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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Having a camera and using it to take artistic looking photograph does not make a photographer. It takes exceptional talent and a discerning eye to capture stunning images worthy of the pages of a magazine or the walls of an art gallery. Out of the millions of photographers trying to make a name for themselves around the world today, only a handful can be considered the best in the business. One of them is Annie Leibovitz.

Leibovitz first got into photography as a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. After finishing her education, she went to Israel to live in a kibbutz for some time and upon her return to the US in 1970, she began her career with the rock music magazine Rolling Stone which, like her was just taking off at the time. She quickly rose up the ranks and was promoted to chief photographer of the magazine after only two years. At the magazine, she was able to make a name for herself, taking photos of The Rolling Stones all throughout their world tour in 1975 and capturing a rather provocative image of John Lennon and Yoko Ono only a few hours before Lennon’s death in 1980. Leibovitz left Rolling Stone in 1983 and joined the staff at Vanity Fair magazine where to this day, she serves as a contributing editor. Leibovitz’ photos have appeared not only in Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, but in the pages of Vogue and in ad campaigns for American Express, the Gap, and the Got Milk? campaign as well. Today, Leibovitz is considered as one of the top photographers in the world today.

Aside from commercial success, Leibovitz has earned recognition in the art world as well. Her photographs are regularly on display at some of the best art galleries in the world.

Born on January 28, 1955 to an Indian Army officer, Vinod Khosla began his path towards entrepreneurial success at the age of 14, when he read an article about the creation of Intel in a magazine. This inspired him to pursue a technology-related career, and went on to obtain several IT and Engineering degrees in IIT in Delhi, India, Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Right after finishing his studies, Khosla worked for the Daisy Systems for two years. He then co-founded the Sun Microsystems, and served as the company’s first Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board during the early 1980s. He became a general partner of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, a venture capital company, in the early 2000s, and eventually founded his own company, Khosla Ventures in 2004. It focused primarily on venture investments on a wide array of technology sectors, with great emphasis on clean technology. His company became a massive success, propelling Khosla to the summits of the industry, with a net worth of over $1.4 billion as of 2012.

Born on April 5, 1951 in Long Island, New York, Dean L. Kamen is an American inventor and entrepreneur from New Hampshire. A self-taught physicist, he went to Worcester Polytechnic Institute, but left before graduating, right after he has finished a highly-classified, advanced research on his first invention, AutoSyringe, a cutting-edge drug infusion pump.

Kamen is best known for constructing an innovative product that ultimately became known as Segway PT, a self-balancing, electric-powered, human transporting unit that comes with a state-of-the-art, computer-operated gyroscopic stabilization system. The entire contraption is balanced by two wheels and maneuvered by shifting body weight. The development of the machine was an object of massive hype and speculation after parts of a book that quoted famous  IT visionaries like Steve Jobs praising its groundbreaking potentials were leaked into the society in 2001.

Kamen has also worked comprehensively on a device that involved Stirling engines, in an attempt to construct two separate machines: one that could generate power, and another with a Slingshot that could serve as a water purifier. Kamen hoped that such invention will substantially improve the lives of people living in developing countries. He has also co-invented a compressed air-powered gadget that would propel individuals into the air, allowing SWAT team members or emergency personnel to reach roofs of buildings or inaccessible edifices.

Kamen became successful right at the moment he invented AutoSyringe and launched a company to manufacture and market the item. He then added another company called DEKA, which currently holds patents on state-of-the-art technology utilized in insulin pumps, portable dialysis machines and all-terrain wheelchairs also known as iBOT. His company also works on several projects revolving around solar power.

As of this moment, Kamen busies himself with more innovative projects and FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an  educational program he founded in 1989 that aim to get everyone interested in engineering, science and technology.

Born in 1963, Jan Cameron is one of the world’s wealthiest businesswomen, and the fourth richest in Australia. She is the founder of Kathmandu, an international chain of retail shops, selling outdoor apparel and equipment. Apart from being a successful entrepreneur, she is also a philanthropist and a keen supporter of animal rights, and was appointed by the Australian government as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for her services in the business industry as well as her contributions to philanthropy.

Based in Bicheno, Tasmania, Cameron currently owns and operates several successful companies and enterprises, which altogether, span from New Zealand to the United States of America to Canada.  She is the founder and head of Retail Adventures, the largest chain of retail stores in Australia, which yields 1 billion dollars in sales every year, and Nood or New Objects of Desire, a New Zealand and Canadian furniture company. Cameron also has shares in many key retail companies such as Pumpkin Patch, Macpac, Postie Plus Group and Nood.

