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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Al Gore Jr. was US Vice President under President Clinton for two terms. After his stint at the White House, Gore became an environmental activist, having raised awareness of global warming as Co-Laureate for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Gore was born on March 31, 1948 in Carthage, Tennessee. His father was a US Representative for several years that’s why Gore was exposed to politics at a young age.

Gore took up BA major in Government at Harvard College and finished in June 1969. In spite of his opposition to the Vietnam War, Gore joined the US Army shortly after graduation. He spent the last seven months of military service in Vietnam.

After The US Army, Gore entered a divinity school at Vanderbilt. Then, he attended a law school. He was first elected as a Representative in 1976. In 1984, he won a seat in the Senate. He was Senator from Tennessee until he became America’s 45th vice president in 1993.

He ran for president against George W. Bush in 2000. He won the popular votes but lost to Bush in the electoral votes. Despite losing his bid for the presidency, Gore continued his public service by spending his time addressing environmental issues.

Walt Disney created some of the most-loved cartoon characters in the world and secured them through the Walt Disney Company. The growth of the company was huge; thanks to the success of the mouse named Mickey Mouse. Walt Disney Company grew into an empire to include not only cartoon characters but also films, TV networks, Hollywood studios, and theme parks.

Disney was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 5, 1901. He grew up with five other siblings – three brothers and one sister. Young Disney developed his passion in drawing and trains as a young boy living on a small farm in Missouri.

When the Disney family moved back to Chicago, Walter attended McKinley High School and enrolled in night classes at Chicago Art Institute. He joined the Red Cross after his failed military career when he dropped out of school and joined the army at 16. At the Red Cross, he was assigned in France as an ambulance driver.

After Red Cross, Disney went to Kansas City and worked at Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio. There, he did commercial works for newspapers, magazines and movie theaters. He started a business venture with cartoonist Ub Iwerks and named the company “Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists.” The business was a flop so the partners decided to liquidate the venture and go their separate ways.

The failure led Disney to settle in Hollywood. He and his brother Roy started a business which later was known as Walt Disney Company. The company became successful with its first series which featured animated animals and a real girl named Alice in “Alice Comedies.” Then came its second success in “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” which also ushered the reunion of Disney and Iwerks.

But the company’s biggest success was the mouse with big ears and squeaky sound named Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse was born on November 18, 1928. He first appeared in “Plane Crazy” but it was “Steamboat Willie” that gave him his biggest break. Disney was the voice behind Mickey Mouse until 1946.

Mickey Mouse became the symbol for Walt Disney Company. He was a cultural icon who appeared in films, comic strips, video games and on every piece of merchandise imaginable.

The company has been to many Academy Award nominations and was nominated seven times in the Emmys. The company became a listed company in 1957.

Disney and his wife Lily had two children.

A self-described “lackluster student” in college, but not for want of brains, David Jorgensen possessed a quality that would serve him even better in the years to come: an entrepreneurial spirit. Unlike most engineers, who focus on the tasks before them, he always saw the bigger picture and thought about things such as obsolescence and the appropriate penalties for mediocrity. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of Utah, David Jorgensen joined Boeing’s engineer development program, learning a great deal about programming. He also learned he was not a great engineer.

Boeing sent the young employee to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Washington, where he absorbed an understanding of how business works. During this time, a friend at Boeing, one of those people who were constantly thinking up new ideas for businesses, unleashed the entrepreneur within David Jorgensen. By the time he completed his MBA in 1964, the aerospace industry was no longer thriving. Mr. Jorgensen accepted a position at the Stanford Research Institute in California, where he worked mainly in government consulting.

The Research Institute sent David Jorgensen to Stanford University’s doctoral program in engineering. While working on this degree, he and a friend started a textbook-publishing firm. Over the next few years, several projects came and went. Just shy of completing his Ph.D., Mr. Jorgensen pursued an opportunity to co-found Computer Synectics, a startup company that measured and improved the performance of computers.

Other entrepreneurial ventures followed, and in 1979, David Jorgensen started Katun Corporation with a friend. The company provides OEM-compatible parts and supplies for office imaging equipment, including toner cartridges, inks, photoreceptors, and cleaning and maintenance tools and products. By 2002, Katun had grown into a $350 million business, and David Jorgensen and his partners sold the company. A mediocre undergraduate student in engineering, perhaps, but David Jorgensen became an entrepreneur extraordinaire.

Bill Clinton was the 42nd US President. He served five terms as Arkansas governor before he became president. He was a popular president who advanced education, jobs and domestic environment. His foreign policy advocated international peace talks related to the Northern Island and Palestinian conflicts.

