BRG Newsletter February 10, 2015

Our speaker today was Christine Barrueco with Mary Kay Cosmetics. She was born in Miami, attended Florida Christian High School where she graduated Salutatorian. She graduated with a degree in Health and Science from Florida International University. At FIU, she was President of Student Government, Homecoming Queen and President of Alpha XI Delta Sorority. After college, she worked for Pfizer for 3 years.

She married her husband Robert Barrueco in 2011. In April 2014, she had her first baby, a girl name Bella.

In December 2008, Christine started her Mary Kay business. Within 6 months she became a Director and earned her first car. Since then, she has earned 5 free cars, over 52 karats in diamonds, and 4 star trips around the world. In 2012, Christine was crowned the Queen of Sales and the Queen of Recruiting in the Emerald Seminar, with her team making $1 million in sales in that year. Her goal is to be the #1 unit in the USA and earn the use of the Pink Escalade.

Christine explained that Mary Kay offers many services, such as luxury lunches, a lunch break with a makeover and a gift card for each person to buy something on the spot. She also offers one-on-one consultations for men and women. Christine loves Mary Kay’s parties with up to $200 in free shopping. No purchase is necessary. Mary Kay has beautiful baskets for special occasions.

Christine runs a studio twice a week where she offers makeovers and hosts training events. It’s also a platform for BRG members to network their businesses as you will be exposed to 150 to 200 people at any given day. Christine offers fundraising parties for special causes, such as cancer research, autism, to name just a few, as well as teacher’s appreciation events, and many other special events.

Thanks Christine for exciting information and good luck with your goals for this year!

We welcomed our newest member, Erin Briede with Paychex. We wish you all the best as a member of BRG!

There were no winners for the jackpot. Keep playing next week! This week’s newsletter winner could be 16, but only if you call-in before the weekend. Contact Eli and get some wine to enjoy just for reading.

BRG Newsletter February 3, 2015

Wilson Alvarez

Wilson Alvarez, Technology Evangelist January 2015

Our speaker was Wilson Alvarez with Wilson Alvarez & Associates, incorporated since 1991. Wilson started as a database developer while working with a Joint Venture (Harbour Development) between The Related Companies & Lennar. He became an expert in Lotus 1-2-3 & dBASE III from the Ashton-Tate Corporation. Wilson Alvarez has always been on the forefront of the digital revolution. Wilson has developed more than 1,200 domains, and is an IT guru in the Miami area. He teaches private lessons at Nova University, and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Miami where he teaches Web Design.

He’s been married since 1987, and has 2 children pursuing Real Estate and Public Relations careers.

Wilson explained that the best thing to do to avoid losing your information if your hard drive crashes is to have a separate hard drive with your data. Another option is to save your information in the cloud with companies such as OneDrive from Microsoft or Dropbox, which offers versioning, that is saves different versions of a job so you can go back to an earlier version and make any changes to that older version. OneDrive & Dropbox are very reliable, has continuous backups and is very redundant.

He also suggested to switch to Office 365, a subscription-based product that allows you to be always up-to-date with Microsoft Office. Office 365 also offers data services like Dropbox.

Wilson explained that you blogging in addition to email campaigns will make your presence in the web more relevant. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are social media tools that can help you be more productive.

Thanks Wilson for all the useful information!

We had no winner for the jackpot but keep playing! This week’s newsletter winner could be 18, but only if you call-in. Maybe your number will be chosen next week. Contact Eli if you are the winner.

BRG Newsletter September 30, 2014

Our speaker today was Amy Betancur. She was born in Colombia and raised in New York. She is the youngest of 11 siblings; eight sisters and two brothers! She has lived in Miami since 1986. Amy’s most important accomplishment was raising her two daughters.

Amy holds a Paralegal degree from Rollins College. She has been a banker for over 25 years. She has experience in international and domestic banking, and what she most enjoys about her career is dealing with people and helping them achieve their goals and dreams.

As Vice President of EverBank, she manages the Coral Gables Branch and is responsible for overall business development in the Miami-Dade County market.

