Category Archives: Business Leaders

Academy of Art University Is Committed To Student Success

New York Fashion Week is one of the most highly anticipated annual events in the fashion industry. Each year, aspiring models and designers use New York Fashion Week as a platform to establish themselves in the competitive world of fashion. Finding real talent is rare, and some of the biggest brands use the event to scout new talent, so putting your best foot forward is a must. At the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California, ten recent graduates of the schools BFA and MFA 15 minutes of runway time to display their latest designs. Each style is unique, with its own story to tell. This year will mark the schools 22nd annual show.

Established in 1929, Academy of Art University, formerly the Academy of Advertising Art, was founded by painter and magazine editor, Richard S. Stephens. Keeping it in the family, Stephens later passed the leadership torch to his son, who later passed it to his daughter, Elisa Stephens in 1992. While under her leadership, the school’s student body increased from just 2000 enrollments to 18,000 by 2012.

Academy of Art University is a regionally accredited institution offering associates, bachelors and masters degrees in more than twenty different subjects. The institution is one of the largest property owners in San Francisco, and thus offers private transportation to each student to lessen the difficulty of transitioning classes. Their extensive campus also features the universities automobile museum, which holds some of the worlds most valuable vintage cars.

Teachers and Staff at the Academy of Art University are on a mission to help inspire the worlds most creative minds to reach their full potential. The schools no barrier admissions policy allows all students, regardless of their educational background, the opportunity to pursue their degree. All that is required is a passion for learning, and a desire to succeed.

Mike Baur: Using His Time, Talent And Resources To Support Young Swiss Entrepreneurs

Swiss businessman and entrepreneur Mike Baur is Swiss Startup Factory’s co-founder and managing partner. The company is Switzerland’s leading privately owned new business incubator. Mike Baur spent more than 20 years working in the banking industry. Ever since he was a child, Baur wanted a career in banking and financial services. A very bright and driven young man, he earned a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in banking and finance from the University of Applied Sciences Bern. He then went on to Universität Bern where he got an Executive MBA. Baur also got an MBA from the University of Rochester.


Mike Baur began his business career at UBS where he was hired as a commercial apprentice. After spending several years there, Baur accepted a position at the famed financial institution Clariden Leu. In all, Mike Baur ended up spending over two decades in banking and financial services. By age 39 he had become a board member at one of the top financial institutions in Switzerland. He seemed to have a long and illustrious career in banking ahead of him. Instead, in 2014 Baur retired from the banking industry, joined with his friends Oliver Walzer and Max Meister, co-founded Swiss Startup Factory and began investing in the development of startup companies.


In addition to his work with Swiss Startup Company, Baur also participates in a number of other programs designed to help young entrepreneurs. He participated in the University of St Gallen’s start-up pitching contest called StART Summiteer as a jury member. Baur also was CTI Invest’s deputy managing director and worked with the Goldback Group’s accelerator program as well as with Fintech Fusion. At Swiss Startup Factory Baur and his team use a three month program to teach young entrepreneurs about the things they need to establish their businesses.


The program teaches entrepreneurs about financing, accounting, marketing, taxation, legal responsibilities and the other essential business skills. Swiss Startup Factory provides them with mentoring, coaching and office space in the heart of Switzerland. Once the young entrepreneurs complete the program, Baur and his team gives them the opportunity to connect with a large international network of entrepreneurs and investors. These connections can help the entrepreneurs get the money and business opportunities they need to succeed.


Mike Baur’s goal is to inspire and support the next generation of Swiss entrepreneurs. He wants to encourage young people throughout Switzerland to follow their dreams and develop their business ideas. Baur understands providing support for tech startups and other businesses can transform the country and build a more prosperous future for the coming generations. Through Swiss Startup Factory and other organizations with which Baur is involved, he wants to help nurture the next big startup idea that can create an entirely new business model.


Mike Baur is passionate helping Swiss entrepreneurs to succeed. He’s committed to creating a bridge between Switzerland’s old economy and the one it has the potential to develop. He sees helping entrepreneurs overcome the challenges they face as a personal mission.


