Dollar Loan Center CEO Chuck Brennan on Security Measures

Charles-Brennan-Dollar-Loan-Center2Dollar Loan Center CEO Chuck Brennan was recently profiled in the security magazine Currents for his efforts toward customer safety. Chuck Brennan and his Dollar Loan Center staff have utilized a series of technological tools that ensure the security of his employees and his customers. For customers who seek a short-term financial solution, Chuck Brennan explains the security procedures at Dollar Loan Center.

A Gathering of Experts: In your opinion, Chuck Brennan, what’s the overall objective of Dollar Loan Center?

Chuck Brennan: Dollar Loan Center improves the lives of many Americans by providing small short-term loans for accepted applicants.

A Gathering of Experts: How many Dollar Loan Center locations are there?

Chuck Brennan: There are currently more than 80 locations in four states—Utah, California, South Dakota and Nevada.

A Gathering of Experts: Which region has garnered the most customer traffic?

Chuck Brennan: Las Vegas, NV is the most popular location.

A Gathering of Experts: Where is Dollar Loan Center based?

Chuck Brennan: Dollar Loan Center is based in Las Vegas, NV, a town known so well for its gambling casinos. However, there’s no sense in taking risks in terms of customers’ hard-earned money.

A Gathering of Experts: How are stores monitored?

Chuck Brennan: The surveillance unit monitors each location from a centralized spot. This way, the security team has the ability to see everything that occurs within the store.

A Gathering of Experts: The lending industry must be rampant with theft.

Chuck Brennan: In my cases, that’s true. Dollar Loan Center, however, uses cutting edge technology to curb theft and destruction of property.

A Gathering of Experts: How are customers cash protected?

Chuck Brennan: Each branch of Dollar Loan Center—from Las Vegas, NV to Sioux Falls, S.D.—contains a cash recycler that sorts and counts all customer deposits within a secure apparatus.

A Gathering of Experts: What happens to money deposited by customers?

Chuck Brennan: Once the customers’ money is placed into these machines, it is kept within a safe only accessible to the security team.

A Gathering of Experts: What if the safe is stolen?

Chuck Brennan: This apparatus has built-in security cameras, tracking devices and alarms.  This technology was created just for Dollar Loan Center and is cutting edge.

A Gathering of Experts: How can prospective customers find out more about Dollar Loan Center?

Chuck Brennan: For more information, visit us online at dontbebroke.com. People can also call (866) 550-4352 to speak with a company representative.

A Gathering of Experts: Thank you for your time.

Chuck Brennan: My pleasure. Thank you for having me.

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Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem, Oregon CEO of Bonaventure Senior Living: Inspiration from Arnold Schwarzenegger

kelley-d-hamilton-salem-oregon-5Kelley D. Hamilton of Salem, Oregon, who currently serves as the CEO of Bonaventure Senior Living, encourages Bonaventure’s senior residents to aim high and achieve their dreams. For Kelley D. Hamilton of Salem, Oregon, one prime example of an active, accomplished senior is Arnold Schwarzenegger. Kelley D. Hamilton of Salem, Oregon, applauds Schwarzenegger for his commitment to community service.

Q: In your opinion, what makes Arnold Schwarzenegger an inspirational senior?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Iconic athlete, Hollywood star, political force – Arnold has done it all. Arnold shows there are no limits to what people can achieve with the right attitude.

Q: How did Schwarzenegger get his start?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Born in Austria, Arnold became the youngest recipient of the Mr. Universe title at age 20.

Q: When did Arnold Schwarzenegger come to the United States?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: After earning five Mr. Universe titles, Arnold decided to pursue acting. He earned a degree from the University of Wisconsin and later became a United States citizen.

Q: What was Arnold’s big break in Hollywood?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: He earned a Golden Globe in 1977 for New Male Star of the Year.

Q: For what film?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: The film was Stay Hungry with Sally Field. He then became a household name for his roles in Conan the Barbarian and Terminator.

Q: He’s one of the major movie superstars…

Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Well, he’s certainly one of the most successful. His films have earned over $3 billion internationally.

Q: What prompted his move into politics?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Given his fame and fortune, Arnold felt compelled to devote his time and energy to serving people. Arnold served the state of California as governor from 2003-2010.

