adults usually do not consciously seek skills without a reason for doing so. At times, we find ourselves in a situation where something other than what we hold as important comes to the fore. I may not have had to think as much about safety as other parts of my job responsibilities until I am appointed a safety team leader. I quickly find myself having to learn about aspects of workplace safety I never knew, and may come to deeply value safety while spending conscious time and energy understanding it thoroughly. It is not that I never valued safety, and perhaps it was one of the values already in place from childhood instruction; that is, internalized but not finding much place in my conscious awareness. But now it has become more highly prioritized. In my new role, I may additionally decide I need to more highly prioritize the value of informing others because I now recognize that well-presented information contributes to workplace safety. Life situations change, and we may find ourselves with a new value, or find ourselves more highly prioritizing a value as we seek to learn the skills associated with it.

We may be inspired by a life event or by another person to give conscious value to something we never thought about before. Adolescence and early adulthood are times when what we value may go through significant changes. Think, for example of how students often begin to hold very expansive and idealistic values as their understanding of the world begins to expand through education or a widening sphere of experience. These may continue to be values that are held for the rest of one’s life. Having a family calls for a re-prioritization of values, usually involving more attention to finances and to security, safety and health matters, matters that without a family we might not have valued as highly, or now value for very different reasons. Mid-life may present an opportunity to re-assess and to take on board different values than those that served previously. Entering the workforce, having a family, changing jobs, attaining to mid-life and empty-nesting or otherwise changing relationship status, and entering elderhood; all present natural life opportunities to take on different perspectives and to make different values choices.

At any of these times, we may find ourselves in situations in which factors come into play that may cause us to think and behave in ways that may not be in alignment with what we believe to be our values. We might feel anxious, or stressed, or somehow less comfortable than we have been accustomed to. These factors can be external or internal, conscious or unconscious, and we may find ourselves asking the question “Why am I doing this?” Such a question may lead to an examination of the values we hold and sometimes a conscious change in some of those values. Some people ask this question of themselves, as part of an internalized habit of healthy periodic introspection. But often life events that seem to be thrust upon us spur this introspection. At such times, what we value is likely to change.

Of course, there is no natural law that says values must be changed, or that one set of values is more or less correct than another. If we know some basics about how values operate and what our own values are, we can make the conscious choice to re-prioritize our values or to take on board different ones should we wish to do so. They are our values: it’s up to us.


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Darrell Weekes - Make Your Marketing Strategic

December 10th, 2016 · Comments



“Success is not a mystery, it’s a system, a system that can be learned and replicated” This is Darrell Weekes’s mantra.

Now the words dynamic and high energy are not normally words you would associate with a boy from the bush. Straight forward, no fluff, tell it like it is are words that are more likely to be used to describe country folk. Well Darrell Weekes is both. A boy from the bush whose straight forward delivery style earns him praise whenever he speaks. Having presented at hundreds of conferences over the last four years, Darrell is an extremely experienced and professional presenter. To everyone who engages Darrell he makes one promise “when people make an investment to come and listen to me speak I promise to make that investment worthwhile”. Darrell leaves nothing in reserve, when he’s finished you’ll know he’s laid it all on the table.

Everything Darrell shares with his audience he has done. This is hands on experience delivered from the man who did it and experienced it. From creating successful businesses using his “Solution Driven Selling System” to earning bucket loads of referrals by delivering “Exceptional Service” Darrell has created and tested these systems and now he shares them with you.

As an example of how powerful Darrells’ systems are, when he started a small Mortgage Broking business in Canberra he produced ten times the average production for Australian brokers. In a roll out of just one of his business building systems with 40 small business owners the average increase in sales over the three months following the implementation was 73%.

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Hugo Gonzalez - Help the Entrepreneur Thrive

December 10th, 2016 · Comments



Hugo Gonzalez possesses numerous years of experience as a key financial and operational executive for various corporations, from start-up ventures to Fortune 500 conglomerates.

Hugo’s expertise lies in the Strategy development and implementation, Financial and Operations; leading to areas of Brand Management, Business Development, Accounting Controls, Human Resources, Capital, and Turn-Around Management.

Hugo has founded numerous successful firms including a leading Regional CPA firm based in Irvine, California, a Small Business Capital Firm, Advisory and Strategy Firm, and recently, a Merger & Acquisition firm, located in Southern California.

Hugo has helped start-up and small businesses through the initial challenging years, from establishing a strong structure to their day-to-day operations, and finally to the long term strategic planning. Hugo is a serial entrepreneur who thrives on challenge and impact, builds strong relationships, is sensitive to interests of multiple stakeholders, is a people connector and promotes collaborative team-driven work environments.

Hugo serves in the board of various corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Including, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Institute, a not-for-profit organization that works in coordination with The Kaufman Foundations’ Global Entrepreneur Week and other related Start-up initiatives. Hugo is also an active member of various business, consulting and quality management organizations.

He is an active member of ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve) a DOD NFP Organization based in Washington DC and serves other charitable and community based organizations.

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Allan Maguire - Systemize Business Processes

December 10th, 2016 · Comments



Al has more than 25 years of extensive business experience as a senior financial executive and trusted advisor to CEOs and business owners of public and privately held companies. He has been the Chief Financial Officer for companies ranging from startup through to $300 million. Al's industry experience includes retail, hospitality, consumer products, manufacturing and distribution, consulting, and aerospace and defense. He has successfully applied innovative thinking and problem solving, strategic analysis and plan implementation. Al has been called a "realignment CFO" and a "pain reliever" because of his ability to quickly make an impact.

Al's experience as a CFO extends to virtually every aspect of a business's financial and operating needs. In addition to turn-arounds, building, rebuilding and managing financial teams of all sizes and complexity, he has also had direct management responsibility for HR, IT, Credit & Collections, Risk Management, Operations, Contracts, and Customer Service. The commonality has been his ability to work with his peers and mentor teams to achieve the company's goals. He believes, "If you are not serving the customer directly, you should be serving those that are."

Al has successfully managed companies through accelerated growth as well as through downturns. He has had key roles in 25 mergers, acquisitions and divestitures and was the lead in the last 10. He has completed numerous financings and recapitalizations including bank debt, private placements and IPOs. He has successfully developed and maintained financing relationships with banks, investors and other sources of funds.

Other areas of expertise include:

  • Cash flow and working capital management
  • Operational evaluation & improvement
  • Cost and profit analysis/product margin and pricing analysis
  • Expense reduction and cost containment
  • Timely and accurate financial reporting, analysis, and presentation
  • Strategic planning, budgeting, cash forecasting, and financial projections
  • Development and translation of Key Performance Indicator (KPI) dashboards and understanding the underlying levers available to affect improvements
  • Business restructuring, turnarounds, and vendor relations
  • ERP/accounting software review, selection through to implementation
  • Bank and alternative financing
  • Human resources and risk management
  • Banking, CPA, attorney, and insurance relationships

Al brings passion and enthusiasm to his job and the companies he serves. He is a straightforward and detailed communicator who is equally effective with boards, investors, management, and staff. Honesty, integrity, and enjoyment are core values that have led to success throughout his career.

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Peter Chang - Bring Innovation and Creativity to OC Schools

December 6th, 2016 · Comments


Peter Chang is the Founder and Executive Director of the Child Creativity Lab. Peter recently also served as an appointed member on the Orange County Child Care & Development Planning Council and a board member for the Orange County chapter of the California School-Age Consortium (CalSAC). Peter started his career working at a not-for-profit organization servicing the needs of HIV and AIDS patients and has over 10 years of experience in business, marketing strategy, and new product planning. He graduated with a BS degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California, an MBA in Business Administration from the University of Rochester, and an MPH in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles.

