Business - Leadership, Marketing

Quick Update on #Life, #Startup, #Education, #Friends and #Travel

By Joy A. Kennelly

Life has gotten progressively better and better. Had a wonderful visit with my Aunt and Cousins in Colorado while exploring opportunities for group travel in Glenwood Springs and Boulder. Having difficulty transferring pix from my phones to my computer and for awhile lost my camera, but it's coming back together soon. Thus, no pix for now unfortunately.

Also, been reading great books that are inspirational like Jessica Jackley's Clay, Water, Brick about her experiences with co-founding and ProFounder, which opened the door politically for current crowdfunding being approved by the government. She's extremely gifted, articulate, informative and connected.

Highly recommend reading her book if you're an entrepreneur seeking to do a global business like we are. What I enjoyed is the similarities in our backgrounds - raised in Christian homes, love East Africa, love helping disadvantaged people and more...

Read it.:)

I really love learning and enjoyed hearing and learning from the British Social Media guru - Vincent Dignan who is really out there fashion-wise and how he conducts social media, but I'm telling you it works. Brilliant! Here's a tip for Instagram: Follow, like, like, like. Try it you'll like it.:)

Then, last weekend just completed another intensive media training program taught by Ann DeVere called Turn Your Interviews into Cash and met some really interesting people. Learned a lot too and can't wait to apply it.

May work with one woman I met to produce a business cruise if we decide to move forward with that idea. Another woman and I might collaborate on medical tourism. You never know what comes out of attending events is what I find.:)

My motto is Always be Learning and Growing.

Otherwise, living my life and enjoying each day despite having a leg injury that the ER docs haven't been able to explain or discover why I have it. All I know is I thought I was better, went out with my crutches for an evening event, and then was worse immediately.

Needless to say, even though I'm feeling better, sticking on my crutches until I see my new Dr this week. Despite the toll it plays on my hands too. I'm falling apart I tell ya.:)

Sometimes I think we're given challenges to make us slow down and have time to process what we're doing in life and who should be in our circles. I chose to separate from certain people while bringing other people closer and continuing good relationships I value which has been very healthy and healing.

Doesn't mean the difficult ones will be gone forever, but as I'm healing from my Mom's death, needed the mental space to focus on taking care of myself and get my life going again. You can't build when you're surrounded by negative energy that's always tearing you down. Feel much lighter now.

Busy pitching agents, angels, friends and others in an effort to get funding underway. There's so much more I could be doing if I could afford to bring in help and ramp up certain technological and marketing aspects.

In the meantime, just plugging away and grateful to Ariel Barco for his technical support and friendship as we change things up behind-the-scenes. Hire him! Great IT professional:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go read my book on The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan S. Kennedy.

Always be learning people. Always be learning.:) 


How lack of gender bias growing up influenced me & why women matter in today's economy. #Tech

By Joy A. Kennelly

It always surprises me when I encounter gender bias in my professional life because growing up, I wasn't given that world view, nor were my sisters. My Dad always felt all three of us girls could do, and would do, anything boys do.

Not that I liked it at the time, but I do feel it's shaped me into the strong person I am today and why I'm able to overcome setbacks, financial hardship, injuries, and other issues that might have stopped someone less driven than myself a long time ago. 

It helps to surround myself with other strong women, read encouraging, inspiring books of women achievers, and participate in women-focused groups, conferences and other female-supportive endeavors. And have good doctors, therapists, etc.:)

We were raised working on my Dad's rentals - we painted, scraped, cleaned, gardened and were taught the value of doing a lot of the work yourself to increase profits, maintain control and develop stronger relationships with tenants.

We had to earn half our way into any extracurricular activity and were introduced to playing soccer at very young ages. We're all very competitive as a result and also extremely independent too. We were often pushed into activities that girls normally didn't have to learn on their own, but my Dad, being the man's man he is, thought nothing of it and encouraged us to try and do it.

Which we did.

And we continue to do to this day.

That's why when I hear men say, oh there weren't enough quality female teams applying to select more than one out of a group of 20, I say, really? REALLY?!

Every. single. time. I have ever pitched my travel company to anyone who has a female on their judging panel, they get the concept, they welcome us with open arms and they see us succeeding. 


Every. single. time. I pitch my travel company for women to anyone without a woman involved in any capacity, we get turned down. 


Now that makes it difficult when almost all the VC firms, accelerators, incubators etc have almost all men making decisions. Men do not understand how women buy, shop or influence buying decisions by virtue of their gender bias.

It is what it is, but I'm trying to help change it along with other women I admire like Geena Davis and her efforts fighting gender bias in media with her Geena Davis Institute called See Jane.10903461_841892865872200_939113823_a

It's also why I was also pleased to discover Micheal Silverstein of Boston Consulting Group and his books and research on women's value and influence in the marketplace.

61KjqtKvb4L._UX250_Here's his official bio in short taken from Wikipedia: 

"Michael Silverstein is a senior partner and managing director at The Boston Consulting Group. He was one of the founders of the firm's global consumer practice and is known for his expertise in consumer behavior,retail, and marketing, particularly as it relates to the female economy. 

He is the author of Rocket: Eight Lessons to Secure Infinite Growth,  Trading Up: The New American Luxury,Treasure Hunt: Inside the Mind of the New Consumer, Women Want More: How to Capture Your Share of the World's Largest Fastest-Growing Market and The Ten Trillion Dollar Prize: Captivating the Newly Affluent in China and India. 

He is a regular contributor to Bloomberg Television."

When I approached him about sharing his findings with me about women and consumer spending he was so generous, I invited him to join my advisory board which he gladly did. Even writing this recommendation too in support of our endeavors for women in travel:

"Joy has identified an unsatisfied market niche. Women make a lot of purchase decisions on travel and have no source that helps them really identify their best option. Think of this idea as 'Angie's List' for travel. Joy has intent to be every bit as useful and commercial. Multiple revenue sources abound – fee for referral, subscription, preferred access, gift with purchase.

A very exciting idea needing next round of financing to prove or disprove. Women will love it when it is up and available."

So, think about it gentlemen. Who spends the most money in your household or family? Women. Who decides what to buy and plans your trips if you're married or in a relationship? Women. 

Why then would you not value our contribution to the economy or think there's not a market for what female founders are creating just because you're not in that field or industry?

I just don't get it.

And that's why, my friends, I'm seriously considering starting a magazine that will highlight female achievements, issues and contributions to society that won't be fashion, celebrity driven like half the mags of the world for women are creating more and more vapid women who are only concerned about their appearance and finding a man, or abortion.


Glamour Magazine Names Planned Parenthood Abortionist Woman of the Year - Really? Killing babies live is a career to aspire to? 

Nor so policy, political focused like MS in its one-sided approach to what women want and need in society. Not every female is a liberal MS Editors.:)

Nor something that is only age-focused, although balanced, like More magazine.

Just a magazine that encompasses all of women, in all races, all fields, all stages of their lives and champions those who are creating great companies that rarely are recognized by mainstream media, or if they are, it's about negative publicity which is rarely focused on when it's male.


Like Elizabeth Holmes who "founded Theranos in 2003 to make cheaper, easier-to-use blood tests. With a virtually painless prick of the finger and a few drops of blood, her labs can quickly run a multitude of tests at a fraction of the price of commercial labs." (Courtesy Forbes.)

There's so many more, but I have to run. I'm still just in the thinking stages, but feel very passionate about providing a magazine for my nieces and other young women who are being fed such garbage by traditional "female" magazines, it's a wonder any women get beyond their appearance or vagina these days.

We are worth more than our boobs, our legs, our hair and our vaginas contrary to popular belief men.

And Ladies, if you want to be empowered, then I would suggest attending Nicole Richie's women's conference this Sunday called Pearl xChangePearl-text3

Lots of great empowering speakers, some celebrity cache, and the opportunity to connect with other women and develop relationships to further your life as a whole. Take it for what it is, but at least it's a step in the right direction and looks like a lot of fun.:)


Here's my pictorial essay review of the recent excellent @SoGalSummit event #IamSoGal #Startups #JDVTravel

By Joy A. Kennelly

Recently had the pleasure of attending the SoGal Summit produced by Pocket Sun and Elizabeth Galbut which was really well done. It was feminine, focused and fabulous!:)  P1070655

Lots of great speakers imparting wisdom, fun activities when you needed a mental break and lots of friendly participants eager to share.

Enjoyable all the way around. 

Here's my photo essay from my Digital Marketing Specialist fan page which you can like to stay informed of other tech conferences I'll attend in the future.



Log on here for the complete pictorial review here:



And we're writing. Thoughts on the creative process and running a #startup

By Joy A. Kennelly

Connecting with my new writing group again today and can't wait. Have a lot of copy to share and finalize. Plus, always enjoy hearing what other writers are working on because it's inspiring to be around creative people. 

I've lead numerous writing groups in the past and this is new to simply relax and be part of one. Kinda nice actually. May actually work on the play that's been percolating in my brain if I finish all the business stuff soon.:)

Anyone else find if you're creative, it's best to have numerous creative projects going to help move things forward artistically? Or am I just ADD? LOL

I will say, focusing on one thing once it's time has proven very effective to accomplishing things quickly and easily. As a result, feeling more centered now that I know what it is I want and don't want in the person I'm looking to bring on. 

Transparency, honesty, integrity, communication, doing what they say they will do when they say they will do it, focus and helping, more than hindering, is key.

No more half in, half out. I'm only looking for those with skin in the game.

Cuz I'm raw from all my skin being in the game.:) 

That's all for now. More fun stuff later.


Thoughts on #GenderBias or Growing up in a family where my Dad wanted boys and how it's shaped me

By Joy A. Kennelly

My two sisters (Grace and Glori) and I were raised by a Father who wanted boys, but ended up with three girls. A blonde, a brunette and a redhead. So you could say I've grown up with gender bias my entire life.:)

When we were little we didn't play with dolls, we played with hot wheels, building blocks, and imaginative games where we were wild animals, perhaps because when we were very young, my Dad moved our entire family to live in Africa on a missionary boarding school in Kenya while he taught school on his sabbatical. Perhaps because Dad subconsciously was giving us toys he thought we'd like? Who knows. 

We visited wild animal parks, tribal villages and traveled around Africa during the month-long breaks we took during our three month on, one month off school experience.

You could also say we grew up traveling because prior to that life-changing experience, we also traveled 7 years earlier throughout South America in a converted Pepsi Cola truck motor home as a family and had adventures none of my friends growing up in the South Bay could relate to.

As a result, my sisters and family and I were very close because it happens when you only have each to depend on, or share such intense life-changing experiences like we did. That's why I love traveling and encourage everyone to do it, even with small children. It shaped my sisters and I into very independent, strong women which has it's good points and it's bad points.:)

I distinctly remember walking behind my Dad while we were in one South America country because we had been warned of pickpockets and I was "guarding" him (as a 7 year old I believe.) I'll never forget the armed military men with guns, the tanks in the streets and other images you just didn't see in the states as children, but other young foreign children grow up with on a daily basis.

As children back in the states, my sisters and I laid bricks, we painted and maintained my Dad's numerous rental properties and again, were treated like boys because my Dad is all-male and never thought anything of it. My least favorite memory was having to pick up dog poop the day of my birthday party.

Maybe that's why I don't own a dog to this day?:)

We also all played AYSO soccer and my two sisters became quite good at it, one playing as the only female on an all-boys varsity team (which went over really well with the boys she played with, and against, trust me) and my other sister continuing to play and referee the sport to this day.

I, on the other hand, really didn't like it. 

Because my birthday falls on December 31, I was always younger than my teammates in many ways which was difficult. I don't remember the exact circumstances, but I know one team my Dad forced me onto was an All-Star team and they resented having a "non-AllStar" player like me join them.

As a result, my own team members would run past me at practice and deliberately kick me in the shins to express their anger. They also taunted me constantly making life miserable.

Needless to say, I hated playing, but stuck it out because my Dad wouldn't let me quit. I remember it never got better, but since it was a short season having joined midway through, I was able to endure it.

There are three years between my sisters and I. They are only a year apart. This meant I was always forced to go into various Sunday Schools in churches we were visiting by myself, while my sisters had each other for company.

I hated that too, but did it because my Dad wouldn't let me not do it. 

See a pattern here?

My Dad has always forced me to do things beyond my comfort zone and as a result I now have little fear of entering rooms where I know no one, joining groups that are already established and expressing my opinion as a woman in a room where often I'm the only female.

Two final stories then I'll share why I'm really writing. 

Two memories that stand out as defining moments in my life and probably subconsciously are part of the reason I established my travel company are as follows.

My best friend growing up was a girl named Kieva who was the daughter of my Dad's best friend, Ed. My parents attended the same church, double dated, married around the same time and knew each other for years before we were born.

Kieva and I were born two days apart, in the same hospital, two doors down from each other, and she was my best friend even though she lived in Frazier Park, about two hours outside of Los Angeles. She was fearless, had a brother, was raised by a then divorced single mother with little supervision while I was sheltered, all sisters, with a Dad who was constantly sharing articles on rape, women getting hurt by men and other stories designed to make me more cautious, even as he pushed me into situations where it could easily have been dangerous.

I'll never forget the time when I was 13 years old and really wanted to visit Kieva so my Dad put me on a bus by myself to go from Manhattan Beach, where we were living at the time, to Downtown LA to catch the Greyhound Bus for a bus ride two hours away to Bakersfield.

Now I had never gone Downtown before, had never been to that Greyhound bus station before, and as you can imagine, was pretty overwhelmed when I arrived (thinking of all the bad things that could happen to me as a result of the indoctrination my Dad kept giving me via newspaper articles.)

Somehow I missed the bus I was supposed to take probably because I arrived late and was too shy to push to the front of the bus line to make sure I got on the right bus and missed my connection. There was a black guy who saw me looking confused who came and put his arm around me offering advice. I am positive he was a pimp to this day and probably thought I was a runaway by his actions.

