An Amibitious Couple's Blog Experiment

Marc Sparks, a venture capitalist and entrepreneur, is out to change the world, specifically the one around the Dallas-Ft.Worth area. His grant program, called Spark Tank, is offering a social innovation challenge for non-profits, described as social entrepreneurs. A grant is offered in the amount of $5,000 to help fund the non-profit’s activities in the local community. Any non-profit is free to submit an application which is then reviewed by a panel. Any organization not chosen can submit a new application for the next round.

Each non-profit has 10 minutes to make an oral presentation to the panel which is followed by 10 minutes of questions. Grant criteria includes the impact potential of the grant, and whether or not the grant can produce measurable results.

Sparks believes that besides the benefits of receiving the grant, each non-profit gains valuable experience from the process of writing a grant, and more specifically, appearing in person to defend the value of its organization. Applications for the next round are found here Your text to link…

The winner of the second round of Spark Tank was an organization known as “Mommies in Need”. This organization provides nannies at no cost to families who are experiencing health problems, and thus need childcare. The families must not be able to afford care for their children, and thus the families and the children benefit from this service. This winner fits the social innovation idea of Sparks.

According to GoodReads and, Marc Sparks is a passionate entrepreneur who shared his life story in a book with the fascinating name of They Can’t Eat You. The title refers to not only Sparks’ successes in life, but as he describes it, more importantly his failures.

Sparks believes that in order to be successful you cannot be afraid to fail. Failure is part of life, and you can learn much form your failures, perhaps even more than from your greatest success. In the end, it is about what Marc calls an outrageous sense of urgency. Read more: Who Is Marc Sparks?

Another key to success according to Marc Sparks is focus. Do not let yourself deviate from your goal. Do not let life or anything else keep you from remaining on track. Combine focus with passion, and you have a pathway to success.

Spark Tank is an example of giving back to the community. On the home page of his website, Marc has a scripture passage from Luke 12:48 in which Jesus says in effect, to whom much is given, much is required. Marc has been given much, and he clearly believes he is required to give back. That is the motivation behind Spark Tank, and the driving force in the life of Marc Sparks.

Goettl Air Conditioning and The Sunny Plumber recently donated a whopping $14,000 worth of work to a female Las Vegas Senior citizen. The two companies are owned by businessman and philanthropist Ken Goodrich. The companies reacted to news that the 94 year old lady, Jean Jackson, had been hospitalized by heatstroke after her air conditioner gave out on her.

Goettl Air Conditioning and The Sunny Plumber: Good Deed Brings Cool Relief
Jackson had been relying on two small window air conditioners during the summer to cool her home. She has lived in a one bedroom trailer in Nevada for the last 33 years. Unfortunately for her, her two air conditioners failed to cool her home during the hot summer season and she could not afford to replace them because she survives on her social security. The two air conditioners that she was using were old and worn out. She could not replace them because they are no longer in the market. This meant that she would have to purchase and install a new system.

Hospitalized for Heatstroke

Jackson was once hospitalized from heatstroke after her air conditioner stopped working. Paramedics quickly rushed her to hospital and later advised her to check into a nursing home, a move that she adamantly refused. She has reiterated that she loves her freedom despite her old age.

Older adults residing in Las Vegas have a hard time during the summer more so if they do not have air conditioning. This is because they find it harder to adjust to the extreme temperature changes compared to younger people. They are prone to chronic medical conditions. According to Jackson, dealing with the summer weather was hard for her.

Assistance from Ken Goodrich

When he became aware of her plight, Ken Goodrich decided to help Jackson out by fixing her air conditioning and plumbing for free. He said that it was paramount for the business community in the area to help out the less fortunate members of their community in any way that they can. The sunny plumber checked and fixed Jackson’s plumbing and water line. On the other hand, Goettl Air Conditioning, with assistance from Daikin-Goodman Global, created a custom air conditioner unit for Jackson’s trailer.

Goettl Air Conditioning

Goettl Air Conditioning was founded by Adam and Gust Goettl in 1939. Between 1968 and 2007, the company operated an office in Las Vegas Valley. It returned to the area in 2015 after it was purchased by Ken Goodrich. Today, it offers installation, repair and maintenance work. It handles residential air conditioning systems and heating installation.

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According to a recent online article on, a business’ reputation means everything to them. It used to be that consumers had blind trust and just did business with a company because they needed something. With the advent of the Internet, consumers became picky and now do research about a company’s goods and services, says the article. They will read reviews by past and present customers and will make an informed decision whether to choose a company or not. If the company has a poor online reputation, it could be losing a lot of potential business, states the article.
The article which also appeared on explains that disgruntled customers will be more than happy to leave bad reviews. It points out that unscrupulous competitors may leave bad reviews anonymously. In order to keep a good presence online, this article recommends a couple steps.

