combsandco


Feature Friday with Rebecca Rakoski

“No longer are technology and cyber issues confined to tech geeks in some backroom. In the digital age, IT issues are front and center.”  Will Hurd

2021:17

During my 25+ years in and around technology, the most common refrain from those on the business side of a company when it came to cyber was, “It’s an IT problem.”  That is not the case any longer.  Your IT folks have to be involved in the discussion, but cyber is most definitely a business problem now.  Don’t believe me?  Maybe my next guest on Did You Know That? can convince you.

Rebecca Rakoski is a founding partner of XPAN Law Partners, a practice primarily dedicated to their client’s cyber welfare.  Our conversation focuses on what that means for businesses; some best practices required to stay in “compliance;” and a host of other elements of a cyber program.

Website: https://xpanlawpartners.com/

LinkedIn (personal): https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca-rakoski-esq-1460b116/

LinkedIn (firm): https://www.linkedin.com/company/xpan-law-partners/

Twitter: @XPANLawPartners

Email: rrakoski@xpanlawpartners.com



Feature Friday with Jim Mottola

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin

COVID-19 has certainly made its presence felt at the two-decade mark of the 21st Century (both negatively and positively). The current bent of the world toward vaccinations as a prerequisite for reopening naturally leads to a conversation about identification.

Jim Mottola and I talked about this very topic on the premier episode of Everything Cyber, so we’re returning to this fertile ground to address the changes since and possible future of dynamic identification.


James Mottola: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesmottola/
Sean O’Rourke: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scorcyber/

Music: “Tunnel Vision” by Stanley Gurvich via Artlist



Feature Friday with Shira Fisher

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked, and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for is the greatest poverty.” Mother Teresa

Episode 2021:12

Homelessness has been an issue for humans since a documented history was begun – and probably before. Like most complex societal issues, solutions have been tried, discarded, tried again, discarded again, and so on. Why would efforts in 2021 be different?

That and many other questions are addressed in this episode of Did You Know That? Shira Fisher has spent 13+ years of her life working for organizations using modern technologies, data, and approaches to put a dent in the 55,000 homeless in New York City. Despite the enormity of the effort and the incremental forward progress, she remains convinced this is one societal issue that can be solved. After you experience this conversation, you might as well.

Find out more about Shira and her background via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shira-fisher-8017667/.

Music: “What Makes Us Human” by Attila Erdelyi via Artlist



Feature Friday with Christian Dysart

“You can be a career professional as a judge, a prosecutor, sometimes as a defense attorney, and never insist on fairness and justice. That’s tragic and that’s what we have to change.” Bryan Stevenson

Episode 2021:10

When you read the term defense attorney, what or who springs to mind?  Hold that image in your mind until you meet my next guest on Did You Know That?

Christian Dysart probably doesn’t fit the narrative in your head as to what or who a defense attorney should be.  But he has all the traits you’d want in the person fighting for your freedom/life.  This is a conversation about the role of a defense attorney, criminal law, and how the system works (or doesn’t work) for those accused of a crime.

You can find out more about Christian and his work at:

Website: https://www.dysartwillis.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christian-e-dysart-9b412a4/

Twitter: @dysartwillis

Instagram: @dysartwillis

Music: “Taurus” by Ace via Artlist



Changing The Provider Experience with Guest Bryan Cush

Bryan Cush, Co-Founder of Tidal Health Group is on a mission to change the way consumers find providers. 

Backed with a strong purpose and the courage to try, he and his team are tackling the large task at hand. 

Listen along as Bryan shares a bit on his background, the company’s mission and some key valuable lessons he’s learned along the way so far.

You can Click Here to check out the podcast on Apple Podcasts!