I was able to get away and finally found a bus station person to help me find the right bus and get on it hours later. I didn't arrive in Bakersfield until 2am after leaving Manhattan Beach earlier that day which explains how lost I was and how much time passed.

Kieva and her Mom were worried when I didn't arrive on time and were there waiting for me until that time. Remember, this is before cell phones and there was no way to communicate with anyone what had happened. 

We were so happy to see each other we stayed up talking until 4am I remember. Good times. We used to get in so much trouble together. I think she was the one who helped me overcome many of my fears and will always hold a fond memory in my heart for the friendship we shared until she got married and moved away.

The other distinctive memory I have of my Dad pushing me out of my comfort zone was when I wanted to attend a class at a church I didn't normally attend and not driving yet, think I was 17 at the time, my Dad drove me there, dropped me off and told me to find my own way back. 

I attended the seminar, enjoyed myself, and when it came time to go home, asked the organizer if she knew anyone going my way. She didn't and asked the attendees for me. An older man offered and I thought she must know him, so I agreed to go with him in his car. She told me after she didn't, but by this time I was committed and kept my guard up.

We got into his two seater Mercedes Benz convertible and that's when it started. He wanted to date me and began asking me all kinds of questions. Turned out his youngest daughter was older than me and he was in his sixties. 

He wanted to take me out after and being the naive, sheltered 17 year old that I was, raised in a Christian home without much worldly influence having grown up without a TV (until my sisters and I won one when we sold the most candy bars together to help me win the contest when I was a Junior in High School.:)

As a side note, that wasn't my first selling gig either. When we were very young, I had a flower and lemonade stand where I sold to my neighbors. The TV was such a goal of ours in high school having not had one for so long, I recruited my sisters and we went door-to-door, sat outside our local grocery store, recruited our friends at church and sold the most candy bars out of anyone except one other student who I tied with.

I'll also never forget being so proud and happy carrying my TV box through the corridors of my high school only to get beaned in the head with an apple core by someone who was jealous. That was probably my first experience realizing not everyone will be happy when you work hard and win.:)

But I digress. 

So, here I am in this man's car, being driven from Torrance to Manhattan Beach by someone who is in their 60's who wants to "date" a 17 year old. Me. Tall, blonde, freckled, naive me. Again, no cell phones people. Gotta remember this.

He keeps asking me to eat with him so I give in and choose Bob's Big Boy thinking it will be crowded and perhaps safer than somewhere else. It was, and I'll never forget the looks we got walking into the restaurant.

Even they knew something was wrong with this picture, but my Dad? Oh, no worries. My daughter can handle it. Oy.

We sit down and in order to look even younger than my age I order a tall ice cream sundae. We talk some more, me still extremely uncomfortable, and then it's finally over. We get back into his car and he drives me home.

I'll also never forget what I said to him when he asked if he could see me again. "Sorry Bob, but I don't think I can meet your social needs right now." LOL Where I came up with that line I'll never know, but when I went inside and told my Dad my experience, all he did was laugh.

No concern at all...

That's kinda when I realized I was on my own as far as the world was concerned. I chose to travel to Europe by myself after college with great fear and trepidation, only calmed by the fact I was going to volunteer with a missions team for the first month or two of my experience which gave me time to acclimate to being in a foreign country by myself for the first time.

That's a story for another time, but all this to say, I know what it's like to be in scary situations or pressuring situations. I know what it's like to travel alone (that wasn't my last experience doing so.) And I know it's more dangerous for single females to travel alone than males simply by virtue of our gender.

I also know it's more difficult for women to find funding in technology than men because I've lived it, seen it, researched it, reported on it, and fought against gender bias since getting into this field.

But at a certain point, you just give in and say, I want to eat. I want to have my bills covered. I want to thrive, not merely survive and if having a man be the face of my women-focused business in order to get funding, then that's what I'm going to do.

I'm tired of fighting for respect. I'm tired of my accomplishments being discounted as a professional. I'm tired of my abilities being questioned or marginalized.

I give up fighting.

These past few weeks, living with no money due to the male friend I was helping with his business get funded (while mine isn't) stiffing me on money he promised he would pay for my work, and the fact I can't do the telephone sales job any more because it aggravates my hand injuries too much, has caused me to wake up to the fact I either change, adjust, fit in, or allow my dream of running a successful technology company for women die.

And I refuse to do that.

I've worked too hard, for too long not to see it through. I know it's a good idea. I know it's needed and I know I haven't exhausted all my options yet. You know how I know that? Because my male CTO told me that when I called him ready to quit.

He believes in me, my company, our efforts together and because of his encouragement and belief, I'm willing to do what it takes to continue.

I have been told by travel experts, the winner of last season's Amazing Race, women I meet wherever I travel or hold mixers, and other travelers I meet, the idea of helping women find other women to travel with is a great idea. I've experienced it personally. I know women travel differently than men and we sometimes need a little more encouragement to step outside our comfort zone.

I had my Dad pushing me, but there are many women who don't and will never accomplish their travel dreams out of fear, lack of experience and or right planning. That's why I created the company. It's why I'm still passionate about it despite the many, many obstacles I've overcome and continue to overcome.

It's why I am now seeking a CEO who will come along to push it forward and work beside me with skills and experience that will enhance my abilities and my team's abilities. I want someone who will take an objective look at what I'm doing right, what needs fine-tuning and what needs to be done differently in order to achieve our goals of finding funding. 

What people sometimes fail to understand about me is that I am in constant self-improvement mode. I want to change, grow and develop into a better person. Doesn't mean I always react correctly, but it does mean I take constructive criticism really, really, really well.

I'm not the same person I was even a year ago.

There are parts of my life I will continue to chip away at because I haven't reached perfection, but there are other aspects I'm proud to have conquered. That's why I love to read and learn from people in the tech field and every aspect of business because years ago, when my Dad paid me to read motivational books in college to earn money, I'll never forget reading one that said, the books you read today will be who you are like five years from now.

May we all continue to grow, expand our minds and our lives and read.

Therapy helps too.:)

So, now back to the grindstone if you'll excuse me. I have a lot of work to do. 




As a travel writer/video producer who has experienced 27 countries and most of the United States, Joy Kennelly has produced publicity materials, tour guides, blogs, scripts, travel articles, website copy and travel videos. Her love of travel was cultivated by her adventure loving parents from a young age traveling by plane, boat, train and bus all over South America and Africa.  

She has covered four-star hotels, Food & Wine Festivals nation-wide in her page one Google blog: Pure, Unadulterated Joy, and her coverage on Big Sur and Hearst Castle inspired a TV travel episode. As an airline industry professional, she wrote the script and appeared in a "Beating the High Cost of Travel" infomercial featuring Travel Expert, Tom Parsons, and Radio Personality, Casey Kasem. Her interesting experiences abroad earned her the “Spirit of Adventure” honor from the Youth Hostels of America Organization.

She is building Joy’s Travel Adventures into an online global travel community for female travelers. startup was the winner of Digital LA’s Digital Women Startup Showcase, a finalist in Silicon Beach Fest 2015, and recipient of the USC Marshall-Greif Incubator Award. The team has been part of the NSF Innovation Node - Los Angeles ZAP! Entrepreneurship Program (Spring 2015) and Women's Startup Lab (Winter 2014.) CEO/Co-Founder Jennie Wong was accepted into the prestigious Female Founders Conference hosted by YCombinator in San Francisco in February 2015 and launched the Female Founders Happy Hour upon her return to Silicon Beach which has grown to over 60 members under her leadership.


Custom Quiz Based on the Latest Research in Cognition and Decision Science

 Los Angeles, CA July 2015:



Joy's Travel Adventures Founder, Joy Kennelly
Joy's Travel Adventures Founder, Joy Kennelly

Travel Startup Founder, Joy A. Kennelly of Joy’s Travel Adventures, is happy to announce partnering with Co-Founders, Jennie Wong, Ph.D. and Steve Krause of, an award-winning custom product-finder for online retailers, to design a travel personality quiz to match Joy's Travel Adventures' emale travelers with their most compatible traveling companions. Using the latest research in cognition and decision science, quizzes deliver greater engagement resulting in increased conversion rates, boosts social sharing and enhances the mobile experience.




Co-Founders, Jennie and Steve of award-winning tech startup,
Co-Founders, Jennie and Steve of award-winning tech startup,

“Our members will now have the opportunity to be matched according to their personality and travel preferences making for a smoother, happier experience traveling with someone new,” says Kennelly, founder, Joy’s Travel Adventures. “It’s important our matching service is cutting edge technology and with creating this travel personality quiz for us, it will be.”



Quiz for Golf Headquarters example
Quiz for Golf Headquarters example

Jennie Wong, Ph.D., is also certified in the Meyers Briggs Personality Type which makes the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people's lives. 

“Our quizzes solve the problem of overwhelming choices which creates a minimal conversion rate for online businesses,” says Wong. “We have been working with apparel, beauty, and general merchandise retailers, and travel is another category where we can help women quickly find the best option for them.  It was a natural fit for us to partner with Joy’s Travel Adventures to design their travel personality matching quiz.”

Joy’s Travel Adventures (working title) is a multi-channel engagement and e-commerce platform specializing in providing matching services for like-minded females to share travel experiences. Joy’s Travel Adventures’ goal is to provide one-stop social, shopping and matching services, resulting in greatly enhanced overall travel experiences for the target audience.

The platform provides a full range of offerings to enable a successful travel experience, such as travel packages and tours with professional, qualified guides, travel advice, products, information, and other resources ( An Android App for Joy’s Travel Adventures is also available on the Google Play Store.

Joy's savvy, unique and fun travel videos showcase different aspects of any given city including all the best places a city has to offer and how to enjoy a local culture.   

In conjunction with the web series and travel personality quiz, Joy’s Travel Adventures’ online travel community offers travel tours and special events designed for female solo/group travel experiences including: latest summer adventure to Ecuador happening July 29 – August 6, 2015 in Quito and the Galapagos Islands which includes hotels, international air transportation, yacht to and from the islands, certain meals, and all activities. (Custom itinerary available for review here: - use passcode JTA Ecuador 2015 Blog)




attending the Cirque Musica Hollywood Bowl performance on July 19, 2015


and a travel-focused brunch at the newly renovated Farmer’s Daughter Hotel Tart Restaurant on August 16, 2015 at 10:30am.


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ABOUT JOY’S TRAVEL ADVENTURES Founder/Host Joy Kennelly is an Award-Winning Digital Marketing Strategist and Founder of The Joy Writer PR & Digital Marketing Firm, Goal Gals LA, and now Joy’s Travel Adventures ( As an adventurer who has traveled through 27 countries and most of the United States, both on her own and with her family, Joy Kennelly has worked for Alaska and Delta Airlines, the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau, high-end hotels both in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and appeared as an airline expert in “Beating the High Cost of Travel” infomercial featuring Travel Expert, Tom Parsons, and Radio Personality, Casey Kasem, as her first job in entertainment. Her interesting experiences abroad earned her the “Spirit of Adventure” honor from the Youth Hostels of America.

A published writer, she has covered the Silicon Beach scene for TechZulu and her page one Google blog for numerous years. A Who’s Who in Technology, she ran the Los Angeles Chapter of StartupMind, an offshoot of the 5,000 person Meetup Group in Silicon Valley, for a year and a half in Silicon Beach which grew from 40 members to over 700 under her leadership.

Joy’s Travel Adventures’ CTO is Robert Mathieu who has over 20 years’ experience leading design and development on application and Web projects for widely varying clients, including, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, General Electric, Chevron, VISA, American Medical Association, Reliant Energy, Universal, and Mattel.  In addition, Robert has led and successfully delivered application development projects for the United States National Reconnaissance Office and Department of Defense.  Projects led include early Web adoption for the U.S. government and satellite launch support programs, ecommerce implementations, online banking system development, multi-media integration, and ticketing systems.



Multi-award-winning is a Los Angeles based tech startup that provides custom product-finders for online retailers that more than DOUBLE conversion rates. Quizzes embed on the retailer's website and ask the user 3-5 binary questions to generate a personalized Top 3 list (and in the case of Joy’s Travel Adventures will identify a traveler’s personality and compatible travel companions.) The subscription tool is based on the latest research in cognitive and decision science and delivers greater engagement, as well as boosted social sharing and mobile experience. startup was the winner of Digital LA’s Digital Women Startup Showcase, a finalist in Silicon Beach Fest 2015,

Jennie Wong at Silicon Beach Fest
Finalist Jennie Wong pitching at Silicon Beach Fest

and recipient of the USC Marshall-Greif Incubator Award. The team has been part of the NSF Innovation Node - Los Angeles ZAP! Entrepreneurship Program (Spring 2015) and Women's Startup Lab (Winter 2014.) Jennie was accepted into the prestigious Female Founders Conference hosted by YCombinator in San Francisco in February 2015 and launched the Female Founders Happy Hour upon her return to Silicon Beach which has grown to over 60 members under her leadership.

Jennie Wong Headshot

CEO Jennie Wong received her Ph.D. at the age of 22 from the Annenberg School for Communication at USC and worked with Fortune 500 companies specializing in human behavior change and cognition for over a decade before becoming an entrepreneur. CTO Steve Krause is a full stack e-commerce engineer with 20 years experience and is a 3-time CTO, including a previous startup eventually acquired by ESPN. is the second company they have built together.


Why a Publicist is invaluable to your business by Joy, a multi-award winning PR & Digital Marketing Specialist

By Joy A. Kennelly

What people may not realize about me since they see me smiling and joking around all the time and tweeting out silly tweets, is when it comes to business and getting paid, I'm dead serious. I don't take myself seriously, but business? Dead serious.

