combsandco


Feature Friday – Did You Know That?

Host: Sean C O’Rourke

“Politics is not a game. It is an earnest business.” Winston Churchill

Politics.  Politician.  Want to cause a visceral reaction?  Just drop these words into any conversation and watch the fireworks blaze.  It begs the question – why would anyone want to get into this business?

Well, for those who do, there’s a gauntlet you have to run just to get in front of your welcoming electorate.  The cynic looks at these hurdles as a way for incumbents to stay in power; the optimist looks at the process as a way of pre-validating a candidate.  Either way, it’s no simple matter to find your way onto a ballot and then finance a campaign.

My next guest on Did You Know That? is Rachel Harding, an election/campaign finance law attorney who specializes in New York state.  Rachel knows the ins and outs, tricks and tricksters, and the obstacles a potential candidate must navigate to get on and remain on a New York ballot.  She also knows how much money a candidate can accept and from whom and how often.  Essentially, if you want to run for office in New York, call Rachel first.

In an election year unlike any in recent history, who better than Rachel to discuss how ballots are “made” in New York?

To learn more about Rachel, check out her LinkedIn profile HERE

Be sure to do your civic duty and vote, even if it’s for none of the above.

Music: Big City Lights by Ikoliks via Artlist



Feature Friday – Did You Know That?

Host: Sean C O’Rourke

“It’s about focusing on the fight and not the fright.” Robin Roberts

In 2019, two scientists presented evidence of a malignant tumor in a turtle bone that was 240 million years old.  In 2016, a published paper identified cancer in a hominid – one of our ancestors – toe bone from 1.7 million years ago.  An ancient Egyptian medical text, dating back at least 3,600 years, details cancer and removal procedures for breast tumors. 

So what’s this have to do with anything?  Well, first, it helps explain why cancer remains such an intractable disease, even with $200 billion spent in the last 50 years (in the U.S. alone).  Second, it provides context as to why I think my next guest is such an inspiring badass.

Not to give too much away, but what should have been one of the happiest days of Morgan Mitchell’s life was overshadowed by a lump she found in her breast.  A couple weeks later, at 28, Morgan was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.

If this interview was about Morgan’s work, or our previous exploits on the football field, or a hike she just finished, you’d never know she was being treated for anything other than being too positive.  It’s this strength of character I wanted to bring out during our conversation, in the hopes it might inspire others, and kick off Breast Cancer Awareness month on a positive message.

Morgan’s professional side is highlighted HERE

If you’d like to learn more about the organizations Morgan mentions, visit:

5 Under Forty: https://5under40.org/

American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/

Music “Early Morning” by Borrtx via Artlist

Per Angusta Ad Augusta translates to “Through difficulties to honors.”



Episode 5 – Try and Stop Me Podcast by Colleen Blum

The Life Changing Question: Gratitude & Pasta with Chris Schembra

Host: Colleen M Blum

Have you ever sat back and took a moment to think about all of the experiences you have really been through? Has anyone ever had a serious life altering impact in making who you are today – whether they were good or bad? Have you ever taken the time to be grateful for those moments which lead you to become the person you are today?

Todays episode is ALL ABOUT THAT. Gratitude.

Our next guest is Chris Schembra. Chris is the Founder of the 7:47 Club. He is the Best Selling Author of Gratitude & Pasta: The Secret Sauce For Human Connection. USA Today named him the “Gratitude Guru”.

Chris has gone through his fair share of try and stop me moments, battling depression, suicide, rehab & even jail. But once he was able to see life, experience life – his world shifted. Listen along as he shares his story about how Gratitude and Pasta forever changed his world.

Guest: Find him on LinkedIn Chris Schembra or at www.747club.org

Contact to attend a dinner: David@747club.org

Podcast Instagram: @tryandstopmepodcast

CLICK HERE to see the full episode!



What’s the good news, ladies? Fall, y’all!

