Category Archives: Career and choices

Story about Arik Kislin’s Entrepreneurial Journey



Olya Kislin, Arik Kislin, and John Lloyd, At Michael Milken’s Prostate Cancer Foundation event at Alerion Aviation‘s hangar in Palm Beach (L-R)


From Modest Means to Quiet Philanthropy

Arik Kislin’s rise to being a philanthropist and role model for business investors has many twists and turns that make his story both intriguing and inspirational.

Kislin was born in Odessa, Ukraine, in 1968. When he was four years old, he moved with his family to Israel. He never lost his ability to speak Russian, which would promise to be useful later in life. After a year in Israel, his family moved to Ladispoli, Italy, eventually settling in Boston in 1973 where his father, who was a butcher, became a taxi-driver.  The lessons of hard work were being taught firsthand.

Read the full article here

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Filed under Arik Kislin, Career and choices, Charity, Real Estate, Uncategorized

Communicating Via Skype: Quotes on the Power of Skype

communicating via skype

With the blizzard in the Northeast, many people will now resort to Skype calls. Some quotes on how SKYPE has changed the way people communicate.

· “Skype is not a top-down communication channel. It offers free conference calls. Thus nine people can communicate and interact simultaneously online. This way, one person’s message gets transmitted to a lot of people – who can immediately react and give the original communicator their feedback.” Mark Gwilliam

· “The most obvious benefit to Skype is the amount by which it lowers costs. This is especially valuable to businesses that have to make international calls or simply have to make a lot of calls in their business, saving you money every day.” Kay Kinsella

· “Business can be done around the globe in an instant thanks to communication tools such as skype.” Elie Hirschfeld

· “Your office will likely become more productive when you can have everyone sign on to Skype and join a conference call, rather than calling everyone in a room to host a meeting.” Gurdeep Pall

· “You can work remotely anywhere with your computer and conduct business with people all over the globe. Make a call, enable a video chat, try instant messaging, or even send photos and files. Doing business through Skype makes work more effective.” Mindy Kingswood

· “When you communicate using Skype, its software encrypts your communication to prevent hackers from deciphering its contents. Then, the communication travels across a network of fast and powerful computers running Skype until it reaches the recipient.” Timothy James

· “It’s beautiful for multitasking when you have a client on hold and need an answer fast.” Kelly Fallis

· “I don’t have to pass up the opportunity to help people who are far away.” Sharon Jakubecy

· “With Skype, clients get a sense of who I am as a person since face-to-face communication is the most persuasive and comprehensive.” David Mitchel

· “Employees and business contacts feel more empowered because they are more included with Skype. Since up to nine participants can simultaneously interact online through video conferences, people are given more opportunity to react, give feedback, and express their ideas on the spot.” Mindy Kingswood

· “More clients use Skype to call me now than my actual phone. If I’m on a business call and don’t know the answer to a question, I can simply add another person from my office to the call who will know the answer, without either of us having to even be in the same building.” John McCarthy

· “Skype for Business will again transform the way people communicate by giving organizations reach to hundreds of millions of Skype users outside the walls of their business.” Gurdeep Pall

· “Skype assists business communication through simplifying the means of inner-office communications, simplifying national and even international communications, and making these connections possible with less financial impact than other common business communication services.” Linda Richter

· “Between its core service and the add-ons you can install, Skype can essentially handle any type of business communication.” Adam Ostrow

· “Skype obviously has benefits, otherwise we would not be using it. We see great value in being able to communicate with external partners and development groups in other countries at low cost.” Kevin Fitzpatrick

· “We put a lot of time into surveying customers last year and one thing that came up was that approximately 25% of our 61 million registered users rely on Skype for business purposes.” Saul Klein

· “Skype can improve your customer service if you provide clients with a Skype button, allowing them to contact you and letting them know when you are available to talk.” Kay Kinsella

· “Skype has changed the way that many businesses conduct meetings, interact with clients and interview new recruits.” Anthony Oster

· “I’m going on vacation soon for 20 days in a different country. Normally, I might only take a one-week vacation. I can meet with my team, talk to clients, chat with investors and set up business deals all while on the road.” Spicer Matthews