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, to a family of restaurateurs, Cat Cora is a Greek-American chef known for her roles in Food Network’s Iron Chef: Supreme Cuisine and Bravo’s Around the World in 80 Plates.

Cora attended the University of Southern Mississippi and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Biology. She then enrolled at New York’s Culinary Institute of America, where she graduated with high honors. Since then, life became pretty much hectic for Cora, manning the kitchens of various high-end restaurants in California, getting featured in several culinary publications and appearing in numerous television shows. She also co-founded Chefs for Humanity, a non-profit, non-governmental charitable organization of culinary professionals who aim to raise funds and assist in emergency situations and humanitarian causes, as well as hunger-related initiatives and nutritional education throughout the world.

Today, Cora has her hands full with her eponymous restaurant in San Francisco, Kouzzina in Disney’s Boardwalk Resort in Orlando, Florida and Bravo’s Around the World in 80 Plates, an American reality game show.

Bringing more than two decades of leadership experience to his present responsibilities as Vice President of Global Brand Marketing at Nike, Inc., Davide Grasso consistently demonstrates that when it comes to effective advertising, companies that push the limits tend to reap the most considerable rewards. Unrivaled in size and demographic reach, Nike recently overhauled its marketing strategy to leverage new developments in the digital tech sector, a move spearheaded by Grasso that spotlights the corporation’s decreasing reliance on conventional big-budget promotional efforts. Spending almost $800 million on non-traditional forms of advertising in 2010 alone, Nike continues to formulate marketing directives with a concerted focus on social media and web-based outreach, two young yet promising platforms that Davide Grasso utilizes to the fullest extent in his work.

Over the course of his twenty-year tenure at Nike, Davide Grasso has held top-level executive roles within all six of the sportswear giant’s brand categories, positions that included Italy’s Director of Marketing, Europe’s Director of Apparel Marketing, Director of Brand Marketing in the United States, and Vice President of Asia Pacific Marketing. Prior to assuming his current post in 2010, Davide Grasso served as Vice President of Global Football Marketing in charge of Nike’s international soccer arm. In this capacity, he worked in close collaboration with advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy to launch “Write the Future,” an ingenious film and Internet hybrid campaign that debuted during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Aside from the fairly recent introduction of Nike’s Digital Sport division to Nike+, the company’s cutting-edge partnership with Apple, Davide Grasso has overseen unique and critically acclaimed campaigns like “The Black Mamba,” “The Chosen,” the KobeSystem,” and “Basketball Never Stops.” Always seeking uncharted avenues for innovation, Grasso looks forward to a new era in marketing where companies can connect with consumers on a truly meaningful level by making the most of all the digital world has to offer.

Recognized by the James Beard Foundation as an “Outstanding Chef”, Jose Andres is a world-renowned culinary innovator, television personality, cookbook author, staunch advocate of hunger and food issues, and the founder of ThinkFoodGroup. Jose is often credited for bringing the fusion of traditional and avant-garde Spanish cuisine into the American dining scene.

Born in Northern Asturias and raised in the outskirts of Barcelona, Jose chose the culinary way of life at the young age of 15. He went to School of Restaurants and Hotels of Barcelona and apprenticed in Michelin-starred restaurants such as elBulli under the guidance of the legendary chef Ferran Adria. He then transferred to Washington, United States and worked alongside Roberto Alvarez and Rob Wilder in their Proximo restaurants. Conquering one kitchen after another, Jose eventually became the executive chef of Jaleo and pioneered the first of what would become numerous critically-acclaimed and commercially-successful tapa restaurants in the nation, setting the bar for a few more high-end, small-plate Spanish restaurants to keep up with.

With his thirst for gastronomic excellence still unquenched, he kept on moving from one Washington restaurant to another, leaving behind a trail of exciting culinary destinations in his wake. In 2003, he finally opened his state-of-the-art mini-bar jose andres, which instantaneously enjoyed luminary status. Critics began dubbing Jose as the “Boy Wonder of the Washington Restaurant Industry”. By 2006, Jose and his former colleagues at Proximo formed ThinkFoodGroup and went on to create several relevant and exciting restaurant concepts not only in Washington but in many other states as well.

Indeed, Jose is one extraordinary chef with an extensive portfolio of amazing restaurants. Capable of doing almost anything, he is primed to teach in Harvard University’s Science and Cooking course, work at the National Archives, raise funds for D.C Central Kitchen and provide job training for the homeless.