Having a positive reputation in the very beginning is helpful, says the article. If there are a lot of positive reviews for the business, a few poor ones will not really affect things as much. Customers will be too busy looking at all the good statements. This is a case of the good outweighing the bad. It is also recommended that businesses create as many positive social media accounts as they can. This includes having their own websites with positive blogging information.

Another thing to consider is how negative information is ranked on the search engines, the article explains. People are more apt to look at first page negative comments than they are positive ones on consecutive pages. The article outlines a few ways of pushing down the negative comments. If a lot of positive ones are added, they will outrank the fewer negative ones. This will push them further down the search engine pages. Using proper SEO techniques can help companies push down negativity. When content is optimized properly, it will take a higher rank, says the article.

The article recommends that companies have a good online reputation in the very beginning. If online reputation repair is needed, then the negativity needs to be suppressed. These pointers can help a company shine in better light to prospective customers. They can also help rebuild a tarnished online presence, states the article.


When asked to list who some of the best young CEOs in Los Angeles are Adam Goldenberg is sure to come to mind. The CEO may not seem as young as he is because he had success so early in his career and has sustained that success for so long. He has hit the mark again, though, with his latest venture. Goldenberg started JustFab, his most recent startup, in 2010 and the company has seen great success every since. JustFab even raised over $50 million in funding just last year.

JustFab is what is called a VIP membership clothing and fashion company. Clients of the service pay a membership fee. This membership gives them access to special discounts and deals on fashion items through the JustFab website. These items are usually found at a steep discount to their equivalent at retail stores and in other e-commerce sites. One of the biggest assets of the company is Goldenberg’s ability to network with other companies and get their product on his website. One of his biggest partnership is with the company Fabletics. Fabletics is a daily activewear company that is founded and owned by Hollywood actress Kate Hudson.

Finding great partnerships is not Goldenberg’s only usable skill on He has a few other skills that he has developed in his almost 20 years as a CEO in LA to help make JustFab a quick success. Those attributes are the ability to use metrics correctly to abandon a product or idea before it is too late. The other attribute is his ability to hire and cultivate a great staff at

Metrics are a huge part of any successful business. Some CEOs have too big of a personality to be able to react to information about their company’s products or ideas and end them. They can’t take information for what it is and not get emotional about it. Adam Goldenberg does not have this problem. He is not afraid to take any product off of the shelves before it is too late and the company loses even more money off of it. This is even true if he brought the product in himself. This is a great asset for a CEO to have when it comes to reducing losses and maintaining a good bottom line.

Goldenberg also employs great hiring practices with his company. He is known to forego a potential employee that may have a great resume and go with his guy on someone that is more passionate. It is his belief that you can’t teach passion and hard work. The other aspects of business can easily be taught.

Imagine an investment company run entirely by women. Twenty years ago that was a dream, today it is a reality. As a child, I remember that women’s rights and equality in the workforce was something that was talked about with some frequency, but all that talking hadn’t extinguished the blazing truth. Women were struggling with financial sector equality and the very real stigma of being born a woman.

Fast forward to the present and you will see a much different landscape, one with Helane Morrison at the helm of a highly successful investment company in her role as Managing Director, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Hall Capital Partners. Before joining with Hall, she served as head of the San Francisco office of the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1999 to 2007.

With a degree in journalism from Northwestern University, she continued her education and earned her J. D. from the UC Berkeley, School of Law. Upon passing her bar, she went on to work with esteemed judges, such as Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun and then joined with law firm Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin. It took her only five years to become partner.

Helane’s experience working with Blackmun shaped her ideology and developed her strength and character to do the right and just work the country needed heading into and out of the great depression of 2008.

Confidence in financial advisors is at an all time low. One of Helane’s priorities is to rebuild investor confidence. Who better to trust than the woman who relentlessly pursued and brought to justice those who dared to defraud senior citizens and the military and launched investigations against cocksure top tier Fortune 500 level executives known for evading prosecution, famously stating, “It is unusual to find so many employees of a single company engaged in insider trading.”

In her success, Helane Morrison never forgot that women, on the whole, weren’t experiencing the same levels of promotion in their careers and she effects change daily by fighting for financial sector equality. Working alongside Co-Chief Investment Officer and President Sarah Stein in the management of over $24 billion in assets and the finances of some of the wealthiest people in America, her role at Hall Capital is uniquely positioned for maximum impact towards the education of young women and the mantra to be tough, survive and thrive.