Q: What qualities do you believe helped Arnold as Governor of California?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Arnold was praised often for his commitment to public service and his impressive leadership skills.

Q: What advancements did Arnold make during his term?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Arnold spearheaded the reform agenda called the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

Q: What did it accomplish?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: It established California as a leader on combating climate change and promoting renewable energy.

Q: What were his chief initiatives while in office?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Physical fitness for Americans has been a primary focus for Arnold. He’s proven his dedication in a number of ways.

Q: How so?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Arnold was the Chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Q: When was that?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: He served during the presidency of George H.W. Bush.

Q: What other organizations has he served?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Arnold is now the Chairman of the After School All-Stars. The organization is an education-based program held nationwide.

Q: What’s Arnold working on now?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Arnold currently lives in Hollywood. He’s making films and finishing his autobiography due out this fall.

 

As CEO of Bonaventure Senior Living, Kelley D. Hamilton of Salem, Oregon, preaches the power of positivity to all Bonaventure residents. Kelley D. Hamilton leads the collection of senior living communities from the Bonaventure Home Office in Salem, Oregon in their dedication to serving senior adults and providing an active and fulfilling retirement lifestyle.

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Traveling to Italy

traveling-to-italyIf you plan to travel to Italy, here’s the No. 1 most important travel tip: Eat gelato as often as possible. Italian gelato is one of the greatest delights in the entire country. Referring to gelato as ice cream is borderline blasphemous.

If you want to “experience” rather than just “see” the country, the best advice is don’t try to see or do too much. You can’t experience everything Italy has to offer in a week or even a month. First decide what and where you are most interested in exploring and then choose the locations. Concentrate on seeing a few things and seeing them well. Take your time and relax. Consider staying in one place for a few days. You’ll get a better feel for the locale. Don’t make checking an item off your to-do list a substitute for enjoying the essence of a place.

Consider getting up early. Crowds usually don’t arrive at popular sites until well after breakfast. Have a refreshing afternoon nap during the heat of the day and then stay up late to enjoy the social interaction of the local community. Italians eat late, usually around 8 p.m.

Plan to get off the beaten track. That may mean getting away from large cities, but you won’t regret it. Don’t totally dismiss the popular tourist attractions, but a few days in the Tuscan countryside can build some great memories, too.

If you’re interested in an inexpensive place to stay and a way to gain an appreciation for how people live in rural Italy, you may want to try an agriturismo vacation. Agriturismo is a combination of the Italian words for agriculture and tourism. It is a style of vacationing in country or farmhouses that is similar to bed and breakfast accommodations. An agriturismo vacation is suitable for the whole family and in some places can be very romantic or luxurious.

To get on an Italian’s good side, learn a little Italian. To get a flavor for the local cuisine, eat where the locals eat. To save money on incidentals, shop local supermarkets. In general, in order to get a feel for the country and its people, experience Italy as the natives do. The Italians you meet will be pleased that you’ve at least tried to fit in to their culture and you may just experience the vacation of a lifetime.

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Moving Squad Founder Aldo Disorbo Considers a Move of His Own

Aldo-Disorbo-Restaurant-Gathering of ExpertsAfter three decades in the industry, Aldo Disorbo says his future may hold more cultural endeavors than his past. Today, this moving industry veteran speaks with A Gathering of Experts about his plans to open an Italian restaurant when he retires from Moving Squad.

A Gathering of Experts: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today.

Aldo Disorbo: My pleasure.

A Gathering of Experts: Can you tell us a bit about your business?

Aldo Disorbo: I own a company called Moving Squad. We are based in Fort Lauderdale. We offer local moving services at an affordable price.

A Gathering of Experts: You have been a major player in the moving industry for nearly 30 years. Why might you want to change career paths at this point?

Aldo Disorbo: I have always identified strongly with my Italian heritage. And, I love to cook. I think that opening my own Italian diner/bistro would be a dream come true. I’m not ready to retire from moving just yet, just thinking ahead.

A Gathering of Experts: That is a significant transition.

Aldo Disorbo: Not really. There are many similarities, I think, between the two industries.

A Gathering of Experts: How so?

Aldo Disorbo: When you own a moving company—or any business really—you have to organize people, places and things. You have to make sure that everything fits together like a well-oiled machine.

A Gathering of Experts: Like a restaurant’s wait staff, chefs and servers must work together to create happy customers?