Clinton was born on August 19, 1946 in Hope, Arkansas. He was born as William Jefferson Blythe III. He grew up with his grandfather James Elridge because his father died in a car accident before he was born. His grandpa, whom he calls Papaw, was influential in forming the young Clinton’s mind. He was exposed early to jobs such as nighttime security guard in a local sawmill and as an attendant in a small grocery store.

The grocery store had a steady stream of black customers. At the time when there were racism issues between the blacks and the whites, Clinton saw his Papaw treat black and white customers the same. His grandparents, who were against segregation and racism, taught Clinton to respect Afro-Americans in the same way as he would white Americans. It was told that young Billy was one of the few white boys in town who would play with black children. These valuable boyhood experiences later shaped Clinton’s thinking and made novelist and professor Toni Morrison call him as the first black American president.

Mark Cuban owns the franchise of the 2010-2011 NBA Champions Dallas Mavericks. He is a billionaire internet entrepreneur and chairs the board of the high-def TV station HDNet.

Cuban was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 31, 1958. His entrepreneurial skills were visible at a young age, an influence the young Cuban had acquired from his family’s upbringing. At an early age of twelve, he was working at his father’s car upholstering shop. He wanted an expensive pair of shoes but his wage at his father’s shop wasn’t enough for the price so he sold garbage bags to save for the shoes he wanted.

While in school and university, Cuban continued with his entrepreneurial ways by taking several jobs. He attended Indiana University and earned his bachelor’s degree in business in 1981. He moved to Dallas where he opened his computer consulting company MicroSolutions. This business made Cuban a millionaire when Compuserve purchased the company in 1990 for $6 million.

After this, Cuban opened Broadcast.com, an internet broadcasting company. The company grew to a $100-million annual revenue company, employing 300 workers. When the company had an IPO in 1998, the price grew by 250% from $18 to $62.75 per share.

Cuban decided to sell Broadcast.com to Yahoo! in 1999 at the dawn of the dot com crash. The company was sold for $5.04 billion. This made Cuban an instant billionaire.

When Cuban bought the NBA team Dallas Mavericks from Ross Perot Jr., the franchise was actually not for sale. Perot was convinced with Cuban’s passion and persuasiveness to own the team that he sold it to Cuban for $285 million. At the press conference, Perot said, “Mark is a very good salesman. Mark would not give up and I think I told him ‘no’ for about six months. I saw in Mark what I felt this organization needed. I saw his enthusiasm and his passion for the game as well as his passion for the Dallas Mavericks. Mark is a longtime fan, and I felt that is what we needed.

Deepak Chopra is an Indian doctor and writer who was born in New Delhi, India on October 22, 1946.  He is a popular of influential books on mind-body science and spirituality. His teachings have influenced millions of people around the world, including the New Thought Movement.

Chopra and his wife Rita migrated to the US in 1970. He finished his residency at the University of Virginia Hospital. When he passed the medical board exam, he became a specialist in internal medicine and endocrinology.

During the early years of his medical practice, Chopra taught at Tufts University and Boston University. Later, he became Massachusetts’ New England Memorial Hospital’s Chief of Staff. He also became the Chief at Boston Regional Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

He began his private practice in 1981. Chopra a practitioner of Ayurvedic medicine was named Dr. Vaidya Brihaspatu Dev Triguna. This was the beginning of Chopra’s active involvement in Transcendental Meditation.

Chopra was the Executive Director of the Sharp Institute for Human Potential and Mind-Body Medicine in San Diego, California in 1993. In 1996, he established The Chopra Center in La Jolla, California. Later, a branch was also established in New York.

The Center was established to combine western medicine with natural medicine. Chopra believed that good health is not only about the absence of disease but a balanced function between the mind and body. The Center was recognized by the American Medical Association as school for continuing education for doctors.

Chopra authored over 40 books, mainly focused on medicine and the connection between science and religion.

Steven Pinkert has served the Miami, Florida, community as Managing Partner of Pinkert and Marsh, PA (formerly the Pinkert Law Firm, PA), since 2002. His firm has expertise in intellectual property and immigration law, as well as transactional law related to matters of real estate and large-scale medical equipment acquisition.

Mr. Pinkert also offers counsel on Chinese market entry strategies and U.S. trade to Asian and South American markets. Closely engaged with firms seeking to utilize Chinese manufacturing capacities, he has taken over 30 business trips to Beijing. In addition to helping U.S. companies to enter China, he facilitates the entry of Chinese firms into markets in the Western Hemisphere.

