June 16, 2014

KBMA's drums up support for the "Unity In the Community Festival" during press conference.

Photo: Miriam Quin Photography
The Kingsbridge Road Merchants' Association (KBMA) held a press conference today at Montezuma's Restaurant, located on West Kingsbridge Road, to promote their third annual "Unity in the Community" festival this coming Saturday. The purpose of the press conference was to drum up support among English and Spanish language media for this event.

Photo: Miriam Quin Photography
"We need to make this event 'bigger and better' then last year," said KBMA's president Nancy Fernandez. "We're glad to see that there is more planning to promote this year's event." 

This year, at the direction of KBMA, the festival incorporated two promotion companies, MAS, Inc., and Promecin, and increased the number of performers and activities planned for Saturday. Additionally, both companies are taking advantage of newer media outlets and strategies to increase participation for the event. One such strategy is an opportunity to network with and meet the performers live the night before at Trio Lounge in University Heights (2347 Jerome Ave.).

Photo: Miriam Quin Photography
While everyone is expecting a great turnout and cooperation with the weather, one of the expressed concerns by some of the organizers is the withdraw of financial support by the Kingsbridge National Ice Center group. A recent spat between its members has led to a freeze of financial support for the event and potentially setting back the association thousands of dollars. As one of the panelist during the press conference, I took the time to urge the members of KNIC to set aside their differences and "do the right thing by the community and honor your agreement with the community and the merchants."

Photo: Miriam Quin Photography
Other members of the panel took the time to explain how important it was to promote this community event and that funds raised during the festival go on to support other initiatives throughout the year. "We use these funds to help provide other services for the merchants, such as advertising, reimbursing costs, and providing holiday lights on Kingsbridge Road," said vice-president Christian Ramos. Christian concluded by saying he, "...wants people to see how we are growing and doing more for the community and the residents in the area."

The Unity in the Community festival takes place on Saturday in front of the Kingsbridge Armory from 12 to 6 PM. For more information, visit the KBMA Facebook Page. For additional pictures from today's press conference, visit the Miriam Quin Photography Facebook page.

June 12, 2014

“Teens on Community Boards” Resolution, Co-Sponsored by Councilmember Ritchie Torres, Passes Through City Council Committee

New York, New York – City Council Resolution 115 to support allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to serve on their local community boards passed through the City Council committee on Governmental Relations on Tuesday, June 9th. The successful vote for resolution, co-sponsored by Council Members Kallos, Torres, Levine and Vacca, and introduced at the request of Manhattan Borough President Brewer, signals New York City’s support of Senate bill S04142, sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza and Assembly bill A02448 sponsored by Assembly Member Nily Rozic which would amend the Public Officers Law and City Charter to allow youth to serve. 

“We need to do more to provide meaningful opportunities for young people to participate in the civic life of our city.” Said Council Member Ritchie Torres, the youngest member of the New York City Council. “Sixteen and seventeen year olds can hold jobs and pay taxes, we need to recognize them as legitimate stakeholders and give them a voice in decision making processes that directly affect them.” 

“Sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds bring much-needed perspective, energy and commitment to their local Community Boards. I've been deeply impressed by the dynamism of the teenagers who have expressed interest in public service through Community Boards, and they should be empowered to assist their neighbors instead of prevented from participating in public life,” said Council Member Kallos.

“Community boards represent an opportunity for citizens to serve their communities and engage in civic discourse,” said Senator Andrew Lanza, sponsor of the legislation in the Senate. “There are many sixteen and seventeen-year-olds who are ready, willing and able to participate as full community board members and who can offer a fresh perspective on the issues and direction of our community.”

June 9, 2014

Demands vs. Detours: Standing up for your company's image starts with you

As I go about preparing to start my own business again, I've noticed that I am coming across some of the same problems I faced previously. Not with the things that may typically knock a business off track, such as getting in over your head in debt or not marketing your company properly. No, for me, and I'm sure for many other startup businesses, the issue is others trying to define your business's vision for you. There are so many people out there "giving advice" as to how you should run your business, that sometimes you end up taking a detour when you should have been plowing forward.

The truth is, your business is developed through your own sweat equity, and while it is helpful to listen to the advice of those that have come before you, your business cannot be their vision. The minute it stops being your vision, the more likely you will allow this detour to derail your dreams, and you will become more and more frustrated at your business. This is completely different than listening to the demands of your customers, because otherwise, how would your business survive. But even with them, as well-meaning as they may be, are not in your shoes. So how do you separate the "wheat from the chaff" when it comes to listening to business advice from others? Here are three ways to check:

Gut-check: You know deep down inside if the person who is talking makes some sense, or is completely off the mark. Don't compromise your brand, image, and ultimately your business, because of a supposed authority figure or so-called experts. Too many business aspirations never make it off the ground because someone else has convinced the would be entrepreneur to go a different direction, even halting their aspirations. Don't let someone else define your vision.

Fact-check: Even with credible voices providing you "expert knowledge", don't settle for just knowing what they know, find out why they know. How come one business model took off while another failed? Why did one company's ideas flop, while another's flew? The problem with living in an instant gratification society is that we have become all too accepting of a reason without actually going through the thinking process, and then are unprepared for the consequences to our business. Don't let others define your vision.

Checkmate: You are not in business to lose, so run a race you can win. Let everyone that is providing you with advice (whether solicited or unsolicited) know that you have listened to them, but be conscious about every move you are about to make. Did the person who you were about to write-off finally make sense to you? Or was the person you trusted really clueless about your issue? You and you alone have to deal with the consequences of your actions, so be mindful before putting risking too much or too little in your business. Remember, don't let others define your vision.

So now that I told you what to do, go out and do what's best for you and your business.