Category Archives: Featured

New York: New Wellness

Wellness has long been a trend in New York but recently it seems to be making its way to the Flatiron District. Now that there are many startups there, it is a prime location for hard working executives to take advantage of wellness opportunities near to their workspaces.   Some examples of these include: Exhale Spa (where attendees can take barre, cardio and yoga classes;  enjoy a facial, massage, acu-healing, scrubs, manicure and waxing); Inscape (offering guided meditation, relaxation, self-care products sold in the store); Stretch*d (for assisted stretching sessions enhancing flexibility) and many more. 

The area has so become akin to fitness that it’s even taken on a new name in the last few years as well:  the Fitness District. As co-founder of Stretch*d, Amanda Freeman refers to the district as:

“the best neighborhood in the world for health and wellness concepts to debut.  The mix of clientele and the density of offices and residential buildings are unparalleled.”

Now New York is even home to a CBD and plant-based wellness hub – Standard Dose – which is aiming to be the address for all self-care services and products, “dedicated to elevating wellness through natural healing and curating only the best and most effective products.”

Apple Pay and NYC’s MTA

Finally, after around two years of waiting, it seems that this summer will see the rollout of Apple Pay.  it’s been a long time coming but with this new system, MTA users will have their payment method significantly facilitated.  Apple Pay will enable customers to instantly pay their fares by simply tapping their phone/watch.  Known as OMNY, its launch date for Staten Island buses and the 4 5 6 subway Grand Central-42 Street and Atlantic Avenue Barclays Center lines is May 31.  The full system is set to be in place by next year.  

There is a very good chance that Apple Pay will not be the only show in town since New York City’s contactless payment system can also support other phone systems as well as contactless credit cards.

No Barriers Summit New York City

The No Barriers summit was held in New York City on October 5th and 6th.  This inspirational event is for everyone no matter what they are facing so that they can “unleash their potential.”  As Co-founder Erik Weihenmaker said: 

“I think the culmination of our journey is not when we stand on top of our summits pounding our chest saying look at me.  I think the real culmination is when we come down the mountain and we take the gifts that we have earned and we use them to motivate our lives and our communities and our families…and the world. That’s just the beginning…most importantly we do it to celebrate this life that we call No Barriers.”

In this video, you can get just a small feel for what transpired there.

US Doctors Volunteering in Lebanon

Last month, the Compassionate Care Mission led its first mission to Lebanon.  The volunteer group of US doctors and academics created this organization “to provide compassionate medical care to refugees and vulnerable host communities.” Over 20 volunteers participated in the July trip.  Three of the emergency specialists were: Josyann Abisaab, M.D. (an emergency medicine physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine); Rana Biary, M.D. (an emergency medicine physician and toxicologist at New York University Langone Health) and Christian Wilson, M.D. (an internal medicine physician at Apogee Physicians).

Working in conjunction with various international NGOs, this team of dedicated individuals felt “helpless” at the devastation caused by the war in Syria. As such, it created a volunteer-based mission – with the support of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) – to bring much  needed medical relief, aid and pharmaceuticals to those in Lebanon. Educating those on illness prevention in underserved communities was also a part of the trip.

All medical missions require a whole slew of doctors with different specialties.  The mission was fortunate to have the following emergency medical on its team, including: Dr. Josyann Abisaab, Dr. Cecilia Sorenson, Dr. Martin Pusic, Dr. Fereshti Sani and others.  Other specialty US doctors in the fields of: internal medicine, pediatrics, hospice care, and molecular biology were a crucial element in this mission.

After the care follow up, more missions will be planned. It is hoped that additional expert medical volunteers from the US will also be recruited.

Freedom Day in New York City

South African diplomats expressed gratitude to New Yorkers and the City of New York as they marked Freedom Day.  In this SABC Digital News video, we learn of the appreciation South Africans expressed at the support of the community around the world in the role it played in eliminating apartheid.

Around 200 people assembled to mark the day in NY which was attended by Sherwin Bryce-Pease, Chef de Cabinet to Antonio Gutteres UN Secretary General Maria Luiza Viotti, South African model and Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel Peters, Aziz Pahad, Johannesburg West Highlands MP.

Recent Investments

$28m has been invested into data-engineering technology firm Duco by Insight Venture Partners, NEX Opportunities and Eight Roads Ventures.  Cristóbal Conde entrepreneur also contributed to this fund, of which the lifetime entrepreneur said:

“I am delighted to be deepening my relationship with Duco at this important inflection point for the company. Re-conciliation in financial services, and particularly in banks and large asset managers, is an area that requires a shake-up and re-engineering in the coming years. Duco is focused on bringing technological advancements to market in an industry that is ripe for disruption. The company is taking significant market share and will emerge as a household name in the coming years.”

Shares of their New York Mortgage Trust (NASDAQ:NYMT) were just lowered by Zacks Investments Research. The shift was made from a buy rating to a hold rating.  The explanation for the move was given by Zacks as follows:

“New York Mortgage Trust is a real estate investment trust focused on owning and managing a leveraged portfolio of residential mortgage securities and a mortgage origination business. The mortgage portfolio is comprised largely of prime adjustable-rate and hybrid mortgage loans and securities, much of which, over time will be originated by NYMT’s wholly owned mortgage origination business, The New York Mortgage Company, a taxable real estate investment trust subsidiary.”

 

 

Business Success: Taking it to the Next Level

According to Founder and CEO of BlackRock Laurence D. Fink, companies “need to do more than make profits.”  To get the support of BlackRock, they will have to “contribute to society as well.”   He added:  “Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

Fink added that governments have to start preparing for the future, with a special emphasis on retirement, infrastructure, automation and worker retraining.

Apparently this works both ways.  In a recent video in Entrepreneur, contributor Greg Rollett argued that: “The entrepreneurs who find massive success are the ones who are part of communities that encourage them, help them and give them an edge.”

When looking at Dime Community Bank, it seems that this advice has already been implemented.  Given that the NY-headquartered-company, has 400+ employees, providing service throughout NYC’s five boroughs, as well as the surrounding metropolitan area in 28 communities and neighborhoods. Dime’s Board of Directors asserted that it seeks to “get the tax savings back into the economy while acting in the best interests of all of Dime’s stakeholders.”  As such, it intends to engage in the following activities to stimulate economic growth.

These include: establishment of jobs, review of corporate policies and practices, paying $1,000 bonus to all non-executive employees, the institution of a Corporate Matching Gift program, continuation of the #dimesgiveback social media campaign.

Christmastime…

And what type of tree should you buy exactly?  Choose from one of these if you are in New York; they seem to be the most popular: Frasier Fir (popular in the streets of NYC), Balsam Fir (spacious branches and very aromatic); Noble Fir (most regal and festive) and Nordmann Fir (pricey but extremely elegant).

And how much will this set you back?  Apparently anywhere between $35 and $200, depending on its size (for New York apartments, 5-6 feet tall seems standard).  Check out local garden stores and local playgrounds with vendors and you’ll really feel like you are getting into the holiday spirit.

In general most of the trees that end up in NYC for sale hail from Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon and Pennsylvania.  But those from Michigan might just be pricier this year: Christmas tree farms across northern Michigan are working to ship trees across the country.