· “I’m able to work from home a lot, and Skype lets me stay in contact with my partner, freelancers, contractors and clients. Without Skype, I don’t know what we’d do, although I’m sure it would involve more office hours.” Kari DePhillips

· “Skype group calls provide a convenient (and often free) alternative to conventional phone conference calls. You can set one up with other Skype users, of course, but you can host group calls even if you’re the only one on Skype.” Ural Cebeci

· “Employees and business contacts feel more empowered because they are more included with Skype. Since up to nine participants can simultaneously interact online through video conferences, people are given more opportunity to react, give feedback, and express their ideas on the spot.” Mindy Kingswood

· “Skype simplifies business communications because it allows everyone in the business to use the same platform. With everyone using the same platform, all you need to do is add new employees to a master list, and distribute this list to your employees accordingly.” Gurdeep Pall

· “With two Skype accounts, if one is placed on auto answer you can call when you are away and it will answer, allowing you to see around the room the computer is in. This is especially convenient for people going on holidays or leaving offices unoccupied for periods of time.” Kay Kinsella

· “I do business all over the world and I use Skype to contact everywhere, with extremely high quality lines.” John McCarthy

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Ronn Torossian on 3 Self-Promotion Tips that Protect your Ego


There’s nothing wrong with tooting your own horn, but you need to do it at the right time, to the right audience, and for the right reasons. CEO of 5WPR Ronn Torossian explains.

Some people would love to live in a world where you are actually judged on the quality of your work and the content of your character. Unfortunately, we live in a world of dog eat dog competitiveness, where petty people do everything they can to put themselves over … often at your expense. Even in the best possible situation, “fair” is probably not in your future.

So, what, should you crawl into a hole and hide from the world? Good luck with that, Salinger. That won’t get you anywhere. Instead, PR Executive Torossian suggests you create or work within contexts in order to put yourself over without damaging your reputation or getting pegged as a braggart.

Make it topical

When talking about your successes, keep it in the context of overall success. Talk about WHAT was a success and WHO helped you make it possible. Clearly include yourself in the success, but be sure to strategically include others in your appreciation. No one works in a vacuum, and no one does it all by themselves. When you talk about what was accomplished, you also open yourself up to people asking “how” it was done and “why” you did it that way. This creates both a broader context and an opportunity to specifically detail your skills and choices.

Make it responsive

Speaking of context, it’s always best to pat yourself on the back in the context of answering questions. It’s much better to create a situation in which people are genuinely interested in the aspects of your success instead of trying to force them to listen to how awesome you are. This way, you are connecting with their curiosity rather than invading their space.

Make it objective

While it seems like all self-promotion must be subjective, that’s not the case. Objectively addressing a situation and methodically including your involvement in successfully addressing the challenges is a much better strategy than making the whole issue about you. If something is about something, keep it about that thing. Making it about yourself is the first step toward losing your audience.

Following these tips will not turn Seinfeld characters into decent people, but it will put you in the best possible position to show yourself in the right light at the right time. The rest, of course, is up to people with open eyes, ears and minds.

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Quotes for Inspiration: Discipline – Eric Friedman, Gennady Barsky & More..


In business there are few traits that can apply an immediate impact on your career like having Strong Discipline can. Through this professional trait many things become achievable.I have collected some of my favorite quotes on Discipline.