Original Post: BenefitsPro Broker Innovation Lab

Susan L. Combs | September 21, 2020 at 07:47 AM

I cannot believe that 4th Quarter is days away!  That means that open enrollment is on the horizon and oof … how it’s going to be different this year?  Hope you all have your virtual toolkit ready to go; I know we have been busy planning and gearing up for this in our office to make the process as easy and smooth as possible. But we’re all in insurance, right?  So we look at worst case scenario.  If you’re like me, you lay awake in bed thinking “What’s the worst than can happen?” And then you lay awake longer.  Gah!  Good luck, ladies.  Feel free to share the best idea or tool you are using; I’m sure many would love to hear about them.

We had such a blast at the virtual BenefitsPRO Broker Expo this year and got to meet some incredible women that way!  I’m really excited to introduces you to these fine women this month who are keeping it real in the world of COVID, home schooling and just being rockstars in our industry.  Please welcome Sarah, Robin and Sarah to the fold!

Sarah Wilson, Compass Benefit Advisors

“Interesting? Challenging? Uncertain?  I’m not quite sure how to describe the last 12 months.  For me, it has involved creating a new role for myself within a new firm while learning to be a teacher overnight to my 8 and 9 year olds.  Juggling and adapting have become my forte.

One thing I’ve learned is we’re not meant to do this thing called life alone and that it’s OK, even good, to put ourselves out there and lean on others.  Connecting has become my mission, even if only by Zoom.  I’ve pushed myself to make connections with mom friends and other female colleagues a priority, carving out time to share and encourage each another.  In an effort to connect with others, I’ve started a think tank for clients and prospective clients to discuss their good, bad, and ugly and to encourage one another when it comes to topics like COVID, compliance, leadership and employee morale.  It’s served as a great sounding board for human resource leaders.

When you make life a party, not a competition, and give yourself and others an opportunity to connect, it allows everyone to thrive together.  Here’s to ducking, diving and keeping our heads above water!”

Robin Wahby, CLU, Wahby Financial Group, LLC

“I am proud to say I recently conquered a goal that had always eluded me. This goal was to move families from managing money and financial advice to working towards the achievement of life’s purpose and leaving a legacy.  During the pandemic, I have been helping clients feel less anxious and more in control of their finances but am also now beginning to talk about the people and organizations that are important to them.  And talk they did!

Our client families are acting now to preserve their values and goals for future generations.  As a result, estate and charitable planning in my firm has increased significantly.  We have helped more clients than ever before design settlement letters and ethical wills.  An ethical will is a love letter to your family and bequeaths values. It can be as simple as a handwritten letter or a selfie video message.”

Sarah Gottheim, Savoy Associates

“Last month marked my 13-year anniversary in the dynamic health insurance industry. This year has been the most challenging, as the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the nation. Adapting to a new virtual world, companies are expected to conform to an online-driven work environment, including benefits administration. To accomplish this, business owners are relying on trusted brokers.

Working at a leading general agency, it is my job to work hand in hand with my broker partners to provide top-notch benefits consulting for the most sought-after benefits. I have consulted with hundreds of clients and brokers at companies of all sizes and industries to help them keep up to speed on benefits trends and legislative changes.

Relationships are key, and pairing with a strong team with deep knowledge and expertise drives new levels of success. I’m excited for the opportunities to work with dedicated partners to support business growth and boost client satisfaction.”

Know of a rockstar woman in our industry who’s doing things better than the rest?  If so, I’d love to connect!  You can just shoot me over an email with their information or feel free to make a virtual introduction to me at scombs@combsandco.com   Stay safe, sane and mask up, my friends.



Episode 1: Did you Know That?

Host: Sean O’Rourke

Guest: Stavros Michailidis

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Ernest Hemingway

I’ve always loved this quote. To me, it speaks volumes about how difficult it is to be “creative.” I actually referenced this quote during my very first conversation with Stavros Michailidis, my guest on this edition of Did You Know That? While my point was one of doubt that creativity could be learned, you’ll discover during this discussion that it was more my definition of creativity was too limited. Humans demonstrate creativity everyday – usually without all the blood – we just have a tendency to not recognize it, and thus, not apply it to future endeavors.

Music: “Naked Memories” by Assaf Ayalon via Artlist

About Stavros Michailidis:

Stavros has been facilitating KI events since 2009 and today he focuses on leading KI’s operations. He brings to KI his experience as an entrepreneur, having co-founded a design build firm, a disaster recovery not-for-profit and an eco-friendly dry cleaning business. Despite his business background, Stavros knew Science had captured his heart when he found himself preferring to read Science News over Harvard Business Review while stuck at airports between flights.