Clay Siegall, the President and CEO of Seattle Genetics, has a lot of industry experience aside from co-founding Seattle Genetics in 1998. He currently serves as a director on the Board of Directors for Alder Biopharmaceuticals Inc., Mirna Therapeutics, Inc., and Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical. Here is a summary of what each company is about to give you more insight into the areas of biotechnology that Siegall is interested in and plays a role in overseeing:

Alder Biopharmaceuticals

Since 2006, Siegall has served as a director on the Board of Directors for Alder Biopharmaceuticals. Alder Biopharmaceuticals was founded in 2004 with the goal to ease human suffering through safer antibody therapeutics. Their technologies help people whom are afflicted with cancer, inflammatory diseases, and autoimmune diseases.

Mirna Therapeutics

Six years after its founding in 2007, Siegall joined the Board of Directors at Mirna Therapeutics. This biotech company is a research and development firm that experiments with miRNA-directed oncology therapies. They have a deep understanding of miRNA and cancer biology.

Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals

Siegall has worked on the Board of Directors for Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals since 2014. Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company founded in 2010 that develops new products for treating rare and ultra-rare diseases. They pay special attention to debilitating genetic diseases.

A busy man, Seattle Genetics‘s CEO, co-founder, and President serves on the boards of three reputable biotech companies: Alder Biopharmaceuticals, Mirna Therapeutics, and Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals. Once can tell by his choice in businesses to work with, Siegall cares about the future of biotechnology, helping people who are suffering from illnesses, and developing innovative ideas for treating illnesses.

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Most food critics say New York City is the best restaurant city in the world. New York visitors can be sure that they will eat fabulous meals, drink great wines, and pay ridiculous prices for those treats. It doesn’t matter what type of food people want to eat while they are in the Big Apple. Virtually every type of global cuisine is represented somewhere in the city. Some of the most recognizable chefs on the planet have locations in New York and some chefs like Mario Batali has nine restaurants in the city. One of his best restaurants is Babbo, in Greenwich Village.

Babbo offers regional Italian dishes, and they are served with style, grace and visions of Italy running through the red and white wine selections that dazzle and satisfy guests. Babbo has this upbeat vibe that’s hard to identify until the food arrives at the table. Food critics like to call Babbo Batali’s best restaurant in New York. It’s hard not to love Babbo for being what New Yorker’s call an incredible spot for a work lunch or a romantic dinner.

Another long-standing New York favorite and one of the best historic restaurants in the city is the Four Season Restaurant. The Four Seasons Restaurant is located on 52nd Street in the Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building. This fabulous 1959 gem was designed by modernist Philip Johnson, and it is considered as timely now as it was when it opened. The Four Seasons gives guests a choice when it comes to dining. The Pool Room is the romantic spot for a quiet dinner and power lunches are always in progress during the week in the Grill Room. The Four Seasons is not for people on a budget. Prices are in orbit, but that’s not unusual in the City these days.

Tarallucci e Vino is the talked about Italianesque wine bar located at 15 East 18th Street. Head Chef Andrew Welch has a knack for giving guests more than they expect. This New York Italian restaurant is the perfect place for a dinner party or any type of event. In fact, Tarallucci e Vino has developed quite a name for hosting special events in all of their locations. The Union Square location gets a lot of attention, but the East Village location and the location at 475 Columbus Ave on the Upper West Side are becoming favorite party locations.

But the Copper-Hewitt location in the Smithsonian Design Museum is creating a buzz because it is easily accessible. The new Nomad location taking shape and will become the fifth location for this incredible wine and food experience and event venue. The off-site catering and the wedding parties have helped Tarallucci e Vino gain the recognition it deserves in New York. It’s hard to break into the New York City Restaurant scene, but Tarallucci e Vino knows the secret. Good food, great service, decent prices, and the desire to serve nothing but a quality experience is all it takes.

One of the most successful hedge fund managers in the history of the stock market has ended his hiatus and started to trade again. George Soros, owner of the 2nd largest hedge fund in America has ended his long hiatus to begin trading again. Some investors might see that as a good thing. It actually could be a bad sign for the coming months on the market. George Soros has a history of both shorting investments he thinks are going to fail and making large investment moves when he thinks a huge market downturn is coming up. This looks to be just one of those cases thanks to Soros’ opinions on the future of the Chinese economy and the effects of the Brexit vote.

Soros’ company, Soros Management LLC, manages a $30 billion hedge fund for the 85-year-old investor and members of his family. Soros made his first large trades in years last week when he took many of his stock holdings and placed them in gold and gold mining companies. Putting money in gold when they think the market is going to shift in a negative way is a common practice by shrewd investors. Gold has also been up almost 20% so far in 2016. Soros is definitely looking to capitalize on what he thinks will be an upcoming downturn in the market. The last time he made a trade like this was in 2007 during the sub-prime mortgage crisis. He made $1 billion during that period. His first famous trade was betting against the British pound in 1992. That trade also made him around $1 billion. He has made a career out of predicting huge market shifts.