Mr. Pinkert earned his Doctor of Medicine at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, subsequently undertaking residency training at the University of Illinois Medical Center. Maintaining a private practice from 1979 to 1994, he specialized in the outpatient treatment of severely disturbed patients. His patients had conditions such as borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, and antisocial personality disorder. He held numerous faculty appointments during this time, notably serving as an Associate at Northwestern University Medical School, where he provided medical students with training in the behavioral sciences.

In 1998, Steven Pinkert completed a J.D. at the University of Miami, then pursued an MBA at the same institution. In addition to his legal responsibilities, he is engaged with Signum US Healthcare Inc. as Chairman of the Board. The company is working in tandem with state-owned Chinese hospitals to create specialized radiotherapy centers. Steven Pinkert maintains affiliations with a number of professional organizations in the legal and medical fields, including the American College of Legal Medicine, American Medical Association, and the Florida Justice Association.

Andrew Carnegie is an industrialist, businessman and philanthropist who built the Carnegie Steel Company. The company, which later was known as US Steel, gave Carnegie his fortune. With the wealth he amassed from his steel company, he established other institutions including Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Carnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Carnegie was born on November 25, 1835. His family moved to Allegheny, Pennsylvania from his hometown Dunfermline, UK in 1848. When he was only 13, Carnegie worked for 12 hours a day, 6 days a week as a bobbin boy at a local cotton mill. He was earning $1.25 per week at that time. When he was 15, he worked for the Ohio Telegraph Office for $2.20 per week as a messenger.

Carnegie did not have formal education. Most of his learnings were self-taught. While working as a messenger, he was exposed to the works of Robert Burns and his teachings about democracy. He would go to the library of Col. James Anderson and read books on economics, culture and telegraph. Later, he was employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company as telegraph operator in 1853.

When Carnegie was only 18, he was promoted as superintendent of the Pittsburgh Division of the railroad. He invested his savings by putting $500 to a company named Adams Express. His initial investment was a success, giving him enough money to invest in stocks of other industries like cars, railroads and iron.

During the Civil War, the Union army used Carnegie’s railroad connections to move troops and munitions to battle. The war also gave him opportunities to invest in oil and iron needed for the war. This opened Carnegie’s enthusiasm for the steel industry.

After the war, to satisfy his new-found passion in ironworks, Carnegie opened The Keystone Bridge Works and the Union Ironworks. Both companies helped improve the infrastructure for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Soon he purchased his competitor, the Homestead Steel Works in 1888. Later in 1892, he also established the Carnegie Steel Company. He was known as the largest steel producer in the US that time.

In 1901, Carnegie’s company was renamed United States Steel Corporation. He hired John Pierpont Morgan to establish a holding company for him so he could retire. Soon the company was purchased by Charles Schwab for $480 million. Carnegie retired with over $250 million in wealth.

Carnegie died in Lennox, Massachusetts on August 11, 1919.

Jack Canfield is known for his best-selling book series Chicken Soup for the Soul. In 2007, the series has sold over 100 million copies in over 124 different titles. He is featured in “The Secret” and is known worldwide as a motivational speaker.

Canfield shared his original visions for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series to his friend Mark Victor Hansen. His concept was to compile short, inspirational stories into a single book. Over three years, Canfield and Hansen have gathered 68 stories. By 1997, they we considered the top-selling authors in the US.

Canfield established the Canfield Training Group, which helps train entrepreneurs and leaders to achieve personal and professional goals. He also created The Foundation for Self-Esteem, which provides resources to professionals in human resource and social work. His Chicken Soup for the Soul Enterprises continues to promote and publish activities around the help beside Canfield’s radio programs and his syndicated newspaper.

Holding responsibilities as Vice Chairman of Global Corporate and Investment Banking (GCIB) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) Charlie Ditkoff is a leading Wall Street presence in the healthcare banking sector. He joined BAML in New York in 1999 as a Managing Director and was responsible for the firm’s coverage of providers and distributors in the healthcare services industry. In 2003, he took responsibility for the entire spectrum of healthcare services coverage offered by GCIB. He notably helped expand Banc of America Securities, LLC, into a market leader in financings and mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Ditkoff earned his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University and completed his Juris Doctor at Yale Law School. He was a corporate securities lawyer at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York from 1987 to 1992, serving a distinguished firm with nearly two centuries of experience. He next accepted a position with Credit Suisse First Boston as Vice President, which lasted two years. Prior to beginning his current affiliation with BAML, Charlie Ditkoff spent five years with Morgan Stanley’s Corporate Finance Group, focusing primarily on the healthcare sector.

Mr. Ditkoff’s personal interests include bluegrass, an American folk music with roots in rural Appalachia. He is a fan of rock bands that have folk elements in their style, such as Wilco and the Grateful Dead. An avid reader, he considers the Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuściński and Philip Roth among his favorite writers.