To learn more about his company, Knowinnovation, CLICK HERE

#didyouknowthat #youtube #creativity



Episode 4 – Try and Stop Me Podcast by Colleen Blum

Host: Colleen M Blum

Guest: Sebastian Rusk

Have You Ever Wanted To Start A Podcast?! All Of The Who/What/Why I Wish I Knew Before Starting A Podcast! check out what the Expert himself, Sebastian Rusk has to say about it!

Have you ever dreamed about starting YOUR OWN podcast but you have used ANY & EVERY excuse under the sun to just push it to the “one day” plan?? Well then THIS EPISODE is all for YOU!!

Sebastian Rusk is the go to man for all of the how to when creating a podcast from idea to inception. Sebastian is the Founder of the Podcast Launch Lab, he is also a kick ass Social Media Speaker, Author and Digital Story Teller. – guys if I knew Sebastian before I started this all I could have saved a good 3 weeks of my life from the countless YouTube clips I watched. Listen along to today conversation about all the questions I had when debating whether to start this show or not.

BTW: Secret for you! For 2 years I pushed down this idea of actually getting my show started because I just didn’t even know where to start. It’s time to put your fears aside & just make the jump! You can do this, I believe in YOU!

Guest Instagram: @podcastlaunchguy

Host: @tryandstopmepodcast



Episode 3 – Try and Stop Me Podcast by Colleen Blum

By Colleen Blum

Standing OUT Against the Instabody “Perfect” World – What IS That?! With Jess Mazzucco CEO of The Glute Recruit

What are we teaching our girls they need to be through social media? Do I need to take butt selfies to grow my fitness business? CEO of The Glute Recruit – Voted Best Personal Trainer in Westchester answers all. Jess tells her story about her journey through the corporate fitness world which lead her to create her own company. Jess touches on the unrealistic expectations that social media has and how she is trying to be the change in her industry by getting away from those never changing butt selfies and teaching our little ones to be strong & not focus on skinny.

Guest: @thegluterecuit

Host: @tryandstopme_podcast

Use Code: COLLEEN20 for 20% off your GluteRecruit resistance band!

https://www.thegluterecruit.com/shop

To listen to the full podcast, CLICK HERE

#MotivationMonday



Episode 2: Try and Stop Me Podcast by Colleen Blum with Guest Stephanie Virchaux

Podcast:  Try and Stop Me

Host:  Colleen Blum

Guest: Stephanie Virchaux, of SV Empowerment

On Episode 2, we sit down with my dear friend Stephanie Virchaux.

Stephanie is the Founder of SV Empowerment, she is a Motivational Speaker and an Energy Healer.

Stephanie had over a decade in the corporate world marketing for some of the top beauty brands in the industry. She was making well over 6 figures in the “opportunity of lifetime” position.  Despite all of the perks, at the end of the day, it just wasn’t what her gut was telling her to do. Listen along as she shares her journey which lead her to her coaching business where she was able to use her own tools to help her through some extremely difficult times of her own.

Instagram: @tryandstopme_podcast

Guest Instagram: @stephanievirchaux

To listen to the full podcast, CLICK HERE or check it out on Spotify!



What’s the good news, ladies? August edition

Original Post: BenefitsPro Broker Innovation Lab

By Susan L Combs | August 14, 2020 at 06:58 AM

Guess what’s next week?! It’s BenefitsPRO Broker Expo time! This is one of my favorite conferences every year and this year we are doing the Fast & Furious Session from the main stage! So if you haven’t already registered, make sure you handle that ASAP! Since it is virtual this year, if you are a broker or agent, you can get in on the fun for no charge and learn what the rest of us already know about this great show!

In July, we kicked off our Wonder Woman Mastermind group, which was the brainchild of this series. We had a wonderful first meeting, where we shared some excellent marketing ideas with each other. If you are looking to be inspired by more women in our industry, please meet Bobbie and Deidre. Both women are breaking down barriers for women in our industry with personal impact and mentorship.

