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The etiquette of wealth in the DMV: Less flaunting, more power

In the DC region, it’s not always easy to spot the rich and powerful.

cartoon of wealthy man with pipe in his mouth and money in his pocket

In this town, where many successful careers are built on answering to constituents or interest groups, flaunting your wealth is generally frowned upon.

“Showing your wealth here is more rare than not,” says Barry Glassman, founder and president of Glassman Wealth Services, a Tysons-based financial planning firm. “When we think about pockets of wealth in various areas of the country, we think of what makes great headlines or Instagram posts. But the norm for most people here is to keep it relatively private to the point where some people, even some of our well-to-do clients, don’t even view themselves as wealthy.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean the region’s wealthiest residents aren’t spending their money. It just means they’re not doing it with flash (think more Mercedes SUVs in McLean, not Bugattis in Beverly Hills).

Besides, says Lauren Rothman, a local stylist, author and fashion expert who outfits many of the region’s rich and famous, wealth here is often defined by access to power, not your bank account.

“Flaunting your wealth is not what true wealth is about here,” says Rothman. “Wealth is not about spending money and showing it off, because the true key to success here is power. That power may have wealth as a component, but that power has connections. It’s a long-term game here in terms of accumulating wealth and keeping it quiet,” Rothman says.

But, in enclaves like McLean, where many of the region’s wealthiest reside, you can find a window into that world of rarefied air.

“In McLean,” says Rothman. “Everyone is living their best life privately in their own home. So, you walk into a McLean home and you find the community is in their home—the chef, the driver, the household staff.”
Amenities in particularly high-end NoVA neighborhoods also offer insights into the world of the wealthy. The Giant supermarket in McLean, for example, offers valet parking.

“But you would never suspect who is the wealthiest customer in the store just by looking at who is walking around,” Rothman says. “You walk in and you will not see any customers sporting designer fashion.”

For those who need even closer proximity to DC, a city pied-a-terre can be a status symbol.

“A family in McLean or Great Falls wants four seasons of clothing in their home here and their apartment in CityCenterDC,” says Rothman. “They are not showy about it, they just don’t have time to do packing. And these places may be only 20 to 40 minutes away from each other. To have two places so close together is clearly an expression of wealth, but it’s something that no one would talk about.”

Over-displays may be the exception (this is the town, after all, where Dan Snyder, spent millions of dollars on a custom yacht with an IMAX theater on board), but you’re unlikely to get a behind-the-scenes look on social media.

“It’s about what is more unique, like having a certain custom-made car and being one of only a select few in the world to be able to afford that opportunity,” says Rothman. “That is more interesting than flaunting. It’s a private experience.”

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Mailbag: If You Are Alone And Having Chest Pain


This comes from Dr. Patrick Teefy, Cardiology Head at the
Nuclear Medicine Institute University Hospital, London Ontario
I hope everyone can send this on as it is really important for everyone to know!
1.     Let’s say it’s 7:25 pm and you’re going  home (alone of course) after an unusually hard day on the job.
2. You’re really tired, upset and frustrated.
3.       Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up into your jaw.
You are only about five km from the hospital nearest your home.
4.     Unfortunately you don’t know if you’ll be able to make it that far.
5.       You have been trained in CPR, but the guy that taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself.
6.       HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN  ALONE?
Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack without help, the person whose heart is beating  improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.
7.       However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously.
A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest.
A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again.
8.     Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and  coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood  circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it to regain a normal rhythm.
In this way, heart attack victims can get help or to a hospital.
9. . Tell as many other people as possible about this. It could save their lives!
10.   . A cardiologist says: “If everyone who gets  this email & kindly sends it to 10 people, you can bet that we’ll save at least one life.
11.       Rather than sending jokes,  please …… contribute by forwarding this email which can save a  person’s life….
12.       If this message comes around to you  ….. more than once….. please don’t get irritated….. U need to  be happy that you have many friends who care about you & you are being reminded of how to tackle…. Hea

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If You Practice This 1 Rare Habit Now, You’re a Much Better Leader Than You Think

It may be common sense, but not common practice

By Marcel SchwantesFounder and Chief Human Officer, Leadership From the Core
Getty Images

Employee engagement is a top contributing factor to high-performance work cultures and productive employees. And yet people often confuse “engagement” with “satisfaction.”