Mike Baur is Driving Innovative Startups to Become Successful Global Brands

Mike Baur is the CEO of Swiss Start-Up Factory, SSUF, a Swiss-based startup accelerator that also offers business incubation services and co-working spaces. The company was founded in 2014 and focuses on innovative technology startups assisting them to execute their business plans properly. The SSUF offers the advantage of seamless access to business capital and integration with a mature entrepreneurial infrastructure including access to experienced talent and consulting services.


SSUF also empowers startups to focus on their core offerings by managing their professional services requirements during the incubation period, which usually runs for three months.


Mike Baur is a finance professional with over twenty years’ experience in the banking sector in Switzerland. He started his career as a commercial apprentice with UBS, one of the oldest banks in the world. He rose through the ranks working for several other companies to executive leadership positions in the industry.


Under his stellar leadership, SSUF is achieving rapid growth and turning startups into profitable businesses serving global markets. He is tasked with financial management and is in charge of the fundraising activities of the startup accelerator. SSUF is privately funded. It offers startups capital financing, business coaching and mentoring, and co-working spaces. It also provides professional business services including accounting, receivables management, payroll and financial review.


Mike Baur is passionate about supporting the youth to achieve business success. He not only contributes to their capital funding but also spends considerable amounts of time mentoring and guiding them on practical ideas to grow their bottom line. Mike Baur recognizes the importance of balancing internal processes of creativity and production with the relevant external elements such as service delivery, marketing, sales and customer care.


Mike Baur has a strong grip on the investor network. He is adept at leading negotiations between technology investors and startups to establish mutually profitable relationships. Recently, he led SSUF in negotiating a strategic partnership with Fintech Fusion enabling the two to join forces to become the top startup accelerator and business incubation service provider in Europe. The company enjoys these strategic and operational partnerships with strong industry brands.


The technology industry continues to open up with more opportunities available for innovative startups to achieve success. Mike Baur is strategically positioned right at the center of the action to foster startup growth through collaborative partnerships. SSUF is committed to empowering startups with disruptive business strategies that guarantee their success as global brands.

David Osio’s Successful Investing Career

In South America, David Osio is recognized as one of the most successful investors and wealthiest people in the country. Over the course of his career he has slowly but surely build up his portfolio and expanding on his business. Although real estate investing is not something that is for everyone, potentially anyone is capable of benefiting from it if they can do it. Prime example would be David Osio himself, who has become extremely wealthy. According to him, it is critically important to think in the long term when it comes to investing, as short term decisions typically end up costing money.

Today, David Osio is a highly successful businessman and many people look up to him in Venezuela. He has also used his time to help build up other businesses and people throughout his work, as he wants to have an impact in multiple ways to help people. He has always made sure to put people first during his process of investing and becoming wealthy. There are many out there who want the success that David has, but they need to be willing to put in the work to get it, and there’s no better inspiration that David. He has the will and drive to go out and get what he wants as well as learn and grow for the future.

David Osio started out working lots of days with no breaks and long hours each day. This is what built him up and put him ahead of the competition. In order to succeed, one must be willing to give it their all, especially in business.

David still has much to do, and has a big plan for his future and his work. It was all excitement when he was named the head of a real estate company, but now the excitement is all in what is coming next in terms of growth. His track record for success is high, and he has been determined to help others succeed as well. David Osio is the perfect example of how to find success from hard work and giving back.

Learn more about David Osio and his company:

The RBS Group is Growing with the Help of Duda Melzer


Media companies are an incredibly important part of running a successful station. In Brazil, one of the largest media companies is known as the RBS Group. The RBS Group runs a variety of television and radio stations that can all be found within the Brazilian market. Its owner, Duda Melzer, is the reason why the group has grown to its size and why so many people both love and trust the company for what it is able to offer to them. Superior quality and outsourcing are what you can find with this company and why so many people love it.