Aldo Disorbo: Exactly—if any part of the dining experience is unpleasant, a meal can be ruined.

A Gathering of Experts: And so it goes with the moving industry?

Aldo Disorbo: At Moving Squad, we have sales staff, customer service reps, and movers. A deficiency in any of these departments reflects poorly on the entire company, effectively leaving a bad taste in the mouths of our customers.

A Gathering of Experts: Do you like to cook?

Aldo Disorbo: I’m Italian; of course I like to cook!

A Gathering of Experts: What are some of your favorite Italian dishes?

Aldo Disorbo: I don’t know that I could pinpoint just a few.

A Gathering of Experts: Italy is known mostly for pasta—let’s talk about lesser-known indigenous dishes. What does a typical Italian breakfast consist of?

Aldo Disorbo: Like many European countries, breakfast is usually served continental-style.

A Gathering of Experts: Like a hotel?

Aldo Disorbo: Not exactly. Italian breakfast is usually homemade and consists of café latte and buttered bread or rolls. Most coffee shops serve simple pastries, though cereals and yogurts are becoming more common.

A Gathering of Experts: What is the largest meal of the day?

Aldo Disorbo: In Italian culture it’s usually lunch. Europeans typically make lunch a more intimate affair than Americans. Pranzo (the midday meal) usually lasts at least an hour and a half and consist of several different courses.

A Gathering of Experts: How is that adapted for American culture?

Aldo Disorbo: For a restaurant, I would shorten the dining options to a simple salad and bread sticks with a small main course of pasta. One popular pre-meal food in Italy is finger sandwiches. You could also serve these as an entrée.

A Gathering of Experts: It seems that Italian food is more formal overall than what we have here in Western society.

Aldo Disorbo: Yes, but coming from a large Italian family, I can tell you that there’s nothing in the world that helps families bond like sitting down over a well-prepared meal. That is one reason that I want to open my own restaurant when I leave the moving business.

A Gathering of Experts: If you run your restaurant the way that you operate your moving services companies, you will no doubt be quite successful.

Aldo Disorbo: I appreciate the vote of confidence and I’m definitely looking forward to the challenge.

A Gathering of Experts: In a few more years we may look back on your many successes as evidence that you don’t have to stick with what you’re comfortable with.

Aldo Disorbo: I certainly hope so.

A Gathering of Experts: That’s all the time that we have for today. Thank you for chatting with us.

Aldo Disorbo: My pleasure.

Aldo Disorbo has spent the last two and a half decades building a clientele throughout southern Florida. Since his early days hauling friends’ and neighbors’ household goods in an old truck, Aldo Disorbo has made customer service his No. 1 priority. For more information, visit movingsquad.com.

 

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London Piano Institute on Pianist Artur Schnabel

London-Piano-Institute-Artur-SchnabelLondon Piano Institute is the U.K.’s only piano school for adults only. Located in central London, London Piano Institute offers the highest quality instruction in classical, jazz, pop, rock and blues piano using the latest and most effective adult instructional methods developed by renowned piano pedagogue Celine Gaurier-Joubert. Here a top instructor at London Piano Institute discusses one the greatest masters of the keyboard, Artur Schnabel.

A Gathering of Experts: Who was Artur Schnabel?

London Piano Institute: He was an Austrian classical pianist, teacher and composer.

A Gathering of Experts: In what era did he live?

London Piano Institute: He was born April 17, 1882, and died April 15, 1951. He was one of the great pianists of the 20th century.

A Gathering of Experts: What was his specialty?

London Piano Institute: He specialized in the great Austrian and German composers, specifically Beethoven and Schubert, although he played others as well.

A Gathering of Experts: What set him apart?

London Piano Institute: He was recognized for his intellectual seriousness when approaching the repertoire and avoiding pure technical bravura.

A Gathering of Experts: Was that received well?

London Piano Institute: Yes, indeed. He has been hailed for his “interpretive penetration.” Harold C. Schonberg, once chief music critic for the New York Times, called him “the man who invented Beethoven,” meaning that he established authoritative interpretations that have stood the test of time.

A Gathering of Experts: Where was he born?

London Piano Institute: Born in Lipnik near Bielitz, Galicia, Austro-Hungarian Empire (today a part of Poland), Schnabel was the youngest of three children born into a Jewish family. At an early age, however, his family moved to Vienna, Austria.

