Category Archives: News

BRG Newsletter January 28, 2014

The speaker at today’s lunch was Wilson Alvarez, a Consultant that has been serving South Florida since 1991. He has been married to Barbie for 26 years, and they have 2 children.
Wilson started his career with Harbor Development, a joint venture between Lennar & The Related Companies. He started as a bookkeeper and when the CFO learned that he knew Lotus 123, he immediately became the CFO’s assistant. Then, he became the company’s MIS coordinator. When he and other 30 people were laid off, he started receiving beeps from former colleagues inviting him to do contract work for them. He started with 5 clients and at the end of the year he had over 100.
Wilson’s is all about innovation in an industry that is constantly changing. He started as a database developer in 1991. Basically, it was creating custom-made programs, until ACT came into play. So Wilson started doing major upgrades for his clients, converting 286 computers to 386, and selling computers until Gateway 2000 came into the market. At that time the internet started to boom. Once again he had to think outside the box. All his clients had PCs but they were not networked or they did not have internet. The Y2K syndrome was great for Wilson, as everyone had to upgrade his/her computers. Then came the .com era, but the bubble crashed soon after that. This opened Wilson’s eyes; he went out to buy tons of domains. He still has about a thousand names in his portfolio. He currently is devoted to creating websites and working with social media.
Lessons learned along the way: think outside the box if you want to stay in business. Thanks Wilson for your interesting and useful information.
We had no winner for the jackpot! The jackpot was $117. There are 46 cards left. Keep playing next week! This week’s newsletter winner could be #3. Contact Eli if you are the winner.
Louise said that the Divina is offering 2-night cruise to Nassau starting at $99.00.

BRG Newsletter January 14th

Meeting January 14th
The speaker at today’s lunch was Julia Salnave, Office Manager at I HELP Home Health Agency since 2005.
Previously, she studied Culinary Arts at Johnson and Wales University. She was also a Risk Management Safety Inspector for Aequicap Insurance Company.
She has been married to Andre for 15 years, and has 2 children, Isis (11) and Andre Jr. (7).
She loves her job because she can help others and provide families with piece of mind. I HELP Home Health has been providing skilled and unskilled services in the comfort of your home since 2004. The Agency serves Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.
At one point in our lives, either we or someone we know will need a care provider at home. In some cases, because the person needs more supervision at home, or is recovering from an illness, surgery, etc. With a full time job, it is more difficult to be the caregiver of your love one. Statistically, the majority of the caregivers are females, for example, daughters. With the care that the Agency provides, the recipient can stay home for as long as he or she can.
An agency can provide the professionals you need. They are directly employed by the Agency, who insures them. They are also bonded and trained by the Agency. Another advantage of working with an Agency is the fact that if the caregiver cannot go to your home, the Agency will immediately find a replacement, so there will be no interruption in the service. You can trust the people hired by I HELP Home Health, they will take good care of your love one. Keep Julia’s information handy because you never know when you are going to need help.
Julia, thank you very much for your helpful information!
Congratulations to our newest member, Kerry Burns with Roasters N Toasters. Welcome to BRG!
We had no winner for the jackpot! The jackpot was $106, and there are 47 cards left for next meeting. Keep playing next week! This week’s newsletter winner could be 33. Contact Eli if you are the winner.
On Wednesday January 29 at 6:30, have a drink at Town Kitchen and Bar, located at 7301 SW 57 Ct (one block south of Sunset Place). Jeff’s wife Donna will be behind the bar as a celebrity bartender, a portion of all sales will be donated to the American Cancer Society team Argentina of the Pinecrest Relay for Life. If you can’t make it, send a check for Donna’s tip payable to the American Cancer Society c/o Jeff’s Office.

Finally, remember the Super Bowl party at Eli’s home next Sunday, February 2nd!

BRG Newsletter January 7, 2014

January 7th
The speaker at today’s lunch was Gustavo Losa. Esq. with Granda & Associates. Mr. Losa has been practicing law for over 6 years, handling cases including but not limited to bankruptcies, loan modifications, short sales, and foreclosure defense.
Attorney Losa is married to Wendy Lopez Losa, no kids yet but one dog. He likes water sports, reading, history, travel politics, and he is a fan of the Real Madrid Football Club.
Granda & Associates helps people do a financial reset on their lives. They can arrange for you to simply give the home back to the lender and walk away with a clean slate. They also work helping clients with two types of bankruptcies Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 works like a chain saw eliminating all debt, and Chapter 13 works a scalpel to protect you from creditors, providing for repayment of debts by a court-approved plan. It’s a more complex process that can last from 3 to 5 years.
Recently, a Loss Mitigation Mediation Program was designed for debtors and lenders to reach consensual resolution in foreclosures or loan modifications. It’s mandatory.