The Child Creativity Lab's mission is to foster the next generation of critical thinkers, problem solvers, innovators, and leaders through hands-on creativity-enhancing exploration. Today’s children become tomorrow’s visionaries.

The Child Creativity Lab (CCL) offers educational programs that focus on creativity-enhancing stimulation and inspiration in alignment and in support of overarching California State Department of Education initiatives for pre-Kindergarten through 8th graders.  These STEM-based programs are facilitated at the Child Creativity Lab Depot for Creative Reuse and directly on-site at schools, after-school programs, libraries, community events, faith-based organizations, and more via the Child Creativity Lab Museum-on-Wheels initiative.

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Pilgrim Talks: Chip Espinoza, Manage Millennials Effectively

September 21st, 2016 · Comments










Chip Espinoza has studied millennials in the workplace. The author of the recent book Millennials Who Manage and the 2010 book Managing the Millennials says tis new generation of managers will take a step further in creating a people-first workplace.


Say goodbye to annual performance reviews and rigid nine-to-five working hours. "This generation of managers is going to identify metrics that determine whether people are productive or not," says Espinoza. Frustrated with the idea that productivity is measured by the number of hours you sit at your desk, millennials are going to focus on better ways to measure performance. "Things like key performance indicators will continue to be a movement," says Espinoza. Millennial managers will avoid formal annual performance reviews, replacing them with more frequent and informal feedback systems that allow for better communication between managers and employees. [from Fast Company]



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Pilgrim Talks: Jacqueline Sidman, CEO and Founder of the Sidman Institute

December 19th, 2012 · Comments


Jaqueline Sidman

CEO and Founder

CEO and Founder of The Sidman Institute, Dr. Jacqueline Sidman will be discussing things that can be helped by eliminating negative perceptions learned in childhood that affect business and personal life.

A wide variety of topics will be discussed including: how to improve sales & marketing by eliminating the fear of making cold calls, asking for more money and closing the deal; the importance of self esteem in business, how The Sidman Solution can be utilized in any industry, workplace and personal life by gaining personal power and inner peace.  Dr. Sidman is an award-winning author of the book "Instant Inner Peace"  End Your Inner Struggle and Feel Better Right Now" and The Key to Happiness series of books and CD's that take people into motivation, productivity and happiness by being their authentic self and living a fulfilling life.

Dr. Sidman has a proven track record, having helped over 7,000 people achieve their highest potential over the last 22 years.  Her research has been published and to a person has reduced depression, stress and anxiety without medication or long-term therapy in only a few short meetings.  It is worth your time to find out how her method can achieve such amazing results.

For more on Jacqueline's work, go to: SidmanSolution.com or call 949-251-9550

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Pilgrim Talks: Steve McIntosh, author of Evolution’s Purpose and Founder of Zen and Now

December 12th, 2012 · Comments


Steve McIntosh Evolution's Purpose

Steve McIntosh


STEVE MCINTOSH J.D. is a leader in the integral philosophy movement and author of the new book, Evolution's Purpose, as well as the acclaimed 2007 book, Integral Consciousness. He is also a co-founder of the new think tank: The Institute for Cultural Evolution. In addition to the think tank and his work in philosophy, McIntosh has had a variety of other successful careers, including founding the consumer products company Now & Zen, practicing law with one of America's biggest firms, working as an executive with Celestial Seasonings Tea Company, and Olympic-class bicycle racing. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School and the University of Southern California Business School, and now lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and two sons.

Does the science of evolution really prove that life, humanity, and the universe as a whole are meaningless accidents? On the contrary, as science has increasingly shown how everything in the universe is subject to evolution -- including matter, life, and human culture -- these very facts reveal that the process of evolution is unmistakably progressive. And as we come to see how evolution progresses, this reveals evolution's purpose -- to grow toward ever-widening realizations of beauty, truth, and goodness.

McIntosh argues that the purpose of evolution is not "intelligently designed" or otherwise externally controlled; rather, its purpose is being creatively and originally discerned through the choices of the evolutionary creatures themselves. Without relying on ay spiritual authorities, the author shows how the scientific story of our origins is actually a profound and sacred teaching compatible with many forms of contemporary spirituality.

For more on Steve's work, go to: stevemcintosh.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Tim Santoni, President of Santoni Investigations

December 5th, 2012 · Comments


Tim Santoni

Tim Santoni


Tim Santoni is passionate about the mission of his firm which is to, "Keep businesses and individuals safe by providing the next solution to the latest problem. We provide accurate information to assist our clients in making effective and strategic business decisions."

As businesses plan for growth in 2013, they should be mindful of their trademark usage, insurance exposure, employee integrity and any litigation.

Businesses operate in the information age where vast amounts of data are flowing and decisions are ever more important. The challenge for business owners and individuals is obtaining information that is accurate and useful in making decisions that will shape their businesses futures and their lives.

Santoni Investigations is headquartered in Orange County and has offices throughout California and the United States with partners worldwide. Santoni Investigations, founded in 1975, provides professional investigative services for the management of insurance fraud, including surveillance, location of persons, asset identification and service of process nationwide. The background research team offers employment screening, background checks and due diligence investigations. Santoni also provides trademark usage, acquisition, compliance and infringement investigations to brand owners and trademark professionals. The firm specializes in anonymous specimen acquisition for anti-counterfeiting efforts, including documented chain of custody control, and the anonymous negotiation and acquisition of Internet domain names.

For more information about Santoni Investigations, go to: santoniworldwide.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Michael Levin, Founder and CEO of Business Ghost

November 28th, 2012 · Comments


michael levin

Michael Levin

Founder and CEO

Michael Levin is a New York Times best-selling author. He has written, co-written, or ghostwritten over 100 books, nine of which became national best sellers.

Michael,  Founder and CEO of BusinessGhost, Inc., America's leading provider of ghostwritten business books, has helped create more successful books, as a writer, cowriter, ghost, or coach, than anyone in the U.S. publishing industry.

His client list includes a member of the Forbes 400, five individuals with net worths of over half a billion dollars, and business leaders on four continents (North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia). He also edited Zig Ziglar's final book, Born To Win. On January 20, 2012, Michael appeared as a guest entrepreneur on the ABC Television show Shark Tank.

For more information about BusinessGhost, go to:  businessghost.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Mike Muhney, Founder and CEO of VipOrbit

November 14th, 2012 · Comments



Mike Muhney, VIPorbit

Mike Muhney is the CEO & Founder of VIPorbit, a software startup company focused on Mobile Contact Management solutions initially focusing on the iPhone and the iPad.

Mike’s credentials? Well, he is the Co-Founder and Inventor/Designer of ACT! – the product that originally created the Contact Management category globally. During it’s 24-year life ACT! has had over 10,000,000 people globally use it.

Mike is also Co-Author of the book “Who’s In Your ORBIT? Beyond Facebook…Creating Relationships That Matter.”

To learn more about VipOrbit, go to: VipOrbit.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Teresa Smith, candidate for Mayor of Orange

October 10th, 2012 · Comments

Teresa Smith Teresa Smith for Orange Mayor

Teresa "Tita" Smith

Orange City Council Member

We will be discussing public safety, clean water, safe neighborhoods & strong infrastructure. fiscally conservative policies and is absolutely responsible with our tax dollars; Because Smith enhances Orange by supporting business, maintaining property values and high quality housing; Because Smith celebrates Orange through our parks and open space, libraries, community events and civic organizations.