Amy explained that EverBank is offering the new 3-year MarketSafe BRICS CD now through October 15, 2014, with currencies from the major emerging market economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (the BRICS nations). Collectively, the BRICS nations account for nearly 40% of the world population and approximately 18% of the world economy. The BRICS Development Bank was created in July 2014 to enable even faster growth of their respective economies and a foundation for growth. The investment is safe, because if the dollar outperforms the currency indices, you’ll still get back all of your deposited principal upon CD maturity.

Thanks Amy for all the useful information!

There will be no meeting on October 7 because our Annual BRG Board Installation Dinner will be on Wednesday, October 8, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. (Cocktails and Appetizers), 7:30 -9:30 p.m. (Dinner). Location: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables.

Dominic and the Miamians, South Florida Barbershop Chorus, will perform at the South Miami-Dade Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday October 18, at 7 pm. Tickets are $15, $20, and $25. For more information visit www.miamians.org or call 305-274-7464.

We had no winner for the jackpot that is at $459, and 16 cards for next time! Keep playing! This week’s newsletter winner could be 18, but only if you call-in. Maybe your number will be chosen next week. Contact Eli if you are the winner.

BRG Newsletter September 23, 2014

The speaker today was Lynne Ruiz with E&L Insurance Services was born and raised in Hamilton, Canada. She graduated from Ryerson University in Toronto with a BA in Hospitality and Tourism Management. In 1995 she moved to Miami with her husband Enrique. They founded E&L Insurance in 1996. Lynne is a member of the Latin American Association of Insurance Agencies and the Florida Association of Insurance Agencies. They have 2 children, Enrique Jr. 16, and Gabriel 14. Lynne is currently training for her 6th half marathon.

Lynne explained what water damage mitigation is. According to State Farm, water losses are the number one homeowner’s claim in Florida with an average pay out of $9,300. More than 54% of the claims reported in 2013 were water related. There are different classes of water damage.

Class 1 is minimal amount of water absorption and evaporation, such as a sink overflowing. Class 2 is a larger amount that may affect an entire room, such as a pipe that burst behind the wall affecting the carpet and the drywall. Class 3 is the greatest amount of water absorption, for example the sprinklers that affect the flooring, the walls, etc. Lastly, Class 4 includes specialty drying situations where there are deep pockets of saturation that require a dry method with special equipment, for example when hardwood floors and sub-floors are involved.

When you need to hire a contractor to deal with water damage, be careful with the clause of assignment of insurance benefits and direct payment authorization. Always call your insurance company first. They will send you an adjuster. Mitigation companies are abusing homeowners immersed in a difficult situation. Do not sign anything before consulting with your insurance company or carrier.

Contact Lynn for any insurance questions you may have. Great information Lynne!

Dominic and the Miamians, South Florida Barbershop Chorus, will perform at the South Miami-Dade Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday October 18, at 7 pm. Tickets are $15, $20, and $25. For more information visit www.miamians.org or call 305-274-7464.

The 2014-2105 Annual BRG Board Installation Dinner will be at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, on Wednesday October 8, 2014, 6:30 -7:30 PM (Cocktails and Appetizers), 7:30 -9:30 PM (Dinner). Members and one guest are complimentary (Includes 2 drinks, Appetizers and Dinner). Cash bar for Additional cocktail /wine service. Additional guests $85 per person. RSVP to Jeff Benjamin jbenjamin@jsbpa.com by Wednesday October 1, 2014

There was no winner of the jackpot. This week’s newsletter winner could be 10 but only if you call in before the weekend. Contact Eli if you are the winner.

BRG Newsletter September 16, 2014

Today’s speaker was Jeffrey S. Benjamin who was born and raised in Miami-Dade County, Florida.  He attended the University of Florida where he graduated with a BS degree in Finance in 1979.  He attended the University of Miami School of Law and was awarded a J.D. Degree in 1982.

Jeff was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1982 and, the U.S. District Courts, Southern District in 1984.  He has handled a wide variety of personal injury and wrongful death cases.  He is available for a free consultation and most cases are handled on a contingent fee basis.

He is married to Donna Benjamin, they have three daughters, Hailey, Rachel and Sarah.