Thanks Gustavo, very interesting and useful information.
We had no winner for the jackpot! The jackpot was $94. Keep playing next week! This week’s newsletter winner could be Sherri. Contact Eli if you are the winner.
The After-the-Holiday Party at John Adam and Susan’s house was a big success. The food was excellent! The White Elephant Gift Swap was hilarious. The night was warm and inviting, and the hosts wonderful. Thanks John and Susan for hosting the party!

BRG Newsletter November 12, 2013

ida photo
Today’s speaker was Ida Alvarez. Ida has a Master’s Degree in Legal Translations from the University of El Salvador, Argentina. She has been married for 36 years. She has no kids, but she has amazing nephews and nieces, and two beautiful cats.

Ida has been involved in the business of translation for more than 40 years, when she started translating after graduating from High School. For the past 20 years, she’s been running her own translation agency providing services to small, medium and large corporations.

She is also passionate about interpretation and has traveled extensively as a Conference Interpreter, meeting heads of state, politicians, business people and professionals from all walks of life.

This time of year, everyone is preparing holiday cards to be mailed and exchanged around the world. And as the nature of business becomes more global, more often than not we are expected to offer holiday cheer in many different languages.

Local holiday greetings vary from country to country. Christmas is a popular Christian religious holiday, as well as a secular holiday, which is celebrated by people all over the world. Holiday traditions are as varied as the people who celebrate them, and they are constantly evolving. Here are some of the ways that Christmas is observed in other countries.

• United Kingdom: Many of the images we have in the United States of a “traditional” Christmas come from the United Kingdom. The holiday is celebrated with Christmas cards, caroling and a holiday feast, with Christmas pudding for dessert.
• Australia is in the southern hemisphere, this means that Christmas happens in the middle of summer. Australians have many of the same Christmas traditions as we do in the United States, such as Christmas trees, carols and Christmas dinner; however, they are likely to spend Christmas at an outdoor party in shorts and T-shirts or even at the beach, rather than wearing sweaters in front of a roaring fire.
• China: Christians in China celebrate Christmas by decorating their homes with colorful paper lanterns, as well as a Tree of Light. Chinese children also hang stockings by the fireplace, in hopes that Dun Che Rau Len, or “Christmas Old Man,” will come and bring them gifts. Because only about one percent of China’s population is Christian, Christmas isn’t nearly as widely celebrated in China as it is in the United States.
• Mexico: In Mexico, Christmas is a religious holiday celebrated by most of the country. Every home has a Nativity scene, and one of the big events of the holiday is the posadas, reenactments of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.
• Sweden: In Sweden, Christmas begins on December 13, with the St. Lucia ceremony. On St. Lucia Day, the youngest daughter in the family dons a white robe with a wreath of evergreens and candles upon her head. Accompanied by her siblings, she serves her parents Lucia buns and coffee in bed. On Christmas morning, many church services are lit entirely with candlelight, and children receive small gifts.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

We had no winner for our jackpot! This week’s newsletter winner could be XX but only if you call-in. Maybe your number will be chosen next week. Contact Eli if you are the winner.

BRG Newsletter November 5th, 2013

Reed answers all questions thoroughly.

Reed answers all questions thoroughly.

Our speaker was Reed M. Helman. He has been married to his wife Ellen for 28 years, and has two beautiful grown daughters. Reed graduated from the University of Florida. He is a Spinning Instructor at the JCC in Kendall.

Reed has been in the insurance business since 1979. He has run the Life and Health division of a large independent agency for over 30 years. He specializes in helping business owners be more efficient with their Employee Benefits packages.

In 2010, he founded Helman & Associates in 2010. He helps business owners design, structure and fund their partnership agreements. Retaining key employees by utilizing benefit strategies has been a big part of his practice in recent years as well. He has recently gone through his certification process to be able to help individuals enroll under the new Affordable Care Act.

Reeds handles life insurance, disability, long term care, employee benefits of all kinds, and currently he is working with the Health Exchange Program.

Reed explained that term insurance is a death benefit with no equity or options. Less than 2% of those policies are paid. The main reason is that people outlive their policies. Permanent insurance on the other hand has many different types of coverage such as whole life, universal life, fixed universal life, etc. With permanent insurance, the Living benefits that build up provide great flexibility, giving you leverage, deferred growth, and so on. It’s an incredible tool to utilize as a supplemental retirement benefit. You can also buy long-term care insurance so you don’t have to wait to die to receive your benefits.

He also referred to Indexed Universal Life that has been around for a while. It is a form of universal life insurance that provides death benefit protection but offers the opportunity to build cash value through index crediting potential based, in part, on a portion of the increases, if any, of one or more stock market indexes. Many Indexed Universal Life products may also offer protection from downside risk through a minimum guaranteed interest rate guaranteed by the issuing insurance company.