Feature Friday with Lexi Arnold
February 12, 2021, 4:57 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

“The strongest people are those who win battles we know nothing about.” Unknown

Episode 2021:6

Host: Sean O’Rourke

Health can be a perplexing topic for all of us.  Unless afflicted with a condition at birth or in early childhood, we typically grow up believing we control our minds and bodies.  We jump when we want, we say what comes to mind, we sleep when we’re tired, we laugh when amused, we… well, you get the picture.

Lexi Arnold started life with that same belief but was disabused of the notion at a young age.  Her struggles started early and caused mounting physical and mental challenges that affected her quality of life.  Treating the physical issues was the easy part (and I use the term easy in a very loose sense, as you will find out during our conversation); the mental and emotional weight Lexi carried required more understanding, both for Lexi and her family.

In this episode of Did You Know That?, Lexi and I talk about the “shadow” she describes in the essay below.  We discuss how she broached the subject with her parents, why she decided to be so open about her struggles, and what she’s doing to help others.  This is one of the more inspiring episodes I’ve done thus far.

Lexi’s essay: https://lexismentalhealthmatters.jimdofree.com/2019/10/08/the-shadow

Learn more about Lexi at:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lexiarnold/

Instagram: @lexiarnold



Pancakes For Roger! – The Backstory

February 1st kicks off Combs & Company’s annual campaign to support the University of Missouri School of Law Veterans Clinic, which helps veterans and their families navigate the VA claims process and secure disability benefits when they are faced with obstacles along the way.  Combs & Company will make a donation to the Veterans Clinic for every pancake-loving picture you post on social media and use the hashtag #PancakesForRoger.

Many have asked how this campaign began.  It began with a what seemed to be a simple request by my father for some pancakes.  

My dad, Major General Roger E. Combs, served our great country for more than 39 years in three branches of the military (Marines, Army, and Air Force).  When he was coming to the end of his life, I was fortunate enough to return home to King City, MO from my NYC home to be present and help care for him.  Each morning we had a pretty specific routine as the early risers of the family.  I would go to the gym at 5am, return home around 6am to get ready for the day, and then help him have breakfast and get him prepped for his day.  One morning, as I came downstairs, he was setting the kitchen table for himself and I looked at him rather quizzically and asked what he was doing.  He looked at me and said, “I want pancakes for breakfast.”  I smiled at him as my heart broke inside.

Such a simple request was by this time impossible for my dad.  Ten years prior, my father was diagnosed with Agent Orange-related throat cancer, from exposure during his service as a combat helicopter pilot in Vietnam.  He’d beaten that cancer and enjoyed a relatively good ten years, but he relapsed twice, and his final treatments required him to have a feeding tube.  He was unable to eat solid foods – and my dad loved food – but he never complained.  He knew the journey he was on.  So his desire for pancakes became a rallying point for me and #PancakesForRoger became my way to honor his greatness.  I share this story as often as I can to help remind myself and others to enjoy the simple things in life, because you never know when they could be taken away. 

So every February, to show support to many veterans who will come to be in my father’s shoes, I issue a challenge for the month to have some “Pancakes for Roger.”  For each picture you post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter, and use the hashtag #PancakesForRoger, Combs & Company will make a donation in Maj. Gen. Combs’ name to the Veterans Clinic at the University of Missouri School of Law to help further their mission to support our veterans and their families.

__________________

If you are looking to support the Mizzou Law Veterans Clinic in a deeper way, feel free to CLICK HERE to make a donation!



Need-to-knows about the Second PPP Loan Program by Tricia M. Taitt

Author: Tricia M. Taitt

Congress just passed a new COVID-19  “survival”stimulus package. Changes include the reopening of the $10,000 EIDL grant program and updates to the PPP loan program.