It has been my humble privilege to have been elected twice to the Orange City Council and have served for 7.5 years! I am in my last term allowed, and the next option is to run for MAYOR. I welcome that challenge,

1.) to continue to protect Orange ensuring the Public Safety of all;

2.) to maintain our infrastructure of clean water and safe streets, and

3.) to protect our many businesses and encourage their growth.

That used to be enough to say.

But now, with our nation's tough economic times, fiscal responsibility must be the starting point. I am a leader in Orange who is a fiscal conservative, and I have the record to prove it. It has been a tough job for our Council over these past 4 years as we have worked together, along with a great staff, to manage a $10 million dollar budget deficit each year. We have balanced the budget.

And we have not lost that "essence of Orange" I mean that in spite of an economic downturn, we have a bustling Old Towne Plaza District with new businesses and even a new Farmers Market! We have worked to transform the struggling Block of Orange into an outlet destination. We have managed to retain several big businesses in Orange to enhance our sales tax base and property values have held up pretty well. We have frozen staff vacancies and crafted a "leaner" staff to serve the many needs of our residents.

These are the decisions I have been involved with...to serve our residents with less money available. We've done that! We figured out a way to stay on track, and open our first City Gymnasium...the Sports Center at Grijalva Park. We have kept our three Libraries open, and maintained our signature community events...3rd of July, Tree Lighting, Concerts in the Park. It has taken some "fancy financial footwork", but I have been committed to making sure that we continue to "be the Orange we love"... even in hard times. Crime in Orange dropped 27% last year. No small feat, considering budget restraints.

I initiated and worked to pass a "Party Ordinance" in Orange, not just in Old Towne, to ensure neighborhood safety, especially at night and on weekends. Shout out to Chapman University for their work and support. The ordinance has been amazingly effective. Retaining and enhancing open space has long been a priority for me. I am so pleased to have been part of the design committee for this gem, Pitcher Park, for garnering the Orange County dollars that have allowed us to build nearly six miles of biking and walking trails from near here to east Orange! I am in the conversation in Orange Park Acres to address open space issues there. I am currently working with the Assistance League Orange Blossoms to open another little "pocket park" in Old Towne. Stay tuned!

And I do consider it both an open space and infrastructure maintenance accomplishment that just 5 months ago, in February we were able to quiet the train horns at 16 train crossings Orange. This was a project that Mayor Carolyn Cavecche and I worked on for 7 years! A good Mayor needs to collaborate and bring a community together. I have served on the City Schools Committee with OUSD officials and Trustees for 6 years. I think we all delight in our partnership that brought new life to Fred Kelly Field, ...Shout Out to Stu Livingstone...with the Community Foundation of Orange's support. With the School District, we have tackled graffiti, ensured safe street crossings at schools and, most recently, worked to reduce gangs through the GRIP program. (Gang Reduction and Intervention Program ) where our Police Chief and Officers work with teachers and parents to keep kids out of gangs. I have to admit, my favorite part of the City Council job is working with community leaders...all intent on a better Orange.

On the Council, we get invited to so many events by the Chamber of Commerce, churches, non-profit groups, scout troops, businesses, families, sports teams...Orange is so vibrant and alive!! It is such a wonderful place to live , to work, to raise a family for generations! I welcome the next opportunity, with your support, to take on the role of Mayor of Orange! Why bother? Because this is our hometown...I am a 7th generation native Californian descended form the Dominguez family who received a land grant from Spain in 1784. Our family celebrates 5 generations in Orange! 5 generations later, we're still here, and I delight in now having our own grandchildren growing up in Orange. I guess you might say we are invested in Orange...and we are here for the long haul, not just passing through. I have learned what love of God, Family and Country means from this guy right over here...my Dad, Gene Smith...Class of 1943 Orange Union High School. We are a community based on families and faith in God and making sure our neighbors are well and safe today.

And I want to assure you, I am not on my way to County Supervisor...not that's there is anything wrong with that, Bill Steiner, and I will not be running for California Assembly, My commitment is to Orange...my hometown, our hometown...my heart belongs to Orange and I will continue to work tirelessly - to protect Orange by ensuring public safety, clean water, safe neighborhoods and strong infrastructure; - to be fiscally conservative and absolutely responsible with your tax dollars; - to enhance Orange by supporting business, maintaining property values and high quality housing (encouraging commerce to thrive) - to celebrate Orange through our parks and open space, libraries, community events and civic organizations I thank you for your support! Let us work together to both safeguard and celebrate the sweet, sweet Orange we so love, respect and cherish.

For more information about Tita Smit visit: www.titasmith.com

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Pilgrim Talks: David Poole, VP for CBU Online

October 3rd, 2012 · Comments

David Poole CBU Online

Dr. David Poole

VP for CBU Online

Dr. David Poole currently serves as Vice President for Online and Professional Studies and Associate Professor of Education at California Baptist University.  In addition to general institutional oversight as an officer of the University, he has responsibility for all academic and administrative management of online, hybrid and education center programs for this new division within CBU.

The division of CalBaptist Online and Professional Studies was established to respond to the very different needs of the "new normal" generation of students - the non-traditional student that balances professional and family responsibilities while advancing their education. Their online and hybrid programs are tailored to meet the needs of today's students and give them the 24/7 flexibility expected for 21st century learning. CBU Online and Professional Studies, gives students:
  • Individual Advisors who help them throughout their time completing the program
  • An interactive environment where there is more than just reading a syllabus and doing assignments
  • A cost effective education with financial aid options
  • Accessible to meet student needs, on their schedule
  • Latest technologies in distance education including Blackboard 9.1, Telepresence, and Webex.
  • World class faculty who are committed to the students' academic, professional, and spiritual success

Dr. Poole served as Vice President of Marketing and Product Development at Virtual CEO, Inc., a research and business knowledge company serving the $100+ billion global consulting market.  Their clients include such organizations as Deloitte & Touche, Lockheed Martin, UCLA, Department of Defense and Lucent Technologies.  As a member of the senior management team, he was responsible for consultant recruitment, marketing, brand management and the development of products and content that encompassed eight vertical markets in four languages.

Dr. Poole served thirteen years with Pepperdine University where he was Executive Director for all Executive Programs with responsibility for enrollment and program management of four executive graduate degree programs.  Under his leadership, the Executive MBA program was recognized in 1999 by Business Week as one of the "Leading Twenty" in the nation.  In 2001 the program was ranked eleventh globally, fourth in strategy and first in ethics.

For more information about CBU Online visit: www.cbuonline.edu

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Pilgrim Talks: Paul David Walker

September 26th, 2012 · Comments


Paul David Walker

Coach, Author, Leadership Consultant

Paul David Walker was part of building the first leadership firm to align Strategy, Structure and Culture, and has been a business leadership adviser to the CEO's of Fortune 500 and midsized companies for over 25 years.

Paul is a CEO Coach, Poet, and one of the early innovators of leadership consulting and coaching at the executive level. He has been advising the leaders of Fortune 500 and midsized companies for over twenty-five years. With this experience he brings a unique perspective that can be invaluable to leaders. Paul has advised leaders through three downturns and recoveries in the economy. He has lead turnarounds, acquisition integration, rapid growth, culture change and strategic projects to align strategy, structure and culture. He has coached and mentored leaders in the art of leadership, personal balance, philosophical understandings that have helped his clients manifest innovative ideas and is known to be someone who sees and draws out the genius in leaders. While advising and coaching Fortune 500 companies, he was one of the leaders of a groundbreaking entrepreneurial company that established innovative leadership consulting practices. These practices provided the foundation for much of the leadership consulting that exists today. Still on the leading edge of business consulting, he integrates new approaches from science, psychology and philosophy while bringing concrete business acumen.

