One on One with Onyx Linthicum Founder of Vendor Nation

Photo (C) Dennis Drenner 2011
 Roger-How did you come up with the idea Vendor Nation?

Onyx-As a youngster I recall the large vendor expos that would frequent the DC area each year.  They were a great opportunity for small producers of products and service providers to introduce themselves to the community.  Many used these vendor expos as a springboard to test and even launch their products and services.  It was an affordable way to test the market and meet new customers.  Unfortunately, these expos are far and few these days and are only found at other events such as music festivals and fairs.  Though these are also great outlets, they don’t focus on the entrepreneur.  Vendor Nation focuses on the entrepreneur and their products and services.  Though there is entertainment for guests to enjoy, the purpose is directed toward those men and women in business for themselves to give them a platform to shine.

onyx with DJ KOOL and KANGOL kid

DJ KOOL and KANGOL kid

Roger- Name  of the events and conferences that you have produced?

Onyx– Since college my passion has always been to host large empowerment conferences including those that focus on small business.  I’ve always had a desire to help “the little guy” in ways that level the playing field or give them home court advantage.  We all know who the big players are but what we have to understand is how important those small players are in the game.  My goal is to assist them in finding recognition for what they produce, sell and service until they can leverage themselves to loftier success. In saying that, my background is in music and entertainment event promotion. My company has hosted several events in Rhode Island, Richmond VA and Washington DC.  The latest of these being an exclusive concert event with Jazz Pianist Marcus Johnson and R&B singer Miles Jaye performing a tribute concert to Teddy Pendegrass.

Roger- What are some of the conferences you produced and what makes them so good in your opinion?

Onyx-The focus of any event I produce is to give people an alternative to a typical night out.  I focus on what people don’t typically see because that is what they will remember most.  It’s the added value we provide that others don’t that separate us from other events.  Others produce events, we host entertainment experiences.

Roger -How can business be apart of a Vendor Nation event?

Onyx-We’ve streamlined the process.  They can simply send an email toinfo@vendor-nation.com with info about their company, service and products. We’re inviting entrepreneurs from all over the nation – hence the name, to join us for this 2 day expo.  For example, though their product or company may be based in California, there’s a huge population on the east coast who don’t know about it.  This is how you gain that recognition by face to face interaction with your clients at events like this.

onyx book

Roger-  You are also best selling author tell me the name of the books that you have written?

Onyx- The Cherry On Top – Chocolate or Vanilla, He’s Still A Man was written not as a relationship book – there are way too many of those out there that apparently few people are adhering to because we still have too many unsuccessful relationships.  TCOT was written as an effort to help women understand characteristics of men before they enter a relationship with us. I want women to put the phone down and stop asking their single girlfriends how to understand men when they can’t seem to keep a man themselves.  I’m not telling you what to do or how to do it.  I’m simply helping you understand that “he responds or acts that way because….”  It’s a short and humorous read to some extent.  Many find it hard to put down and it’s gotten really good reviews on Amazon. I’ve gotten numerous testimonials on how it’s helping women understand men so they don’t fall into traps and continue to make the same mistakes.  That being said, it was worth the effort I put into it.  We invite people to join our Facebook group The Cherry On Top Conversations and tune into frequent radio blogs I host.  They can also check out the website at www.OnyxLinthicum.com where I post different discussions from the book.

Photo (C) Dennis Drenner 2011

Roger-  You also created TheWordchoice.com can you tell my audience what the platform is all about?

Onyx- TheWordChoice.com was my very first website.  That is a story in and of itself but I truly believe it was God-inspired. Prior to saying “yes” to that project I was working on another web-based project similar to what LinkedIn has become and could not find resource the first.  It was frustrating and I’d worked on it since the early 2000s. Within a month of saying “yes” to God to stop the other project and pursue this one, I had every resource I needed.  Years of frustration ended when I said “yes” to God on this. It was truly a divine intervention.  TheWordChoice.com is another effort to help hurting people in a sense.  It allows people who don’t have a church home or who have been broken in a sense to connect with ministries from all over the country via the web.  As the slogan says “Now going to church is no longer a brick and mortar decision.”  Visitors to the site can enjoy messages from churches all over the country, hopefully finding a pastor and church home they are comfortable with and will eventually visit and join. It’s 100% free and we invite churches to add their ministry to the site by simply contacting us.  One thing I’ve found is that many of the most powerful and God inspired messages come from the small churches.  This is not a discredit to the mega-churches but these churches tend to be much more transparent because of their size.  As my former Bishop used to say, they’re not performing for an audience of millions they’re simply “performing for an audience of One” and if you don’t know who that One is, His name is Jesus Christ.

onyx with sinbad
Roger- What advice would you give some one that wants to start a business and be successful as you?