If someone doesn't pay me on time or in full, it used to cause me to become white-hot angry and react in a rage because it felt like such a violation against me, all my hard work and efforts on behalf of previous clients, but now, I'm more measured about it.

It's why I like the new Rhianna song so much. I feel you gurl!:)

It is one of the main reasons I got out of PR. When you're a sole proprietor and your business is in building people's reputations and brands, they often don't recognize the intangible components behind what helps build their company, nor do they realize their payment helps make or break you staying in business or not.

A publicist gives someone a veneer of credibility because if a publicist says someone is of value, then that usually means the client is newsworthy otherwise, why waste your time repping them? There are some unscrupulous publicists who will just take anyone's money even if they know it won't go anywhere, and some clients I took on thinking they were newsworthy which the media said, no, not interested, but for the most part, the newsworthy value of whatever you will be repping for the next few months is something you look closely at before signing someone up. 

PR is also sales and if you can't sell them, then your reputation is affected too.

You don't want the client to be mad at you, nor do you want to be mad at yourself for not getting any media hits, or opportunities. It still happens and publicists acknowledge that news cycles, interest levels, trends, and major news happening all play a part in why something doesn't get picked up, but rarely do clients because they don't understand media cycles, or that they're just not right at the moment.

I worked with a co-author team on a screenplay book they had written and pitched my heart out for them. We didn't get much during the time we worked together because it's such a niche topic, but then six months later a radio show I had pitched who does book reviews called and wanted to speak to my clients. I passed along the information and felt vindicated because I had felt that media outlet was perfect for them, it just wasn't the right time.

I also lived in NYC during the time John F. Kennedy Jr. was killed in the plane crash with his wife. Imagine having an event on the same night as his funeral! His death threw out the window all the hard work myself and the top indie entertainment publicity company I was freelancing for at the time had done because no one in the media or general public cared, it was all about JFK Jr's death and the crash.

And we had HUGE media outlets attached to come too. But our event was the same night as a moment in history and there was no way we could compete.

Stuff happens.

Art is so subjective, it's one of the reasons I quit representing artists too. I may think something is amazing, they might have had a huge following in the past, but times and interests and taste changes. It doesn't matter how many celebrity friends you have who bought your art in the past, if art critics aren't interested now, they're just not interested and it won't change their minds.

The other reason I dislike doing PR is people didn't value my connections or what I brought to the table through who I know and am connected to.

I'm a Native of California, grew up in the South Bay, have lived in Santa Monica and Hollywood almost my entire life, leaving for school in Montana and Seattle, again for work in New York City; and new experiences in Atlanta and startup goals in Vegas. I've also worked on the production of an event for Acura in New Orleans, and thrown numerous travel and entertainment events in New Mexico, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and numerous Los Angeles events in entertainment, technology, fashion and for clients since high school. 

As a result, my reach is broad, diverse and nation-wide. I can connect with anyone I've worked with in the past and ask for advice, referrals, recommendations and more because I have a good, solid reputation of doing good work, working hard and getting things accomplished. I work with similar caliber people and have collaborated with numerous friends and colleagues on projects, clients, events and more over the past 10 years as well.

That's why, when I build someone's brand, they're not just sitting in a vacuum where no one cares about what they're doing, people are curious because I'm involved. They know I work on projects, companies, brands and individuals I believe in.

I'm connected to over 5,000 people on Linkedin and that's in all industries, all levels of business, and across the nation. Linkedin used to list what that computed to, but I can't find it right now, but if memory holds true, if I post something as a status update, then it reaches approximately a million people by virtue of the network and inter-relationships of everyone I'm connected to.

When I was working for the JW Marriott I used to post a weekly blog I wrote about the Marriott on my Linkedin profile and the sales department saw an immediate upshot of over $1,000,000 in new business a month by virtue of being on the radar of the people I know. They didn't realize the correlation, but I know it because they'd not reached that sales goal prior to my publicity efforts.

That's why when someone thinks, oh you just took copy we provided you and posted it, there's no value in that, it makes me realize they don't understand my value and it's time to re-educate them. Any monkey can post copy. It's the style, the way it's placed, it's the grammatical correctness and everything else that goes into a presentation that makes something work or not. It's the images, the connections, the brand overall.

It's where the finished product is presented, to whom and by whom...

That goes across anything you're doing, but especially in business because people judge you on your online presence more now than ever.

If your IMDB is out-of-date, if you''re not on any of the normal social media platforms, at least one, if your name doesn't come up in search results, if nothing newsworthy is revealed when people search, then they wonder what's wrong with you and your business and if what you say is true about yourself.

But if you have a quality Linkedin profile (in certain industries) then investors take you more seriously and you find the backing you need for your company faster and easier. And if you have people vouching for you, like a publicist or representative who is well-respected, or the media covers you and your brand, even more so when you're not as well-known in certain circles the PR person runs in or the investor is new to your company and industry.

People think I play around by going to parties at night, but what they don't realize it's very strategic. When you're seen in the right circles with celebrities, then you're invited to other events with that caliber of attendees which opens other doors to new opportunities. It also legitimizes your business, your brand and you as an individual for the media, the circle of influence you're in, and in the general public.

It's all part of branding and sales.

I used to work with an actor who had been typecast as a gay character in a popular TV show for five years and couldn't find work because back then, being gay wasn't as popular and how many gay characters does a project normally need? Not that many.

As a result, he hired me and we began working on turning his brand around to that of a bad guy because that was his goal. We worked together for a year and a half and his final audition, they invited him in to audition for a gay character based on his past role that typecast him, but because we had done so much work on rebuilding his image as a bad guy, they hired him to play a bad guy after meeting him.

We did this by attending numerous red carpet, A-list events and getting him out there with beautiful women as beards, attending macho events, and creating an amazing online presence for him using my Page One Google blog and blogging about everything we were doing which raised his SEO and visibility. We used the pictures he got from the red carpet to build more buzz with media we pitched and achieved and also worked on his image for headshots too. I was the stylist on some of those shoots and events which I enjoyed.

Soon the quality of events and opportunities for him professionally became better and better. We even got him a write-up in the Los Angeles Business Journal. An actor, who knew?:)

He had been immensely famous in Italy prior to moving to the states and understood the PR game which is why he was agreeable to hitting two and three events a night just to be photographed on the red carpet as we worked to get him known as a bad guy and as someone who was viable and newsworthy.

We parted when I had a car accident that prevented me from attending future events and repping him due to my injuries which was heart breaking because I really enjoyed our working relationship and felt like I lost a best friend.

But what I've found in these situations is that every time something happens (an injury, a fight over money, or something else) that causes the end of a working relationship, it opens doors to something new and better. Eventually life comes full circle and I re-connect with the person again in a different way and for a different, forward-moving reason.

And with more mutual respect.

This actor has gone on to a tremendously successful career when he added producing and directing to his resume and used the foundation we created to build his brand awareness to launch into that realm faster too.

You may recognize the name, Domiziano Arcangeli...

I know PR & Digital Marketing like the back of my hand. However, I became tired of being disrespected, marginalized, and discounted for my hard work and decided to pursue something else that brought me more satisfaction, building my own travel brand and company.

I will still pick up an occasional freelance client here and there, but try to keep the focus on what I love, building my travel business. Plus, my hands were damaged working for the JW Marriott and I physically can't do all the work involved in that realm without a lot of pain, even a year later. I'm getting closer to finding relief, but for now, it's still an issue. If I do it now, it's with help and I manage it more than do the tedious work.

Time to do something that requires different uses of my expertise, experience and connections!  And my hands.

Like producing, hosting, and phone sales. And building a travel company where women will enjoy participating and expand their lives through the power of travel. I find the connections, experience, reputation and branding I've done in the past comes into play in this realm and also all the event producing I've done over the years as well because you operate out of knowledge, rather than fear and you're doing something at a much higher level and with higher level connections having worked up to it over time.

Reputation, connections, experience aren't built over night. They take time, nurturing, and doing the right thing. However, what's interesting is your reputation and online presence can change overnight though too. It pays to watch yourself very closely as a result. Don't damage what took you years to achieve with one stupid action. Because social media isn't forgiving, and it's immediate.

Actions you might have gotten away with in the past because no one was recording your actions or documenting the activity publicly, is now under a microscope 24/7. Being a celebrity in this day and age I think is even harder because of social media. Yes, it's a great tool to build an online presence, but man can it also damage it. 

And that's all she wrote. Wanted to get this off my chest because it has come up again and needed to vent a little.:)

Onwards and upwards. Living and learning... Always learning and growing.

Observations on Women in Business gained from conferences, books, interviews and more #Startups #Entertainment #Tech #women #mydayinLA

By Joy A. Kennelly

After wrapping up work for a national professional women's organization where I spoke to hundreds of women in all industries, in all levels of their profession, in all areas around the country on a daily basis; attended numerous amazing conferences and special events with panels of female tech founders, entertainment professionals and executives at all levels of their business over the past six months; and read about women who have achieved major success in their fields, I have discovered the following observations to be true about women in business:

1. Those who are majorly successful are part of numerous organizations that enhance, support and provide networking within their chosen field, not only with women, but also men. In addition, they volunteer, sit on boards, and are extremely philanthropic overall whether in support of their own non-profit endeavors, or those they choose to support financially, or with their time.

2. They generally are extremely well-educated with many holding numerous degrees and/or certifications, especially African American women.

3. Many started out in a completely unrelated field and fell into their current profession where they discovered a passion, skill and expertise they developed over time, becoming more successful as they grew in knowledge and experience. 

4. All are passionate, driven, ambitious, hard working and believe in their career choices regardless at what level, what industry or what area of the country they reside in.

5. As women overall, we all struggle with finding balance between work and personal life, whether that means single, married, or otherwise involved.

6. Many women rose to the top of their careers only to discover how unsatisfying, soul-draining and unhealthy a lifestyle it was and completely changed careers to find satisfaction doing something completely different where they once again became successful, but in a more balanced manner.

7. Almost all credited their spouse, or a mentor, in helping them achieve their success.

8. Almost all wanted to achieve and develop their careers when asked future plans, but those who didn't, generally only had a high school education, didn't value advancing themselves professionally on any level, and were very satisfied with status quo and/or ready for retirement. 

9. Women in sales or real estate, were more savvy with negotiation than those who weren't and often asked for, and received, the better price as a result. Many upper-level professionals sniffed out the dishonest business dealings of the company I was working for and declined the offering immediately which was a relief to know not all women are as gullible as might be believed.

10. Most women's default when they didn't want to do something was to say they needed to check with their husband, but when the price point became more comfortable, they suddenly became more autonomous in their decision making process. 

It's been a fascinating sociology study starting with the first panel of all female executives I heard during a conference on the Santa Monica Pier all the way up until now.  

SusanPaleyI took the time to follow up with Susan Paley, ex-CEO of Beats by Dr. Dre because she was most interesting to me during TechWeekLA (next one coming up this November fyi.)

I'm always interested to learn how someone builds their brand into a global success, how they gain the partnerships, publicity and name recognition, and how they achieved their own personal level of success.

Our conversation was enlightening, interesting and answered all these questions and more.

She had met Dr. Dre before, connected again at a CES conference, they went to dinner with a bunch of other people he worked with, he saw her passion and business savvy, got her on board and provided "access at a level that was insane."

She was part of the branding relationships with artists and connected the headphones to athletes during the World Cup who wore them incessantly creating a natural phenomenon unheard of without paying for product placement.

Beats By Dre Headphones_All Colors


Here's some examples of the headphones and relationships she helped cultivate during her time as CEO.

Susan said they had to be careful of who they partnered with to avoid bastardizing the brand like OP did in the 80's because then it became valueless. When Roxy approached them there was "authentic core-synergies in how each brand approached the market."

Roxy JBL Audio Gear Beats By Dre Pill Wireless Speaker_Nicki MinajAs far as reasons companies become successful, she said it's important to start off with a great product, a compelling value proposition fulfilling a consumer need and a simple idea.

It was nice to hear her validate PR as a huge piece in brand building and also to hear her validate that social media works hand-in-hand with overall marketing efforts. So many people still don't understand that fact for some reason.

Part of their success with Beats by Dr. Dre she attributed to giving away product to influencers, and as Jimmy Iovine, his partner, said tongue in cheek, "I know a lot of people." (He may wish he didn't know the Monsters CEO now that there's a huge lawsuit going on between them. Susan left the company years prior fyi and is now working in the car industry integrating music branding still.)

The main takeaway from our conversation and from other marketing gurus I've heard speak since, is the benefits of co-branding since it creates so much more access and opens up distribution channels an entrepreneur, startup, nonprofit or brand may not otherwise achieve on their own.

This leads directly into the cool Scion MotivaTOUR event I recently attended at Smashbox Studios where CoolHaus Co-Founder, Natasha Cole and Ludlow's Cocktails Co-Founder, Freya Estreller, really impressed me, although all the speakers had something of value to say.


Again, they developed both their businesses through strategic partnerships and Freya's entire talk was on what they use to determine whether or not to partner and how their current partnerships have benefited them. 20150430_194404(Please excuse the quality of this pic, it's more to showcase one such partnership. I was actually working for The Hollywood Reporter at the time and enjoyed the benefits of this marketing drive.:)

It was interesting to learn the criteria, depth and breadth of what other companies were willing to provide if they believed in their offerings. They have PR and distribution through key partnerships that leverage their brands into markets they want by simply sharing equity.

Novel concept.

Freya and Scion Event Organizer

I was extremely impressed with both of them because I remember being pitched CoolHaus as a product years ago and it's awesome to see the success they're having now. I'm hoping to have a one-on-one interview with them soon to pick their brains more and learn more about developing partnerships. 