For more information about Paul David Walker visit: www.pauldavidwalker.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Gustavo Chamorro, Director of the Digital Media Center

September 12th, 2012 · Comments

Gustavo Chamorro DMC

Gustavo Chamorro Director

According to the Gallup There are 6 million companies in the United States. Fewer than 25,000 of those companies have over 100 employees. 99% of the 6 million companies in the United States employee fewer than 100 people.

Imagine the effect on our economy if only 10% of those companies added one person to the payroll in the next 90 days.

Gustavo and I will be talking about the obstacles to new job creation in Southern California in the near term and how to address those obstacles.

Join us for the continuation of a great conversation.

Business Incubator at the Digital Media CenterBusiness Incubator

The business incubator has been created to assist Orange County-area digital media entrepreneurs develop and grow their business.

The business incubator, which can accommodate 10-12 start-up companies, provides competitive lease rates and offers services ranging from basic business consulting to marketing/advertising, human resources, accounting, web and promotional design and access to venture capital. Residents will also benefit from the professional network created within the DMC.

Business Incubator Requirements

To be considered as a business incubator resident your company must complete the Qualification Form. Please note that the Qualification Form requires the submission of an executive summary of your business plan, which must include information on how your company meets the requirements for admission.

Below are the requirements for admission to the DMC:

  • A realistic business and marketing plan reflecting the potential to grow the business and become a leading player in their market segment.
  • Reasonable credit history and adequate financial resources to remain in business for at least six (6) months.
  • A strong entrepreneurial management team with experience in the industry and at least one full-time employee working in the position.
  • A match between the needs of your company and the resources available within the incubator program and the community.
  • Not in direct competition with other incubator clients.
  • A product or service that represents a unique technology that can create a competitive advantage.
  • No legal claims or lawsuits pending against the business.
  • The potential for multiple job creation at wages higher than the county average.
  • Plans to locate in surrounding area and stay for at least three (3) years.

Gustavo Chamorro

Gustavo has spent the pat four years developing a business Incubator program for the recruitment and nurturing of entrepreneurial businesses in Orang County. He regularly obtains and facilitates support services from appropriate partners and business services providers for the startups in the incubator program. He serves as the primary spokesperson for the Digital Media Center to its Advisory Committee, potential donors, business leaders, news media, and economic development agencies. Through his work at the center, Gustavo has enhanced local and regional economic growth through the successful growth of incubator businesses, and he has established strategic partnerships with governmental and community agencies, and business and industry organizations.

For more information about the Digital Media Center and the Incubation Program visit:   dmc-works.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Michael Sawitz, CEO of FastStart.studio

September 5th, 2012 · Comments

Michael Sawitz FastStart.studio

Michael Sawitz CEO

According to the Gallup There are 6 million companies in the United States. Fewer than 25,000 of those companies have over 100 employees. 99% of the 6 million companies in the United States employee fewer than 100 people.

Imagine the effect on our economy if only 10% of those companies added one person to the payroll in the next 90 days.

Michael and I will be talking about the obstacles to new job creation in Southern California in the near term and how to address those obstacles.

Join us for the continuation of a great conversation.

FastStart.studio's GOAL

Our goal is to put Americans back to work by assisting entrepreneurs in launching their companies. These new companies will employ workers, grow networks of suppliers and ultimately generate new revenues that will benefit our communities.

America is built on a foundation of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. FastStart.studio will play a role in assisting entrepreneurs to build a better America through enterprise and innovation.

The Program

Through a selection process start-ups and early stage companies are invited to take part in the FastStart.studio Accelerator Program. These business are given office space, support services (such as; phone, conference rooms, Wi-Fi and wired connectivity) mentors and access to a host of subject matter experts.

The FastStart.studio Accelerator Program is designed to surround each start-up or early stage entrepreneur with consulting and resources focused on bringing the new company to the marketplace within a maximum of one year.

In exchange for services received the newly launched company pledges to repay FastStart.studio when the new company starts to produce revenues, much like a student loan. Should the new company not launch or fail to generate revenue, no fee is owed to FastStart.studio

"If you are not successful, we are not successful."
Michael Sawitz, CEO and Founder

For more information about FastStart.studio visit: faststartstudio.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Glenn Hansen

August 29th, 2012 · Comments

Glenn Hansen Glenn Hansen Regional Managing Partner

Glenn Hansen is the Southern California Regional Managing Principal for OneAccord.  He and the OneAccord Team help companies accelerate sales growth through Interim Management.  They consistently execute successful sales strategy because they are a team that has "been there, done that".  The OneAccord Team is comprised of former, successful CEO's and Senior Executives.

Glenn spent over 25 years as a highly successful senior management executive of national and regional retail chains.  He has deep experience in selling Business-to-Customer and Business-to-Business.

In the last couple of years with OneAccord, Glenn has been a catalyst for dramatic sales growth as an Interim Executive.

We will be discussing Jim Clifton's book: The Coming Jobs War.

Drawing on 75 years of Gallup studies and his own perspective as the company's chairman and CEO, Jim Clifton explains why jobs are the new global currency for leaders. More than peace or money or any other good, the business, government, military, city, and village leaders who can create good jobs will own the future.

The problem is that leaders don't know how to create jobs - especially in America. What they should do is recognize that the world is in a war for jobs. It seems that leadership has lost the will to win, especially in America, but this is a competition for our lives.
To win, leaders need to compete. Everyone does. The public school system needs to inculcate kids with the knowledge they'll need to compete in the jobs war. The business community needs to double the psychological engagement of workers so that it can compete with cheaper labor. The healthcare system must stop wasting the resources that we need to spend on job competition. Society needs to realize that entrepreneurs, not government, are the source of new jobs and put all its energy behind them. Perhaps most importantly, leaders need to recognize universities, mentors, and especially cities as a supercollider for job creation.
If that can be done - and it can be done; leaders have done it before - new good jobs will result. There's not moment to waste: the war has already begun.

For more information about OneAccord Partners visit: oneaccordpartners.com

Connect with Glenn directly at:   glenn.hansen@oneaccordpartners.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Tish Squillaro, CEO of Candor

August 22nd, 2012 · Comments



Tish Squillaro CEO

For her book, "Headtrash," to be published in the Fall, CEO and Consultant Tish Squillaro has identified what she views as the seven emotions that muddy the thinking of top executives to the point where they lose control of their ability to lead.

Among these logic inhibitors, says Tish, are Fear, Anxiety, Arrogance, Insecurity, Anger, Guilt, Paranoia and Control. Any one, or a combination of these emotions, Tish says, can cripple an executive and render him or her ineffective.

No wonder Tish's phone often rings in the middle of the night. It is likely to be a CEO asking for advice.

Tish has not earned the moniker "CEO Whisperer" for nothing.

"It's lonely at the top," says Tish. "CEOs and other top executives don't like to admit vulnerability or indecision in the workplace. When they need expert advice their staff often tells them just what they want to hear. My job is to tell them what they should hear, not what pleases them."

As the CEO of CANDOR Consulting (http://www.candor-consulting.com) Tish takes candor to the next level. "Unlike a traditional consulting company," she asserts, "we don’t just offer theory and advice. We collaborate with and immerse ourselves in our client's business. We become more like a partner than a consultant and that allows us freedom to say just what we think."

Tish Squillaro, CEO, has more than 17 years experience advising executives in strategic planning, organizational dynamics and human capital allocation. Her progressive vision and adaptive approach to practical application makes her particularly effective in collaborating with senior management.