Onyx– Don’t stop!  It all starts with an idea.  You may not have the resources – financial or other but you have the most important component when you just have the idea itself. Know your purpose by asking God what it is. Pursue your passion.  God has already put a fire in us. That’s that passion you feel that you lose sleep over and think about all the time. That’s what he wants to eventually get out of us and it’s not just for you.  Your purpose is uniquely entwined with someone else’s and will have a direct impact on somebody else’s life.  If it’s all about you, it’s not going anywhere.  Ask God to show you how what it is He wants you to do can also benefit others. Check your circle of acquaintances and friends.  God has put and will put people in your path at different times in your life.  Some people have been there for ions and their true purpose is about to be revealed because it’s time for your purpose to be fulfilled.  Others will come as God sees fit.  Be anxious for nothing.  You can’t rush God’s plan or you WILL screw it up.  You can write a million business plans and I suggest that you do at least one but realize God has the master plan.  His plan may not make you a billionaire but I guarantee that how he blesses you will be more than enough because He specializes in abundance.  Abundance is overflow that trickles down to others.  You’re blessed to be a blessing and that is his ultimate purpose for granting any of us success.  Remember it’s never about just you.

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The Official Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron Cast Assembles at Comic-Con 2014

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Welcome to Ufront Media Insights;

There is so much buzz from the San Diego Comic Con 2014 about the new Avengers 2 : Age of Ultron movie coming about next year.  I love the marketing and promotion for this film for example Marvel Studios has released a poster showing all of the Avengers team members battling many evil Ultron robots in the picture above which tells me this film is going to be one of the biggest films of the year.

AVENGERS 2 POSTER

The one thing I love about how Marvel Studios promotes each film they have release over the years is that each individual movie featuring a member of the Avenger team such as the Captain America 1& 2, Thor 1& 2, Iron Man 1, 2 & 3 and the first Avengers film connects each individual film to a much bigger story.   So when Avengers 2 Age of Ultron film officially releases next year it is going to bring together the fans of all your favorite Avengers characters together in one movie and that is when movie magic happens because you are sitting in a theater with everyone that loves seeing these Marvel films like myself.   In my opinion it looks like Marvel Studios has the right formula for success!!!

AVENGER 2 CAST

So as an added bonus click on the video links below of the entire cast of the Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron Cast Assembles at Comic-Con 2014 enjoy and see you at the movies.

Click on these links below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPihX5UxeAo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4k_PtQY1uQ

Thank you!!!

Roger Maloney

 

 

One on One with Trace Cohen Co Founder of Launch IT with Roger Maloney

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Welcome to UFRONT MEDIA INSIGHTS;

Today,  I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Trace Cohen who is a serial entrepreneur in NYC and is the President and Co-Founder of Launch.it, a new self-publishing platform for PR professionals, agencies and brands to launch and socialize everything new.

Prior to that Trace was an SVP at iFluencePR where he “created understanding for a complex world.” He specializes in strategic PR for tech companies looking to develop their communications, branding and outreach strategies to connect with their communities and costumers with transparency.

Trace is a graduate of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University with a double major in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. He is one of the original Co-Founders and former CMO of Brand-Yourself.com, which helped students and young professionals manage their reputation and personal brands online.

So enjoy my brief interview with Mr. Trace Cohen co-founder of Launch.it

Launch it

 Roger -What inspired you to start Launch it and Tell me little about your background?

Trace– It was a combination of my digital skills combined with my fathers (Brain Cohen)PR prowess that inspired us to build and launch the company. There hasn’t been much change from a technical standpoint in the PR industry and we had the BIG IDEA that there should be a home for everything new, which is what Launch.it is building. I started my first company in college called Brandyourself.com, which helped students with online reputation management, SEO and social media.