·          “Without being disciplined you wont get as far.”  Gennady Barsky
·         “It is necessary to instill a disciplining program in your small business in order to move forward. An effective regimen will help improve workplace performance, provide a safe and honest environment conducive to production.” Lisa Mooney
·         “Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.” Stephen Covey
·         “Other than ensuring protection, an effective employee-discipline code creates a congenial environment in which employees can work. This increases their output, which translates into increased profit for an organization.” Debopriya Bose
·         “Workplace discipline, when consistently and fairly applied, reinforces the rules you’ve established for workplace conduct and promotes employee morale.” Mary Strain
·         “Workplace discipline is very important to keep business and employees working well. Most managers opt for progressive discipline, which gives the employee a chance to correct the problem. Through progressive discipline, employers can increase the level of disciplinary action if the problematic behavior continues, eventually leading to termination if necessary.” Eric Friedman
·         “Right discipline consists, not in external compulsion, but in the habits of mind which lead spontaneously to desirable rather than undesirable activities.” Bertrand Russell
·         “Positive discipline fosters appropriate behavior by encouraging employee participation.” Stan Mack
·         “Working hard is the best discipline.”  Roman Temkin
·         “The importance of discipline in the organization cannot be underestimated, since employee morale, productivity and even company profitability can be adversely affected.” Matthew C. Keegan
·         “Discipline helps to produce an honest environment in which everyone is treated fairly.” Lisa Mooney
·         “Employee discipline is a way of protecting other workers who put in their time and talent at the workplace. With a clear and effective employee-discipline plan in place, employees know the consequences of their conduct.” Debopriya Bose
·         “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” Jim Rohn
·         “A proper workplace discipline policy is not just good for employees and managers. Setting a standard for behavior and outlining clear disciplinary processes is also good for business.” Eric Friedman
·         “Confidence comes from discipline and training.” Robert Kiyosaki
·         “The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline.” Bum Phillips
·         “Nothing of importance is ever achieved without discipline.” Bertrand Russell
·         “Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.” Roy L. Smith
·         “The first and most important result of workplace discipline is that it curbs problem behavior.” Mary Strain
·         “An important aspect of positive discipline is continual feedback. Employees need to know when they’re doing things right. If you limit your feedback to corralling misbehavior, your employees learn nothing more than how to stay out of trouble.” Stan Mack
·         “Every company should have a thorough discipline policy that is shared with each employee and outlines the disciplinary actions that will be taken if his or her behavior or conduct becomes problematic.” Eric Friedman
·         “A disciplined environment helps put both management and employees on their best behavior.” Lisa Mooney

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GMOs vs. Ben & Jerry’s? The war is on

ben-jerry-gmoWhile most companies in the U.S. seem not to favor the hot issue of GMO labeling, one company is stepping up (again) in support of natural ingredients and better food. According to Businessweek, Unilever CEO Paul Polman and Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim recently shared a meal with Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin. Two days later, Shumlin signed the nation’s first GMO labeling law.

Businessweek called the move a “swirl of savvy public relations, financial backing, and grassroots activism.” I have to agree.

There is no doubt that this move puts Ben & Jerry’s squarely in the crosshairs of some of the world’s largest food companies. And, while Unilever has repeatedly come out against GMO labeling, the company seems content to allow its subsidiary to become the face of the movement.

By taking this stance, Unilever can play both sides of the fence to a point. First, it can protect its larger interests by fighting GMO labeling where it is unlikely to fly, while also allowing Ben & Jerry’s to support it in places – like Vermont – where the cause has established grassroots support. It’s an undeniable PR win-win.

And, of course, the alternative – trying to keep Ben & Jerry’s, a traditionally environmentally active company, away from this issue could have disastrous PR results. That’s not to say Unilever can keep this up for too long. Eventually, someone will point out the fence-sitting and call them on it.

And, that could lead to some truly interesting public relations scenarios. If activists decide to really ramp up the pressure on Unilever to publicly back its subsidiary, things could get ugly, quick. Pushed into a corner and forced to decide between its overarching interests and entertaining the PR reputation of one of its more popular subsidiaries could put Unilever into a proverbial “tiger by the tail” situation. You don’t want to let go, but, eventually, you might have to.

 That’s when you get bit.


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Commenting on Rolling Stone’s Cover of Terrorist bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

I had the chance to comment for Fox-5 News in New York on Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appearing on Rolling Stone’s cover in August

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Filed under Branding, Career and choices, Cutting Edge News, Juda Engelmayer, Public Relations

The New York Times Plays Devil’s Advocate to God’s Messenger

Edge of Media Manipulation
The New York Times Plays Devil’s Advocate to God’s Messenger
By: Juda Engelmayer

Who is Greg Smith, and why do we care? He was an employee who quit Goldman Sachs in a public way and posted it in a New York Times op-ed. The better question is why should we care? After all, Goldman Sachs probably has had staff quit before for a whole host of reasons, from better opportunities to being disillusioned, to just not meeting the expectations or needs. Gee, I have had some really good people quit the firm where I work, and quit on me for that matter. Some wrote letters too.  It’s not news; it’s life.

Work is just that, work. Some love it, some hate it, and some find it a calling; others just work because they need to pay the bills. I work because I enjoy what I do, but also because I get bored doing nothing; and I can certainly use the money. So what is Greg Smith’s deal that so many are now paying attention?