Thank you Reed! Very informative!

We had no winner for the jackpot! Keep playing next week! This week’s newsletter winner could be XX, but only if you call-in. Maybe your number will be chosen next week. Contact Eli if you are the winner.

Louise reminded us about BRG cruise on the Ruby Princess for Feb. 20, 2014. The price is still very low and there are some good cabins available.

BRG Newsletter 10/29/13

Justo & Julie Rico from Rainbow Reproduction were our highlighted speakers for the meeting on October 29. Justo comes from a long line of Printers in the family and we are fortunate to have him as part of our group. Julie the face of the company is the one who you will see most of the time at the networking events and delivering your products. Even through the challenges that life tends to throw they are the best team of printers you will find in Miami. On this occasion they spoke to us about:
“How to create a successful marketing piece”

1.What is your budget

2. Choose the type of piece that fits what you want to say – Brochure, letter, postacard.

3. Design – Don’t clutter the piece, Have a “Call to Action”, Have a readable font and appropriate pictures, make the piece an od size if you are mailing it

4.Choose the mailing type & List

First Class is the most expensive for large but cheaper for smaller. Can target a specific audience.           Speedier delivery

Bulk mail requires special list and processing, slower delivery, can target a specific audience

Every door is the least expensive, but is not target specific, delivery by carrier route

5.Marriage Mailing – create a piece advertising not only your company but also with a company that has the same customer base. This way you share the costs.

The incredible experience that Justo brings to the designing of your product is why they are the best.

Julia Salnave with I-Help is our newest member. Welcome to BRG!

Today the jackpot was $511, and 12 cards left, but there were no winners. Keep playing next week! This week’s newsletter winner could be 33, but only if you call. Contact Eli and get some wine to enjoy just for reading.

BRG Newsletter October 1, 2013

Our speaker today was Jim Carter, a proud American Indian, and member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. Jim was born and raised in Ft. Worth, Texas, and graduated from Texas Christian University with a BA in Finance and Marketing. He is married to Gloria, who was born in Bogota, Colombia. She helps him with his Spanish-speaking clients, as he continues to learn Spanish. They have 3 children and 4 grandchildren. They all reside in Texas.

Jim enjoys edible gardening and canning, day trading at the stock market, Bible studies and hunting and fishing.

Jim has been a mortgage banker for 10 1/2 years, first as a loan originator with HomeBanc, and now with Element Funding. Element Funding is a correspondent lender based in Atlanta, with several branch offices in the Southeast of the United States.

Jim explained the differences between Mortgage Banking, which is a company, or individual, that originates mortgage loans, sells them to other investors, services the monthly payments, keeps related records, and acts as escrow agent to disperse funds for taxes and insurance.

A mortgage broker is the person that places mortgage loans with lenders for a fee, but does not originate or service loans.

Underwriting is the process of analyzing the risk that making a loan to a specific borrower could pose to the company. There are four main aspects of underwriting that are known as the Four C’s. They are: 1) Collateral, i.e. the Property; 2) Capital – Assets, liquid assets available to the borrower; 3) Capacity – Income, the ability of the borrower to make monthly payments; and 4) Character – Liabilities, the borrower’s motivation and ability to make monthly payments to all creditors.

Remember that when evaluating credit history, primary emphasis is placed in the way our monthly housing expenses are paid. Consideration will next be given to the timeliness with which installment and revolving loans and other revolving loans and other obligations have been met. Credit history is considered for the past 7 years.

Log cabins, Co-Ops, Condo-Tels, Timeshares, Working Farms, Houseboats, Commercial properties are not considered residential properties and are not eligible for residential mortgage loans.

Thank you Jim for all the interesting information!

Remember that the installation dinner will be at Fleming’ s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, on Wednesday October 16, 2013. You can bring one guest. The food will be delicious and drinks plentiful. No meeting on October 15, as the previous day is Columbus Day.

Wilson Alvarez with 305COMPUTERS.COM is our newest member. Welcome to BRG!

Today the jackpot was $493, and 14 cards left, but there were no winners. Keep playing next week! Melissa was the winner of the newsletter. This week’s newsletter winner could be 7, but only if you call. Contact Eli and get some wine to enjoy just for reading.

BRG Newsletter September 24, 2013

Our speaker today was Amy Betancur. She was born in Colombia and raised in New York. She is the youngest of 11 siblings!

Amy has been a banker for over 25 years and she also has a Paralegal degree. She has experience in international and domestic banking and as Vice President of EverBank; she manages the Coral Gables and Aventura Branches, and is responsible for overall business development in the Miami-Dade County market.

Amy introduced Manuel Gonzalez, EverBank’s senior specialist. EverBank is a 4-star bank, one of the strongest banks in the nation. It has 14 branches in Florida, with 7,700 employees nationwide. EverBank offers accounts in foreign currency, in gold and silver, and other metals. New customers can get 1.1% when they open checking or money market accounts.