William Randolph Hearst is one of the 20th century’ most prominent figures, with influences and power that extended to politics, motion pictures, publishing, arts and the day to day American life.

Born on 1863 to affluent Californian parents, Hearst grew up to become the innovative man behind the San Francisco Examiner and New York Journal, both of which he had steered to the greatest heights of success.  He launched the first print-media firms to join radio broadcasting and was one of the early pioneers of television. Hearst was also a major producer of numerous movie newsreels and was highly acclaimed for his comic strip enterprise. In 1902, he was elected as the Congressman of New York, and served for one term in the United States House of Representatives.

Hearst married Millicent Willson and had five sons with her. He died on 1951 and is laid to rest in the Hearst Mausoleum at California’s Cypress Lawn Cemetery.

In today’s uncertain economy, first-time homebuyers and individuals interested in refinancing an existing mortgage can face considerable challenges when it comes to securing the financial backing necessary to achieve their goals. Since 2002, the President of WEI Mortgage Corporation Wesley Yuan has helped his clients build a stable future for themselves and their families by utilizing a people-centric business model that emphasizes integrity, efficiency, conservative lending practices, and most importantly, excellent customer service. Headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, WEI has grown to become one of the country’s top real estate lenders with Mr. Yuan at the helm. Presently licensed in 38 states, WEI boasts distinction as a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved lending institution and further distinguished itself from the competition as an equal opportunity lender.

Playing and integral role in WEI’s success over the course of the past decades, Wesley Yuan maintains a wide range of responsibilities to ensure that the enterprise continues to flourish regardless of the difficulties presented by a less-than-stellar economic climate. A skilled financial analyst and operations manager who holds more than 15 years of experience in his field, Mr. Yuan completed his college studies at the University of Maryland where he earned dual degrees in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering. Balancing a heavy academic course load with managerial duties at General Electric Company, he subsequently obtained licensure as a real estate agent.

After honing his skills and market understanding through three years of employment with United Realty, Inc., Wesley Yuan felt ready to pursue new career opportunities, a desire that led him to join WEI. Still affiliated with United Realty, Inc., Mr. Yuan takes great pride in his ability to provide clients with actionable guidance and advice during the complex process of securing a loan. Well versed in all aspects of compliance and deeply familiar with the regulatory mandates that govern the modern lending industry, he aims to create a personal relationship with every WEI customer and notes that his company’s ultimate goal is to be a family’s lender for life.

You can learn more about WEI Mortgage Corporation on manta.com

Born on January 23, 1946, Boris Berezovksy made a mark in this world as a Russian mathematician and an active member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is famous for working under the Boris Yeltsin’s regime during the 1990s as a highly influential media tycoon and politician.

Berezovsky served in AutoVAZ, one of Russia’s largest automobile manufacturers, for several years. In 1992, the company built a joint-stock firm called LogoVAZ, which grew to become one of the country’s most successful private enterprises. Berezovsky was appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Directors when it was transformed into a holding company.

From then on, Berezovsky became an unstoppable force in the business industry. He seized several assets at incredibly low costs and almost immediately became a billionaire during Russia’s dash to capitalism. He purchased the Sibneft oil company and was a key shareholder of ORT, the nation’s leading television channel, which he used to bring forth his propaganda during the 1996 presidential campaign.

Yet it wasn’t all fame and splendor for Berezovsky. Just like any other businessman with an unquenchable thirst for power and money, he too had his own fair share of mischief and waywardness During his glory years, Berezovsky used up all his fortune and profits he had earned from his enterprises as funding for Vladimir Putin’s party. Putin eventually took a hold of ORT and put a stop to the political ambitions of numerous people like Berezovsky who were greatly abhorred by Russians.

When Putin became president, Berezovsky fled to another country as he was accused of generating $13 million out of duplicitous means. He became a part of United Kingdom’s political asylum and has since then, been wanting to overthrow Putin by force. In November 2000, Berezovsky established the International Foundation for Civil Liberties.

Berezovsky’s series of unfortunate events did not stop there. In 2007, he was found guilty of executing massive embezzlement and has been penalized with six year of jail time as well as $9 million fine, which was used to repay the Russian government. He was also charged for the murders of two critics of the Putin’s administration, and survived numerous association attempts set forth by Russian agents.

Indeed, not all businessmen have happy endings, especially those who are too consumed by their ambitions and preoccupied with nothing but wealth and power.