He quit one of the biggest financial institutions and lambasted it in perhaps the single most influential media venue still in print. Yet, it’s not news. Goldman has some 30,000 people working for it, and what are the odds that Greg Smith was not the only employee to walk out that door this same week? It begs the question as to why the New York Times printed it in the first place.

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Juda Engelmayer is President and Partner with the NY PR agency, HeraldPR

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Filed under Career and choices, Crisis Management, Cutting Edge News, New York City, News and Views, Obama, Politics

A look back at where I began

One of my earlier accomplishments and my start working in the world of Christian Evangelists.  This story was on a former client, Dr. K.A. Paul which I helped him get one year after I left the firm I was at, and two months after Dr. Paul brought me on a mission to Haiti to counsel the rebel leader Guy Philippe after he helped hasten Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s departure. We also handed out 50 thousand pounds of food to needy people on the streets of Port Au Prince.

The story ran on my 35th Birthday, and was The New Republic’s front page cover.

Dr. Paul called me a few days ago saying he was going to Haiti to help in the healing efforts.

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Filed under Career and choices, Christian Zionism, Crisis Management, Evangelsim

All I Know I Learned in High School

It was back in Washington Heights, Manhattan in 1986, I was sixteen years old and in 11th grade at the Marsha Stern Talmudic Academy/Yeshiva University High School for Boy – lovingly referred to MTA to this day, and we were quite a group of misfits. That school taught me everything I would need to survive; not much in the area of academics, though. Imagine Lord of the Flies set in Anatevka. Not to reinvent the wheel here, as I believe that my comrade Shalom Auslander who trailed me by a year, accurately captured my experiences in his brilliantly illustrated autobiography, A Foreskin’s Lament.

It was there in MTA, where often timid little naive Jewish kids, many from suburban neighborhoods, descended daily on the Dominican Republic’s satellite city in the very upper corner of Manhattan, that I learned valuable lessons on life. Some of us found drugs, some found religion, others found new friends and even new found inner strength. All of us, however, learned the value of money – that if you had it, you were treated one way, and if not, you were just cast out.

Two juniors took a freshman for a magic carpet ride on his first marijuana high. The kid broke down and told his parents who then told the principal. The junior whose father was a school benefactor was given probation and the junior from a family with somewhat less money and who was likely on scholarship, was expelled. That didn’t come as a shock, but it was one of the most blatant hypocritical contrasts to what we were taught about God and religion and the reality of everyday life. Yet, I cannot complain because I benefited too, no doubt.

My advantage wasn’t money, for I didn’t grow up with much. It was the next valuable lesson, influence. My father – who by the way, just successfully survived major surgery – was the executive editor at the New York Jewish Week back then; the Jewish publication with the largest circulation at the time and was also an important propaganda engine for the Yeshiva University network of schools. I had a bad habit of getting myself thrown out of school for doing little more than expressing my concerns for the quality of my education.

There was the time I was sitting in Talmud (Gemara) class, referred to as a Shiur, and the head of school came in to test us young men on what we knew – or didn’t. It was a random thing. Rabbi Yitzchok Cohen, a tall, thin, beady eyed man with a long white beard, soft spoken, with a deliberately and distinctively enunciated diction that sounded like a throaty Bostonian accent with an Eastern European twinge will always be remembered by me and hundreds of my fellow inmates for his performance in the Wilf Auditorium of the high school decrying the message of the one-hit-wonder pop song by Samantha Fox, “Touch Me!”

That day, he stood up in front of an entire school of young impressionable lads and started flailing his arms wildly, touching himself and yelling “touch me’, “touch me” as he went into a rant over inappropriate messages of modern music. Any one of us that day who did not know the song before hand, went out and bought it, or borrowed the cassette to copy. Good thinking rabbi.

That same approach was successfully employed by Mel Gibson’s folks earlier this decade when they had the Anti-Defamation League publicly oppose his movie The Passion of The Christ. ADL successfully raised funds for its organization, and Mel got better advertising than he could have otherwise afforded to fund for this project. Yet, I digress…

So, we were in Bobo’s class (not his real name, but we kind of referred to our rabbi by it; it was passed down for years before we ever got to his class), well known for being a den of miscreants. One of our esteemed class clowns was comedian Elon Gold, who had a sitcom on network television, many cable comedy programs and does stand-up. I like to believe that he tested many of his early jokes in this class. Now, Rabbi Cohen walked into our class one day and picked up the book of the Talmud that we were presumably learning from and he randomly called on students to answer questions.