Jeffrey works on a contingency basis. A contingency fee agreement is a payment arrangement that allows a plaintiff who has been injured and is seeking legal remedy to obtain legal representation even if they do not have money to pay a lawyer at the beginning of the case. A client does not have to pay a contingency fee up front, agreeing instead to pay an attorney a percentage of the client’s award should they win the case. The contingency fee agreement will dictate the circumstances of payment, and how much an attorney is owed.

Jeff presented two accident cases he is working on as a mock trial demonstration. One involved gum on the floor that caused his client’s heel to get stuck and had a bad fall. The other one was a bumper misplaced next to the car, again causing a bad accident. There were different opinions expressed, but all of us realized that it is not as simple as it may seem. Good luck Jeffrey with your cases, and thanks for letting us see the different angles involved in a case.

Mark your calendars: September 26, 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.

There was no raffle today. The jackpot is now $453. There are 17 cards left for next week. Eli was the winner of the newsletter. Congratulations! This week’s newsletter winner could be 22 but only if you call in before the weekend. Contact Eli and get some wine to enjoy just for reading.

It is with deep personal regret that I inform you of BRG member Julie Rico’s death. Julie died after a long struggle with cancer. We have lost a dear friend and valued colleague. Our hearts and prayers go out to her family, and in particular to Rico who relentlessly fought this battle with her. The funeral will be held on Saturday, September 27, at 2:00 p.m. The address is 624 Anastasia Ave., Miami, FL 33134.

BRG Newsletter September 9, 2014

Our speaker was Leslie Coller, an independent fashion consultant for CAbi. She is a native Floridian that graduated from the University of Miami, and received a BA in Business Administration. She has been married to Craig for 29 years, and they have 2 daughters, Molly and Rachel.

Leslie worked in the travel industry, she was a Mommy and Me teacher. She worked in Public Relations for the American Heart Association, and was the Executive Director for the Miami’s For Me Campaign. She loves networking and is very active in Public Education. She sits on the Status of Women Committee for the City of Miami Beach. She chairs the Scholarship Committee for the National Council of Jewish Women of the Greater Miami Section, and has been in a Book Club for about 10 years.

Leslie is an outstanding past President of BRG. She was a PTA President more than once, and is in the top 2% of sales for CAbi. 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 the fall collection gracefully modeled by some of our BRG ladies. Almost all the clothes are hand or machine washable. Sizes range from 0-16, X-Small to X-Large. Thanks ladies and Leslie, we really enjoyed the fall collection!

The installation dinner will be at Fleming’ s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, on Wednesday October 8, 2014. Bring one guest. The food will be delicious and drinks plentiful.

The cruise this year will be to Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands, 2/26/15 to 3/2/15. It is a 4-night cruise on the Caribbean Princess, For itinerary and details, please contact Louise to make your reservations.

The elections will be on September 30, 2014.  If you would like to serve on the board, please let Melissa or Paul know.

A special thanks to Melissa and her parents for hosting BRG’s party, and to Kerry for his catering. It was a big success!

The summer program of one-on-one meetings and power lunches with other BRG members ended with $522 well spent. Get ready for the next one!

We had no winner for the jackpot. The jackpot is now $429. There are 18 cards for next week! Keep playing! This week’s newsletter winner could be 19, but only if you call-in. Maybe your number will be chosen next week. Contact Eli if you are the winner.

 

BRG Newsletter August 26, 2014

Today’s speaker was Ida Alvarez with Action Translation Services. Ida Alvarez has a Master’s Degree in Legal Translations from the University of El Salvador, Argentina. She has been married for 37 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 21 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.

Ida explained that with the growing numbers of people buying PC’s and internet access available from Nigeria to New Zealand, English speakers will soon be in the minority when it comes to internet use. In addition, many of the key search engines, especially Google, are developing the capacity to run searches in foreign languages. Having pages of your site available in those languages ensures maximum potential for your site being picked up in searches.

Best Buy launched a Spanish version of its website in September 2007 and now reports that customers are spending roughly double the amount of time on the Spanish site as English-language customers

To target a specific audience, you may decide to translate some of your website’s content, but before doing that, create a strategy. Test the market before translating your whole site. If the site gets visits (but perhaps a low conversion rate) you can use the visit data to help you decide whether the investment is worth it. Avoid using automated translations as they can be inaccurate.