On a more personal level, it was also very encouraging to hear my "fellow" female tech founder friends share their personal stories (Nanxi Liu, Enplug, Founder, and Espree Devora, WeAreLATech, Founder) at the amazing Digital Women event at Cross Campus Pasadena because even though I've known them for years, I hadn't heard certain aspects before.  20150306_151301

Digital LA Producer, Kevin Winston, always pulls together a great bunch of panelists and this conference was no exception. (Register here for his upcoming Silicon Beach Fest June 24-27, 2015 asap because it always sells out.)

I may have complained about the lack of professional women at conference panels in the past, but apparently people are listening because now it's not just me singing the praises of the tech scene in Silicon Beach for women, but also another female VC Investor I recently heard speak at the Digital Hollywood event this past month.

But I digress. 

20150306_153940What I enjoyed about the sharing Nanxi, Espree and also Elvina Beck, PodShare, Founder, gave was how personal their stories were. I learned how Nanxi approaches networking and pursuing her goals and how she has accomplished the success her company has had.

Starting out in an apartment where they all lived and worked together to now traveling the world speaking, fundraising and developing strategic relationships while running a very successful company. (I've written about her before here and she's on my advisory board.)

I learned how much influence Espree's father had in her development as a business person because he never allowed her gender to be a hindrance and always encouraged her to go for it. I think that's why she's the dynamic entrepreneur she is today. Her mother's influence is also seen in her willingness to speak and help those just starting out, and even those of us a little further along the food chain who also need help.  20150306_152417

I recently was drowning with everything I had going on and reached out to both of them for advice and was very happy to receive the support I needed after being so vulnerable and admitting I didn't have it all together and needed help.

That's what our Silicon Beach startup community cultivates, what it's best at doing, and why I like living back in LA. It's just a different vibe and intent which is encouraging and supportive of all, not just a few, like other places I've lived.

20150306_133827It was nice to hear more female investors speak during the Digital Women event too because so often there is a token female VC, but as Alyse Killeen, Investor at March Capital Partners agrees, there's so much more we can do to support all women, not just those who look like us. Alyse is big on being inclusive to African Americans and Hispanics too which I admire seeing as she's lily white herself.:) 

I do believe the more women speak up for themselves, the more we raise awareness of issues that are happening, the more men will see the value of what we're saying and make changes necessary since it benefits the entire eco-culture, not just women.

I especially enjoyed attending the DGA's Women's Steering Committee Presents: WSC 35th Anniversary: Celebrating the Pioneering Women Directors of the DGA because I've been involved in entertainment longer than technology and know many female directors, including my good friend, Martha Cotton seen here with another friend, Pina de Rosa10671376_10152551979943600_3952187923829011001_n

It was so inspiring to hear the founding "mothers" so to speak of the whole female directors movement in Hollywood because so many younger women take for granted the privileges and opportunities those who fight for our rights from years ago earned for them. 

First the original group of women who made the changes spoke, then they honored female directors who carried on the torch and are making a difference today. It was fascinating to hear their stories, relate to their struggles, hear the humor and the hardship involved with pursuing your dreams and goals.

Very inspiring on so many levels. Entertainment is another sector that is a boy's club and very difficult to break into, but we're making headway slowly, but surely.

20150429_110011Seeing how many female professional groups Victor Harwood has included in Digital Hollywood was also very encouraging. I've known of him and his conference for many years and saw friends I always see at such events and have known for years too like Linda Sherman, and enjoyed hearing new people speak too. 

I especially enjoyed hearing a panel entitled, Living the Life: Women Entrepreneurs, Lifestyle Innovators and Disrupters with these accomplished women: 20150428_104408 Anne-Marie Roussel, Venture Partner, IlluminateNina Simosko, Chief Product Officer, NTTi3Devery Holmes, President & CEO, Spark MarketingMelissa Palazzo, President, Ant FarmMiss Kris TurnerJen Mojo, founder, Paper Dolls; and Lisa Kraynak, Founding partner, Propelle partners, Moderator.

It was phenomenal to hear women at these levels speak and not on topics that didn't mean anything to the audience like child raising, although it was touched upon, however, the main focus was on business and it was so refreshing because it was so high-level and honest!

I finally felt like I was amongst my peers and those I could learn from because they've been in the trenches a while and have overcome their own personal, as well as, professional struggles to achieve the success they have now.

It was truly inspiring.

Plus, the Ritz Carlton MDR venue was so lovely it also was inspirational. Don't you agree? 20150428_091523 20150428_135348

Overall, it's been great to be back in LA and in our tech and entertainment scene although I've been taking time off from the majority of events to focus on building my own business since there's only so many hours in the day.

Time waits for no man (or woman) and you have to put first things first.

This won't be the end of the evolution of women's involvement in the tech or entertainment sphere and I hope to continue reporting, living, changing and experiencing it firsthand for many years to come. If all goes well, I will have an even more to share from the entertainment perspective soon too. I'm ready to get back to the creatives.:)

#JoysTravelAdventures videos, events, MVP & updates for your reading pleasure #travel #tours

By Joy A. Kennelly

Joy's Travel Adventures Launch

Recently launched a Meetup site for Joy's Travel Adventures to gauge interest and within a few days had over 50 members. We continue to grow and it's been fun meeting the women offline and learning more about their travel interests to help refine what we offer.

Here's the link in case you're interested and would like to join us: 

Our next event is called 50 Shades of Selfies with the Style Club which you can find out about by clicking the link to our group above. Join us and make sure to RSVP on our group page to be added to the list.

Website MVP

My goal is to take this beautiful rendition of what our full website will look like created by my amazing Polish team and build this out once I find the right developer here in the states. This is what I envision for the website with a proprietary matching service women will join for a behind-the-scenes, private social networking community to keep confidentiality, privacy and security issues managed.

It will also require approval for inclusion which creates an exclusivity for member only events, offerings, and tours.

Joys_adventures_main_v2a-01 version I did choose

I've also been working on a variety of quick, 20 second videos to showcase some of our travel adventures which you can watch here:

Here's my latest: 


I've also created an app and have submitted it for approval. So, yes, a lot going on behind-the-scenes creatively, but also in other realms.

I've also been working on the following:

1. Refining my Executive Summary with the assistance of my advisors

2. Working on financials for the business which has become clearer and clearer now that I have an actual travel group to visualize expenses and income with.

3.  Applying to numerous accelerators which is almost a full-time job in and of itself. Made it to a first interview with a few of them. Fingers crossed.:)

4. Taking classes to help refine my travel video concept because I still see this as a TV show since there are really no travel shows for women and Anthony Bourdain's style of traveling just doesn't cut it 100% of the time for females. We need to see traveling we like to do as females, not always eat Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern either. We want to see Fashion, Food & Fun like my tagline says.

5. Pitched over 100 cable, network development executives and others regarding my travel show for women and had quite a few accept my Linkedin invitation, thus opening the door for future communication once I apply what I've learned in my classes for creating the show bible and budget.

6. Been working on finding more advisors because you can never have enough people helping you move forward towards your goals and why wait for an accelerator to provide them, when I can successfully seek them out myself professionally via Linkedin?:)

Oh, and speaking of job, also looking for work that I can do without further injuring my hands until I find investors willing to come alongside and grow my vision to allow me to hire more people to help me.

Balancing a lot, but feeling more driven now than ever because I have a personal deadline to fulfill. I'm not going to let my injuries hold me back from achieving my dreams and goals. No matter what JW Marriott Las Vegas thinks or does.

Say a prayer and wish me luck! 

#Introspection on my #startup life as I prepare for an intense #goal session tomorrow.

There are days I really hate my former employer, JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa, and these days are becoming more and more frequent as I struggle with finding out what's wrong with my hands, waiting on the judge to determine if/when they will take responsibility for the pain and suffering I experienced working for them and now live with on a daily basis, and my inability to do my normal work as a result of these injuries which is causing me emotional, physical, and financial stress on a daily basis.

I often wonder if the main Marriott company knew how their franchisee was handling injured employees what they would say about it and if they would step in.

If it was my brand, I would.

I know I post a lot of fun activities I'm involved in, I tweet silly stuff, and I rarely talk about this issue, but after being rejected by the one female founder conference I really wanted to attend when I attend so many male-dominated tech conferences down here, I'm extremely disappointed and feel like opening up because  it's real, the Las Vegas Marriott needs to be outed and I'm tired of the BS.

I needed to hear other female founders speak to gain strength from their experiences and now I won't. Listening to a live stream just isn't the same. It just isn't.

I know I'm on the computer a lot, but I also take long spells where I'm off to allow the pain to subside and to allow myself a mental break from pain. Do you know how debilitating it is to have constant pain? Do you know how terrifying it is to think you may not have use of your hands for the rest of your life when typing, communicating, writing, social media and emailing is how you've made you're living for the past ten years? Or to constantly be put off by doctors because they can't figure out what's causing the pain through normal testing?

Do you know how slow working with pain makes your progress when you're having to work around a disability? Or how difficult it is to find work that won't tax your hands further? Nearly impossible. And being told by someone to just get a job, damage my hands more and don't worry about the future,  you need to make a living.

Give me a break. I'm nothing without my hands.

Have you ever experienced not making enough money to get ahead enough to save money for a deposit on a place and discovering ID theft is screwing up your credit and you're turned down by every place you apply to for two months solid because you operate on a cash basis, there's no credit history and your good credit has been ruined by a thief?

And you're having to pick up the pieces and fight to get things straightened out again? All while being unable to work in your normal field because your last employer illegally fired you while you were injured and around the same time you discovered a lump in your breast?

That's been my life for the past eleven months. (And no, no cancer thank you Lord.)

I have been mulling over and over in my mind how I address the fact there are so few female role-models in the Santa Monica tech scene that are seasoned professionals, not newbies like so many panels I see boast. I've been trying to think of a polite way to discuss it, address it, and whatever which is why I still owe an article on the great interview I held with a female who accomplished amazing career achievements in the music industry and now car industry months ago.

I just can't find a polite way to say what I'm about to say. I've really thought about it, but it is what it is. Here's my thoughts - take 'em or leave 'em.

I don't want to hear from some 20 something who easily received funding because the investor probably either wants to sleep with her, or did, and now she only has to worry about looking cute to make sure her investor is happy with her and she'll continue to be able to grow her company not worrying about paying rent, buying food and everything else everyone else worries about on a regular basis while also trying to build a company when they're not receiving funding. 

And then, the one time there is an amazing panel of female entreprenuers where we can actually gain wisdom, the female moderator decides to ask them "How do you juggle motherhood with running a business?" Totally ignoring the fact the majority of the female founders in the audience are single, no interest in kids, or don't have children and she's merely asking out of selfish reasons with complete disregard for the audience and their interests. 


WHO CARES? I don't. Many others didn't either.

If I want to hear how a woman juggles motherhood and her career I would go to a Mommy Blogger conference, but that type question doesn't belong in the Santa Monica tech scene. Neither does asking, "How do we get more females interested in STEM?" You want to know how? You introduce them to role-models they can aspire to become like, not ask questions that no one in the audience cares about.

If I cared about that issue I would attend a PTA meeting for heaven's sake. I DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN I'M RAISING. I DO NOT LIE IN BED WORRYING ABOUT YOUNG GIRLS GETTING INTO TECH. You want to know what keeps me up at night? Wondering how I can work, build my business, and take care of my hands as best I can. I also worry about being a good role-model and mentor for the young women I meet who are interested in tech through the tech group I run.

That's how I give back and that's what motivates me when I'm having struggles. 

I also wonder where all the amazing tech women I read about in ELLE Magazine's Women in Tech Awards or hear are being honored by Women 2.0 (all up in Silicon Valley.) Where are the female leaders here in Silicon Beach? Why aren't they included in the primarily male-dominated Silicon Beach tech conference scene? I don't want to hear from peers, or those with less experience, I want to hear from women I can aspire to become.

You choose any woman on either of those lists (ELLE & Women 2.0) and you will blow any 20 something founder male or female speaker out of the water. Bring them down or invite them to come at least...

I don't want to see a token female moderator out of the hundred tech speakers (all male.) I want to see women discussing how they run their businesses, what makes them uniquely qualified to do what they do, how did they handle lack of funding or respect for their accomplishments, how do they deal with sexism, ageism, racism, where do they pursue training or networking or whatever to find their success, what books do they read, what drives them to stay in a male-dominated industry, where do they find support, who mentors them? (excuse the grammar - not in the mood to be correct right now.)

All those questions and more interest me. You put those kinds of women in front of young girls and I bet then you will see STEM grow for young girls, but not by asking questions. And not by always bringing out the female investors because the financial industry is only one aspect of the tech scene. There are so many qualified female engineers, CEO's, trainers, etc. we could be hearing from. Don't be lazy men. Dig beyond your comfort zone when planning a conference or a panel and seek out women who intimidate you, who might be more skilled than you, or who will speak their mind.

Show young women and girls, don't tell.

Give women and girls someone to aspire to become. Let them see the future of their lives through the current lives of women they see on panels speaking. Let them hear their voices and their struggles reflected back to them. Let them understand they are not alone. They will find mentors. They will find investors willing to bet on them. They will find success in an industry dominated by men.

As I write this, I write for myself as much as I do for the young women who may read this. Life isn't easy. But it just doesn't have to be this difficult does it? I am still disappointed I won't hear the female founders speak, but maybe it's for the best. Maybe I'm not supposed to be in tech any more. Maybe it's time to think of a new dream/goal. It's been two years. I've given it a great shot. I've worked hard. I've done my research. I've paid my dues. I've built many aspects of this business slowly, but surely.

But maybe it's not enough. Maybe there's something else for me to do. 

I just don't know what. 

That's all. I'll probably regret typing so much in the morning, but writing is how I process things and especially when I'm deeply disappointed. Crying only relieves certain amounts of pain. 

Sometimes you need to share it and by sharing it, feel free of it. I hope this is true. I also hope by attending the goal seminar tomorrow I walk out with either a refreshed vision for my business, or a completely new vision/goal. Because I'm tired. I'm tired of fighting to survive. 