Roger-  How does the platform work?

Trace– Launch.it is a free self-publishing news platform for PR professionals, agencies and brands to launch and socialize everything new. Our goal is to be the most comprehensive direct-to-customer source for the timeliest news of all new products, services and ideas to make sure that they can be found, discovered and shared.

Roger-  What types of conferences or events have partnered with Launch it?

Trace– We are currently work with shows across a wide variety of industries – there really is a show for everything! We currently y work with CES (Tech), CONEXPO-CON/AGG (Construction), the Sweets and Snacks Expo (Candy) and many more.

Roger –  How does the Launch it platform incorporate social media platforms to create a buzz for conferences you partner with?

Trace- By getting news online digitally and out of emails (text, docs and PDF) or off of paper, it allows our readers the ability to search, scroll and find exactly what they want. You can tweet an email or piece of paper, so by getting all the news online digitally it creates the opportunity for everyone at the show, media, exhibitors and attendees to share it with their networks.

trace and dad

Roger- What does the future hold for Launch it?

Trace- The future is looking bright as we continue to partner with more shows organizers and associations who are really beginning to embrace digital and see the return on it. We are currently working on a few new pieces of functionality and partnerships that will really take our platform to the next level that we will announce soon.

Roger- Thank you Trace  and Stay tuned for more One on One interviews on Ufront Media Insights.

 

 

 

 

ONE on ONE with Brain Cohen Co-founder of Launch.it and Chairman of NYC Angels with Roger Maloney

Welcome to  Ufront Media Insights;

BCOHEN

I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Brain Cohen founder of Launch.it at the PRNEWSWIRE Round Table about The Evolution of Digital Communications.

Here is some brief insights about his background;

Brian is considered the father of science & technology strategic communications having founded Technology Solutions, Inc. (TSI) in 1983 supporting startup technology companies in computing, communication, software, education, and entertainment. For more than a decade he maintained a very broad strategic communications partnership with Sony & IBM. TSI received the Gold CIPRA award for creating the IBM Deep Blue/Gary Kasparov Chess Match communications program.     In 1996, TSI was the #1 fastest growing agency in the US. The McCann Erickson World Group acquired TSI in 1997. As a researcher, Cohen created Focus Technology, an organization providing qualitative research and instituted the RPM model of integrated communications. As a publisher, Cohen was a pioneer in the founding of a number of the first computing publications including Computer Systems News and InformationWeek magazine.

Brian Cohen now serves as the Chairman of the New York Angels who has invested over $50 million in more than 70 early stage companies. Among his many angel investments, he was Pinterest’s first investor. With the belief that all new products, services and ideas should be easy to discover, find and share, Brian launched a next generation — Free — self-publishing PR news platform called Launch.it in May 2012. It powers many attendee, media news and information guides for major events and conferences.

My Insights: 

What I took away from this PRNEWSWIRE event is that Brain spoke about becoming a conversation starter within your industry and to stay dedicated to your niche audience the example he told the group was he stated “It is like being at a party and there is always someone at the party that can hold and a start the conversation at the party and that is what the next generation of public relations, journalist and social media managers needs to do within their communities is become a conservation starters!!.

Click on the link below to see the brief One on One  video interview with Brain Cohen after the PRNEWSWIRE event.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU8Je043K6k

LIVE IN CONCERT WITH ……… Gaibrielle Matthews

Gabirielle Matthews

Good Afternoon Everybody;

Welcome to my new segment on Ufront Media Insights called  Live in Concert with Gaibrielle Matthews.  Live in Concert with….  is a music segment where I will give you my play by play of the hottest music concerts this summer and today’s  review is the  New Edition All Six Tour at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York City.   For those you never heard of New Edition let me give their brief background about the group;

New Edition

Long before N-Sync, Back Street Boys, 98 Degrees and even New Kids On The Block – there was New Edition- the modern day blueprint for Boy Bands.   For more than 25 years, “NE” has mesmerized audiences with their signature choreographed shows, smooth vocal harmonies and electrifying showmanship cementing their place in history as one of the most successful touring groups ever. Boasting music’s most notoriously loyal audience, 15 national tours, 18 multi-platinum albums, 4 American Music Awards, 14 number 1 records and countless Billboard Top 20 hits, New Edition remains the unstoppable measurement of true R&B, Hip-Hop and Pop music.   The New Edition phenomenon was born in 1983 in Boston, MA with teenagers Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ralph Tresvant.    In 1986 Bobby Brown left the group to begin a highly charged solo career – soon after Solo artist Johnny Gill joined the group.   New Edition evolved stronger than ever with “Heartbreak” their biggest selling album with three #1 songs. The amazing success and co-existence of both New Edition and Bobby Brown proved fruitful.