Duda Melzer has a lot of experience running companies and continues to be a prize within his field. Because of the fact that he has a lot of experience, it is no wonder that so many people have chosen him for their own media needs. The RBS Group, in particular, has grown to a tremendous size to the point where it is one of the only media companies in Brazil at the current moment. It can be a wonderful opportunity for a lot of people who are looking to change their options and work with a company that they can trust.

The RBS Group is ideal for all media needs and Duda Melzer continues to put his passion and experience into running the firm. You will find that with each year that passes, this media group grows even bigger than it was the year before. This is why so many people feel confident in using the company for what it is worth and why a lot of individuals are noticing that it has changed the way that they look at things and the fact that there are many media options that happen to be available to them on any given day.

Keep up with Duda Melzer:

Brazilian Banker Ricardo Guimarães Thinks Anheuser Bush Is Committed To Premium Brand Profiling

Beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers know about the Anheuser-Bush Company. In St. Louis, Anheuser-Bush is bigger than life. It almost seems like the King of Beer built the city. The Anheuser-Bush presence is felt over town. It’s hard to find a person that doesn’t think the giant beer brewer can do no wrong in that Middle America gateway to the West metropolis. But investors have been disappointed over the last couple of years. Not because of a major drop in the stock price, but because there’s a market share shrinkage in progress and the company can’t seem to stop it.

Anheuser-Bush has a new strategy in place that puts more emphasis on InBev’s premium brands. Imports and craft beer are the two categories that have produced the most growth over the last three years. Distributors around the country are carrying and promoting more independent breweries, and Anheuser-Bush wants that to stop. AB wants distributors to promote their craft beers and if they do, distributors will be handsomely rewarded, according to Brazilian Banker and beer investor, Ricardo Guimarães.

Ricardo Guimarães is the president of BMG Bank in Brazil. He is also a soccer executive and environmentalist that has substantial investments in cattle, coffee, mining, soccer and beer. When Guimarães heard about the new Anheuser-Bush incentive plan, he thought he was hearing about a Brazilian company that wants to stack the deck against competitors. The plan that Anheuser-Bush is pushing gives distributors a payback if they promote AB InBev brands. The payback comes in the form of a 50 percent reimbursement for marketing and retail display costs. The savings to a distributor could be more than $200,000 a year.

Brazil is famous for deal like this one. It’s commonplace to pay companies for playing favorites, and this new AB incentive plan is all about favorites. Independent breweries think so too. The Justice Department was notified, and they are in the process of investigating the plan. Some industry insiders say the plan won’t be approved by the DOJ, but Anheuser-Bush says the plan breaks no laws, and it is not a kickback for favors type agreement.

Industry insiders say executives at Anheuser-Bush are nervous about the plan as well as the mega-merger that is process. If the Justice Department allows Anheuser-Bush to buy British beer maker SABMiller PLC for more than $108 billion, investors think most of the InBev’s problems will be solved. But new beer drinkers aren’t going to let their independent craft beer makers be forced out of business by the King of Beer that easily, according to Guimarães. The baby boomer generation is not buying beer like the old days. There’s a new beer drinking generation, and they want to drink beer that has a different taste, with different ingredients from innovative breweries.

Follow Ricardo Guimarães on Twitter.

Bruce: Man of Many Achievements

Ed Peskowitz and Bruce were the original launchers the United Communication Group. They started working while based at an apartment that was owned by Bruce’s dad. While working for the Washington Star, Bruce got an opportunity to hone his journalism skills. Later on, he joined a newspaper owned by the Observer Publishing as a reporter. Currently, Time’s Bruce Levenson works as a board member of the United Communication Group, and also he acts as the adviser to the executive team in the group. Bruce has also worked as a member and as a founder of Tech Target, which is a firm that is traded publicly. Tech Target was launched in the United Communication Group, and it later started trading publicly in 2003. Bruce has worked as a member of various boards that consist of Hoop Dream Foundation, Specialized Information Industry, and the Washington-based Community Foundation. He is the president of Dream Foundation that is also located in Washington. With his wife, they have been actively involved in philanthropic work and the management of a non-profit organization that is based at the University of Maryland.