I give up. I'm waving the white flag....

Not my will, but thine be done God. 

Amen and Good Night.





What I gained attending Global Innovation Fellows upon returning to Los Angeles, CA

By Joy A. Kennelly

Recently I had the pleasure of participating in the Global Innovation Fellows Program. From what I gathered, it was started to bring students out of the classroom and into the real world which is a great initiative.

When I first moved back to Los Angeles my good friend, Ariel, invited me to join him only three days after my arrival and because nothing else was going on, I decided to dive in head first; especially when I heard we were visiting Google and Facebook up in Silicon Valley!

Wouldn't you have wanted to go too?:)

We started out at Junior Achievement where I bumped into a friend, Marisa Materna, whom I've known for over 10 years and had lost contact with.

Joy Kennelly and Marisa Materna, Special Events Director, Junior Achievement

The guest speakers were great, but have to admit, re-connecting with an old friend definitely was the highlight of that day.

Joshua Freedenberg (Motivational Speaker, Author of “The World’s Next Top Leader”) and Brian Williams (CEO, Junior Achievement)

Although all the speakers were excellent and inspiring too. Recognize anyone?:)

Anna Ouroumian (CEO, Academy of Business Leadership) Center surrounded by this year's Global Innovation Fellows Class of 2014

Throughout the week we were able to visit Idealab, CAA, the Fashion District and many more businesses across Los Angeles. It was wonderful to hear amazing speakers and visit companies I've admired for a long, long time. 

The only bummer was trying to get from place to place logistically due to LA traffic and consistently running an hour behind for each session which ultimately resulted in certain sessions being canceled due to the delays.

In addition, choosing to drive up to SFO without knowing where to stay and arriving at 2am only to be expected at our first session by 8am when we were still an hour away was very difficult; and it was very disappointing to learn two key speakers for that morning were canceled last minute who I really wanted to hear.

Overall though, a good experience. The program is free, fairly new, run by only one person, and you get what you pay for.:)

I've never understood why women don't travel more, but after experiencing this last-minute trip with no guidance or assistance from the organizer, I now have a deeper understanding of what those who've not traveled much experience which was beneficial all on it's own for my travel company, Joy's Travel Adventures.

It also opened my eyes to the tech community's need to have assistance with travel which is a great side benefit too. Sometimes life's greatest frustrations turn into life's greatest opportunities and provide insights into needs not normally revealed in normal, every day experiences.

The opportunity to hear all the wonderful speakers: Freddy Nager (USC Professor & Founder/CEO, Atomic Marketing); Richard Pan (Entrepreneur/Investor); Gustavo Demoner (UCLA Professor & Brazilian Innovator); Kent Smith, (Executive Director, LA Fashion District); Russell Hancock, (President & CEO, Joint Venture Silicon Valley); Alex Maleki, (Business Development, Idealab); Philip Leslie (Engineer, Google); and more...see first hand how companies are run while visiting them on-site, learning new things, and taking tours of Google P1060092and Facebook was awesome, especially for a social media junkie like myself!  P1060075

I felt like I was on a technology high my whole time in Silicon Valley seeing Twitter headquarters, hearing speakers at Kiva

Justin Renfro of Kiva and Rob Campbell, Global Innovation Fellows Leader

and Code for America,

Code For America

and squeezing in a visit with my friends, Roger Royse and KP, my co-organizer with StartupMind, too. 

Kaustav P. Chaudhuri aka KP, Co-Organizer of StartupMind with myself, Joy Kennelly

I learned a lot, made some great connections, spent time with new friends and had a blast touring SFO as a tourist with Ariel and Avanti, my road trip buddies,

Avanti Armendariz, Joy, Ariel Barco

which was a fun way to blow off steam after the intense week.

Logistically, there are things to improve,  but program-wise, Global Innovation Summit on the surface is an excellent concept. Great cross-section of business, non-profit and variety of industries. I wish the organizer well because he's onto something positive.

That's why my interest is piqued in attending the California Connections Fellows program through the Southern California Leadership Network/LA Chamber of Commerce because of the opportunity to meet with civic leaders, learn from experts in their fields in their business environment, and in this instance, the ability to network with government officials also, which is always beneficial to one's career.

Plus, the cost of the program includes all travel logistics!:)

I heard someone say once they don't believe in criticism which I think is missing the point if it causes you to improve and correct what needs to be changed to make something stronger and provide a better overall experience for all involved.

Plus, if everyone blows smoke at you and you never hear the truth, what good does that do anyone?:)

That's one reason I'm excited to begin working with two new members of my Joy's Travel Adventures team, Lana Leazer and Shar Martin. I've come to realize I can't do everything on my own, other people have skills, connections and experience I don't have, and by combining our backgrounds we will develop something even stronger for female travelers.

More on this later, but next up is my MAGIC experience which was so overwhelming as a newbie, I had to take some time to digest everything I saw and all the wonderful brands I met. Very cool to see the huge variety of clothing, accessories, shoes and booth decorations. Very fun too!

I posted pix from both experiences on my Facebook fan page which you can review here: http://www.Facebook. com/JoysTravelAdventures

My interview with @LiveGrey Co-Founder and @thisismkg Founder, Maneesh Goyal -

By Joy A. Kennelly

Recently, I met with Maneesh K. Goyal, one of the Co-Founders of the cool new website,, also founder of MKG, an experiential brand marketing firm. We chatted over tea at the local King's Road Cafe and discovered we shared a lot in common.


He started MKG after pursuing life in a completely different career and subsequently has launched Live in the Grey this January with a partner named David Munczinski who was a fellow at Wharton Leadership.

Knowing since 2000, Gallup polls regularly indicate more than half of American workers are unhappy with their jobs, Maneesh and David decided to start a movement where success was redefined.

Where work was play and lives were changed.


Thus, Live in the Grey was born. 

To quote the official site: "Live in the Grey is a place on the web to experience this philosophy through simple interviews, stories and blog posts and a community of contributors."

(Having been an entreprenuer almost my entire life, I really resonanted with what he was saying, especially now as I prepare to launch Joy's Travel Adventures both as an online social community for women interested in travel and fashion, as well as, a travel web series.) 

Live in the Grey is a place for members to explore, take risks, find support and mentorship, learn from others who have gone before, and boasted 6,000 members nation-wide at the time of our tea.

What was encouraging to hear is that those who take the risk to pursue their life's passion generally discover 2 - 4 years after they make the switch, they look back and are happy they did it.


Maneesh said, "You can't look at success and fulfillment without looking at how your profession plays into it. You can't live in this realm by yourself."

He also shared people's biggest challenge to overcome was fear, but then reminded me, "Fear can be defeated."

He encourages every entreprenuer who is blocked by fear, or wanting to be around like-minded individuals, to consider joining Live in the Grey where you won't be alone and will have examples of other people who have done it too.

"The power of the fulfilled life is game changing!" Maneesh responded when asked what happens to people who make the leap.

Here's a little video that may help explain it better too:


If this is speaking to you, then you can sign up here:

And if you'd like to join me on my journey, then please consider signing up for Joy's Travel Adventure to stay in the loop here:

Thanks as always for popping by! Appreciate it!

Fashion Digital Los Angeles Conference Wrap-up Part 2 #Fashion #Ecommerce

By Joy A. Kennelly

300636_10151534099023600_1044892366_nFashion Digital LA recently wrapped up at the Director's Guild of America and what a powerful conference it was. I met upper-level executives from Nordstrom, ShoeDazzle, Jurlique, numerous smaller fashion brands like Apliq and Ellie, and major tech companies like Google, Amazon and more.

9 piece

This is my kinda conference - where tech intersects fashion and people have been in the business a little longer than their 20's, but they're there to liven things up too like the founder of Apliiq.

Founded in 2008, Apliiq is a customizable clothing company that collects rare, deadstock and recognizable textiles and applies them to everyday garments. (From his press release.) Aren't these cute? 

The reason I enjoy fashion is I have an AA in Fashion Merchandising, represented a few stylists, worked in retail for five years and have covered LA Fashion Week and other major fashion events across the country for over 7 years. My wardrobe may not always reflect the latest fashions, but if money was no object I would be a fashionista!:)

I love hearing amazing fashion icons discuss their passions, business practices and experiences in this realm. Especially as I continue to build my online women's community for female travelers. I always find you learn something from everyone regardless of whether or not it's in your exact industry. This one just happened to fit in perfectly with what I'm working on.

Smart people's practices translate across every industry.

And smart people were there at the DGA in full force. First up, was Lubov Azria, Chief Creative Officer, BCBGMAXAZRIA GROUP, who was interviewed by Annie Georgia Greenberg of Refinery 29, both true fashionistas.

960204_10151534085238600_1823987552_nLubov was warm, gracious, humble and nothing like I expected from one of the world's most recognizable tastemakers. And Annie was a very good moderator, not injecting herself into every question. What a breath of fresh air! 485508_10151534088678600_483653901_n

Sometimes younger fashion people can be so snobby and none of the speakers, attendees, and vendors at Digital Fashion LA were anything like that which was really refreshing. It was an extremely professional conference on many, many levels. I was very impressed. Green Pearl knows what they are doing.

Back to the conversation. 


Lubov explained rather than selling a brand, she feels they are selling a lifestyle. I heard that a lot from many of the speakers and it made sense. She also explained the simple truth, "No one needs more clothes." That's why her company focused on consumer's wants vs. needs and catered to those who really believe in the brand, in particular, her elite customers - those who spend money. She stated that 20 elite customers can bring in 1 million in sales. Whoa!

Her motto is based on Henry Ford's quote, "If I asked people what they wanted, I would have heard faster horses, but I made cars." She wants to inspire people to live inspirationally. She also said they are driven by providing a mix of high and low design, not merchant driven. 

Now this is the part I found fascinating and other e-tailers will too potentially. When asked her e-commerce strategy, Lubov said they believe in engagement specializing in how the customer goes on their site. They listen to customer feedback, consider communication very important and make it easy for the consumer. They also believe in Geo targeting, use Facebook, emails, and blogger partnerships - they create events because both experiences online and in-store are very important.

See? Us bloggers are important!:) 

Lubov supports a charity helping disadvantaged children and was touched to hear a young child had enjoyed her site because it's "the store that's open and never closes. It's fun and you can shop whenever you want." Thus, providing a small escape from the harsh realities of this child's life.

When asked by the moderator for an example of another company doing it right, Lubov offered Net-A-Port as an example of catering to consumers as a brand that does it best. She loved the whole experience of buying from them - the smell, the art and the packaging. Packaging is key! Made me want to buy something just to see what she was talking about!:)

Back to online though, she did share they are limiting their partnerships to keep consistency with their brand. Too many people don't properly use logos, colors or style which affects the brand overall. It's very important to stick to your brand dna - be very clear to your customer who you are. People buy because of what you do. The company's main focus now is on personalizing the experience across all platforms and methods of outreach. She wasn't the only speaker to mention that either.

Many were limiting affiliate marketing except for Pinterest to keep their content consistent with their brand. Currently, BCBG is redesigning the site, including more video (great to hear since that's something I'm including in mine!) with bigger windows, more zoom ability - making it so the customer doesn't have to think and making it easier, more effortless through digital.


She kinda pooh poohed many of the 360 camera shots of images claiming video was much more interesting and engaged more consumers. 


However, for many companies I'm sure it's a viable alternative. Plus, as a consumer, I like those visuals. What I hate are tiny thumbnails that make it hard to see the image. Otherwise, I'm cool with seeing it rotate and find it fun to spin the product.:)

263220_10151534089483600_1953739257_nLubov wasn't the only person to say video was key throughout the day either.  960170_10151534086948600_1125271761_nBoth Mary Cooney, AVP - eCommerce, Kérastase & Shu Uemura Art of Hair (seen above) and Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Founder & CEO, said basically the same thing. (Loved her site name.:)

Here's a fun example from Joyus:    Sukhinder said with video there is more of an implicit trust because people don't feel like they're being sold to. It's just part of an authentic story about the brand. She said it's rare that the founders are involved in the actual video because she preferred to use Network Chefs, stylists, makeup artists and others who are known and unknown to tell the story.

One interesting tool they also employ is adding the shopping cart right in the video making it very easy for the consumer to purchase if they like what they're watching. "We want our customer to be serendipitous," said Sukhinder. "Video is very impactful."

Her company uses curation with a trusted personality aligning with the woman they are selling to which creates a user experience akin to discovery. There's a direct connection to the consumer similar to many of the popular direct selling companies like J. Hilburn which was mentioned in another session. 

David Towers, Vice President – Ecommerce, Wet Seal's advice regarding how video is presented was to keep it short, focus on one item, 2-3 min max, and don't give too many choices. A sample merchandising formula is to create a look, but don't talk about everything. Keep the focus on one product.

Good advice, don't you agree?

That said, make sure it's viable from multiple viewpoints - ie Kindle, cell, mobile and PC. David feels mobile is taking over with his demographic - teenagers. That's why he felt it was very important to have a responsive design. 


Eric Koger, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, along with his wife/partner, Susan Gregg Koger, Chief Creative Officer & Co-Founder, ModCloth, agreed during their session too. With over 1 million sales in 2012 alone, I think I'll listen to what they have to say. 

They employ many cute marketing programs that have been extremely successful in engaging their community. They keep their product line live on the web forever and as a result, any time someone is shopping if they see something they like, Modcloth will accomodate their request if enough people click their "I need it" button. This allows Modcloth to bring back outdated and sold-out items according to customer demand.

It also provides Modcloth with an accurate assessment of customer trends. Another cute idea was having a "love list" which entails clicking a heart similar to a "like" button on Facebook. There was a much higher engagement on mobile with this. When someone clicks the heart button, cute phrases pop up like, "XOXO" or "We were made for each other." The person who came up with all of those had a lot of fun creating these phrases! 

