Ruminations of a Taco-Obsessed Philly Native

Everybody loves an inspirational story about how a company is built by someone who turns it into more than just a money-making machine into something bigger that touches the community and cares for people. That’s what the Global Vision Academy is about and why they awarded the Global Visionary recognition to Sheldon Lavin, the longtime CEO of OSI Industries. Lavin has certainly worked hard to build OSI Group into one of the world’s top-ranked meat companies, but he’s also upheld the values of family and putting people above profits at the company. What’s even more impressive is that Lavin hasn’t slowed down his work even though he’s now past 80 years old.

Sheldon Lavin began in investment banking and then opened his own financial advisory company. He had planned to stay with this company for the foreseeable future, but he had an encounter with a family-owned meat wholesale company that changed his direction. That company was Otto & Sons which had been founded by Otto Kolschowsky and was now a big supplier for the growing popular McDonald’s fast food restaurant. Lavin had been asked to help the company invest in more production plants and raise funds, but McDonald’s and its bank also wanted Lavin to become a partner in the company. After much consideration and even turning down the offer at first, Lavin consented and became CEO and eventually fully owned the company. About more for Sheldon Lavin, Chairman And CEO Of OSI Group, LLC.

Lavin decided to make international sales a huge part of the company’s objectives, and in the 1980s OSI Industries started opening some plants in Europe and Asia. Today the company has 55 facilities in 16 countries, though some companies have been bought and still hold their original brand names since Lavin believes in maintaining recognition for already established companies. But Lavin also has made retaining jobs a priority at each company OSI has bought, and he’s helped foster a culture within OSI that’s led to many employees staying with the company for the long-term. Lavin was also once recognized at the North American Meat Institute with the Edward Jones Community Service award for his involvement in philanthropy which includes supporting the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, the Chicago Inner City Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

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How important are crowdsourced reviews for brand purchases? Most customers trust what they read online just as much as a friend’s recommendation about a product or service they bought. That is why many name brands are leveraging the power of crowdsourced reviews to influence customer purchases.


Fabletics Crowd Sourcing Strategy


Fabletics, Kate Hudson’s active fashion wear brand, has been using the power of customer reviews to catapult itself to over $235 million in revenue since 2013.


The company began leveraging the crowd since its inception and in so doing became one of the leaders in its industry for customer purchase, customer loyalty, and customer retention because of this strategy.


Crowdsourcing Statistics


The ever increasing busy lifestyle of today has left most people with very little time to shop around offline. This is one of the main reasons people look to the internet for customer reviews when gauging whether or not to purchase a product or service.


Old marketing techniques have basically taken a backseat to customer reviews. People just don’t trust a company unless the crowd has given it a thumbs up.


Just how much do people trust the crowd? In a recent survey, 84% of online purchasers said they trusted customer reviews as much as recommendations from their friends, families, and acquaintances.


According to the survey, over 50 percent of online customers stated that they read reviews and those reviews influence their decision whether or not to do business with a particular company.


What is more, 60 percent of those same customers said that negative reviews definitively influenced their decision not to do business with a particular company.


How Fabletics Uses Customer Feedback


The company truly believes that the customer runs the show. Through customer feedback and reviews, Fabletics creates and revamp its product line to suit customer needs and desires.

By doing so, customers are all too happy to leave a positive review. The more positive reviews the company gets the more customers it obtains and retains, helping to increase business now and well into the future.


Fabletics believes that listening to your customers is the only way to satisfy them. Leveraging the crowd has allowed Fabletics to gather and analyze data as well as use an effective marketing strategy.


The Face of Fabletics


Everyone in Fabletics agrees that Kate Hudson is the perfect representative of the brand. Her warm heart and active lifestyle depict the company’s image to a T.


Kate is not just a representative of the company either, but an integral partner who stays involved with nearly every aspect of the business. Whether it is working with designers, crunching sales numbers, or plotting out social media marketing campaigns, Kate keeps the business active and fresh just like her.


What really emphasizes Kate’s views about the Fabletics activewear line is that she actually wears them and uses them nearly every day. There is no better endorsement for a brand than to be an actual customer. This is perhaps one of the greatest customer reviews anyone can give and Kate gives hers on a daily basis.