EverBank is offering a MarketSafe CD for the second time this year thanks to the success of the previous one. It’s a five-year CD that is invested in 4 foreign currencies: the Colombian peso, the Indian rupee, the Mexican peso, and the Turkish lira.

MarketSafe CDs offer:

· $1,500 to open. There is no limit

· 100% protection of deposited principal. If the dollar outperforms the currency indices, you’ll get back all of your deposited principal upon CD maturity

· 15% minimum upside payment if indices beat the dollar. Even if the CD performance is just barely above 0%, you’ll earn 15% on top of your deposited principal

· FDIC insured

· IRA eligible

· You have to open the Market Safe CD before October 8.

Thank you Amy! Great information!

The jackpot was $477 but there were no winners. Keep playing next week! There are only 15 cards left for next week. This week’s newsletter winner could be 26, but only if you call-in before the weekend. Contact Eli and get some wine to enjoy just for reading.

The installation dinner will be at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, on Wednesday October 16, 2013, starting at 6:00 p.m. Bring one guest. The food will be delicious and drinks plentiful. No meeting on October 15, as the previous day is Columbus Day.

The cocktail party at Machiya was fantastic. It’s was great to see members, spouses, and guests. Thanks to Reed and Jeff for putting this event together. The food and drinks were great, as well as the location.

BRG Newsletter September 10, 2013

BRG Newsletter September 10, 2013

Our speaker was Leslie Coller, a native Floridian, born at Mt. Sinai Hospital, in Miami Beach. She attended the University of Miami, and received her BA in Business Administration. She is married to Craig, and they have 2 daughters, Molly and Rachel.

Leslie has worked in the Travel industry, and as a special events consultant. She even created and sold a line of children’s clothes. But she found her passion when she became a Fashion Consultant for CAbi (Carol Anderson by invitation). The CAbi experience is a unique way for women to shop for beautiful clothing in a fun and friendly manner.

Leslie showed what a CAbi party entails. CAbi is an acronym for Carol Anderson by invitation. Carol Anderson has been designing for over 35 years, and 11 years ago she decided with a group of 10 women to have her parties and sell clothes in a comfortable home setting with friends. The only way to buy these clothes is from a CAbi consultant.

Our beautiful women, who had purchased CAbi clothes, wore the fall collection for us. Prices range from $34 to $168. In the fall 85% is hand or machine washable, and during the summer almost 98% is. Sizes range from 0-16, X-Small to X-Large. Thanks ladies and Leslie, we had a lot of fun and learned plenty about the new fall collection!

Mark your calendars: September 26th, Happy Hour at Machiya, 3252 NE 1st Avenue #116, Midtown Miami. Members & Guests are invited. Free drinks each and appetizers!

The installation dinner will be at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, on Wednesday October 16, 2013. Bring one guest. The food will be delicious and drinks plentiful. No meeting on October 15, as the previous day is Columbus Day.

No winners for today’s jackpot. The jackpot is now $453. There are 17 cards left for next week. Jim Carter was the winner of the newsletter. Congratulations! This week’s newsletter winner could be #20 but only if you call in before the weekend. Contact Eli and get some wine to enjoy just for reading.

This month the person that has given the most referrals is Jim Carter who went home with 2 bottles of wine this week.

August 20, 2013 BRG Newsletter

Our speaker was Nereida Garcia-Caceres of Details Custom Cabinetry. Nereida offers a full service in design and sales, full remodeling of kitchens, baths, closets, entertainment/media rooms. She has 25 years of hands-on experience in home & office organizational services, including designs for the disable.
Nereida has a daughter, a son, and a three-year-old grandson, and another grandchild that is about to be born.
Nereida always asks a lot of questions during her first meeting with the client to get to know her client’s tastes and needs. On the second meeting she presents the proposed layout. Modifications are made, if necessary, and budget is discussed, explaining the client the different possibilities available. During the third meeting the modified plans are reviewed, estimates, schedules and terms are agreed, and the remodeling process begins. Nereida purchases the necessary elements for the remodeling or recommends the clients where to purchase them.
Nereida doesn’t offer cabinetry from China or Brazil because of all the chemicals they have, which are bad for your health. Everything she uses is US made, and US approved.
Thanks Nereida for all the useful information!
No winners to today’s jackpot. The jackpot was $428. Keep playing next week; there are only 19 cards left! This week’s newsletter winner could be 9, but only if you call in before the meeting. Contact Eli and get some wine to enjoy just for reading.
Eli is looking for a new assistant. She has to be smart, 3.0 GPA or more, 30-35 hours a week. Must speak and write Spanish and English, and be willing to learn.
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