Interesting facts presented throughout the day on conversion rates were as follows:

  • A good e-commerce site will have a 20% conversion rate.
  • A bricks-n-mortar store will have a 20-30% conversion rate.


  • Modcloth receives 40% of their traffic from mobile and that has doubled since January. Weekends are growing for interaction and Wed too with Thanksgiving their highest sales. They surmised all their users were probably sneaking in shopping while visiting relatives.:) 
  • Modcloth has experienced a 40% increase in revenue every year. They have found installing an app makes a user shop more.
  • They aren't the only company to benefit from mobile. 21% of all users buy 44% of the volume sales. 25%+ are Paypal active and 10% of all payments are made on mobile. Overall transactions are 38%. Now this is the fact that really blew me away. Did you know that Ebay has 112 million active users whereas PayPal has 123 million? That's amazing to me. 

On Gorjana Griffin, 88% have PayPal accounts and customers spent 2.5 million on Ebay during a 12 month period. Wallets were the top sellers with Louis Vuitton and Chanel in the 25 - 50 dollar range were the highest purchases. This fact was courtesy Roy Rubin, Co-Founder, Co-General Manager & COO, Magento if memory and my notes hold true.

3. If someone buys online and picks it up in person, there is a 300% conversion rate.

Interesting fact, isn't it? The experience in the "physical" world is still very important.

Now one program that kept coming up throughout the day as a way to track this online activity was InSparq. It tracks customers as they interact socially. Helps a marketer learn who is driving traffic to your site and then provides a way for you to use that info to segment your audience.

Kinda creepy to the lay person, but as a marketer, you really do want to know what is making your readers, viewers, shoppers "click." How do you like that play on words?:) Many, many of the top online retailers were using it and the Insparq moderator was very sharp. If I were an ecommerce site, I would recommend checking it out. The other popular one was Looker which provides data flexibility, reporting, and decisions in real time.

Another popular program was called MyThings which Expedia and AirBnB employ. It creates ads to drive traffic back to your site which explains why everywhere I looked after I wrote about Tailored Republic, I saw only their ads everywhere. I had always wondered why that was true and my lunch mate explained this was actually part of a software program he sold.

Hadar Paz, North America CEO,, gave a very interesting presentation of how his program worked which essentially re-creates the real world shopping experience with a virtual one inside his online store floor plan.

Imagine you're an online shopper searching around a website looking for an item, how would you like someone to pop up and say, "Hi, how's your weather today?" Here's an example of a sample conversation and experience shown visually.

935610_10151534095563600_586689658_n  296177_10151534096993600_1437438696_n

  923214_10151534096108600_1492448846_n 432012_10151534095218600_1424906603_n 430109_10151534096078600_802491693_n I'm giving you highlights because I think these are the key take-aways, at least for me. The whole day was really interesting and I learned a lot.

Here's some random shots to showcase the day's events...  984316_10151534088833600_1247464644_n 582042_10151534099003600_1620491853_n 426627_10151534088708600_1126959807_n 382634_10151534087748600_183547634_n 179728_10151534088768600_1041206112_n 263337_10151534089858600_391052890_n 294191_10151534098473600_57331236_n 425337_10151534089738600_1938554197_n

425278_10151534098238600_1220214172_n 401951_10151534089928600_198672469_n 391469_10151534089688600_346438849_n

@TechnoriLA 's amazing pitch night w/@NoahKagan @CodewarsDojo @artkiveapp @adoptt & more. My #startup review.

By Joy Kennelly

I've recently had to accept the fact I am a perfectionist in certain things and as such, hold others to the same high standards I hold for myself. This isn't always the best for relationships, but now that I'm more aware of it I can work on it. 

ImagesI also realized my German heritage has a tendency to make me see things very much in black and white when sometimes they're grey. My Irish heritage balances that out because I always find the humor too though.

All this to say, when I like something, I really, really like it and when I don't, I really, really don't.:) And I'm not shy about voicing my opinion either. I will always be honest about something and you may not like what you hear, but at least you know I'm honest about it.

And maybe even laugh because you know I'm right.:)

Honesty. A rare commodity in Los Angeles...


That's why I really enjoyed listening to Noah Kagan, founder of, speak last night at Technori over at Cross Campus because he encouraged us all to stop trying to be perfect. Just do it!

My friend, Nanxi Liu of, had recommended I attend and since I respect her judgment, went even though I wasn't sure about it having never heard of Technori before. Seems like a really great group and site!

Now, I had no idea when I saw Noah listed as a speaker, that above and beyond his cool site,, he was also Facebook's third employee,'s fourth employee and has also had a lot of failures in his life. 


Or that he was single either. LOL

I thought it was cute when the announcer mentioned that in his introduction because he said Noah wanted people to know.

Ladies, he's single and ready to mingle!:) Maybe he should take a spin on Millionaire Matchmaker like some of my friends have done!:)

It's really hard to date sometimes when you're married to your work, or all over the internet.

I've been a workaholic and visible online my entire professional life. I know.

In any case, when Noah took the stage he was a lot of fun to listen to. I mention the failures because I really like seeing entreprenuers being honest about their hard-won success. It's not all hunky dory, happening automatically, or piece of cake proposition.

There's blood, sweat and tears involved. 

(Picture stolen from hope you don't mind Ben Lang.:)

I was expecting more swear words and crassness, but apparently Noah contained himself for the mixed company. As I glanced around the room I was very pleased to see a nice mix of men and women attending. Perhaps positive balanced change is coming to the LA Silicon Beach scene after all?:)

BHdJUuyCYAMOjVoWhat I really enjoyed hearing Noah say is your business is not all about a fancy website, business cards, etc.

It's whether or not there's a demand for what you're offering, and are you providing a solution? Will people pay for what you're offering? You won't know until you validate your business. Get out there and do it!

Check out: for more information. Oh, and by the way, I chose tacos in case you're wondering.:)

Back to last night. (Photo credit Mark Lindsey of Miller PR - taken from his twitter account: @MarkSLindsey - great PR company fyi...)

So, Noah had a select amount of time to address the packed house and chose to throw up on the screen a couple of popular, successful, well-known businesses and then asked us all how would we have validated the need and made them work. 

I left my good camera in the car so bear with me on these pix, but I wanted to give you a taste...

NoahI didn't realize airbnb was a billion dollar company now!  I met the co-founders when I used their services to attend Obama's first inauguration in 2008 and they were so down-to-earth and nice at a welcome party they threw for all of us.

Hope they've stayed that way after all their success.

In any case, Noah had us brainstorm how we would have validated this and made it successful. People participated and it was interesting to hear what they recommended and Noah's feedback. Sorry, didn't take notes and next time you'll just have to attend.:)

Then, what I thought was the best part of the night, after doing this brainstorm analysis with a couple of popular, well-known businesses, he asked engineers to raise their hands and chose two to disect their business proposition with them right there on the spot, live.

Now, if you've been around computer heads for any length of time, you know they are very cerebral, live in their heads (hence my nickname), and often aren't living in reality with whatever they're working on because it's so abstract, doesn't reflect what society needs, and is more for their intellectual pleasure than real life.

It became very clear, very quickly that this was the case with these two earnest young men. I loved how blunt Noah was because I can be just as blunt sometimes and it helps cut through the crap. Doesn't always win you friends, but does clarify things immediately.:)

After disecting their concept, Noah invited them to the front to collect email addresses from potential interested folks who had all come to the conclusion they would probably pay money to have help finding parking in Santa Monica, but had no clue whatsoever to what problem these guys would be solving.

Noah2Again, excuse the poor quality, but here's the guys in action with Noah in the background. He has a very charming, disarming way of attacking people I thought was funny and relatable. 

Feel free to disagree.:)

Noah gave a lot of words of wisdom and I tried to tweet a bunch at if you care to follow along there. 

I also believe if you look up the hashtag #Technorila you'll find more comments from the rest of the crowd. Well worth the effort.

Oh, and if you're looking to claim Looks like Robert Fauver has already saved it according to his Twitter feed @robfauver LOL

Once Noah was done, which seemed much too quickly, then the host announced each startup presenter. Having seen other presentations at Cross Campus, I was dreading it to be honest, but these were fantastic!

I always enjoy seeing mature businesses that have been around for longer than six months because then I can actually learn something vs. wonder why I was there. I've been running businesses since college and have a lot of seasoned CEO's I consider good friends, even though I may not see or talk to them all the time. I've also taken a lot of business programs and understand various aspects quite well.

I'm going to run through the startups who presented fairly quickly since I don't have a lot of time, but wanted you to be aware of them. 

First up was Cap That

Cap That

As a photographer, I really liked what they had to offer. It allows you to "cap"ture pix and images from videos and apply to products.

The presenter showed us live how to do it in addition to sharing about the company. I was extremely impressed with the image he presented as a piece of art which you can see below.

Cap That2

Next up was CodeWarsDojo which is a cool place for accomplished developers to go and practice higher level coding. If you click the link I've attached a Pando Daily article on them which will  tell you more.

I am not a coder, but know many who are and this business model was very impressive. The founders got their start at a hackathon, presented it and were funded that night becoming successful almost immediately.

CodewarsWrite to receive an invite to their beta site. Just know they're selective and only accept the best of the best according to the Pando Daily article.

I think you'll be happy you did get in if you're a developer based on the positive response of some of my F/B friends to my post on this.

Next up was a cute idea called Bloom Nation. The guy's names are hard to spell, but I'm sure you'll find them if you look on their site.  Bloom nation

They spent a lot of time explaining why they started the business with personal stories, but not as much time on the success of the business which I would have liked to hear more about.

They have 2,000 florists currently involved and when I Googled them just now, found they've been interviewed on TV as well.Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 9.50.05 AM I think there's room for competition in this realm and think they will do well. CBS News described them as the "etsy for flowers." Gotta love men who are passionate about giving flowers to people, right ladies?:)

Now the next presenter I wasn't too excited about because I don't have kids at home and now that my neices are teenagers, we're not seeing as much hand drawn art as playing around with pix and video on F/B.

However, that said, he got my attention when he mentioned the 150,000 users and millions of pieces of art currently "artkived" on his app: I think men sometimes discount the power of mom money and the huge marketplace that exists within this realm. 

Img-home-2 I would highly recommend checking this out if you're a parent, an investor, press or whatever because I see this going far. Very cool concept and obviously doing well. Why didn't I think of this?:)

My absolute favorite was the last presenter. His name sounded familiar and he looked familiar, but I couldn't place him until I met him personally afterward. Hank Fortner was the cool guy who hosted the Skirball Center fashion show which featured dancers on the runway and numerous charities showcased throughout. Very cool fashion show concept and I wish more would emulate their style.

Hank Fortner's wonderful pursuit this time is something near and dear to my heart because I'm a birthmother. For those uneducated on the term, it simply means I placed my son in an open adoption at birth. That's why touched my heart and as evidenced by the many people asking if he had considered presenting this as a TED talk, many others as well.

AdopttogetherDid you know 19 million children are without families throughout the world? Did you also know only about 9,500 children were adopted last year? 

Know why? Because it costs $30,000 to $40,000 a year to do so and that has created a huge barrier for many families who would love to adopt, but simply can't afford to.

This is where comes in. Here's a video from their website which explains it better than I can:

  Crowdfunding for adoption! Isn't that the coolest thing you've ever heard? Can you imagine a world where there's no more orphans? Imagine how much this would ease so many of the issues of homelessness, poverty, out-of-wedlock pregnancies, crime and more this would help prevent for children who age out of foster care and never have a family unit to support them throughout their life.

Hank said in the 45 days Adopttogether been live, they've raised over $800k and are estimated to raise ONE MILLION DOLLARS by June 2013. That's amazing to me, but I also feel like this is filling a need that has been there since I was a birthmother over 13 years ago.

I know my church, King's Harbor Church in Torrance, will be happy to hear about this because one of their missions this year is to aid in more adoptions.  Could you imagine if everyone got on board and began sharing this wonderful cause in support? Or even donating to help people adopt?

Here's Hank's story on how it came to be. Can you imagine having helped foster 36 kids and adopting 7 children? What an amazing life story and family. Brings tears to my eyes just writing this and listening. I hope you take the time to watch both videos. Amazing.

 I love how multicultural they are too. Very cool. What great parental role-models.

So, as you can see, a phenomenal night filled with really cool companies and speakers. I hope you'll consider joining me at the next one to be inspired, encouraged, challenged and motivated too.

God bless. Have a great day! I know I am.:)

New Media Expo was extremely informative. #VegasTech is inspiring! Ebook coming soon! #nmx

By Joy A. Kennelly

I am an info addict and love to learn. As a result, traveling to Vegas to attend the New Media Expo and listen to multiple lectures on blogging, marketing, expanding readership, improving my writing and videos, and more, was perfect.

I'm in the process of sorting, compiling and writing about my experiences to share some of the knowledge I gained over the past three days, but if you're interested in the full conference coverage, I encourage you to consider ordering the complete audio and visual offerings when they become available on the official website:

Also really enjoyed learning more about the startup scene in Vegas and was very impressed. If you're not following my fan page, please consider doing so as I will be uploading pix from my Vegas experiences there first. 

You can "like" me here:

Please be patient. It was a lot to take in and I have a lot to share which takes time to prepare. Plus, editing pix takes a bit too, but I'm hurrying!:)

Announcing our @SXSWedu Creative Leadership - What it is and Why it Works panel w/@MichaelSB, @RichRedmond and The Joy Writer - VOTE!

By Joy A. Kennelly

I've been working behind-the-scenes with two of my favorite music experts, Michael Brandvold of Michael Brandvold Marketing, and Drummer, Rich Redmond of the award-winning Jason Aldean Band,211154_56760346946_1740338402_n to create an informative, interesting panel for the educational component of SXSW called SXSWEdu.