Roc Nation exect Desiree Perez is in charge of a big entertainment company and is set to take on even more artists with her business partner Jay-Z. Since Jay-Z’s deal with Live Nation is almost over, Roc Nation is talking to other big-time companies like Universal Music Group. Jay Z and Desiree recently met with the CEO Sir Lucian Grainge to discuss him buying into Roc Nation. This can be huge for Jay-Z to help him bring on more artists and help build up his already amazing credibility as a business mogul.

Desiree Perez has been there from the beginning of several companies with Jay-Z including SC Enterprises. She is an influence in the music business has a knack for negotiating on behalf of her clients. She is part of Rhianna’s inner circle and helps her with her endorsements and performance deals. She negotiated a twenty-five million dollar Samsung sponsorship for Rhianna’s tour. Other Roc Nation artists include Big Sean, Shakira, and J. Cole.

Since she’s been the COO of Roc Nation for seven years she’s been a key component of lots of business decisions. Her husband Juan Perez is the head of Roc Nation Sports where Jay-Z has signed such sports stars as Miguel Cotto and Dez Bryant among others. Desiree Perez is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to negotiating any type of contract and gives women in the industry an amazing role model to look up to. There is a lot that goes into running a company and negotiating contracts and Desiree has charisma coming out of her ears. and Follow him

The Unicorn Line of hair dye from Lime Crime is a gorgeous array of colors. The original release featured bright colors such as Bunny a bright pink and Dilute a light purple. If you’re a chick with a darker natural hair color you may envy lighter haired girls for the dye choices available to them. If you see a gorgeous blonde with purple tips, that’s understandable. Thanks to Lime Crime and the magic of unicorns you can now have those purple tips.

Formerly the Unicorn Line only had bright colors more suited for girls with lighter hair, but these four new shades are specifically for the dark brunettes. The colors include a green called Sea Witch, a gorgeous gray called Charcoal, a maroon color called Chestnut, and the coveted purple called Squid. These are all semi-permanent vegan hair dyes that are easy to use and look great on anyone willing to be a little adventurous with their hair color.

You can call it goth, call it dark magic, call it trendy, and everyone will be calling it awesome. You can also get your unicorn spirit on with the Unicorn Queen line also from Lime Crime. Their choices of bright highlighters, lips colors, and eyeshadows are sure to help you feel even more magical. The lip colors in the Diamond Crushers collection are sure to match your new hair perfectly. Lime Crime is a well regarded company that creates unique products that are 100% vegan and cruelty free. In a world full of ponies, be a unicorn.

The corporate team at Market America has always taken an active role in assisting their unfranchise owners. A recent article highlighted statements made by the company’s Vice President of Sales, Jim Winkler. The main focus of the article was about keeping a positive mindset. A positive attitude goes hand-in-hand with using a proven business model. Distributors of Market America Products always have access to the latest information and news about the company through its online blog. Not only does this company go the extra mile to provide its associates with the tools needed to become successful, they also offer products that meet the needs of their consumers.

As a company that is conscious about the products it offers, Market America carries the type of items people can feel good about using. This can be seen in the company’s line of Skintelligence products. These skin care lotions and creams are made with formulas that use natural plant extracts. This makes these products safe for use on sensitive skin. The Skintelligence line includes everything from deep cleansers to moisture enhancers. Not only are these products created to help keep skin soft and supple, but they are also designed to help normalize skin’s natural pH balance.

Market America’s line of beauty products also includes the Fixx brand of beneficial hair and skin products. Designed to help both men and women address their various hair issues, this line offers products made with Argan oil. Consumers with dry, dull or damaged hair could benefit from natural healing properties found in the Fixx Argan oil shampoo, conditioner or intensive hair mask. This brand also offers a quick fix for facial wrinkles as well as a deep cleansing agent designed to unclog pores. The array of Fixx hair and skin products provides consumers with the type of solutions they want to achieve.

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Dr. Mark McKenna not only holds a medical degree, but he has also earned his Master of Business Administration. Upon obtaining his medical degree from Tulane University Medical School, he joined his father’s medical practice and also launched his first business: McKenna Venture Investments. He later added Universal Mortgage Lending and Uptown Title, Inc. to his ever-growing portfolio.

Having been born and raised in New Orleans, Dr. McKenna was devastated to watch Hurricane Katrina unleash its wrath on the Louisiana city. The loss of the majority of his business interests paled in comparison to the damage inflicted on the vibrant city. The doctor immediately joined the recovery efforts and helped to rebuild low and moderate-income housing.