As a reminder, those eligible for the PPP include

  • New borrowers 
  • Businesses that exhausted their first PPP loans 
  • with less than 300 employees and;
  • that suffered a 25% or more reduction in gross revenue in one quarter in 2020 versus the same quarter in 2019

The second draw PPP loan program works similarly to the first round. Newly added policies include:

  • The max loan amount for most businesses at 2.5x the average monthly payroll cost for 2019 or over a trailing 12-month period 
  • The max loan amount for hospitality and food-service businesses at 3.5 x that average monthly payroll costs for 2019 over the past 12 months 
  • The list of expenses that qualify for loan forgiveness has expanded to include: operational expenses, supplier costs, PPE and worker protection costs and eligible payroll costs, including group insurance payments

The bottom line: 

  1. Move fast. Get your documents and calculations ready for when lenders make applications available. 
  2. Stay informed. But take some things with a grain of salt. There is a lot of false information out there. Rely on experts and your lender for updates.
  3. Keep an eye out. As of now expenses paid with PPP loan funds are tax-deductible and the PPP monies are nontaxable income. The IRS may push back against that.

Click here to get some guidance on loan forgiveness for the 1st round borrowers!

_____________________________________

About Tricia & The Art of Money Matters:

The Art of Money Matters is led by its President and Chief Financial Officer, Tricia Taitt, who has a strong track record of managing and improving the financial operations of growth-oriented, small to mid sized companies in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.  Ms. Taitt is adept at helping senior leaders decode the numbers so that they can better understand their business and make strategic decisions more confidently.



Feature Friday with Kimberly Chu
January 8, 2021, 6:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Host: Sean C O’Rourke

“I’ve learned a lot from mentors who were instrumental in shaping me, and I want to share what I’ve learned.” Herbie Hancock

Quick personal story – when I was asked to be a mentor for the program we discuss in this episode, my first thought was: “Am I even qualified to be a mentor?”  After talking to my mentee for about 15 minutes, I knew this was going to be a great gig.  Not due to any superior knowledge on my part, but because the student was just looking for help and I was willing to do so.

Good mentors are guides through unknown landscapes.  They don’t always show us the way, but they can teach us how to find our path and navigate it successfully (or with minimal backtracking).  But how do you find a good mentor?  Well my next guest on Did You Know That? has some ideas.

Dr. Kimberly Chu is the Director of the Executives on Campus (EOC) program at Baruch College (NY, NY).  The program is designed to match undergrad and graduate students with mentors, who ideally work or have worked in the profession the student is pursuing.  Kimberly and her team have built a pioneering program and we talk about why it should be a model for institutions across the country.

You can learn more about Kimberly and EOC by visiting the links below.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chukimberly/

Website: https://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/eoc/

Music: “A Big Adventure” by FASSounds via Artlist

#mentors #mentoring #barchcollege #payitforward #didyouknowthat #indulgeyourcuriosity #youtubechannel



Feature Friday with Traci Carnes

Host: Sean O’Rourke

Guest: Traci Carnes

Title: Are Your Confident In Your Cybersecurity?

Posting:

“The hacker didn’t succeed through sophistication. Rather he poked at obvious places, trying to enter through unlocked doors. Persistence, not wizardry, let him through.” Clifford Stoll, “The Cuckoo’s Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage”

“The Cuckoo’s Egg” was published in 1989; I first read it in 1995.  You know what’s amazing/annoying/frustrating/unsurprising?  Not much has changed in the intervening 30+ years when it comes to hacking.  Sure, the systems and tools have gotten more sophisticated, but persistence and unlocked doors remain the key hallmarks of most hacks.

Cybersecurity, especially for small- and mid-sized businesses, remains a hazy priority that seems to fall down the to-do list every time a company runs out of coffee or snacks.  That’s just playing with gasoline and matches, and my next guest on Did You Know That? knows this firsthand.  Traci Carnes has worn many a technology hat in her career, so she’s seen cybersecurity from all sides.  Her thoughts and processes should inspire businesses to take a more proactive approach to minimizing the damage from a cyber event.  Remember, it’s not if but when you’ll experience one.

Want to learn more about Traci and her extensive background?  Check out her LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracicarnes/

Music: “Broken Radios” by Stanley Gurvich via Artlist