Tish helps clients leverage human capital to drive the success of their business rather than simply support it. Drawing on a wealth of knowledge from a broad range of disciplines, she has particular expertise in change management processes, business strategy development, as well as behavioral and organizational dynamics. Combining sharp problem solving skills with effective mediation abilities, Tish works primarily with CEOs, executive management and boards of directors within organizations at various stages of development, ranging from early entrepreneurial to Fortune 500 companies.

Her career spans a variety of sectors, including technology, pharma, construction, manufacturing, life sciences, retail, professional services and media. Before forming CANDOR, she was Co-Managing Partner at Penn Valley Group. Earlier, Tish ran Metis Corporation, a business consultancy, where the client strategies she developed shifted the approach from reactive to a more strategic, proactive approach. Tish also served as an executive for RealTime Media and Director of CLE for Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Her strategies for pointroll, Cadient Group, Johnson Matthey and the Granary Associates, cut costs and liabilities as they improved productivity and efficiency.

To learn more about CANDOR, go to candor-consulting.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Vak Sambath, FastStart.studio

August 15th, 2012 · Comments


Vak Sambath Vak Sambath Entrepreneur
Vak is an active community evangelist for Orange County Technology.
As the co-founder and architect of Pageable, Vak drives the development of product strategy, market research, and small business customer acquisition efforts.  Along with cofounders, Val Catalasan and Eric Lumba, the team at Pageable created an online marketing platform for small business owners that are looking to drive sales through an easy and simple D.I.Y deal page creator without any I.T. or design experience.
Vak got his entrepreneurial start at SMC Networks in 2001, where he co -developed the industry's first EZ 3-Click Router Installation software.  After the development of the software, Vak was later promoted to manage the company's first in-house R&D for SMC Networks, North America.  In the following year, Vak left SMC Networks to begin his first company, Medmania, Inc., where he developed a patent pending question and answering software process for educational learning.  In addition to starting Medmania, Vak founded other successful web properties such as Campusbug (a social learning network) and Techzulu (a technology news reporting blog site for Southern California).  In 2008, Medmania acquired the operating rights to Crushspot.com, an urban dating site, where he grew the site to 100 million page views per month with 1 million users registered in less than one year.
Vak received his major in Biology and minor in Behavioral Psychology from Allegheny College, Meadville, PA.

For more information about FastStart.studio visit: faststartstudio.com


Want to learn about Crowdfunding? Invite Will Crist (949-355-6013) to speak about it at your organization or meeting.

Crowdfunding Bootcamp

To learn more about Crowdfunding Bootcamp go to Crowdfunding Bootcamp

To learn more about Crowdfunding Roadmap go to crowdfundingroadmap.com

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Pilgrim Talks: John Driscoll, Executive Producer PHD Labs

August 8th, 2012 · Comments

John DriscollPhD Labs Logo John Driscoll Executive Producer

John is a popular speaker and consultant in the areas of marketing and social media. He is the Executive Producer at PhD Labs in Ontario.

PhD Labs is a premier web application development firm with the experience and expertise to help businesses succeed. Their application development services are used by some of the world's largest companies, and by exciting technology start-ups. Their dynamic websites typically involve business logic, databases, and API integration.

About PHD Labs
About PHD Labs

At PhD labs they are not only experts at what they do- they enjoy doing it. Their method of high-touch client interaction is one that involves listening as much as talking. It's a more personable approach that treats every client like a partner and a colleague. Once you get to know their team, you'll  feel confident that your project is in capable and caring hands.

PhD Labs is a premier application development company, providing social, mobile and web solutions for some of the world's largest companies.

For more information PhD Labs  visit: www.phdlabs.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Debe Fennell, Partner Crowdfunding Live

August 1st, 2012 · Comments


CrowdfundingLive Debe Fennell Debe Fennell Partner

It was late 2011 when CrowdFunding LIVE was founded. After working together toward the first live event (June 9th, 2012), Aggie Kobrin, Deb Augur and Debe Fennell, decided to take the next logical step and start a full fledged crowdfunding site to help "idea people" (especially women) get the funding they need to take their best ideas LIVE!

The three women formed a partnership around the idea of helping people succeed at their attempts to raise money through crowdfunding. The sad fact is most people don't reach their funding goals by the end of their campaigns and usually walk away with no reward for their efforts. Others have a hard time deciding which crowdfunding site to go with and still others are rejected, not knowing where to turn.

People need help to do it right! Unfortunately that help is not easy to find.

At CrowdFunding LIVE you'll find the help you need. They're looking for people - just like you - with strong ideas and plenty of fortitude to make it work. If that's you, this is the right crowdfunding source for you!

Debe Fennell is a 40 year veteran of public relations, marketing and promotion through her own business, the music industry and various capacities in real estate, educational companies and for non-profits. Ms. Fennell spent many years in the music industry as a journalist for Radio & Records, a national trade newspaper, as a talent coordinator for two nationally syndicated radio shows for Emerald Radio Network, 10 years as a national records promotion executive for Sony/BMG, Curb Records, Magnatone Records and Giant Records. She has managed public relations, affiliate relations and marketing for noted speaker/author Loral Langemeier, handling national TV, radio, print and book publishing.

She conducted high-end relationship management, including event speaker coordination with notables like Bob Proctor, John Assaraf, Armand Moran and Zig Ziglar, including media relationships with The View, Dr. Phil, Fox Business Channel, Harper-Collins, McGraw-Hill and Hay House, among others. She has managed web-based affiliate marketing campaigns and internal marketing to existing clients, including the oversight of copy creation and editing, brand management, leads list management, team leadership, outside vendor management, website landing and sales page oversight, and affiliate relations with all affiliate partners.

For more information on Debe visit: www.BuildingBusinessThatWorks.com

For more information on CrowdfundingLive, go tocrowdfundingLive.com


Want to learn about Crowdfunding? Invite Will Crist (949-355-6013) to speak about it at your organization or meeting.

Crowdfunding Bootcamp

To learn more about Crowdfunding Bootcamp go to Crowdfunding Bootcamp

To learn more about Crowdfunding Roadmap go to crowdfundingroadmap.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Bruce Rossiter and Andreas Ramos

July 25th, 2012 · Comments

Bruce Rossiter Andreas Ramos
Bruce Rossiter              Andreas Ramos
Founder and CEO of Value Court

Have you ever wished for a reliable, economically rational alternative to traditional forums for contract dispute resolution - one that truly cuts outside legal bills and loss of productive time to a predictable fraction of what you otherwise face? Value Court does just that.

Using a fixed-fee, judge-driven, non-adversarial method (i.e., without the need for litigation counsel), our innovative neutral service delivers timely, affordable justice in everyday business and contract disputes where the financial stakes simply don't warrant the many costs of advocacy.

Value Court delivers binding resolutions in one of two ways:
  • Zoom Court: A streamlined, online format, principally where each side is represented by counsel.
  • Value Court: A streamlined, online format, principally where each side is notrepresented by counsel, but tells their own story to the neutra arbitrator. Since attorney's fees typically represent up to 90% of the costs of resolution, huge savings are inherent in the Value Court's process.

In both cases, the mutually approved neutral (e.g., retired judge) conducts an investigation and renders a decision. The parties can chose whether the decision is to be binding or not. And the decision can be appealed in traditional court.