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In 1989, NE orchestrated one of music’s biggest coups by simultaneously launching Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill’s solo albums, while Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe created a high-octane group and new sound with Bell-Biv-Devoe, which spawned the 4-times platinum cross- over hit “Poison”. Between the various projects, a cumulative 30 million records were sold and together, the men dominated Billboard Charts, MTV, VH-1, BET and stadiums across the country.     New Edition was  officially a movement.   In 1996, realizing the sum of parts isn’t greater than the whole; New Edition along with Bobby Brown executed a triumphant reunion, turning the 6-person band into an R&B mega-group with the multi-platinum album and best selling tour “Home Again”.    But it is the group’s dynamic, razor sharp choreography and larger-than-life on-stage persona that remains the undeniable wow-factor that continues to fascinate audiences all over the world. Together for the first time in more than 5 years, New Edition blew the socks off their loyal, awestruck fans with a flawless performance at the Super dome in New Orleans for the 2011 Essence Music Festival.

Gab with NE editionGAB with Ralph T

Now that your up to to speed lets begin,    On June 29, 2014 at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn NY,  I had the time of my life!   The New Edition, all six tour, Ralph Tresvant (my favorite) Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Ronnie Devoe, Mike Bivins and Johnny Gill gave a show that I will remember for years to come.    I had the awesome privilege of attending their sound check before the concert which was like desert before desert! Ralph even stepped off stage for a bit to greet fans and snap a few photos. Of course I got one :). The whole night was magical. The opening act was R&B singer Joe who did an amazing job.

press day with BOBBY AND RICKYPRESS with NE

The legendary DJ Marley marl was spinning on the ones and twos, keeping the crowd hyped and  sprinkled with 30 something year olds on up, very entertained in between sets as he spinned  classic 90’s hip hop and turned the arena into a massive club party.  An impromptu performance by old school artist Jeff Redd drove the crowd wild. Needless to say, by the time NE hit the stage, the crowd was more then ready.

All Six TourThe Mann CenterPhiladelphia, PaJune 28, 2014DerekBrad.comAll Six TourThe Mann CenterPhiladelphia, PaJune 28, 2014DerekBrad.com

All six hit the stage and it was pandemonium. I literally felt like a 16 year old girl standing there screaming and singing along. Classic songs like “if it isn’t love” “NE heartbreak” “Candy Girl” “Can You Stand the Rain” kept the crowd on their feet and singing along. In addition to the New Edition classics, we also were graced with solo performances by Brown Brown performing his hits along with BBD, Johnny Gill and Mr. Sensitivity himself Ralph Tresvant.

The concert was everything I needed it to be and more! They definitely still have it after 30 plus years of performing. If you’re a New Edition fan, definitely check out this tour, you won’t be disappointed.  I left the arena fully satisfied. An NE fan for life!!  If you get a chance to catch the tour it is worth your money and here are the tours dates a city near you: http://www.officialnewedition.com/tour-dates/

Thank you and stay tuned to more music and concert reviews on Live in Concert with Gaibrielle Matthews.

One on One with Robin Raskin Founder of Living in Digital Times with Roger Maloney

Robin Raskin

Welcome to Ufront Media Insights;

Today, I had the opportunity to interview Robin Raskin the founder of the Living in Digital Times which is series of individual’s conferences that showcases lifestyle applications for emerging technologies and how it can make your lives better. Robin Raskin has spent the past 30 years exploring what it means to be living in digital times.

An author, editor, magazine publisher, blogger, TV and radio personality, and founder of Living in Digital Times, Robin Raskin says she’s never met a media she doesn’t like, and is happiest when she’s looking in awe at the role that technology plays in all of our lives.` An early champion of the digital lifestyle, Raskin has brought her unique perspective on technology to audiences around the world.  Raskin is the former editor of PC Magazine and editor in chief of FamilyPC.

She served as Vice President at Ziff Davis Publishing, and she was one of the founding advisers at Yahoo! Tech.  Robin Raskin has been a columnist for USA Today Online and has authored 6 books about parenting in the digital age. Raskin was a regular contributor to CBS News and appeared regularly on CNBC, MSNBC, Lifetime and other networks.

She’s served at the National Academy of Science and has testified numerous times in Washington to protect children in the digital age. Today she writes for Mashable and Huffington Post, and serves as the voice of Living in Digital Times as a frequently quoted expert.    In 2007, Raskin entered into a partnership with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) to produce conferences and events focusing on lifestyle applications for emerging technologies. From its toe-tipping beginning, Living in Digital Times has grown to encompass six different lifestyle-meets-technology events at the International CES: Kids@Play, MommyTech, HigherEd Tech, Silvers Summit, Digital Health, and FashionWare, She also created and produced The Last Gadget Standing (now in its 14th year) and The Mobile Apps Showdown, both wildly popular events at CES.   Raskin serves on numerous Boards of Advisors including the CEA Foundation, and the Cyclic Vomiting Association.  So enjoy my exclusive interview with Robin Raskin below;

living-in-digital-timesgI_140018_Mommy TechFashionWare

Roger:  How did you start your company Living in Digital Times?

Robin: For the past 15 years, I’ve done an event called The Last Gadget Standing at CES each year.  It’s very popular so I had a lot of credibility.  Six years ago I approached them with an idea to create “hubs” or “pavilions” based on demographics so that, for example, all kids products/ mom products/ boomer products etc. would be featured in their own areas.     The power of the group would be larger than any single small to midsized company.  It worked and we’ve grown new businesses for them ever since.  In part we can do this because they are great and fair partners.

Roger: How did you came up with the idea to come up with conferences for different industries such as fashion, mobile, health, kids?

Robin:  As the editor of PC Magazine , the founder of FamilyPC , author of 6 books and crew of the original Yahoo! Tech,  I’d seen hundreds of products for years in a row.   I felt as if I could spot a winner and help them get to market.   First I did this by writing about them in print and now I use the same skills to find great products to boost into the mainstream.  We treat products like editorial by creating conferences where our sponsors get to showcase their products and ideas.  To me, it’s the ability to bring people together — retail, manufacturing, journalists, analysts, venture folks etc. and get them talking.

Roger: In your opinion how has social media and new technology changed the way we live our day to day lives.

Robin: Social Media – Oh my god!  I wouldn’t be up burning the midnight oil if it weren’t for social media.  It’s definitely a mixed blessing  but it allows an individual to cultivate a group of like individuals… you don’t need to have ever met them in person, or live anywhere near them but you can become partners in a mission.  You can share dreams, tastes and interests and business forges ahead.  In rural Bangladesh, they gave cell phones to women in small agricultural communities.  Soon they were doing business and trading provisions. Social media is the same thing. When communications happen, business follows.

Roger:  What do you want people to come a with when they attend a LIVING in Digital Times Conference?

Robin: I want people to come away with good contacts and a support group to use for more information good working skills and grasp of a segment of the industry. Third, learning about technology but in a fun/entertaining way (they say you retain more when you learn in entertaining ways)

robin raskin

Roger: As a woman in business, what advice do you have for someone who wants to follow in your foot steps?

Robin: Women need to know that,  First of all — it’s never too late.  I had my children when I was young but kept freelance writing so that I could have some skin in the game when I returned to work.  When I came back to work (at 35) I wasn’t as burned out as others around me so I could flourish.  I didn’t begin the conferences business until I was over 50.  Accept the cycle that you’re in – be in child-rearing, care giving, juggling work and home and know that each experience will prepare you for the next.   Stay focused. Women have so many things pulling at them. They are also natural magnets for other people.  That’s why they need to keep focused on the work they’re doing. It’s very easy to get caught up in social networking or surfing the web and forget that you do it to accomplish something .

Roger:  Thank you Robin and for more information about the Living in Digital Times you can get more information at  please check out www.livingindigtialtimes.com and stay tuned for another One on One interviews on Ufront Media Insights coming soon!!

Thank you.