The key difference between the two, it turns out, has little to do with free beer, pet-friendly policies, or on-site acupuncture leading to satisfaction.

It has everything to do with the work itself.

That said, engagement is also incredibly difficult to keep a pulse on. That’s why the very best leaders don’t just lead; they do something still considered rare by any corporate measure. They listen to their employees.

The critical importance of continuous listening

As you may have heard, recent news reports are filled with accounts of employee protests and walkouts, and even a government mandate to give Google employees the right to speak out on their beliefs — demonstrating how important employee feedback is.

According to a survey of more than 1,000 workers by employee engagement company Achievers, just 20.8% consider themselves “very engaged.” That same survey suggested that a lack of listening was partially to blame. While 40% of workers ranked their manager and employer “okay” at soliciting feedback, a full 16.3% ranked them as “horrible.”

Many experts agree continuous listening is one of the best ways to improve the employee experience. Dr. Natalie Baumgartner, chief workforce scientist at Achievers, says, “Engagement is complex, but that doesn’t mean we need to make it complicated. Empowering leaders to talk with employees to understand more about what’s working and what’s not is the best place to start.”

Most companies, purposefully or by happenstance, practice some sort of listening. The majority, though, still fall into the trap of just hoping these sorts of conversations occur in manager one-on-one meetings or relying on yearly surveys.

Baumgartner warns, “Life doesn’t change once a year. Employee engagement is exceptionally fluid and dynamic, changing throughout the course of a single day. If a channel is not in place for continuous listening, employees simply don’t have a way to voice concerns or feedback as life happens, resulting in employers missing opportunities to address problems before they become systemic issues.”

Business leaders should systemize a method for gathering ongoing feedback, whether it’s using a surveying tool with an ongoing set of questions, making feedback a formalized part of meetings, or using a technology solution. 

What to listen for

Managers should try to understand how employees feel about their work and the organization to understand more about their overall engagement–and also why they feel that way.

Asking how someone is feeling is such a simple, human act, but too infrequently done. Just look at Meghan Markle’s reaction when asked by a reporter how she was doing as a new mom.

The response each employee provides will differ. How they feel could range from excited to burned out to uncertain. Why they feel that way could be due to a change in leadership, a new project, or something as simple as a tech issue preventing them from working efficiently.

As Baumgartner noted, employees’ engagement will constantly be in flux, making the act of asking ever more important.

Acting on feedback

Gathering feedback isn’t enough, and can even be detrimental if the feedback isn’t addressed. The Achievers survey found when it came to actually acting on feedback, workers ranked managers and employers even more negatively. A sizable amount (42.3%) said their managers and employers were “okay–they make a few changes based on it,” but over one in five (21.4%) rated them as “horrible–they never do anything with feedback.”

The purpose of collecting feedback is to achieve continual improvement. The changes needn’t be monumental. Sometimes simply acknowledging feedback can have a positive impact.

“One of the most impactful mechanisms a manager can have on their team is to both ask for and acknowledge feedback regarding the experiences of their employees. Leaders do not have to have all the answers. In most cases, including employees in identifying a solution results in an even more effective outcome,” continued Baumgartner.

As the New Year looms–a time when job-hopping spikes–making sure employees feel valued is a prerequisite of great managers. Showing empathy around their experience–by seeking feedback–is one of the critical steps to achieving that.

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This past week, we took my grandson to see the Marrakech Magic Theater. 

Great entertainment for families, children, grandchildren, business meetings etc.

Jay Alexander performed to a standing ovation with an “unforgettable performance of Magic, Mentalism and Psycohological feats.  Great entertainment.

Jay’s heartwarming and emotional journey is inspirational to all.