A Gathering of Experts: Was he a child prodigy?

London Piano Institute: Evidently, yes. At the age of 2 he took an interest in his older sister’s piano lessons and his talent became obvious. At age 6 he began piano studies at the prestigious Vienna Conservatorium and by age 9 was a student of the famed pedagogue Theodor Leschetizky.

A Gathering of Experts: What came next for him?

London Piano Institute: He continued to study piano and music theory and became acquainted with famous pianists and composers of his day, including Johannes Brahms. He made his concert debut in 1897 in Vienna.

A Gathering of Experts: Did he become a touring artist?

London Piano Institute: Yes, he gave concerts throughout the region including Budapest, Prague and Brunn (in today’s Czech Republic). In 1898 he moved to Berlin where he gained fame as an orchestral soloist.

A Gathering of Experts: Did he tour outside of central Europe?

London Piano Institute: After World War I he gave concert tours in Russia, England and the United States.

A Gathering of Experts: Was there a focus to his performing during this time?

London Piano Institute: He became known for his chamber music and formed a number of variations of the Schnabel Trio with famous violinists and cellists of his day. He also performed with contralto Therese Behr, who became his wife.

A Gathering of Experts: Did he leave Germany before World War II started?

London Piano Institute: Yes, with the rise of the Nazi party, he left Berlin in 1933 for England and finally America in 1939.

A Gathering of Experts: Did he ever return to Germany or Austria after the war?

London Piano Institute: No, despite many concert tours in other parts of Europe he never did.

A Gathering of Experts: What were the standards of his repertoire?

London Piano Institute: He remained devoted to the core German composers but also included the piano masterworks of Bach, Mozart, Schumann, Weber and Liszt.

A Gathering of Experts: He is known for the difficult late Beethoven piano works, is he not?

London Piano Institute: Yes, indeed, although he recognized that as enjoyable as they were for the pianist to master, they could be challenging for an audience to enjoy.

A Gathering of Experts: How about Schnabel as composer?

London Piano Institute: As conventional as his repertoire was, it is interesting to note that his compositions were very modern in style, since he wrote in the atonal and 12-tone style, which feature the dissonance typical of mid-20th century classical music.

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Entrepreneur Sandra Dyche on Attracting EB-5 Investors

Sandra-Dyche-InvestAccording to entrepreneur Sandra Dyche, certain types of projects are most likely to attain EB-5 financing. Sandra Dyche outlines a few significant project qualities and explains how entrepreneurs can make the most of this unique opportunity.

A Gathering of Experts: What is the most attractive quality in a project?

Sandra Dyche: A number of key qualities appeal to EB-5 investors. Generally, EB-5 investors prefer projects that will create a significant number of excess jobs than required by the USCIS.

A Gathering of Experts: What role does a regional center play?

Sandra Dyche: Regional Center is the fulcrum for the EB-5 program and throughout its process. Projects that have received sponsorship from a regional center, or from financing centers such as CapSpan, get pushed to the top of the page. Regional centers have gained in popularity and success in the last five years.

A Gathering of Experts: Are there other factors involved?

Sandra Dyche: The process runs a lot more seamlessly if the project developer possesses an excellent track record. He or she should have been proven to be able to finish the project successfully until the EB-5 investor receives a permanent green card and the original investment is repaid fully at maturity.

A Gathering of Experts: What are the best types of projects?

Sandra Dyche: Typically, a real estate project is the most attractive option while investors seek a hard asset. In most cases, an investment is hard to finance unless one of two things exists: firm contracts that demonstrate profitability, or real estate assets with various possible purposes.

A Gathering of Experts: Do the projects produce a good number of jobs?

Sandra Dyche: Very much so. Projects that can produce a greater number of jobs than the minimum requirement are viewed favorably. Projects that must have significant construction, or ones with a construction period lasting more than two years, are the most likely base for these jobs.

A Gathering of Experts: Why are these particular factors important?

Sandra Dyche: It’s smart to underestimate the number of jobs that a project will produce. USCIS holds an inconsistent standard in terms of counting tenant jobs. Often job reductions will take place during the term due to manufacturing and operating services being outsourced. The more jobs produced in the project, the better.