Dr. McKenna moved to Atlanta, Georgia near the end of 2007 and currently licensed in medicine and surgery by the Georgia and Florida State Board of Medical Examiners. Soon after he launched ShapeMed, an aesthetic based wellness practice that he later sold to Life Time Fitness Inc.

Most recently, Dr. McKenna launched OVME. OVME’s mission is to reinvent elective healthcare using the latest in medical technology. Dr. McKenna came up with the concept for the newly launched business after working in the aesthetic branch of medicine for more than 10 years. After growing his business to be one of the largest in the nation, he sold it, hoping to find new ways to disrupt the aesthetic industry.

Dr. McKenna sees a bright and beautiful future for the medical industry in America. He’s encouraged by the growing population that is swearing off cigarettes, seeing it as a sign that Americans are actively taking part in improving their overall health.

Dr. McKenna lists Elon Musk, Michael Bloomberg and Barack Obama as some of his greatest influences. After admitting that being a voracious reader has played a large part in his success, he recommended that all entrepreneurs read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. McKenna also believes in surrounding himself with people who are more intelligent than he is.

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Born in the city of Sao Paulo, Michel Terpins comes from a Brazilian family that has always been active in sports. His father, Jack Terpins, took to the basketball court in the 1960s and 1970s as a professional player, and his brother, Rodrigo Terpins, participates in the same sport he is involved with, which is race car driving. The brothers have competed in many of the rally driving competitions in Brazil, and Michel is one of the most decorated drivers, having won most of the competitions he’s been in.

He spent a lot of his childhood learning how to fix cars, and his passion turned into a love of driving competitively. He began his career in the sport of racing back in 2002 when he participated in the Sertoes Rally in the motorcycle category. He went on to start competing in car races, along with his older brother, and together they formed the Bull Sertoes Rally Team in 2015.

The Terpins brothers have used a car called T-Rex for a number of years in the rally competitions, and they recently won the 2nd stage of the 24th edition of the Sertoes Rally. After they won this 2nd stage race, Michel described it as being a very difficult stage. He said it was exhausting due to all of the mountainous terrain. But T-Rex’s engine probably made it at least a little easier to navigate, being that a V8 engine was added to it to make it more powerful and capable when riding over rough roads.

Michel Terpins also participated in the Cross Country Rally, which took place in 2015. He ended up being runner-up in that race. He remains one of Brazil’s best rally drivers, having won a number of awards in the sport. He believes in never giving up, so he motivates others by encouraging them to go for what they want out of life.

He and his brother, Rodrigo, continue to have the kind of passion for the sport of rally driving that will, no doubt, keep getting them the awards, the admiration and the satisfaction they work so hard for every year.

Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg are the Co-CEO of TechStyle, the company doing things the uncommon way.

The path of these serial entrepreneurs crossed when they sold their companies to Intermix Media. Don Ressler is one of the pioneers of the e-commerce space; he sold his firm to Intermix Media in 1997. At almost the same age of 17, Adam Goldberg was selling his company Gamer’s Alliance to the same Intermix Media. Before starting TechStyle, the two highly motivated serial entrepreneurs founded Intelligent Beauty, which went on to inspire the now blossoming TechStyle.

Don Ressler is an established entrepreneur on the web with start-ups that have not only been profitable, but have also become major hits amongst the global online population. He started out with the healthy living website, He later co-founded the online performance advertising firm, Alena Media, alongside Adam Goldenberg, the COO of Intermix Media.

The successful platform was eventually purchased by News Corp in 2005, after which the two started Brand Ideas (now known as Intelligent Beauty), a firm focused on building other people’s brands. Under Intelligent Beauty, Ressler was able to successfully launch the weight loss program, Sensa, alongside the one-stop online shop for all things skincare, Dermstore. The third company Intelligent Beauty aided with its brand-building expertise was JustFab, a fashion retailer that runs via customer subscription, which has turned out to be one of Ressler’s greatest successes thus far.

TechStyle Fashion Group is not like other companies. The company has a creative and innovative edge with membership-based clothing, beauty and accessory companies under it. The first company under TechStyle was JustFab. JustFab is a clothing company that enables its members to get athletic clothing and accessories personalized for each member every month. It was JustFab that eventually became TechStyle reflecting the way the co-founders tend to blend technology and fashion. Its headquarters typically depicts the Silicon Valley style with modern, colorful and playful workspaces.