Google’s Keyword Planner allows you to Search Network campaigns or expanding existing ones. You can search for keyword and ad group ideas, get historical statistics, see how a list of keywords might perform, and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several lists of keywords together. And it’s free.

Thanks Ida for the useful information!

The installation dinner will be at Fleming’ s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, on Wednesday October 8, 2014. Bring one guest. The food will be delicious and drinks plentiful.

The cruise this year will be to Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands, 2/26/15 to 3/2/15. Please contact Louise to make your reservations.

We had no winner for the jackpot. There are 19 cards for next week! Keep playing! This week’s newsletter winner could be 14, but only if you call-in. Maybe your number will be chosen next week. Contact Eli if you are the winner.

 

BRG Newsletter August 19, 2014

Today’s speaker was Douglas A. Deam, D.M.D. Dr. Deam received his undergraduate degree in Microbiology from the University of Florida in 1979. He graduated as Doctor of Medical Dentistry (D.M.D.) at the University of Florida, College of Dentistry in 1983. He has been married to Ann for 30 years. He has a daughter Elizabeth, 26, and Jackson, 18.

Dr. Deam has been practicing dentistry for 31 years and he practices at his state-of-the-art location at 2030 S. Douglas Road, # 110 in Coral Gables. He has expanded his practice to include the use of three different kinds of lasers, CEREC, Single Visit Computer Advocate Crown Technology, implants, bone grafting, non-surgical laser periodontal disease treatment, anterior orthodontics, all aspects of cosmetic dentistry, and smile maintenance.

He has made a commitment to punctually providing quality and personal care to all patients with modern technology –– without allowing insurance companies to dictate patient care. He personally assesses your needs, and spends one hour with new patients before the hygienist. Besides the fast acting CEREC crown making unit that allows to make a crown in one visit. He has a cone beam CAT scan unit, a device to minimize pain from injections, and uses surgical laser units. He takes panoramic digital X-Rays for cancer evaluations. He also has a Digital Shade Scanner, and a dental bug, a small device that aims to block the pain from injections of local anesthesia with vibrations. There are approximately 40,000 new oral cancers in the US every year with a mortality rate of 8,000. At Dr. Deam’ s office everybody undergoes cancer evaluation. It’s always done at the first visit, and also at recall visits (every six months). Teeth wear, bite changes. Dental work does not last forever, so consistency is required with dental visits.

Dr. Deam believes in a minimum of invasive technology to save teeth structure. Dr. Deam enjoys his profession, and provides high quality professional services in an environment of personal care, compassion and punctuality.

You still have time until August 30 to take advantage of one-on-one meetings or power lunches with other BRG members. Have lunch with 4 or 5 BRG members and BRG will pay $15.00 per person, or visit a member at his/her office and receive $10.00 from BRG. Likewise, bring a qualified guest from the medical field and we will double the check from $10 to $20.

Mark your calendars: September 6 pool party at Melissa’s dad’s house. More details coming.

August 25 is Happy Hour between 5 and 7 pm at Town Kitchen & Bar, 7301 SW 57th Ct, South Miami, FL 33143. Women drink for free.

The installation dinner will be at Fleming’ s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, on Wednesday October 8, 2014. Bring one guest. The food will be delicious and drinks plentiful.

We had no winner for the jackpot that is at $399, and 20 cards for next week! Keep playing! This week’s newsletter winner could be 7, but only if you call-in. Maybe your number will be chosen next week. Contact Eli if you are the winner.

BRG Newsletter August 12, 2014

Our speaker today was Amy Betancur. She was born in Colombia and raised in New York. She is the youngest of 11 siblings; eight sisters and two brothers! She has lived in Miami since 1986. Amy’s most important accomplishment was raising her two daughters. Now, she enjoys spending time with her grandson Dylan and traveling around the world.

Amy has been a banker for over 25 years. She has experience in international and domestic banking, and although developing business is her main function now, she is well versed in regulatory compliance matters. She also holds a Paralegal degree from Rollins College.

As Vice President of EverBank, she manages the Coral Gables Branch and is responsible for overall business development in the Miami-Dade County market.

Amy explained how the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) protects the funds depositors place in banks and savings associations. The standard insurance amount is $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category. Before you deposit your money, you have to make sure that the institution participates in the FDIC insurance protection. To check if the institution is insured, just go to www.fdic.gov.

FDIC insurance covers all deposit accounts, including:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Money market deposit accounts
  • Certificates of deposit

Investments, securities, annuities, life insurance, are not insured by the FDIC. The contents of your safety deposit boxes are not insured. Single accounts, joint accounts, revocable trust accounts, POD accounts are insured. You can even insure more than US$2,000.000.00 if you structure the accounts correctly. Beneficiaries can be individuals, charities or non-profits. Always work with your banker to make the most of your investments.

Thanks Amy for all the useful information!

You still have time until August 30 to take advantage of one-on-one meetings or power lunches with other BRG members. Have lunch with 4 or 5 BRG members and BRG will pay $15.00 per person, or visit a member at his/her office and receive $10.00 from BRG. Likewise, bring a qualified guest from the medical field and we will double the check from $10 to $20.

Mark your calendars: September 6 pool party at Melissa’s dad’s house. More details coming.

August 25 is Happy Hour between 5 and 7 pm at Town Kitchen & Bar, 7301 SW 57th Ct, South Miami, FL 33143. Women drink for free.

October 8 is installation dinner free for all BRG members and one guest at Fleming’s.

We had no winner for the jackpot that is at $391, and 21 cards for next week! Keep playing! This week’s newsletter winner could be 26, but only if you call-in. Maybe your number will be chosen next week. Contact Eli if you are the winner.

BRG Newsletter August 5, 2014

Today’s speaker was Louise Gross, who is practically a native Floridian. She attended Miami Beach High School and the University of Miami.

Louise started as a dental assistant; and she started her current career in travel after raising 3 kids and working in retail. After she took a year off to find herself, and after much personal travel she opened up her own agency specializing in discounted air fares. As the industry changed, she became a specialist in international and adventure travel, and embracing the growing cruise market. She has traveled to over 150 countries!

She loves gardening and photography and she is a volunteer at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Her topic was “Travel Tips for a Stress Free Vacation”

Louise was wearing a jacket in an over 90-degree weather to explain the importance of carrying comfortable and practical clothes when you travel. Another important thing when you travel internationally is to make a copy of your passport or take a picture of your passport and driver’s license and save the photos in your cell phone. Carry your own first aid kit in a zip lock bag. Never take shoes that you haven’t worn before. For women, don’t wear under-wire bras when you are going through airport security. Carry a notebook with you at all times to write down things you want to remember. Small flash lights are very helpful, too.

Learn useful phrases for each country you’re traveling to, such as “Thank you,” “Where’s the toilet?” Louise also carries snacks during her trips. Take one day of clothing in your carry-on just in case your luggage gets lost or misplaced, etc. Include power strips, especially on cruises to recharge all your devices.

Always call your credit card company and tell them where you are going to. When you’re staying at a hotel, ask for their business card and take it with you at all times to make sure you have the address or phone numbers handy. Make copies of your prescriptions; it can help if you ever lose any of your medications. Never leave home without travel insurance. TSA precheck can save you a lot of time at airports, for more info visit http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck/.

Thanks Louise for all the useful tips!

You still have time until August 30 to take advantage of one-on-one meetings or power lunches with other BRG members. Have lunch with 4 or 5 BRG members and BRG will pay $15.00 per person, or visit a member at his/her office and receive $10.00 from BRG. Likewise, bring a qualified guest from the medical field and we will double the check from $10 to $20.

We had no winner for the jackpot that is at $377, and 22 cards for next week! Keep playing! This week’s newsletter winner could be 28, but only if you call-in. Maybe your number will be chosen next week. Contact Eli if you are the winner.

Mark your calendars: September 6 pool party at the house of Melissa’s dad. More details coming.

August 25 is Happy Hour between 5 and 7 pm at Town Kitchen & Bar, 7301 SW 57th Ct, South Miami, FL 33143. Women drink for free.

October 8 is installation dinner free for all BRG members and one guest at Fleming’s.

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