I highly recommend getting tickets if you live or visit the San Francisco Bay Area.  Jay is one of the few “live theater acts” left and his performance was fantastic.

” His unforgettable evening begins as you step off the busy streets of San Francisco and enter into a historic speakeasy with a Moroccan flair. The perfect setting for a remarkable evening.

Upon entering you are escorted into our Oasis Lounge where you witness world class close-up magic prior to the main performance. A wonderful assortment of drinks and Moroccan appetizers are available for purchase before the show. The walls are covered in rare memorabilia and magnificent posters.

You are then escorted into our jewel box theater for Jay Alexander‘s unforgettable performance of magic, mentalism, and psychological feats such as human lie detection. This evening of entertainment lifts your spirits and leaves a lasting memory.

Find out why Bono of U2 called it “Astonishing” and Monty Python’s John Cleese said it was “Wonderful!”

Witness intriguing feats of mentalism, sleight-of-hand miracles, and laugh throughout the show with Jay Alexander’s comedy for the thinking person!

 

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A Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love, I would sleep,
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack; brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts,
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light.
Then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.”
“It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before.
My Gramps died at Pearl on a day in December.”
Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas Gram always remembers.”
“My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘ Nam ‘,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures; he’s sure got her smile.”
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
“I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life for my sister or brother,
Who stand at the front against any and all
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall”
“So go back inside,” he said, “Harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least?
Give you money,” I asked, “Or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
for being away from your wife and your son.”
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
that we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”
PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves.
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Happy, healthy and safe Hanukkah and Merry Christmas –  Enjoy Family and Friends

Best

Steve

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Terminating/Restructuring Prohibitive Real Estate, License, Payables & Contingent Liabilities

Gerbsman Partners has been involved with numerous national and international equity sponsors, senior/junior lenders, investment banks and equipment lessors in the restructuring or termination of various balance sheet issues for their technology, life science, medical device, cyber security, solar and cleantech portfolio companies.

These companies were not necessarily in crisis, but had cash (in some cases significant cash reserves) and/or investor groups that were about to provide additional funding. In order to stabilize their Go-Forward-Plan and maximize cash resources for future growth, there were specific needs to address Balance Sheet and Contingent Liability issues as soon as possible.

Some of these areas where Gerbsman Partners has assisted, these companies have been in the process of termination, restructuring and/or reduction of:

Prohibitive Executory Real Estate Leases, Computer and Hardware-related Leases and Senior/Sub-debt Obligations

Gerbsman Partners is the “innovator” in creating strategies to terminate or restructure prohibitive real estate leases and senior and sub-debt obligations.

To date, we have terminated or restructured $810 million of such obligations for private and public companies, and which has allowed them to return to financial viability.

Accounts/Trade Payable Obligations

Companies in a crisis, turnaround or restructuring situation typically have account and trade payable obligations that become prohibitive for the viability of the company on a go-forward-basis. Gerbsman Partners has successfully negotiated mutually beneficial restructurings that allowed all parties to maximize value based on the reality or practicality of the situation.

Software and Technology-related Licenses

As per the above, software and technology-related licenses need to be restructured/terminated in order for additional capital to be invested in restructured companies. Gerbsman Partners has a significant, successful track record in these areas

About Gerbsman Partners

Gerbsman Partners focuses on maximizing enterprise value for stakeholders and shareholders in underperforming, undercapitalized and undervalued companies and their intellectual properties. Since 2001, Gerbsman Partners has successfully maximized the values of 108 companies in a wide and diverse spectrum of industries. In the process, GP has successfully restructured/terminated over $810 million of real estate executor contracts and equipment lease/sub-debt obligations, and has assisted in over $2.3 billion of financings, restructurings and M&A transactions.

Gerbsman Partners has offices and strategic alliances in Boston, New York, Washington DC, McLean VA, San Francisco, Orange County, Europe and Israel.

steve@gerbsmanpartners.com
http://www.gerbsmanpartners.com

 

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