Sunday, April 11, 2010

4/12 - Michael Gelb, Gary Vaynerchuk, Gloria Pink, David Beckmann, David Woodworth

Michael Gelb  "Wine Drinking for Inspired Thinking: Uncork Your Creative Juices"
Gary Vaynerchuk "Wine Library TV"  (aka "The Thunder Show")
Michael J. Gelb is the author of 11 books on creativity and innovation including the international bestseller, How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci. Gelb is also a passionate connoisseur of fine wine and food, and has been featured in the Wine Spectator, The Wine Enthusiast, and in the wine column of the Washington Post. An organizational consultant since 1979, Gelb leads the highly acclaimed “Wine-drinking for Inspired-Thinking” programs for global clients including BP, Merck, Microsoft, Nike, and many other groups. He lives in Santa Fe, NM.  Celebrating the launch of the new book Wine Drinking for Inspired Thinking: Uncork Your Creative Juices (Running Press; March 2010) that comes "Highly Recommended" on its cover by wine writer Robert M. Parker, Jr. will be  New York Times bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk, host of Wine Library TV (aka "The Thunder Show") and named in January 2010 as Wine Enthusiast magazine's "Innovator of the Year," who will sign copies of his books Crush It: Why NOW Is the Time To Cash In On Your Passion and Gary Vaynerchuk's 101 Wines: Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World;  Gary Vaynerchuk (VAY NER CHUK), the star of Wine Library TV, is Director of Operations at Wine Library in Springfield, NJ. With his unconventional, often irreverent commentary on wine, Gary has attracted a cult-like following of more than 80,000 viewers a day. In the name of “expanding one’s palate”, Gary convinced Conan O’Brien to lick salted rocks and shared samples of dirt and grass with Ellen Degeneres. He routinely pans popular wines (even ones sold by Wine Library). He interrupts his webcasts with rants about his beloved New York Jets. This is not your typical wine expert. 

Gary’s roots in wine tasting come honestly – his Russian immigrant parents owned a liquor store when he was growing up. Bored at the cash register, Gary began reading Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate and realized collecting wine offered an allure similar to his previous hobby of collecting baseball cards. As a teenager, tasting wine was legally impossible, so Gary set out to train his palate “backwards”. To study various flavors associated with wine, Gary tasted obscure fruits and vegetables, along with earthly influences, including grass, dirt, rocks, tobacco and wood. “I probably consumed more New Jersey grass in my teens than any lawn mower.” By familiarizing himself with the numerous tastes that contributed to a specific wine, Gary was able to detect subtleties that an ordinary palate wouldn’t recognize

Gloria Pink  "Pinks Hot Dogs" Los Angeles
Pink's is probably the most famous hot dog stand in the country... certainly in Los Angeles! Located near the corner of Melrose and La Brea, Pink's can be found by looking for a crowd of people and following the aroma of fresh meaty chili and soft hot dog buns. Pink's is unlike any other hot dog stand in America. For example, it has its own parking lot attendant (parking is free). It has been in the same location for 70  years. It is not unusual to see a Rolls Royce pull up to Pink's (the chili dog ordered will be for the occupant, not the chauffeur!). Movie stars, well-known dignitaries, struggling musicians, businessmen, housewives, school children... all have savored Pink's Famous Chili Dogs.  Paul Pink started his hot dog stand in 1939. It was only a large-wheeled pushcart in those days. The depression was on and money was scarce. Pink's chili dogs, complete with a large warm bun, oversized hot dog, mustard, onions and thick chili sold for 10 cents each. His hot dog wagon was located in "the country", rolling hills of weeds and open spaces.  Times have changed, but not Pink's. Oh, in 1946 Paul Pink did trade his hot dog wagon in for a small building (constructed on the vary same spot where the wagon had stood). But the stand hasn't changed since those days. Today, Pink's chili dogs sell for $2.95 each (with inflation and the shrinking dollar, they are a better bargain now than in 1939!). Pink's still gives that very same quality now as then... mouth-watering chili, generously topping an all-beef hot dog with mustard and onions. Quality and service (an average Pink's chili dog can be ordered, prepared and delivered to the customer in less than 30 seconds!) have been the two reasons Pink's has not only survived, but become famous.  Pink's Hot Dog Stand is a quick lunch, a nostalgic trip into the past, and a delicious experience. It is definitely a landmark in Hollywood!   Paul & Betty Pink had the dream 70 years ago and are the founders of Pink's.

David Beckman - President  "Bread for the World"
Many of you are aware of David's position as an International advocate for children and families. In order to maintain the nations EITC(earned income tax credit) even religious leaders are speaking out to Congress for the nations many financially challenged families.  This year, Congress is considering changes to our tax policy, and churches have a critical role to play in ensuring these changes benefit low-income families. Thousands of U.S. congregations will participate in Bread’s 2010 Offering of Letters ( by writing letters to Congress—often during their worship services—in support of these tax credits and other changes to the tax code.  Taxes will be near the top of the 2010 agenda in Congress as a series of tax cuts are set to expire this year. “In the midst of the debate over which taxes to change and which to renew, the needs of low-income people should not be lost,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. He said that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one such benefit. It is a program designed to help bridge the gap between low-wage earnings and the costs of meeting basic needs. The EITC lifts almost 10 million Americans, including 5 million children, above the poverty line. The average EITC benefit is $2,500 for families with children. The credit is considered by both Democrats and Republicans as a powerful anti-poverty tool.  “We know food assistance to hungry people is vital, but it is not enough. Progress against hunger requires broader economic efforts like tax policy reforms to reduce poverty,” said Rev. Beckmann.

David Woodworth - RV expert and historian
LIVE from the RV Heritage Museum in the RV Capital of the World, Elkhart, IN. He’ll give you a look at the past, present and future of RVs and why this truly American product lives on. As the summer travel season approaches, Woodworth can discuss why RVing remains the most affordable travel option for a family; plus, how the industry has taken a turn for the “green.” The RV industry was born a century ago, as the popularization of the automobile, improving roads and America’s passion for exploration gave rise to mass-produced, manufactured recreation vehicles. Through war and peace, booms and busts, fuel lines and fads, the RV lifestyle has endured and is still going strong, even in today’s challenging economic times.  David is widely recognized as the country’s foremost RV historian. He once owned the world’s largest collection of antique RVs, now on display at the RV Heritage Museum.