Bruce Rossiter has more than 35 years in sales, corporate finance, entrepreneurship, and venture capital. As President and CEO, he is responsible for establishing Zoom's strategic direction and championing its portfolio companies' and clients' best interests. He is also the former president of Just Resolve  and current president of ValueCourt which offers fixed fee, attorney free, judicial quality dispute resolution services. He is a former Board member of the Silicon Valley American Marketing Association and chaired its Emerging Media Morning Forum.
Bruce earned his Bachelor's degree in Economics and a Juris Doctorate in Law from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA from Tuck at Dartmouth. He holds certifications from the National Venture Capital Association's Executive Venture Capital Course, Harvard Business School, and SMM University as a Social Media Strategist.
To learn more about Zoom Industries and Value Court, contact Bruce Rossiter.


Want to learn about Crowdfunding? Invite Will Crist (949-355-6013) to speak about it at your organization or meeting.

Crowdfunding Bootcamp

To learn more about Crowdfunding Bootcamp go toCrowdfunding Bootcamp

To learn more about Crowdfunding Roadmap go to crowdfundingroadmap.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Scott Miller, CSO of Social123

July 18th, 2012 · Comments


Social123 Scott Miller Scott Miller Chief Sales Officer

Social123 gives your sales team the tools to connect with contacts on a whole new level. Our robust SocialData+ technology provides Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter information for your contact list. And, with the only customizable social influence score on the market, SocialPoints+ gives you the ability to rank your most influential contacts so you can focus on the ones who matter most.


Social123 offers one the most powerful and intelligent tools for extracting value from Social Data.

The amount of data and content that Internet users are creating and sharing through Social Media is expanding by the hour.

Social123 offers the best tools for collecting, filtering and analyzing this rich source of data. Social Data is more complicated to process and analyze because it is unstructured.

Social123 is designed for all types of businesses ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies.

Social123 has been built specifically to process volumes of this unstructured data and derive value from it.

To learn more about Social123, go to social123.com


Want to learn about Crowdfunding? Invite Will Crist (949-355-6013) to speak about it at your organization or meeting.

Crowdfunding Bootcamp

To learn more about Crowdfunding Bootcamp go toCrowdfunding Bootcamp

To learn more about Crowdfunding Roadmap go to crowdfundingroadmap.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Ruth Hedges, Founder and CEO of CrowdfundingRoadmap.com

July 11th, 2012 · Comments


Crowdfunding Roadmap

Ruth Hedges

Ruth Hedges, CEO and Founder

Since the signing of the Jobs Act on April 5th, demand for information and clarity on issuer compliance rules has skyrocketed. Entrepreneurs and startups want to know what steps they should be taking now to successfully launch a compliant crowdfund investing campaign.

The launch of http://www.crowdfundingroadmap.com is the perfect place to get quick answers and easy solutions to help them get started now.

"After working with Startup Exemption's Sherwood Neiss, Jason Best, Zak Cassady and many others to help get the Jobs Act passed, and after seeing the final disclosure requirements that were written into the law for the issuers, it was clear that most people would not be able to do this entirely on their own and would need help," said Ruth Hedges CEO and creator of the Funding Roadmap and CrowdfundingRoadmap.

"Since crowdfund investing is a major change in the way startup capital is raised and the rate at which companies are launched and expanded, it's vital that we start raising awareness now and begin to prepare entrepreneurs ahead of time.

I realized that many may need to become incorporated, they may need assistance from an accountant (since the bill requires certified and audited financial statements for different levels of fund raising), and they would definitely all need to begin to create the lengthily materiel spelled out in the bill in a easy and inexpensive way. Our Funding Roadmap business plan and due diligence reporting system on the cloud is the perfect solution. A partnership between Funding Roadmap, Laughlin Associates, and 1-800 Accountant was created andhttp://www.crowdfundingroadmap.com was born."

CrowdFunding Roadmap provides easy and secure multiple choice question prompts that effortlessly walk you through every detail of a plan for your business and the due diligence reporting process applicable for Equity CrowdFunding on the cloud. Includes a video elevator pitch feature and secure document repository, so you can present both a comprehensive profile of your business as well as your personal vision of its future. Share your presentation 24 / 7 in-the-clouds to potential, investors, lenders and partners, and it can even be used to apply for a FEMA/ SBA disaster loan. Keep it current for the everyday guidance of your business and the yearly reporting requirements of the SEC for Equity Crowdfunding and it will save you months of time, money, and frustration while increasing your chances of getting funded faster.

Do you want to start a crowdfunding campaign? Have you ever wondered if you have a good enough idea or the determination it takes to launch a business and get the crowd to support your idea?

Come and hear the fascinating and inspiring tales of how some of today's hottest companies got their start through crowdfunding and how you can too! Get inspiration and invaluable information right from the experts and industry leaders of this new and emerging way of raising capital. Truly an experience you won't find anywhere else.

You have a very short window of time to run a crowdfund campaign, so preparation to be compliant, to build social capital and creative capital will lead you on the road to "Access Capital". Learn how at this amazing Bootcamp where you can fine-tune your presentation with the help & assistance of industry experts.

Crowdfunding Bootcamp

To learn more about Crowdfunding Bootcamp go to Crowdfunding Bootcamp

To learn more about Crowdfunding Roadmap go to crowdfundingroadmap.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Betsy Chasse - Filmmaker

June 27th, 2012 · Comments

Betsy Chasse
Betsy Chasse


What the Bleep
Mom, Filmmaker, Author, Radio host and Blogger. Co-Creator of the hit film "What The Bleep Do We Know?!".

Betsy Chasse is an internationally known filmmaker, author and speaker. She's funny, irreverent and thoughtful in her exploration of all things spiritual.

She believes "if we aren't laughing we aren't growing and learning."

In her blog and radio interviews, Betsy explores the ever expanding world of spirituality . She asks "What is spirituality?" "How does this fit into my everyday life?"

Betsy's latest project is a new movie, "Killing the Buddha" which she is funding via the crowdfunding site: www.crowdfundinglive.com

Killing Buddha - A Film by Betsy Chasse
Killing Buddha

A Film by Betsy Chasse

Betsy says: So often we find ourselves waking up one day with no idea where we are and how we got here. We look back on all our experiences, what we've learned along the way and wonder what it all means. What still works and what doesn't.  How do we fit all this information about the world, reality and spirituality into our life and still buy groceries, get the kids to school and maybe fit in a yoga class.  It seems that everyday there is some new spiritual fad and we feel overwhelmed by it all.

On her site: Life Unscripted with Betsy Chasse, she explores everything from Channels to Taoism, from Ancient Mysticism to modern day mystics, authors, filmmakers, and everyday people living and exploring all things "spiritual", her show promises to ask them all these questions and more. Her goal is to explain the mystery without losing the magic, to forge a spiritual path for her life and maybe help others along the way.

To learn more about Betsy Chasse and her projects, go to betsychasse.net

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Pilgrim Talks: Howard Leonhardt - Founder and CEO of CalstockExchange.com

June 13th, 2012 · Comments

California Stock Exchange

Howard Leonhardt

Founder, Chairman & CEO

Howard Leonhardt is an inventor and serial entrepreneur.  He has 21 patents for products for treating cardiovascular and heart disease.  These include;  cardiovascular balloon catheters, stent grafts for aneurysm repair, percutaneous heart valves, heart pacemakers with stem cell recruiting capabilities, electrical stimulation devices for promoting blood flow, electrical stimulation device for converting stem cells to heart muscle, stem cell compositions for heart repair, stem cell delivery systems, biological pacemakers and artificial lung catheter.  His TALENT stent graft developed in the early 1990's holds a leading world market share for repairing aortic aneurysms without surgery.  In early 1999 Leonhardt founded Bioheart, Inc. www.bioheartinc.com a leader in applying adult muscle stem cells to treat heart failure.  Bioheart has raised over $105 million in paid in capital and additionally $40 million in loans and grants. Bioheart MyoCell is in Phase II/III clinical trials at 33 leading centers in the USA (The MARVEL Study).  MARVEL Part I results were published in the American Heart Journal October of 2011 and demonstrated Bioheart MyoCell patients improved 95.7 meters in exercise capacity over placebo patients receiving optimal CHF drugs, whom declined minus 4 meters.

