Saturday, September 18, 2010

Terry and Mary MacRae

Terry MacRae began Hornblower Cruises & Events in 1980 as a two-boat operation on San Francisco Bay. Since then he and his wife, Mary, have built Hornblower into a 50-boat, $120 million company with 1,000 employees that serves about six million guests each year. Emphasizing customer service, safety, and teamwork, the firm has emerged as the market leader in each of the seven California ports it serves. Hornblower guests are treated to stunning nautical venues and exquisite cuisine for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and other major celebrations.

As a result of Hornblower's success in the hospitality and maritime industries, the MacRaes decided to make competitive bids for National Park Service concessions serving the popular icons Alcatraz on San Francisco Bay and Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Immigration Museum in New York Harbor. Alcatraz Cruises commenced service in September of 2006, and Statue Cruises commenced operations in January of 2008. These concessions have contributed to the growth and stability of the company.

In 2008 Alcatraz Cruises launched the nation's first hybrid ferry-a 149-passenger vessel powered by a combination of wind turbines, solar panels, and an efficient diesel electric drive. Hornblower is completing the design and approval for a new hydrogen powered hybrid vessel for use in New York Harbor.

Terry is a recognized expert in the design, renovation, construction, and operation of passenger vessels, and in the marine, fine dining, entertainment, and tourism industries. He holds a BS degree in mechanical/environmental engineering from the California State Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo. Mary holds a BS degree from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.

We have video from both a an interview and a lecture.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Quilter's Corner

Cindy Slothower & Linda Van Nederynne are co-founders of Quilters Corner. Quilters Corner was opened by 5 women in the summer of 1995 and the business has been expanding ever since.

In addition to a shared love of quilting, the founders all also have busy families, with a total of fifteen children among them. As a group they came together with varied professional backgrounds and life experiences: math teacher, farmer, paralegal, traffic engineer, arts administrator. None had owned or run a business before but all had a passion for quilting.

Clips here!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Ed Abel from the ABEL Business Institute

Ed Abel is the founder of ABEL Business Institute.

Abel has invested more than three decades learning how to build a successful, thriving business. At age 24 with a $5,000 loan and the energy and passion of a young entrepreneur, Ed was ready to take on the world. And he did, only to emerge seven years later at the top of a $36 million organization with 585 employees. Inspired by the challenges that led him to success, Ed went on to build other multi-million dollar businesses, yet he missed the passion he experienced "in the trenches" of his formative years.

Determined to find a way to educate and advise others in the construction and sustainability of a vital business, he founded ABEL Business Institute. Over the course of this process, he developed The SkillPreneur Business System, a systematic approach to the construction, maintenance, and growth of a business--an approach that has become the philosophy and methodology of ABEL Business Institute.

Ed Abel is an adjunct professor of entrepreneurial studies at New York University (NYU) as well as the Director of the business division at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). At iPEC, Ed directs the business division that is responsible for supporting the graduate coaches in their business development process.

Watch clips here.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Guest Speakers a Hassle? Go Virtual.

There is really no substitute for an outstanding guest speaker. You know – the one that really understands and responds to what you need, is entertaining, arrives regardless of weather and will pay for his/her own travel expenses.

The truth is that the guest speaker business is full of ups and downs. When someone is terrific, you can’t beat it. But it can be expensive, both in terms of time and money.

If you want to cut down on expenses, inviting ONLY the guest that you know you can count on, there is still a great way to bring the real world into your classroom.

I’ve been promoting eClips for years as an alternative – a sort of “virtual guest speaker” approach if you will. And I had so many people asking me to “just pick the best clip on [whatever topic] for me!!” that I have done just that. For anyone teaching business planning,we have a new DVD. That makes using eClips a bit easier.

Note: I do not think video content can replace an in-person presentation, but it can be even better in certain ways: video clips are short and focused, placed where you want it, provides different faces to mirror the mosaic of students in your classroom, allows you to play and replay if you want a certain emphasis and finally, you can have students enjoy listening outside of class.


Business Planning DVD from eClips on Vimeo.

(Via Prof. Deborah Streeter's blog)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Hugh Simms is a Los Angeles designer with a signature "Ivy League Grit" style and a belief that intelligence can come equipped with a strong arm and a hasty mind. He draws from his personal experiences to design for the Modern Renaissance Man. As CEO and Head Designer of HUGH SIMMS, Simms is focused on developing the company into a global brand with the eventual launch of a full line of men's, women's, and children's apparel.

Simms's first release, The Caulfield Collection, features neckwear with classic English prep school patterns, custom hand-dyed and disheveled patchwork and a fabric switch at the tail of the tie.

A believer of American craftsmanship, Simms prides himself on having his accessories and garments handmade in Los Angeles and being part of the fashion revival of the once thriving LA manufacturing industry.

After serving as General Manager for Phillips Beach Plaza Hotel in Ocean City, Maryland, Simms deep love for design lead him to become an independent designer working on various projects. His entrepreneurial family, and strong desire to showcase his talents and designs, led him to Los Angeles where he attended the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM).

Hugh Simms received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University. A distant grandson of Lord Baltimore, founder of Maryland, Simms prides himself on his East Coast roots.

here are his clips.