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AROUND THE VALLEYS

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley area David Ackert is in the business of advising others on how to grow and expand their own businesses. So what does he do when he needs to do the same with The Ackert Advisory, his Encino-based firm? He turned to technology and started an e-learning program called Practice Boomers at his website. What the site does is change the traditional business model Ackert had followed (billing by the hour) and gives a global audience. “The price point is lower than what I would charge hourly but the volume makes up for it,” Ackert said. Practice Boomers is targeted toward service professionals, such as lawyers, accountants and consultants and features weekly video lessons on getting clients, branding, and using social media. Interviewees include business owners or advisors with a book of business ranging from $2 million to $8 million. Users of the learning tool can then track their progress in running their own businesses. With a background in acting, Ackert was not unfamiliar with being in front of a camera. But there are differences between how he works with clients in person and doing it via video. For one, he has to be more succinct to keep the video to within five minutes in length. Another is that the lessons need to be relevant to widest and largest group of people and cannot be as customized as when meeting with a client. Ackert’s goal is to make a new video every week. While that may sound daunting he has found there are so many components that go into an effective service practice that the curriculum can be easily filled. Take networking as an example. Potential lessons can be on which networking groups to focus on, how to make the most of those groups, what kind of follow-up should be done, and how to use speaking opportunities to stay front and center in the minds of the other attendees. “That is in just one subject,” Ackert said. “Once I started thinking there was a lot of information worth sharing and without which people would find themselves floundering in a down economy.” – Mark R. Madler SAN FERNANDO VALLEY Reseda Wings: International AERO Products recently hired advertising agency Kahn Media to assist with the company’s public relations and marketing initiatives. The advertising firm will be in charge of AERO’s media outreach, social media marketing, new product debuts, events, advertising campaigns and special projects. Kahn Media main goal will be to aid AERO, which makes cleaning and detailing products for airplanes, in unveiling their new line of surface care products for automobiles. “We are thrilled to work with the team at AERO,” said Kahn Media president Dan Kahn. “The entire company is focused on designing, engineering and manufacturing the finest cleaning products available, and now we will make those products available to the car community. We are looking forward to connecting with enthusiasts and spreading the word about AERO’s incredible products – it’s going to be fun.” Burbank Learn: Warner Bros. Entertainment is accepting applications for its Honorship program giving students a package of a scholarship and internship. The program is for graduating high school seniors interested in careers in the entertainment industry attending schools in Burbank and Los Angeles County. After students complete the internship part of the program, Warner Bros. attempts to place the students in full-time positions at the company. Graduates of Burbank high schools can received two $10,000 college scholarships, and $2,500 vocational scholarships, with accompanying summer internships. Two graduating seniors attending high school in L.A. County are awarded Honorships, consisting of $10,000 college scholarships and consecutive summer internships. A graduating high school senior from the U.S. who will major in animation will received a $10,000 scholarship and summer internship. Applications can be found at www.WBCitizenship.com and are due March 7. Chatsworth Ads: Provision Interactive Technologies, Inc. released a new case study highlighting the success an advertiser had while using one of their company’s 3D displays. The study focused on a national pizza chain’s advertising campaign which had utilized Provision’s 3D display with a promotional coupon from Provision’s 3DEO Rewards Center. The results showed a 170 percent sales increase of the food product as a result of the in-store 3D ad/coupon campaign. “While we’ve always known that our 3D platform would outperform traditional 2D in-store media, but this successful data is far beyond our expectations,” said Provision CEO Curt Thornton. “While there is plenty of published market data supporting that 2D digital signage works inside the retailer, there is no question in our minds that 3D is a better tool to reach consumers, especially when combined with our digital coupons.” North Hollywood Design: The official t-shirt of this year’s Academy Awards were made by Coastal Printworks, a family-owned screen printing shop. The t-shirt features an image of the Oscar statue The Academy’s T-shirt design this year will feature an image of the Oscars® statue, with the search lights of a Hollywood premiere shining behind it. The various gold and yellow hues in the design required printing methods that traditional screen-printing techniques could not meet, so Coastal used digital printing technology to make the shirts. “We will always provide traditional screen-printing services, but the fact that we have been offering this incredible digital printing option for so many years not only helped us land this project with (the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences) but continues to secure our position as an industry leader in DTG printing,” said Jim Dorsey, Coastal’s marketing and sales director. Glendale Action: The independent production studio, Glendale Studios, has begun shooting for “Christina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love,” which is a new television series for the Oprah Winfrey Network. The show debuted in January and features chef and author Christina Ferrare teaching her viewers how to cook simple but nutritious meals using easy-to-follow directions. Guest stars include celebrities and notable chefs. “We’re thrilled to have the show on our lot and we’re especially pleased to be a part of the Oprah Winfrey Network’s first year of operation,” said Steve Makhanian, Glendale Studios general manager. The show is produced by Gay Rosenthal Productions, with executive producers Gay Rosenthal and Nicholas Caprio. North Hills Windows: The Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Woodland Hills-Tarzana and North Valley Chambers of Commerce, celebrated the grand opening of Allbright Window & Floor Coverings’ newest location in North Hills with a ribbon cutting event. “The Chamber always supports its members when they continue to make changes and improvements to their business,” said Chamber Chairwoman Heidi Lennartz of Mission Community Hospital. Allbright Window & Floor Coverings is a family owned business that provides consulting, design, fabrication and installation services for floor and window fixtures. Their store in North Hills is located at 16681 Roscoe Blvd. Sun Valley Hired: ALT Systems recently appointed Bruno Munger as their Director of Technical Sales. As Director of Technical Sales, Munger will collaborate with ALT Systems’ customers to design workflow solutions, integrate new hardware and software systems, and adapt technical infrastructures for post production and visual effects work. “Bruno Munger possesses a rare combination of talents — inventive designer, business-savvy technologist, dynamic leader and passionate customer advocate,” says Jon Guess, president of ALT Systems. Munger comes to ALT Systems with over 17 years of experience in the media and entertainment industry. He has been involved in product management for a number of media companies including Digital Vision, Autodesk, MTI, and Snell & Wilcox. Tarzana Party: The Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 100th anniversary on Feb. 9 at BASH: The Business & Social Hour event. Aside from the centennial celebration, the event also featured a trade show with over 50 business exhibitors and a mixer. The event opened with a champagne toast and ribbon cutting, led by the Chamber’s CEO Nancy Hoffman Vanyek. During the opening, Vanyek thanked the numerous Chamber member businesses that have sustained the organization since its founding in 1911. “As part of our 100th Anniversary, we set a goal to recognize our members for their contributions to the Chamber and the San Fernando Valley economy,” said Vanyek. “Join us as we celebrate our anniversary throughout year.” VENTURA COUNTY Medic: The Moorpark Chamber of Commerce has named Simi Valley Hospital the 2011 Large Business of the Year. The chamber recognizes the hospital as being a major provider of health and lifesaving services to the community, as well as a vital source of employment and economic development. Simi Valley Hospital also participates in a number of community events, including free health screenings. The hospital also partners with a variety of local organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club of Moorpark, the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association. This event marks the second time that Simi Valley Hospital has received a business award, as in 2008, the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce also named the hospital its business of the year.

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