Leonhardt has founded 21 companies to date, most them them majority funded by his venture firm Leonhardt Ventures www.leonhardtventures.com,  and their affiliated angel investor network - see web site for full portfolio.  He holds a diploma in International Trade from Anoka Technical College in Minneapolis, Minnesota and attended Anoka-Ramsey College and the University of Minnesota.  He has received an honorary Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Northern California and is an honorary alumnus of the University of Florida and Florida International University, where he has served both as a consulting professor teaching entrepreneurship.  He continues to serve on various boards of all three universities.  He has lectured on entrepreneurship at Princeton University, UCLA, the University of Minnesota and at numerous other campuses.

The Enormous Implications of Crowdfunding

We are about to experience the grandest expression of human creativity and economic growth ever seen in the history of human civilization. Innovative breakthroughs that took decades to create, fund, develop and bring to market will now take mere months. New ideas will be free market tested earlier in their development cycle and discarded or funded at a faster rate. The old innovators mantra of try a lot of stuff and keep what works will be applied at hyper speed rates.

It is universal amongst mankind that right after the health and security of their family what is most sought is a good job. Crowdfunding creates jobs.
Crowdfunding is human will expressed in pure form. A person with a vision becomes a dream funded on a mission. It is the explosive combination of democracy and free market capitalism. It's democracy and capitalism in action: think you have a great idea? Convince enough people and you can make it a reality. If not, back to the drawing board. It allows new ideas to get funded and to be free market tested at a lower cost, with less complexity, in less time than ever before. Experimentation has now become possible for millions that were previously excluded from having any chance for their idea to be tried. I am confident that this simple breakthrough socio-economic tool is about to herald in mankind's greatest era.
Every human has a need to feel a part of some great cause and rewarding project. The greatest tragedy of this recession is not the toll on all our bank accounts it is the toll on the human spirit. Crowdfunding is about to be the spark that energizes people to follow their dreams, and to join others that they believe in, to pursue a cause worthy of pursuing. Now more than ever we crave something to believe in, something to support, a reason to care.
A case can be made that the real cause of this worldwide recession is a lost of confidence in these five major forms...
  • Loss of consumer confidence to buy things.
  • Loss of investor confidence to invest.
  • Loss of business confidence to buy and hire for growth.
  • Loss of bank confidence to make loans to businesses.
  • Loss of availability of credit to potential buyers
We believe crowdfunding can be the spark that ignites growing confidence in all five of these essential areas. When people are given the opportunity to pursue their dreams they light up the world around them with enthusiasm, which leads to accomplishment, gratitude and increased confidence.

To learn more about the California Stock Exchangego to calstockexchange.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Aggie Kobrin

June 9th, 2012 · Comments


CrowdFundingLIVE Introduction to Crowdfunding
CrowdFundingLIVE Introduction to Crowdfunding

Aggie Kobrin Founder

Crowdfunding is taking the world by storm, as people seek funding for their passion-driven projects. Yet, more than half of the people who opt for crowdfunding fail to reach their goal by the end of the campaign and walk away with nothing. What's missing is education about crowdfunding, to help people guide their crowdfunding projects to success.

That's where CrowdFunding LIVE (www.CrowdFundingLIVE.com) comes in. CrowdFunding LIVE is an all-day educational and networking event on Saturday, June 9, 2012 at the Radisson Hotel LAX. Attendees will meet industry experts and gain valuable pointers on funding from well-known crowdfunding success stories, such as Nick Lewis, who raised nearly $250,000 for the film Rise and Shine.

CrowdFunding LIVE projects include the latest by Betsy Chasse, co-writer, director and producer of the popular film What the Bleep Do We Know? Her crowdfunding project is Killing Buddha, a comedy inspired by Chasse's life and her experience making What the Bleep?

Crowdfunding is a way to get small amounts of money from a large number of people to fund a project. People worldwide are using crowdfunding to raise money for films, books and technology products development. CrowdFunding LIVE was founded by three women as their own passion project. Their goal is to bring more crowdfunding to women-owned projects and concepts that focus on women. The site certainly accepts projects founded by men, but that is not the focus.
"Women own 48 percent of the small businesses in the U.S., yet only 5 percent of traditional funding goes to them. Even with crowdfunding, more than half the projects fail to gain traction, so we decided to bring experts, successful crowdfunders and those hoping for funding together on one day to discuss how to set up a powerful and ultimately successful crowdfunding pitch," says CrowdFunding LIVE co-founder Aggie Kobrin. "If you have a good idea you have not been successful raising money, come learn how crowdfunding can help you get the money you need." CrowdFunding LIVE has achieved certification from Crowdsourcing.org and is the female voice on the National Crowdfunding Association. People interested in posting a project on CrowdFundingLIVE.com should contact Aggie@CrowdFundingLIVE.com.

Purchase tickets for the event at www.CrowdFundingLIVE.com. The event is June 9, 2012 at the Radisson Hotel LAX, 6225 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Highlights include:

  • An overview of crowdfunding including creative, legal and financial aspects by Carl Esposti, and Glenn Weisberger. Esposti is  founder of  Crowdsourcing.org(www.crowdsourcing.org) and CEO of Massolution, which specializes in crowdsourcing solutions. Weisberger is cofounder of FunderThunder, a crowdfunding site.
  • The facts behind the crowdfunding business model and the market.
  • Q&A panel with successful fundraisers such as Nick Lewis, who raised $250,000 for his film on Kickstarter and Tiamo De Vettori, who raised $35,000.
  • The Next Steps - Marketing Your Website, with Kathy Clark of Internet Dominators.

The Women Behind CrowdFunding LIVE

CrowdFunding LIVE was founded in early 2012. After working together toward the first live event, longtime entrepreneurs Aggie Kobrin, Deb Augur and Debe Fennell decided to take the next logical step and start a full-fledged crowdfunding site to help "idea people" (especially women) get the funding they need to take their best ideas LIVE!

To learn more about CrowdFundinggo to CrowdFundingLIVE.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Shawn Livermore, Founder and CEO of Ziptask

May 30th, 2012 · Comments


Shawn Livermore Founder and CEO

What is Ziptask?
What is Ziptask?

Ziptask has invented the easiest way to hire freelancers for your projects. Ziptask is a fully-managed work systemthat makes outsourcing simply magical. Their army of freelance contractors engage rapidly on your software, website, design, or office document projects. Ziptask charges just 39 cents per minute for most types of work. More advanced work such as programming, graphic design, or professional services may cost $0.49, $0.59, or $0.69 cents per minute. (Don't worry, you approve an estimate before we ever begin work on a project.)