A Gathering of Experts: In your opinion, Sandra Dyche, is there anything else to note?

Sandra Dyche: Most of all, projects will get a green light if they have a better possibility that the principal will be repaid by the close of the EB-5 term, which is bolstered by a private investor’s or developer’s guarantee.

 

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Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon on the Advantages of Kosher Certification

KSA-Kosher-FoodsRabbi Binyomin Lisbon of KSA Kosher notes that kosher certification is a growing trend in the food industry. In this interview, Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon explains how kosher certification improves food sales and encourages healthy eating for Americans.

Q: Are kosher foods truly that popular with consumers?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Most people eat some type of kosher food each day, even if they may not be aware of it.

Q: What are the average sales of kosher-certified products each year?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: More than $150 billion of kosher-certified products are consumed annually, and consumer spending continues to increase dramatically.

Q: How has kosher certification influenced the food industry?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Kosher certification has prompted an increase in sales while promoting a company’s private label business.

Q: In particular, what does the KSA logo indicate?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: As a marketing device, the KSA logo has generated more revenue and expanded the scope of the market. More importantly, it signifies food quality to the consumer.

Q: Where can the KSA logo be found?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: The KSA logo is a prominent feature on products sold in restaurants, supermarket chains, food distributors and food manufacturers.

Q: Why do these businesses favor kosher foods?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: In a recent survey, consumers said that they favored kosher products over regular products by approximately 25 percent.

Q: Aren’t most kosher consumers from the Jewish community?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Only 8 percent of kosher consumers are religious Jews.

Q: How do kosher certification practices improve overall food safety?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Regular kosher inspections performed at production facilities will often increase attention to preventing insect infestation. In these cases, it’s more likely that inspectors will detect non-kosher remnants.

Q: Are kosher standards more stringent than general food industry regulations?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Kosher inspectors are not health professionals, of course. However, many times they hold higher standards than industry regulations.

Q: Such as? 

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Government regulations allow trace amounts of contamination in produced foods before they are deemed unsafe. However, kosher certification carries a no-tolerance policy.

Q: How do kosher inspectors monitor food production?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Kosher inspectors are extremely vigilant in monitoring bugs or any other impurities related to the food.

Q: How are kosher inspectors qualified for this task?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: These inspectors are trained in the areas of food technology, food chemistry and Jewish dietary law.

Q: Have food safety reforms been successfully enacted?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: The government has made significant progress in promoting food safety, but outcomes are still short of expectations.

Q: Why?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Administrative delays and inadequate funding have both contributed to the lessened impact of these reforms.

Q: What is the key to success of kosher products?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Quite simply, market demand. The more consumers request kosher food, the more products are introduced to the public.

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon leads all certification efforts for Kosher Supervision of America (KSA), located in Los Angeles, Calif. KSA is the most prominent kosher certification agency based in the Western United States.

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Debunking Myths About Running a Business

5Being an entrepreneur and running a successful business can be tough, and there are definitely hurdles to cross. According to statistics, 95 percent of all businesses fail in the first five years. For every successful entrepreneur, several are held back. Some try and fail, giving up before they should. Some don’t even start because of myths and misinformation. To assist them, here are some myths about starting a company, and the truth behind them.

Myth: No more personal life.

Truth: It will be challenging to juggle the responsibilities of running one’s own business and spending time with family, but at the end of the day, business owners can be much more flexible with personal life than any corporate employee can ever be. Time management and planning skills are essential to get things done so entrepreneurs can enjoy time spent with friends and family.

Myth: Sneakiness and shrewdness are keys to a successful enterprise.

Truth: In order to be a successful entrepreneur one needs to build honest, solid relationships with both clients and suppliers. Ruthless pricing may secure a few good deals but business owners won’t build profitable and lasting relationships. The goal should be to figure out how to make the most money while still keeping customers and suppliers happy.

Myth: More time off and less work.

Truth: A corporate job may force employees to put in long work hours and deal with a frustrating commute. Running one’s own company is appealing because it promises the opportunity to slow down and make one’s own hours. While this picture may be somewhat true, there is no denying the fact that being self-employed is very hard work. Most small businesses don’t show profit until well into the third year. If it were easy, everyone would do it. What makes the difference is that a business owner is doing something he or she is passionate about, so the long hours won’t seem like such hard work after all.

 

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