Bobbie Shrivastav, Benekiva

“The past 12 months have been focused on growth, speaking and mentoring! Due to all of our recent exposure and hard work, Benekiva was invited to participate in Mass Challenge FinTech Accelerator. We were selected out of over 300 applications globally and are proud of this recognition! Our impact in the industry has also increased as we’ve grown the number of carriers we work with from three to nine over the past 12 months. Personally, I was invited to speak at over 25 events in the last year, on topics such as InsurTech, innovation, customer experience, digital transformation, Blockchain, startups, women in tech, and diversity and inclusion. I’ve meet so many dynamic people along the way. Lastly, we have been able to mentor many startups and logged over 250 hours to help the startup community nationally.”

Deidre Wright, Strategic Stories

“I constantly think about the legacy I want to leave. My goal is to diversify the C-Suite and change the image of what a leader “looks like.” While companies promote diversity and inclusion, data shows the existence of pay disparities and glass ceilings amongst employees. Last December, I took the leap to become a full-time entrepreneur, providing personal brand coaching to ambitious but undervalued diverse talent. Nothing could have prepared me for what was to come. The biggest surprise has been, that in the midst of a global pandemic, unstable economy, and racial unrest, my clients are winning. For example, Uche, a first-generation African American woman, just landed a new job making 20% more pay and with the dream title we planned together. Why am I celebrating this as a personal win? It debunks the myth that top-notch diverse talent doesn’t exist. So. I encourage us all to mentor, hire and promote diverse talent.”

Know a great rockstar woman in our industry who’s doing amazing things? If so, I’d love to connect! You can just shoot me over an email with their information or feel free to make a virtual introduction to me at scombs@combsandco.com. Stay safe and mask up my friends. Hope to see you August 18th-20th at the BenefitsPRO BrokerExpo!



Feature Friday: To Be an Effective Communicator, it’s Okay to Be Silent – Aimee B. Davis
August 14, 2020, 7:42 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,
Young woman with her eyes closed

Original Post: ABD Law Blog

When the COVID-19 lockdown began, I very quickly noticed the surge, and felt bombarded by, too many choices for online entertainment. Suddenly countless guided meditations, yoga classes, friends having Zoom cocktail hours, and virtual dance parties were available simply by clicking a link. But, in order to process entering into a “new normal,” my instinct sent me to a quieter, more introspective place.

For all things communication-related, I reflect on the words of my guru, Debra Forman, a certified executive coach and the founder of Pinstripe Coaching who, in her video blog entitled After It Rains, video 43: It’s OK to be Silent, reminds us:

“When you feel comfortable with your own silence, you will act as if you speak volumes.”

In April 2020, I declared kindness is the new BLACK. I emphasized the importance of increasing kindness through our words, actions, and the omission of certain actions. By going to that quiet place to digest the deep sense of loss and grief we are all experiencing, I found the time and space to consider ways to communicate with kindness to my clients, family, friends, andothers on social media during these unprecedented times. 

In the Age of Uncertainty, be aware that anxiety impacts the way we communicate with others.

I hear some people are a little extra snappy these days, but you didn’t hear it from me, since I’m isolated here on the 5th floor. But, now more than ever, when we feel extra vulnerable and scared, it’s important to try to be careful of what we say and to try to avoid judging others. 

Debra also reminds us that we don’t always need to fill in the blanks. Too much of one thing can negate your message. Practice restraint. Let’s use the New York State PAUSE to take a metaphorical pause in communicating!

According to Debra: “Punctuate everything you discuss with appropriate silence and respectful pauses. This will enable your listener to truly take in your words, consider their meaning [because Words Do Matter], and respond as appropriate.”

To communicate effectively and with kindness, “best practices” suggest that before speaking, we should consider the following:

  • Is it True?
  • Is it Kind?
  • Is it Necessary?
  • Is it Helpful?

 Sometimes, the best thing to say is NOTHING!

_______________________________________________________________

Aimee B. Davis Law P.C. is committed to advising its clients and resolving issues relating to the legal and business matters that are important to them. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (917) 617-2243 or email aimee@aimeebdavis.com.

Aimee B. Davis

Aimee B. Davis
Aimee B. Davis Law P.C.

917-617-2243
122 Ashland Place
Brooklyn, NY 11201
www.aimeebdavis.com
aimee@aimeebdavis.com