To learn more about Ziptask, go to ziptask.com

Sandler Training

Conscious Selling the Sandler Way

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Pilgrim Talks: Shaun MacGillivray

May 9th, 2012 · Comments

To The Arctic
Shaun MacGillvray

Shaun MacGillivray, Managing Director

MacGillvray Freeman Films One World One Ocean Campaign

Shaun MacGillivray is Managing Director of MacGillivray Freeman Films and the company's One World One Ocean campaign, a multi-year, multi-platform ocean media initiative aimed at restoring the world's oceans. He is the producer of the IMAX/IMAX 3D® film To The Arctic, the first film presentation of One World One Ocean and is currently producing the company's forthcoming films "One World One Ocean" and "Everest: Conquering Thin Air."  The son of Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Greg MacGillivray, Shaun grew up on film locations all around the world.  Shaun graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emory University with a degree in economics, then went on to receive a graduate MFA degree in Film Production from the University of Southern California. Shaun and his wife Katie and son Charlie live in Laguna Beach, where they enjoy spending time with family.

PLEASE NOTE:  Although "To The Arctic" will only be playing at the Irvine Spectrum through Thursday, May 10, it will be playing all summer at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

To learn more about To The Arctic, go to imax.com/tothearctic/

To learn more about the One World One Ocean Campaign, go tooneworldoneocean.org

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Pilgrim Talks: Terry Ransom, CEO of Real Practice

May 2nd, 2012 · Comments

ReplyWiseCarey Ransom

Carey Ransom, CEO


Small businesses spend billions of dollars every year on marketing, to generate more "business."  When marketing works, it creates inbound activity from potential customers - phone calls, emails and other inquiries.  With all the attention on generating leads, though, virtually no systems or processes are established to maximize the conversion of leads into customers, and then retaining those customers within the business.  Solutions often seem too complicated, difficult or expensive, so business owners avoid them.  Easy, cost-effective solutions are available, and when used by a small business, they can greatly improve the ultimate goal of their marketing - getting more customers and keeping more of them.  In fact, ReplyWise's users are improving the rate at which they get new customers by an average of 67% after only a few months of using it.
ReplyWise was purpose built for small businesses to help them quickly setup the software, directly engage and get immediate value from using it with new leads, and see clearly measurable results from their marketing activities.  The goal is for small business owners to "advertise wisely and close more business."
Carey Ransom is an experienced Internet and software entrepreneur and executive, having started, grown and aided many technology companies during their startup and growth phases. His career spans executive roles in business development, strategy, marketing, sales and corporate development.  Throughout his career, Carey has focused on solutions for small businesses and helping them improve their marketing and business operations.  He is proud of both growing up in and the continued success of his family's 140-yr old small business, which has taught him most of what he knows about business.  He has an Economics degree from Indiana University and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School.

To learn more about ReplyWise, go to replywise.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Nick Payzant, CEO Cerna Homecare

April 25th, 2012 · Comments


Nick Payzant, CEO

Cerna Homecare

Healthcare is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the U.S., and its future is extremely bright. With approximately 7,000 Americans turning 65 every day, the need for health services and home healthcare is growing exponentially. By 2012, there will be more than 40 million Americans over the age of 65, and over 70 million by the year 2030. By that time, 1 out of 5 people in the U.S. will be potential clients for home healthcare.

Cerna Healthcare offers in-home and onsite care, coordinated care and nursing services.  Founded in 2008, Cerna is a leading provider of Level II Home Care services, which includes cognitive and physical stimulation for patients that play an important role in recovery for those returning from a hospital stay, have an impairment due to Alzheimer's, Dementia, Parkinson's, and Stroke or suffer from general aging issues. Cerna Healthcare services are available in areas throughout Southern California, San Diego and Dallas. Client support is available 24 hours/day by calling 877-577-6782. For more information, visitwww.cernahealth.com

To learn more about Cerna Homecare, go to cernahealth.com

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Pilgrim Talks: David Pensak, Innovation Guru

April 18th, 2012 · Comments


David Pensak

Author and Innovator

David Pensak is a devout believer in the importance of innovation and thoroughly convinced that we all have the potential to come up with great ideas, which solve important problems.   The difficulty is that as we have grown up (and during our professional lives) we have been told over and over that the only right answer is the one, which our teachers or supervisors want.   This is a bad situation because it undermines your confidence in your own judgment and makes you defer to authority without questioning it.   I'm not by any means advocating insurrection or civil disobedience, rather a set of process which enable you to make sure you are actually solving a relevant problem and that you have come up with one or more solutions which actually solve it.

The answer lies in our ability to look at our surroundings like a jigsaw puzzle and our learning to find new and different ways to put the pieces together.    It has been claimed that in a typical Sunday newspaper we have as much information as the average person during the Middle Ages encountered during their entire lifetime.   The pace of information growth is getting faster and faster.   Our brains are at the precipice of getting overwhelmed with quantity, quality handling of information is getting harder and harder.   We need to develop and embrace new disciplines of learning and organizing if we are going to go forward.

Innovation comes from just three sources - a need, dissatisfaction, or a curiosity.   While innovation has many definitions, the one I like best is 'the application of already known information to well defined existing problems'.  Invention requires discovering heretofore-unknown facts and properties but innovation does not.   Boiled down, innovation is just repurposing what is already known.   The crux of the matter is that the information may be known to others but not to you.   This means that you have to methodically determine what you don't know as it relates to what you perceive as an opportunity and either research it or find people who already know what you do not.  When lumped together you can, and should, go through an iterative process of narrowing down your problem and then generalizing it to make sure you are solving the maximal part of the problem and perhaps a broader one than you had initially considered.

Then comes a hard part.   Don't leap to a solution.    If you do, then you are already throwing away a lot of what you have worked so hard to cobble together.   Try and determine what the characteristics of a solution should be - a skeleton, if you will, rather than putting flesh on before the bones.

David's undergraduate school was Princeton University and he went to Harvard University for graduate school. Then he spent 30 years at DuPont, retiring in 2004 to teach and write his book. He has taught courses at Wharton Business School and the University of Delaware.  He has lectured at major corporations and all over the world.

To learn more about David Pensak and Innovation for Underdogs, go to davidpensak.com

To learn more about The Pensak Innovation Insitute, go to pensakinnovationinstitute.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Abbas Mohaddes, CEO of Iteris

April 11th, 2012 · Comments

IterisAbbas Mohaddes

Abbas Mohaddes Director, President, & Chief Executive Officer

Abbas Mohaddes has served as the Chief Executive Officer and President since March 2007 and as a director since September 2005. Prior to his promotion in March 2007, Mr. Mohaddes served as the Executive Vice President from October 2004.

Mr. Mohaddes was also the President and Chief Executive Officer of Meyer, Mohaddes Associates, Inc. ("MMA"), an ITS and transportation firm that he co-founded, which was acquired by the Iteris in 1998.

Abbas is a founding member and currently is chairman of the board of directors of ITS America, the largest ITS trade organization in the world. He is also a fellow member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the Transportation Research Board, a member of Design/Build Institute of America, and a member of the Forum for Corporate Directors (FCD).

Abbas has published more than 50 articles for ITS/Transportation engineering and technology around the world, and has become an internationally recognized expert in ITS/traffic management. In 1995, he assisted The Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation in preparing the "Traffic Control Handbook," with more than 100,000 copies now in print. He has received several awards by various trade organizations in recognition of his contribution to the Transportation Engineering and ITS fields. Abbas received his Master's Degree in Transportation Engineering from the University of Nebraska.

About Iteris, Inc.

Iteris, Inc. is the market leader in providing software-based Information Solutions to the Intelligent Traffic Management Industry. The company's decades of expertise in traffic management, along with superior services and patented products, help detect, measure, and manage traffic and vehicular performance,minimize traffic congestion, and inform and empower Iteris clients with solutions to better manage their transportation networks. The firm is headquartered in Santa Ana, California with offices nationwide and in the Middle East.

To learn more about Iteris, Inc. call 1-888-329-4483 or go to iteris.com

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