Here's the official blurb: "SXSWedu supports innovations in learning for education practitioners, industry leaders and policy makers who share a passion for modernizing learning from early childhood to higher education in both formal and informal environments. Join the SXSWedu community March 4-7 in Austin, Tx, for four days of compelling presentations and events."

After researching business books and trying to find leadership topics related to the creative fields, I created this panel because of the lack of information available. I felt my colleagues and I could add value to colleges, policy makers and institutions seeking diversity in business learning and leadership because entrepreneurship crosses all disciplines. 

Please vote for our panel here: < 

Our audience: Educators in Business, Music, and Liberal Arts, university professionals looking for unique speakers to come talk to their students, industry leaders, entrepreneurs and anyone interested in learning from experts in music marketing, promotion, branding, social media and creative leadership.

Focusing on music due to SXSW's overall emphasis on music, and my working on a book for musicians, I invited two of my book contributors, Michael and Rich, to participate because I liked the mix of rock-n-roll and country perspectives.

Here's our bios in case you're not familiar with our names and background:


Michael Brandvold is a freelance music industry consultant based in Northern California. He launched Michael Brandvold Marketing to leverage his years of experience to provide direction to large and small clients in the areas of online & social marketing, as well as, e-commerce and customer acquisition and retention.

Gene Simmons of KISS first tapped Michael’s skills as a pioneering online marketing strategist to launch and manage all aspects of’s multi-million dollar enterprise, including their ground-breaking VIP ticket program.

Michael has also managed the online efforts for Dream Theater, Andy Gibson, Greg Kihn, Motley Crüe, Rod Stewart, Madonna,Ozzy Osbourne, Madonna and Britney Spears to name only a few.


Rich Redmond has toured/recorded/performed with  a 'who's who' of recording artists including Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Lit, Ludacris, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Keith Urban, Bryan Adams, Jewel, The Pointer Sisters, Rushlow, Pam Tillis, Gene Watson, Doc Walker, Deana Carter, Jedd Hughes, Trace Adkins, Hank Williams III, Mindy McCready, Robbie Nevil, The Stellas, and Doc Walker to name a few.

Currently the drumming powerhouse behind country superstar Jason Aldean, Rich plays to millions of fans per year and has appeared numerous times on such shows as American Idol, Ellen, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, The Late Show with Jimmie Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, among others.

Rich recorded all the drums and percussion on Jason’s 5 records, selling millions of units and producing 11 #1 hits. Rich’s ‘song-friendly’ drumming style, infused with a true rock-n-roll spirit has led to these records being regarded as a unique voice in Nashville’s musical landscape.

Joy A. Kennelly is an Award-Winning Social Media Strategist, Producer, Personal Publicist and Founder of The Joy Writer. Using her expertise in social media on such platforms as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Hootsuite, etc., she has successfully integrated and incorporated over one hundred additional regional online social networking sites into publicity for numerous clients.

Her marketing efforts have also successfully enhanced search engine optimization (SEO), increased attendance at events and developed business and media opportunities on behalf of clients in entertainment, travel, technology, and fashion, as well as, in promoting and supporting numerous political candidates and social causes. 

Joy has presented classes and produced seminars on social media at The Musicians Institute, American Cinematheque, and at conferences throughout the US.

Now that you know who we are, please vote to help us be selected:  < 

All the details are available once you click, but here they are again too:

Expert music industry professionals, Michael Brandvold of Michael Brandvold Marketing, and Rich Redmond, Drummer in the Award-Winning Jason Aldean Band, discuss strategy, creative leadership, branding, online marketing and secrets to success with moderator/ participant, Joy Kennelly of The Joy Writer.

With personal examples from their successful careers running creative businesses in the music industry, each panelist will share what being an entrepreneur has taught them and how they would pass that information on to future generations; how they learned how to lead a team of creatives; and how musicians use their creative leadership in bands. They will also discuss how they developed the out-of-the-box strategies that guide their careers and those they work with, and what they do to teach others those same skills.

Questions it will answer

How do creative people lead? What makes them successful? How do they appeal to a creative audience? What sets their style apart from traditional leadership styles? What do they do differently in branding, marketing and social media than other business professionals? 

Doesn't this sound cool?:) Wouldn't you want to learn what we will present? It's cool to see one of my goals moving forward which I hope you will support by voting.

Please vote here to help us be selected:  <

Thank you! Marki Costello interview and everything else coming up next!:) 




Six Week Workshop Teaches/Encourages Women to

Set and Accomplish Goals

Los Angeles, CA Joy Kennelly, of the award-winning The Joy Writer PR & Digital Marketing firm, launches The Goal Gals Group, a six-week bi-monthly workshop which teaches and encourages women to set and accomplish goals, tonight, Monday, September 17 at 7pm with a free mixer at La Piazza located at The Grove across from the fountain.


The Goal Gals Group is designed to encourage women to find their true passion, accomplish goals they’ve harbored in their hearts for years, and have support doing so.

Past participants have launched successful small businesses, balanced their professional and personal lives, learned how to stand up for themselves and their goals, and sharpened their career focus.

Goal Gals venue determined by participants.

The Goal Gal Groups meet over a period of six weeks through December 3, 2012 to achieve a manageable set of goals participants decide on individually, while working on them within a group setting. The group meets every other week for two hours. The group is limited to six to eight people to allow everyone plenty of time to share and is closed to new members once it begins.

Goal Gals 2007

“Joy is so inspiring and helpful. The way she has structured the group and its process, there’s no way not to take steps toward achieving your goals,” adds Amy Jurist, Owner of the award-winning Amy’s Culinary Adventures and past participant who launched her business in a Goal Gals Group. “Some take smaller ones, but I was at the precipice and with the encouragement and accountability I got out of the group, and from Joy in particular, I made huge leaps in my career and changes in my life.”

The Goal Gals also meet informally in “Study Halls” where participants work on their goals individually while sitting with Goal Gal members in a casual environment, either at a home or a coffee shop. Study Halls provide an opportunity to deepen friendships and can happen whenever any member suggests holding one.

Vision boarding, a visual representation or collage of your heart’s desires, also lead by Kennelly, will be offered as part of the group to help women visualize their success. A final party to celebrate the success of all Goal Gal members will be held at the end.

 “Women who join her group may lack the confidence to believe they can become successful entrepreneurs or whatever their specific goal is,” says Kirsten Resnick, El Camino College Professor and past participant numerous times. “Joy creates an environment which greatly encourages and shows women specific steps to achieve far more than they originally hoped.”


Kennelly’s first introduction to goal setting was in college when her father gave her motivational books to read and paid her to write book reports to help pay for college. Kennelly took those lessons to heart and expanded her reading to other authors including Jack CanfieldNapoleon Hill, Deepak Chopra, Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard, Sark, Chellie Campbell, Barbara Sher, John Maxwell, Seth Godin, Dave Ramsey, among many others.

To deepen her knowledge, she has also taken courses with Motivational Speakers, Chris Howard, Zig Ziglar, and numerous others; completing Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Signature Program and Stephen Covey’s Leadership Foundation Workshop a few years back. 

Carrying on her desire to help women learn how to set and achieve goals and work on some of her own goals in a supportive setting, Kennelly began The Goal Gals in the summer of 1996 while working a 50-hour work week. She began running three different goal groups of ten women simultaneously and launched her successful film festival career from one such group.


She started more groups in 2004 and lead them to great success before stopping to focus on her PR & Digital Marketing business. Kennelly re-launched The Goal Gals while living in Atlanta, GA in 2011. Now that she’s back in Los Angeles, she is re-launching The Goal Gals here on September 17, 2012.

For more of Joy A. Kennelly’s award-winning credentials and experience, review: or

For more information on The Goal Gals Group, please review: and follow @GoalGalsLA on Twitter. To register, please sign up here:

Come join other success-oriented, motivated, smart women tonight at La Piazza Restuarant located at 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90036 at 7pm for the free kick-off mixer. For more information, please call 310 714-2077.

CEO Michael Crowley's actual letter to his former employees per Snopes. It's still good reading.:)

I hate it when this happens, but according to Snopes the original Michael Crowley letter isn't from him at all, but was attributed to him erroneously.

What I found interesting though, is Snopes printed the actual letter he supposedly has written as a response to the original one which is just as fascinating in light of this current business climate.

I can't figure out how to copy it from Snope and am providing the link directly back to their letter in case you're interested:

Enjoy the read! Next up is fun fashion stuff for guys, I promise!:)

A Real Letter: To All My Valued Employees - A Must Read!

 (Saw this on Facebook and it's too good not to share. "This is a REAL LETTER and it's GOOD! Some lessons about big government and capitalism.......the "Occupiers" need to take notice!")

"There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job. 

What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country. Of course, as your employer, I am forbidden to tell you whom to vote for - it is against the law to discriminate based on political affiliation, race, creed, religion, etc. 

Please vote for who you think will serve your interests the best. However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interest. First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story. 

This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You saw my big home at last years Christmas party. I'm sure all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life. However, what you don't see is the back story. 

I started this company 12 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living space was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.

My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn't have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business -- hard work, discipline, and sacrifice. 

Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting Nordstrom's for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the Goodwill store extracting any clothing item that didn't look like it was birthed in the 70's. 

My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business --- with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had. 

So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9 am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5 pm, I don't. There is no "off" button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, ****, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to me like a 1 day old baby.

You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden -- the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations... You never realize the back story and the sacrifices I've made. Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail out all the people who didn't.

The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for. Yes, business ownership has its benefits but the price I've paid is steep and not without wounds. Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why: 
I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don't pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my "stimulus" check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch. 

The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check? 

Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country. The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here.. I mean, why should you? That's nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy.

Here is what many of you don't understand .. to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn't need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now. 

When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don't defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the mud of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine. 

Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep. So where am I going with all this? It's quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child's future. Frankly, it isn't my problem any more. Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire. 

You see, I'm done! I'm done with a country that, (with the help of the press,) penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship. 

While tax cuts to 95% of America sounds great on paper, don't forget the back story: If there is no job, there is no income to tax. A tax cut on zero dollars is zero.. So, when you make decision to vote, ask yourself, who understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn't? Whose policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and you should know who might be the one capable of saving your job. While the Main stream Liberal media wants to tell you "It's the economy Stupid" I'm telling you it isn't. 

If you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steamrolled the Constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me in the South Caribbean sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about. 

Signed, Your boss,

Michael A. Crowley, PE 
Crowley, Crisp & Associates, Inc. 
Professional Engineers 
1906 South Main Street, Suite 122 
Wake Forest , NC 27587 

Michael A. Crowley, PE is the owner of Crowley & Associates, Inc. and was President and an owner of Crowley, Crisp & Associates, Inc. and Michael A. Crowley, PC. As President of Crowley & Associates, Inc., Mike is a lead designer of water supply, treatment and storage projects, regional sewage lift station design, and residential and commercial site development projects and is responsible for the management of the firm. Mike’s industry background includes over 20 years experience in the civil engineering field inclusive of executive level responsibilities in Marketing and Project Management. Prior to founding Michael A. Crowley, PC, Mike held positions with several engineering firms in North Carolina and Maine. Mike holds a B.S. Degree in Civil Engineering from University of Maine and a Master of Business Administration from Boston College. Mike is a member of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and holds professional registrations in North Carolina , South Carolina , Virginia , Maryland , Arkansas , Texas , Arizona , New Mexico , Indiana , Maine , Tennessee , Australia , and Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies . Mike is a native of Norridgewock, Maine. The Crowley family resides in Wake Forest."

Don't Forget Men! @DavidKimIGNITE #BajaFresh CEO is speaking at So Cal Gathering of Men Fall 2011 Men's Breakfast Tues, Nov 29, 2011 6:45am - 8:00am @TSBMarriott

Southern California Gathering of Men Fall 2011 Men's Breakfast!

With Special Guest Speaker  


David Kim, CEO of Baja Fresh

 Recently Featured on CBS's "Undercover Boss"

 David Kim 

The South Bay Fall 2011 Gathering of Men Breakfast Tuesday - November 29 6:45am - 8:00 am The Torrance Marriott Hotel 3635  Fashion Way

To Reserve Your Table and Tickets - Click Here!

Printible Brochures & Fliers Are Now Available - Just Click Here!

David Kim is convinced that success comes to those who start!

And start he did.  David Kim “Ignited” his life and started forward.  His story is about how he went from a new American immigrant to the CEO and owner of numerous food brands, including:  Baja Fresh, Sweet Factory, La Salsa and several others.

What does it take to think big?  What principles can you adopt to get started, and stay on the path to success?  And once success starts happening … come to grips with what life is really all about?

David Kim is the Gathering of Men speaker for our 2011 Fall breakfast events in Torrance, Anaheim, and Pasadena.  He’s going to talk business, personal development principles, profit-boosting insights for building toward success, but he’s also going to talk about what really matters in life.  The bottom-line principles that all of us men can use to fuel our journey toward true success and significance.

How can we survive in this day and age?  By incorporating the right principles into our lives out there in the marketplace.  We all want to survive and thrive – David’s personal testimony will inspire you and warm your heart to move your life forward to significance.

You won’t want to miss the unique story of David Kim’s success story, and the transformation he has experienced along the journey.

Bring your friends and co-workers to hear David KimCBS’s Undercover Boss – share his “No Excuses” story.