However, the company is not just committed to seamlessly combine fashion and technology they show a consistent commitment to social responsibility as well. As much as the company cares about its members (with clothing that make people feel happy about themselves and their looks), it shows almost equal care for improving lives in the community. The company has hosted some charity projects and events, and have been involved in community gardens and other projects that improve lives. The Cinderella Project is an example of an event that they hosted for a charity group. The group donates accessories and gowns to students who want to attend prom but are handicapped because of finances.

Adam Goldberg as Co-CEO specializes in data, margins, internal systems, and marketing for the company while the other Co-CEO Don Ressler specializes in grooming the company’s talents, the vision, and the customer experience. Their roles are pivotal as TechStyle claims more ground in the future.

The creative industry of fashion has a lot of room for new ways of designing clothes. It also explores some different business models to profit from. The reason that Don Ressler’s TechStyle company has been such a hit with people is because of all of the creativity that has gone into bringing the company to life. While the products are more than worth bragging about, the bigger selling feature is the method of marketing and selling. One of the ways that it reaches out to customers is by having them sign up and pay for membership while it collects all of the information it needs to give the customer the type of items they want.

The marketing is probably one of the best aspects of the company. The way they approach marketing does not involve leaving it in the hands of the ad agency. As a matter of fact, they take the time to do all of the marketing on their own so that they can personally reach out to the customers and connect with them. They take on many different platforms for marketing. There is the television commercial marketing. They also upload videos to Linkedin and other social media platforms.

The best way to market a company these days is by actually connecting with the audience. One thing a fashion designer and business owner like Don Ressler can do is get involved in discussions on topics related to the industry that they are getting involved in. For instance, Don Ressler can talk about the different aspects of fashion. He can share his insights on style with others who have taken an interest in style. For one thing, people are going to be asking a lot of questions about what they should wear.

Given that Don Ressler and his company TechStyle believe in freedom of fashion, he is going to encourage people of all sizes and shapes to dress in the way they want. The only thing he encourages is that they wear something that will help them feel confident and valuable so that they will be able to take on their lives in a much better fashion.

Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey who are co-founders of Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media were arrested from their homes in October, 2007 in the night and they were jailed by the then Maricopa County Sheriff.

It was later held that both journalists were wrongfully arrested. They were both compensated with a total of $3.75 million which they gladly donated to fund the activities of human and migrant rights organizations in Arizona. Both of them are being celebrated for the singular act of selfless contribution to humanity.

There are so many organizations that fight against abuse of migrant rights in the United States that you can join either join or support. These organizations are doing a great job and they need volunteers and donations to fund their activities.

If you do not have the time to become a volunteer, you can contribute your quota by giving voluntary donations.

What goes around comes around. You never can tell whose right will be abused next. It could be yours or that of someone very close to you. One of such organizations is Border Angels. This organization offers free immigration consultations and services in both English and Spanish. It was founded by Enrique Morones. Read more: Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund

Border Angels distinguishes itself among other human right organizations by offering additional services like prevention of avoidable deaths and reduction of harm through day laborer outreach, border rescue stations and desert water drops.

This organization also raises awareness of issues bordering on immigrations, border issues and undocumented migrants.

In 1986, there was a trip to the Canyons in North County , where Enrique saw children, women and families living in a disturbing manner in even a more disturbing environment. This was the spark that started the voluntary works and it snowballed into the establishment of Border Angels.

The organization is headquartered in San Diego, California. With tremendous donations and volunteers from well-meaning Americans, the organization has been living up to its motto of “Saving people’s lives and making a difference”. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: and

Over the years, Border Angels have been able to reduce the number of deaths along Californian border by providing well maintained water stations in the desert and in several other ways. This became necessary since 1994 when the implementation of Operation Gatekeeper began. It led to increase in military presence in the United States/Mexico border.

Many years of hardship push thousands of people from Latin America and Mexico to risk their lives coming into the United States through the border without any form of documentation in search of a better life.

A lot of these immigrants see the United States as a land of opportunities. Indeed, America is a land of opportunities but America is not as receptive as it used to be.

Every year, more policies are put in place to make it difficult for immigrants to get into America. It is rather unfortunate that since the inception of operation Gatekeeper, over 10,000 people have lost their lives during the journey because it is fraught with inadequate water, inadequate food and even extreme weather condition.

This situation is what the organization is trying to change. You can also volunteer or donate to support Border Angels and to save lives. For more information visit

Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia