Category Archives: News

Can the New Atlanta Hawks Owners Help Increase Their Team’s Value and Winning Culture?

The Atlanta Hawks NBA franchise is coming off a game-changing transitional period on ajc.com and sets to begin this year’s season with a renewed sense of focus.

It would be fair and accurate to state that the majority of the responsibilities within shaping the action plan of an NBA franchise falls on the team’s ownership. The owners have to hire the front office leaders and coaching staff personnel members that are in charge of the business and basketball operations of the franchise.

Of course, the players are the ones who the fans come to the arena to see. It’s the players who sacrifice their bodies making plays. They’re also the ones with the superstar faces that represent the organization. However, the pressure of building the team to new heights on all facets rests with the ownership.

In the case of the Atlanta Hawks, there is definitely room for building on some crucial elements, which are needed for the ball club to reach a new level. The sea change of alterations for this franchise began last spring when a financial group led by investment fund manager Anthony Ressler took over.

Ressler and his investment team (which former NBA player Grant Hill is a member of) bought the team last spring for around $850 million, according to various sports news agencies. Ressler and his fellow co-owners bought the team from Bruce Levenson and his team of investment partners.

Levenson is the former majority owner of the Atlanta Hawks and an established philanthropic businessman. During his tenure as a Hawks owner, the team was a playoff contender year in and year out. Levenson also was the overseer of some great trades and draft decisions, which helped the team stay competitive.

Those decisions by Levenson and his group (as well as great play from their stars) put the Atlanta Hawks in a position to get 60 wins last season, which is a franchise record. They also had the number one seed of their conference going into last year’s NBA playoffs and eventually made it to the Eastern Conference Finals.

However, right after the new owners took the reigns, things started going downhill. The Hawks were handily dominated in the Eastern Conference Finals (ECF) by Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. They were trounced in a sweep. A number one-seeded team had not been swept in the ECF since the then New Jersey Nets did it to the Detroit Pistons in 2003.

Even NBA Hall of Famer and colorful TNT Sports commentator Charles Barkley has his doubts about the future of the Atlanta Hawks. “The Hawks are not in my top five teams of the Eastern Conference,” Barkley said in a conference call promoting the start of the 2015-16 NBA season.

Patron attendance for Hawks home games is also down. The franchise is currently ranked 19th in attendance out of all the teams in the league. Ressler and his new ownership team definitely have their work cut out for them for this new season going forward.

Ready or not, game time has begun.

Top Executive at Madison Street Capital Recognized for Excellence

 

Anthony Marsala, Chief Operating Officer of Madison Street Capital, LLC, was recently honored by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts as one of its 2015 40 Under Forty.

The 40 Under Forty program was initiated to shine a spotlight on industry leaders who have managed to not only be professionally successful, but have contributed to their professions and communities. The honor is also a direct recognition of being the best of the best with a bright future ahead of them.

According to an article published by the Chicago Tribune, the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts and the Consultants’ Training Institute cull a range of industries looking for young professionals who have shown exceptional and influential acumen which resulted in notable advances in everything from financial forensics to business valuations. This year they found over 125 nominees that met the criteria before weaning it down to the top 40. Besides Anthony Marsala, other honorees include Leah Feldman, a family services advocate, Dr. Christopher St. Germain, a
clinical psychologist, and Jessica Glass, a lawyer at McCabe & Mack, LLP.

Marsala is a co-founder of Madison Street Capital and has been noted for his leadership and management of the firm’s growth and presence in Africa, Europe and Asia. He also spearheaded the firm’s due diligence and analytical teams through a series of prominent business valuations.

Headquartered in Chicago, Madison Street Capital has grown into a major investment banking firm under CEO Charles Botchway. They provide financial opinions to corporate entities and partner with middle market firms to help them with complex transactions. Under Marsala’s leadership, Madison Street Capital has also been lauded for its contributions in helping clients navigate industry verticals and reaching forecasted business goals. Madison Street Capital has offices in Asia, Africa and North America.

Marsala studied at Loyola University and the University of Oxford. He spent four years with Director of Strategic Analytical Services at Advisory & Intermediary Services, LLC before moving to Senior Managing Director and Principal at Houlihan Smith & Company, Inc. before launching Madison Street Capital in 2005. Marsala is a member of the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts, as well as a member of the American Society of Appraisers.

The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts is the only valuation credential that is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. They support users of business, financial forensic services and intangible asset valuation services through training, investigation and financial certification.

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Achievements Made By Alexei Beltyukov

Yahoo Finance can tell you that Alexei Beltyukov is an entrepreneur and philanthropist from Russia. He has founded numerous companies like A-Ventures, Endemic Capital, New Gas Technologies and SOLVY. In early 2015, he was named the Chief Operating Officer at SOLVY. In April, he was thrilled to exchange and share feedback about this new venture with professionals in the education fraternity on the ideal venue for this interactive educational software. He chose Educator Day conference that was held in LA to market the educational software from SOLVY.

Educator Day incorporates hundreds of education professionals who explore dozen products that are offered to the sector by different entrepreneurs. Alexei Beltyukov values education in a broadening perspective through continuation of learning in terms of his entrepreneurship skills that have eventually created SOLVY. Indeed, teaching experts and EdTech experts are drawing attention from this new venture. SOLVY was recently listed by Launchingnext.com as one of the most promising startups all over the world.

The venture targets high school student to do their homework on an online platform. SOLVY will allow tutors to create and give customized assignments in an effective and timely manner. SOLVY.com doesn’t have multiple-choice question, however, students are supposed to input their answers showing the process they followed. According to Beltyukov, they want to encourage students through progressive thinking and growth mindset to make mistakes and learn how to correct them.

Alexei Beltyukov says that SOLVY.com will become a great name when talking about solving mathematic problems. This software is meant to help teachers understand and manage the progress achieved by their students even when they are not in classrooms.

This app uses real problem solving techniques that are applied in math. Due to this, learners are offered multiple ways to tackle the problems and get the needed results. Unlike other online textbooks, this software will interact with learners using hints and response. As a result, tutors are able to generate performance reports thus reducing tiresome homework and assignment grading.

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Brazilian Authors Gaining More Attention From English Speakers

The Internet Spreads Literary Works Internationally

One fortunate effect of the increasing popularity of the Internet around the world involves the sharing of literary works translated into multiple languages. This trend promises to inspire renewed interest in authors from a multitude of nations, including Brazil.

Although on Facebook most well educated people in the past usually possessed some knowledge about great authors who wrote in their own languages, often literary works written in less familiar foreign languages did not receive a lot of popular attention. Thus, predominantly English-speaking Americans usually could cite passages from English author William Shakespeare. Yet many people in the USA did not possess extensive familiarity with renowned Brazilian writers, who wrote in Portuguese. The advent of excellent linguistic translation software promises to change this situation.

Some Well Known Anti-Slavery Authors

For instance, in the United States prior to the Civil War, the anti-slavery writings of authors such as former slave Frederick Douglass (c. 1817-1895) and Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) gained wide circulation. But many North Americans did not know about famous Brazilian anti-slavery authors, such as Antonio de Castro Alves, called by his contemporaries the “Poet to the Slaves”. Slavery posed a terrible social ill in Brazil as well as the United States for many years.

Antonio de Castro Alves

Today a statue of Antonio de Castro Alves stands in Salvador, Brazil. He died there tragically young. Despite his brief life, Antonio de Castro Alves gained wide recognition in Brazil when many of his poems were published posthumously in 1883 in a volume called Os Escravos (“The Slaves’).

During his lifetime, he endured considerable personal tragedy. Born in 1847 in Muritiba, Brazil, he lost his father in 1866. That year, Antonio fell in love with an actress named Eugenia Camara; but their relationship ended in 1868. He went on a hunting trip that year and suffered a gunshot accident that caused the amputation of one of his feet when gangrene occurred. Recovering from his injury, but now afflicted with tuberculosis, he moved to Salvador and published a famous love poem, Espumas Flutuantes (“Floating Foam”). He died in Salvador, Brazil at the age of 24.

Other Brazilian Writers

Today, more native English speakers enjoy the opportunity to read works from Brazilian poets such as Antonio de Castro Alves and Brazilian writers from other historic periods: Gregorio de Matos, Basilio de Gama, Mario de Andrade, Murilo Mendes, and more.

For example, one modern rising star in the Brazilian literary scene is Jaime Garcia Dias. He won a literary award for promising literary writers in 2001.

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Achievements Made at QNet Through the Humility Shown by Joseph Bismark

 

QNet is a marketing company with headquarters in Hong Kong. It is a company that has been in operation for the last 17 years. QNet is a direct selling company that relies heavily on the online platform. With future growth prospects, the company started from humble beginnings with its primary market being South East Asia. Over time, it has expanded its operations and increased its product range.
Currently, the company operates in the Middle East, India, and Europe. It also operates in East Africa, West Africa, and North Africa. This is in addition to Central Asia and Russia. It offers over 30 products that fall into 9 categories. They include skin care, nutrition, and wellness products. It also offers Swiss jewelry and watches.
QNet has been in the lead of advocating for laws that govern direct selling. Such advocacy has been undertaken in markets like India. The advocacy has centered on making the government set up an independent body to regulate the direct selling industry within the Indian market. With such regulations in place, the market becomes fair, thus encouraging healthy competition between different organizations. The Indian market is considered quite challenging. Regulations in this market will go a long way in improving the market dynamics and give other companies the opportunity to trade with minimal barriers. QNet plans to set up its production base in India owing to the immense revenue prospects from its operations in the country.
A group of friends, who put great effort despite several challenges, founded QNet. One such individual is Joseph Bismark. He is the current Managing Director of the Qi Group. He believes in a strong teamwork in addition to helping people achieve their potential. He is a talented, versatile and dynamic leader who contributed greatly in laying a strong foundation for the company. His preferred style of management is being open and consultative. His use of spirituality to management is attributed to his unique upbringing.
At Ashram, Bismark stayed and learnt different lessons until the age of seventeen when he left for home. The experiences he got from the monks helped shape his management style when he got to the corporate world. Over the years, Bismark has shown respect and has been helping people grow and achieve their potential. He believes in the power of giving to the less privileged members of the society, thus started RYTHM, which is the social responsibility organ of the company.

The Rise of QNET and Its Drawbacks from Regulations

The internet allowed companies such as QNET to operate in a borderless manner through their ecommerce platform that seen them reach more than 100 countries. With a heart for families and communities, they provide their distributors, who are known as Independent Representatives (IR), with opportunities to become self-sufficient and raise their standards of living.

QNET’s Chairperson, Donna Imson-Lecaroz says in their “This is QNET” youtube video, “We were people on a mission. We really believed in what we had set out to do, which is that we wanted to change lives.”

In 1998, Vijay Eswaran and Joseph Bismark founded the company QNET. It has 25 offices and agency partnerships worldwide. They embrace cultural diversity as they have their leaders and employees coming from 30 different countries as they sell to customers in more than 100 countries. They’ve got 6 global logistical hubs: Netherlands, India, Malaysia, Russia, Turkey and UAE.

Joseph Bismark continues to live with the same principles that helped found QNET. He lives by the principles of Vedic and is a strong believer in positive thinking. This he learnt while practicing martial arts which he says helped him remain focused and positive. He ensures that he lives by these principles every day; understanding people, inspire people to take charge and treat everyone with respect.

QNET had been manufacturing their watches in India and wished to enlarge their operations there by producing consumer goods and electronics. Production in India would give them a cost benefit of between 8 and 12 percent said Suresh Thimiri, CEO of a QNET franchise in India. They welcomed anyone in India who had something unique to offer them, a sale platform for their product.

Despite having done well in India, 2013 had been a rough year for QNET. The pressure on making changes came from what they termed as archaic PCMCS (Banning) Act, 1978, which acted as a catalyst for a volatile market. They complained it made it difficult to differentiate genuine from fraudulent companies in the business.

Dave Osh, who was the CEO of QNET back in 2013, pointed out that India lacked guidelines for the multi-level marketing sector. In 2014, they welcomed the initiative by the government of India to amend laws governing direct selling business and called for setting up a regulator to govern the business. They pointed out fast growing economies in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand had specific statues that regulated and facilitated direct selling.

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