We were learning from Tractate Bava Kama, but that didn’t really matter to most of us. He would pick out a word or a phrase and then call on a student to explain it. After a few students had their turn to varying degrees of success, he points his finger into the Talmud and quietly read the words “Esnan Zonah,” simply defined as money paid to prostitute for her services. Now the issue here was about whether an item given in exchange for this money may be offered as a sacrifice, but more to the point.

Rabbi Cohen stated the term and looked up from the book and called out, “Yehuuuudddaa En-Gel-May-errr.” I looked up at him and asked him, “Yes Rabbi?” He continued, “What does ‘Esnan Zonah’ mean?”

Being in an uncomfortable situation here, having to talk to a rabbi about such issues, I simply stated, “money given to a prostitute for her services.” He came back at me with, “What does it mean… what are you paying for, why does it matter?” I stared at him, and just restated “it is money paid to a prostitute for her services.” The rabbi looked at me, clearly bemused by what he saw as my vacant answer and said, “Services? Did she go down to Heshy’s (local coffee shop) and buy you a danish?” I gulped. All that I could mutter from my mouth, caught somewhere between fighting my instinct to be a wise ass and not wanting to have a conversation with this rabbi about what turning tricks is all about, was “Rabbi, if you’re not clear, I don’t think that I should be the one to tell you.” Bobo spit his soda out of his mouth laughing.  Sure it was funny, but I got kicked out of class and “expelled” for it.

So, I did what became habit for me, and I called my father and told him my version of the truth. He moaned, yet still did his part and called his friends at the Yeshiva University Board of Directors who wanted to maintain a positive relationship with the newspaper.  I was told to report back to school the next day. When I approached the school steps the next morning, the principal was standing there and said to me, “I don’t appreciate getting calls from the Board of Directors about you,” and I just said smugly, “Then don’t kick me out anymore.”

Lesson learned here: it’s not what you know, but who you know.

I graduated, life goes on. I learned so much about life at MTA; valuable lessons in street smarts, politics and diplomacy, and surviving. It was the kind of school where the smart kids did just fine and those who struggled continued to do so, just keeping their heads low so to stay off the administrator’s radar.

Fortunately, my children will never be in a place like that. Our hope is that the schools they are in will help them grow academically and spiritually, and will also gain some of the moxie we found in the dark corridors of that old musty building in Washington Heights.

Juda Engelmayer is President and Partner with the NY PR agency, HeraldPR


Filed under Career and choices, Children, Christian Zionism, Education, Judasim

You Only Live Twice

Here I am up at 4AM watching the off variety of entertainment offerings scattered about 5000 channels on Dish Network. With a lot on my mind, I stirred until I just woke up. Unable to go back to sleep, I decided to attempt to write my thoughts down in the hopes of making sense of some of them. Well, that\’s not working too well; it seems that writer\’s block is an effective constraint.

Ian Flemming\’s \”You Only Live Twice\” is on some channel called EACTN, and I have no idea what that channel even is, so I Googled it. It\’s Encore Action – I suppose it is livelier that Encore\’s other channel, Encore Sedentary; seems more appropriate for 4:26 AM.

I digress. I was struck by the title of that Sean Connery Bond flick, as lately I have come to believe that perhaps people do get second chances in life. Admittedly, the poor graphics and ridiculous dialogue make me wonder how this title meshes with the truth, but from my own experience, I see it to be so.

There is a lot in life that could use a second chance. Some wish for new love, others, perhaps, for a different career. There used to be a clever commercial on television with the slogan \”There are No Do Overs in Life\”, and Hillary Clinton used the line too when discussing her vote on the Iraq invasion. While it is just about impossible to turn the clock back, it seems quite possible for second chances. By learning from errors, recovering from setbacks and not accepting when the breaks are beating the boys, and you take the chance, you can come back.

You only live twice is a lesson for the strong.

Juda Engelmayer is President and Partner with the NY PR agency, HeraldPR

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