The center, which is based at the University of Maryland, is a source of various innovative courses and programs. Bruce Levenson has provided $10 000 as gifts to deserving organizations that work for the betterment of the community. In 2015 provided the needed resources for the construction of a dorm at the University of Maryland Centre, which was to be used by the freshmen pursuing various degree courses. Bruce has also sponsored 12 students to go to India where they were expected to perform various duties in organizations that provide assistance to the disabled, wildlife preservation, and the youth outreach programs. This was supposed to allow the students put into practice most of the skills that they have learned in the University and leave a positive impact on the general population of where they were sent to work.

Bruce and Ed Peskowitz are partners of the Atlanta Hawks, which is a group of various businessmen who own the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta Hawks is a famous basketball team. As for now, Bruce works as a partner of the team, and he is also part of the Board of Governors of the NBA. Sometime back in 2012, he employed Danny Ferry as the General Manager of the Atlanta Hawks. Danny was to act also as the president of Hawks. Initially, as a basketball player, Ferry played for Cleveland Cavaliers before serving as the general manager of the team. Later on, he was employed by San Antonio Spurs, where he rose to be the president before joining the Atlanta Hawks.

Bruce had in 2014 accompanied members of the staff of the team to the Holocaust Museum, which is situated in Washington DC. While at the function, he delivered a speech that was very moving and motivational. His mother in law is an Holocaust survivor, and the speech was centered on Bruce’s experiences. The Holocaust Museum runs programs that are geared towards educating the students and the teachers the lessons that were learned during the Holocaust.

John Textor Brings Good Things to Life

John Textor is a media and digital tech wizard most recently known for creating a stunningly realistic posthumous performance of the late Michael Jackson. It took 8 long months of work, but there was no doubt that Jackson’s performance of “Slave to the Rhythm” for the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas was a magical one. In fact, the performance was so realistic that when personal friends and family members of Jackson witnessed it, many of them were brought to tears. That was the crowing glory for Textor, who knew at that moment that he had made something very special.

Prior to that, Textor spent 6 years leading the Digital Domain Media Group as its Chairman and CEO. Digital Domain Media was responsible for the cutting edge visual effects of a host of big budget blockbuster VFX driven films such as Tron: Legacy, Real Steel, Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End as well as the more realistic epic Flags of our Fathers. In total, Textor helmed the productions of 25 large scale feature films during his tenure as the head of Digital Domain Media and was responsible for bringing the company back to being a dominant industry leader in the VFX market.

During that time, Digital Domain received numerous Academy Awards and Academy Award Nominations, as well as taking home a host of Clio awards for advertising. Perhaps his most notable achievement of all, however, was Digital Domain’s delivery of the very first believable digital human actor. Long considered the “Holy Grail of Animation” this achievement raked in a coveted Oscar for Achievement in Visual Effects at the 2009 Academy Awards, for their work on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

The highest accolade of all for this achievement, however, was that the film also received an Oscar for Best Makeup, even though the “actor” in question was actually a stunningly realistic digital effect that delivered a full hour long Oscar worthy performance. It was also this breakthrough in technology that allowed Digital Domain to venture into the arena of “live” posthumous performances by entertainment legends such as Elvis Presley and Tupac Shakur, who was featured in a live performance with Snoop Dogg at 2012’s Coachella Music Festival.

In 2013, Mr. Textor functioned as both a Producer and Executive Producer of the wildly successful end-of-year science fiction/ fantasy blockbuster Ender’s Game. He is currently working on development of a host of entertainment properties in a wide variety of venues and across a broad spectrum of technology platforms, but there is enormous speculation about the future of posthumous performances. A few of the names that have been mentioned for consideration are legends like Bob Marley and Frank Sinatra.

James Dondero, Heights Conquered, Reputation Assured

Few financial firms have survived as long and as successfully as Highland Capital Management on It has thrived in an environment anathema to survival thru its purposeful focus on the advantages discovered in an alternative investment world. Highland Capital Management has become a watchword for stability at a time of extreme turbulence in the financial markets.