Read more:
A Bearish George Soros Is Trading Again

Billionaire Investor George Soros Sees Economic Trouble Ahead

Soros has been focusing on other things in recent years. This mostly includes politics and philanthropy. He is a staunch liberal and has been known to fund many left-wing charitable organizations. He is also a huge supporter of Hillary Clinton. George Soros has helped raise money for the democratic presidential nominee’s Super PAC and has worked on her behalf for years. He has also been known to donate to many other democratic politicians during their campaigns.

One the biggest reasons Soros chose to make these trades is the Chinese economy. Their lack of foreign holdings and lack of a transparent government when it comes to regulations leads Soros to believe that their economy is due for a collapse. He thinks that this could have a huge negative effect on the rest of the world’s markets. This is also true for the Brexit vote. Soros has a long history betting against the British pound and thinks that this recent vote will bring on problems for their economy in the coming months. George Soros has a long history of being right in about these kinds of situations. Let’s hope he’s wrong this time.

Learn more about George Soros:

Marc Sparks is a businessman and venture capitalist living in Dallas, Texas. He is, among other things, the head of Timber creek Capital a private equity firm in turning passionate entrepreneurs viable companies that produce revenue generating products and services.

Marc Sparks has successfully operated and owned many kinds of businesses including Splash Media, Cardinal Telecom, merchant banking companies, graphic arts and web development companies. His latest endeavor is Spark Tank.

Spark Tank was the creation of Mark Sparks and his partner Lynne Sipiora with the idea to ask and get social service executives with an entrepreneurial streak to present their ideas in creating a company to advance society and the company’s mission.

The Spark Tank takes applications from interested entrepreneurs and over a series of rounds a winner is picked and that winner is the recipient of a $5,000.00 Grant from the spark tank. What could that money be used for to impact lives? At the Samaritan Inn $5,000.00 funded an animal kennel so homeless didn’t need to give up their pets to enter the program.

Another winner used the $5,000.00 to pay for the cost of children’s camps and children’s music lessons. Another winner used their grant money to buy gas for their company shuttle bus for one year to ensure that their clients that don’t have cars of their own could get to work.

The way the program works is that interested applicants must apply for the grant online by July 15, 2016. There are two other rounds in 2016 one in September and one in December.

After each initial online application, a finalist must present their ideas in person to the Spark Tank Panel. Each finalist is given 10 minutes to present their idea followed by a question and answer session by the panel.

Obviously, Mark Sparks is no stranger to the venture capital needs of new businesses. In fact, asking for the money is probably the most important part of the process. That is why it is vital for the business to show the venture capitalist how they are going to use their money and where they are going to put it to grow their business.

This is step one in proving that there are sound business ideas and strategies to invest in. Step two is showing a detailed presentation. This the most important part and could make or break a venture capitalist’s interest in your company.

Show them how their money will allow you to increase your sales it’s also a good idea to come up with a provable path or business model that lays out your sales and goal progression. This is easier to do if you use visual aids. Only use visuals that tell your story. As you use each visual make a point about it.

Also, have data that reinforces your story. Proven data and research is the most persuasive way to backup you presentation and increase an investors interest. Keep it simple. Don’t clutter your presentation with complicated subject matter.

Learn more about Marc Sparks:

Dr. Jennifer Walden was born on the 17th of the month of November in the year of 1971 in her hometown of Austin, Texas. Her father was a dentist, and her mother, a surgical nurse both based in the same city. She graduated from Anderson High School in her hometown in 1989, and then attended the University of Texas for a degree in Biology. Later on, she applied to the medical school program through the University of Texas’ branch for doctors and other professions. She is highly intelligent, and this showed as she graduated as the salutatorian, or the second most academically achieved educated pupil in her graduating class of that year.

Dr. Walden didn’t start with her own practice at first. In fact, her first career after graduating from medical school was at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital,and she moved away from home to excel at the career path she had set up for herself. She continued to work in the Big Apple for over 7 years, where she was introduced into the world of plastic surgery and helping patients who are willing to change their appearances, and today, she is known as one of the best plastic surgeons in the United States. Her kindness and good-at-heart nature draw many people to want to meet her and aspire to be as successful as she has in life.

She believes that she would probably still be living in New York City if it weren’t for the arrival of her sons, named Dex and Houston, her twins. She had wanted to be a mother for a long time, but had stayed single for a long time, and opted to have in-vitro fertilization, or IVF. She wanted her sons to be surrounded by family like she had been growing up, so, with her newborns in tow, she moved back home to Austin to start a whole new life. She didn’t let being a new mother stop her, and with the support of her siblings and the ever present love of her mother, she had her own practice going successfully in the span of 3 years after moving back home in the month of December in the year of 2011. It is no wonder why she is such an amazing woman and will continue to be happy and successful for a long time to come.


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