Founded in the stable market era of 1993 by Jim Dondero and Mark Okada, Highland Capital Management has demonstrated the ability to succeed and grow in times of plenty and to adapt and change in times of absolute famine. Whether, in a bear market of a bull market, Highland Capital Management has been an example of how to not only survive in times of financial strife but to flourish.

With its growing pain period successfully navigated and its reputation firmly established, Highland Capital Finance showed remarkable adaptability in 1996 by bravely pioneering the collateralized loan obligation market (CLO). As Highland Capital Management originally suggested, the CLO successfully increased the ranks of business lenders resulting in a lower cost for businesses. This move also allowed banks to move quickly to sell those loans to outside investors, thus freeing up the loan funds once again for another wave of business loans. This stratagem worked so successfully that it became a staple for all financial institutions and became, in large measure, the source of most business loans throughout the business community.

During the financial crisis generated in 2008, CLO loans were virtually nonexistent. Highland Capital was one of the first to realize the coming frozen market which allowed it to bunker its investors accounts and minimize risk. By 2012, Highland Capital Management was one of the first again to offer CLOs to business, thus freeing the market from an insulant state back into active participation. Today, Highland Capital Management enjoys assets worth over $21 billion.

Realizing the incredible future opportunities available to its clients, Highland Capital has adopted a long-only credit strategy, a new concept that has helped to solidify an alternative investment climate that had a tendency toward turmoil. Pioneering and utilizing such revolutionary strategies, Highland Capital Management has been a major contributor to the stabilization and revitalization of the American marketplace. With its future assured, Highland Capital Management used the turmoil of the financial crisis to quietly move into many diverse sectors of finance. As others stood still, Highland Capital Management ventured into the financing of almost everything from health care to the oil and gas industry, from distressed and special situation loans to emerging market investments, and from real estate to construction.

Co-founder and President James Dondero has shown remarkable dexterity within the highly energized world of high finance. Through the best of times and the worst of times, his vision has not only held Highland Capital Management together, but it has also enabled this company to thrive while others have foundered. The receiver of numerous accolades, James Dondero has become one of the titans of the financial market. Innovation and the ability to maneuver while others hesitate has led James Dondero to the heights of his career.

Susan McGalla Inspires Females with Her Corporate Expertise

There are some people that just know the right things to say at the right times. Susan McGalla is one such person. She has been able captivate a crowd with the words of encouragement that she has for women. As a woman that has been in the business world I appreciate someone like Susan McGalla that has gone through many facets of business.

Her name stands out in the business world because she has had a major role in shaping companies like American Eagle and Wet Seal. She has captured the attention of businesses that desire her branding skills by starting her own company. This is all incredibly impressive because she could have let the barriers to entry in the corporate structure stop her. She chose not to let these things deter her though. She was someone that has managed to build up a career that has spanned over more than a decade in leadership roles. I am impressed with Susan McGalla because she has been able to ride the wave and do things that people just would not believe where possible.

She became the CEO of American Eagle at a time when there were not a lot of women in CEO positions. She realizes how important this was to breaking barriers for women. She also has been able to maintain a quiet strength that has taken her to different platforms. There are so many people that are able to move up in the corporate chain, but many of these people are men. What McGalla has been able to do is show her skills and prove that she has the knowledge and the power to be the best at what she does.

I was a marketing major, and I know that I could not have gotten as far as I have without my college degree. McGalla realizes the importance of higher education as well, and she reminds women that this is something that they will have to do in order to build their knowledge and make themselves competitive in the business world. There are lots of obstacles that can stand in a person’s way, but Susan McGalla has always been one to take on those challenges. She has stood her ground and made a name for herself even as a wife and mother. When men in the corporate world wanted to say that women could not have children and still lead companies Susan McGalla was right there to disprove this. She would prove herself time and time again. This is what I have come to like the most about McGalla. She has this unwavering resilient spirit that keeps her floating right back to the top whenever challenges come her way.