Register here:

Q & A with Driven Music Conference Organizer, Dominick J. Centi - Part 1 of Driven Music wrap-up


By Dominick J. Centi as sent to Joy A. Kennelly:)
Go here to read the reviews of those who attended too:
1. What made you start the Driven Music Conference?
For years, we were on the other side of music conferences.  We brought talent we represented, "worked" the conference and always walked away with something for the talent; a record deal, publishing deal or a session with a top producer scheduled, for example.  It was an effective tool for advancing an artist and those experiences inspired us to produce our own music conference.
2. How receptive has the music industry on the Southeast coast been?
Exceptional, but we've also seen interest from all corners of the states, from CA to NY.  We've reached outside the U.S. as well.  For example, at our last conference, a performer traveled from Australia to showcase for the industry.  We're working on plans now to more easily open up access to our conference to those outside of the U.S.
3. What would you say is the biggest draw? 
Each person's interest in our conference likely differs, however, if I had to pick, it would be both the access to our Featured Panelists; industry giants such as Van's Warped Tour Founder Kevin Lyman, major label A&R and others, as well as the chance to showcase for them.  Most can easily recognize we're fostering a networking opportunity and a place to go for a chance at advancement in music. 
4. Who normally attends?
Its split down the middle, with one half of the group being artists and the other half being compromised of others working within the music industry and those wanting to learn more about the business from the pros, such as college students, for example. 
5. Any success stories come out of speakers and attendees participating you've heard that you can share? 
See answer 11. 
6. How did you manage to get such an eclectic collection of speakers? Personal friends? Done business with them before? 
Hmmm...  Like some artists do, we try to keep some element of mystique swirling around the conference!  Let's just say there's no substitute for hard work.  That can usually work as an answer to almost any "how did you do that" kind of question! 
7. Looking back at both conferences what changes will you make to your next one, if any?
More showcases!  Who can argue with that change, right?  We'll reserve at least 20 additional showcase spots.
8. What was the highlight of the conference for you?
For me, I liked how the ballroom where the panel discussions were held was full, both to capacity of people and energy.  How accessible the Featured Panelists made themselves to the artists and the others attending was also an adrenaline rush.
9. What do you wish had turned out differently?
Not much, but if I have to pick one thing, it would be that I would have liked to more so experience it from the perspective of the attendees.  That's tough to do when you're organizing the event because of all the on-site work involved, however.  I'm not complaining.  Goes with the territory.  Its a workload our team puts upon itself for the sake of striving towards making the conference the best it can be for everyone involved.  
10. What advice do you have for aspiring musicians?
How many hours do I have?  This is an answer that is tough for me to keep short, but I will do my best to sum it up into 2 abbreviated points...  1) Always work towards increasing your odds.  Using one very specific example, attend a music conference.  If you're the artist at a conference and in the same room as top industry executives, then aren't you in a better position than the artists that are not?  Now, if you also introduce yourself to those executives, aren't you in a better position than the artists in that room with you that do not?  If you approach everything with that mentality, its really simple to see the big picture clearly.  Part of what your doing is a numbers game.  As a general ongoing rule, "work it" to the point to where the odds of advancement swing closer to your favor.  You can never go wrong, if you do.  2) Understand that if you're making the choice to advance in the music business (which is not for everyone), you can't ignore the business side of it.  If you do, you're looking at more of a hobby than a career.  Learn about the business side or put your faith in someone you feel has.  Music without business is a hobby and business without music is, arguably, "boring work"!  They both are important, they both need attention and they both need each other to advance as one cohesive entity.   
11. How did all the bands work out performing? Anyone picked up? Any feedback from anyone?
I absolutely love these conferences because of the element of surprise that always comes with them.  There is nothing routine about them, just as there is nothing routine about this business, in general.  At our last conference, Vans Warped Tour Founder, Kevin Lyman, offered The Silver Comet a spot on Warped (which is currently under negotiation and not confirmed per The Silver Comet) and Atlantic Records A&R, Jeff Levin, offered Super Water Sympathy a deal with Atlantic, both right on the spot.  The reaction of both showcasing artists after receiving the news was priceless.  I'll never forget their expressions.  What a rush! 
12. Anything else you want to add that I've neglected to cover?
I appreciate your interest and that of your readers!  Right now we're in South Florida and Atlanta annually, with plans for further expansion into additional markets.  The latest on the Driven Music Conference can be found 
More to come!


Remembering Steve Jobs through the eyes of Walt Wilson, former Apple Managing Director, and me, a birthmom

By Joy A. Kennelly

This morning I attended the 20th Annual High Tech Prayer Breakfast which they claim as the largest networking event in Atlanta, GA with 1600 people in attendance and also, the earliest, beginning at 6am till 9am (I've been up since 4:30am to get there on time.:)

I had no idea what to expect, but since my friend, Curt Cain of iHealth Technologies, Inc., had invited me, I wanted to attend. We grew up in the same church in Manhattan Beach, CA and recently re-acquainted when he and his wife invited other CA "ex-pats" to a dinner this past week.

I have always felt a sense of family with other Christians because no matter how much time passes, there's a spiritual bond which ties us together no matter where we are, or what has happened. I really don't know how some people get through life without a spiritual component to their lives when I find such encouragement, support, and Godly love in my Christian life experiences. I know I couldn't make it living out here in Georgia without my faith in God and Christian friends. 

This morning's prayer breakfast was very inspiring to me on many levels as a result.

Back home in Los Angeles I have attended numerous tech conferences, networking mixers, seminars, and parties, and not once have I ever seen a spiritual aspect included. What a refreshing difference to meet CEO's, CFO's, Venture Capitalists, CTO's and more who are also following God and willing to be visible in this public realm by inviting men and women who have never heard the gospel to attend.

In light of Steve Jobs' passing, who I consider one of America's most brilliant innovators, it was very moving to hear Keynote Speaker, Walt Wilson, speak. He had been an early employee of Apple serving as the Managing Director of U.S. operations "as the company grew from just a start-up to a globally-recognized corporation with $5 billion in revenues."

Talk about a powerful way to start the day!

The host committee had gathered together to pray for Steve, his family and the prayer breakfast the night before when they heard the news of Steve Jobs' death. Walt said he had prepared a speech a few months back, but threw it all out at 3am.  He had planned to share what it was like working in Silicon Valley, working at Apple and his career, but felt what he had originally prepared wasn't appropriate after last night. 

Walt called Steve "My Boss, my Mentor, and my Friend" who had a thirst for excellence and never measured his success by market share. 308945_10150318205808310_631373309_8060384_199202705_n
He said Steve always wanted to the be BMW of the tech world and then revealed BMW really only held a 3% market share which was surprising to hear. 

What set Apple apart is it was always about computing, not the computers. It was about advancing technology more than anything else. Walt said Steve didn't care what anyone on Wall Street thought, or anyone else for that matter, which drew a laugh from the crowd. Walt also shared Steve always protected his family from his own celebrity which I admire. 

Walt shared only one personal anecdote of his experience working with Steve because it was difficult to speak so recently of someone he obviously cared deeply about. I would quote it, but want to preserve some of privacy of the breakfast.

However, I will share with you briefly Walt's story because it was fascinating to learn he had only graduated high school and served in the United States Marine Corps for three years which must have been great preparation for working alongside Steve Jobs.:)

He is currently "the founder and chairman of  Internet ministry Global Media Outreach (GMO). He was previously co-founder, chairman and CEO of Exclaim Technologies, Inc., an applications service provider in the business-to-business Internet market. Before that, he served as senior vice president and corporate officer of the consulting group Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), a $16 billion, U.S. global corporation with 600 offices worldwide, employing over 100,000 people."

Pretty impressive, eh?

I've been attending numerous events this week; the Georgia Production Partnership monthly lunch meeting where I heard Comedy Writer, Dave Drabik of Fine Line Productions, speak; Inc and United Healthcare's holistic living panel seminar entitled Helping Businesses Grow Strong featuring Michael Tavani, co-founder of ScoutMob (mobile deals for the local curious), Sean Cook, CEO of Shop Visible, and CEO of Petrus Brands, Inc, Chris Morocco (Shane's Rib Shack and Planet Smoothie) which were great.

I've been meeting more CEO's and influential people here in Georgia faster than ever happened in CA. Hard to believe I've really only been here a little over two months after all.:) 

Have to admit though, although these other speakers were fantastic, informative and entertaining, this morning's breakfast spoke to me on a deeper level due to the spiritual component. When you consider Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Address on living and know he died last night, it really puts life into perspective. 

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life," he said.

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

Here is his speech in its entirety because it's so powerful:


As Walt continued to speak, he challenged us to think about where we will spend eternity. If you died today do you know? He reminded us of the verses, Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." and John 3:17 "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

If you've wanted a fresh start, forgiveness of your sins, or simply to surrender your life to God because whatever you're doing isn't working, please consider asking Him into your life. He will answer you when you call upon Him. "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." I Peter 5:7 and “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

I hope you do, but if you don't now, know God is there whenever you need him. I can tell you He has brought me through so much. I was personally touched to learn Steve Jobs was adopted since I'm a birthmother who has a 12 year old son I placed in adoption at birth. It was one of the hardest experiences to live through in my entire life.

When I see TV shows like Parenthood which recently mocked the sacredness of this experience in an episode called, "Hey, if you're not using that baby;" or see Glee's portrayal of a birthmother plotting to get her adopted baby back; or hear Grey's Anatomy recently wove an abortion subplot into their storyline, it grieves my spirit.

So much so, I wrote Ira Schreck of Schreck Rose Dapello Adams & Hurwitz, LLP who represents Jason Katims, to express my dismay. Here's a highlight to help you understand why this image of birthmothers and adoption in general needs to change:

"As a birthmother of a twelve year-old son I placed in adoption at birth, I was shocked and devastated to see one of the main characters asking a teen-age mother if she could, “Buy your baby.”

I admire how sensitively Jason Katims has handled Asperger and am writing to request he and his staff present adoption in the same sensitive manner. Children in adoption are not bought and sold. They are not cavalierly “given” away. They are thoughtfully, painfully, delicately “placed” with a family a birthmother considers will offer a better life for their child they feel they cannot offer at the time of their pregnancy.

 Please consider the ramifications of treating a human life so callously. Parenthood has the opportunity to present a side of adoption rarely seen on TV if done correctly. I would strongly urge Jason and all those involved with the success of this show to consider researching adoption through such resources as: and before writing any further episodes."

I have yet to hear a response and have avoided other episodes because that one was too painful. But to those in entertainment who write stories about adoption and/or abortion, consider this thought if you will...

What would the world be like if Steve Jobs' birthmother chose to abort him rather than choose adoption? He has impacted all our lives and he's just one of many talented, creative people who was adopted.

Here's a list of more famous adoptees and birthparents I bet you didn't know about:

Adopted Persons

Andy Berlin - entrepreneur: chairman of Berlin Cameron & Partners
Anthony Williams - politician
Aristotle - philosopher
Art Linkletter - comedian
Bo Diddley - musician, performer
Buffy Sainte-Marie - musician, actress
Carl-Theodor Dreyer - Danish film director
Charlotte Anne Lopez - Miss Teen USA
Christina Crawford - author
Clarissa Pinkola Estes - author
Crazy Horse - Lakota war chief
Dan O'Brien - decathlete
Daunte Culpepper - football player
Dave Thomas - entrepreneur: founder of Wendy's
Debbie Harry - singer 
D.M.C. - hip hop artist
Edgar Allan Poe - poet, writer
Edward Albee - playwright
Eleanor Roosevelt - First Lady
Eric Dickerson - athlete
Faith Daniels - news anchor
Faith Hill - country singer
Freddie Bartholomew - actor
George Washington Carver - inventor
Greg Louganis - athlete
James MacArthur - actor
James Michener - author
Jean Jacques Rousseau - philosopher
Jesse Jackson - minister
Jesus - adopted by Joseph the carpenter (Bible)
Jett Williams - country singer and author
Jim Palmer - athlete
John J. Audubon - naturalist
John Hancock - politician
John Lennon - musician
Langston Hughes - poet and writer
Larry Ellison - entrepreneur: chief executive of Oracle
Lee Majors - actor
Leo Tolstoy - writer
Les Brown - motivational speaker
Lynnette Cole - Miss USA 2000
Malcolm X - civil rights leader
Mark Acre - athlete
Matthew Laborteaux - actor
Melissa Gilbert - actress
Michael Reagan - author, talk show host
Moses - Biblical leader
Nancy Reagan - First Lady
Nat King Cole - singer
Nelson Mandela - politician
Patrick Labyorteaux - actor
Peter and Kitty Carruthers - figure skaters
President Gerald Ford - politician
President William Clinton - politician
Priscilla Presley - actress
Ray Liotta - actor
Reno - performance artist, comedian
Sarah McLachlan - singer
Scott Hamilton - figure skater
Sen. Paull H. Shin - politician
Sen. Robert Byrd - politician
Steve Jobs - entrepreneur: co-founder of Apple computer
Surya Bonaly - figure skater
Tim Green - football player/commentator
Tim McGraw - country singer
Tom Monaghan - entrepreneur
Tommy Davidson - comedian
Victoria Rowell - actress
Wilson Riles - educator

Birth Parents

Andy Kaufman - actor

Clark Gable - actor

David Crosby - singer

Faith Ireland - judge

Hank Williams, Sr. - country music legend

Kate Mulgrew - actress

Joni Mitchell - singer

Roseanne Barr - actress

Mercedes Ruehl - actress

Strom Thurmond - politician

Notice the list of birthparents is much shorter? There is so much stigma surrounding adoption perpuated by past and recent Television shows, and the media, which I hope will change soon. Use the resources I mentioned in my letter, and to write truthfully about us please.

It's also time we acknowledge there are three choices when faced with unplanned pregnancy, not just two - abort or be a single parent. 

If Steve Jobs adoptive parents hadn't first adopted him and then supported, loved and encouraged his individuality just think how all our lives would be different today. Embrace the third choice and allow Steve Jobs passing to signify more than just his technological advancements, but also the power of love.

Because when it all boils down to it, every human needs to feel loved. Even those who are unwanted, unplanned, or inconvenient.

Give life, give love a chance.... Adoption is a choice too. It's extremely painful, but you get through it and your child then has the opportunity to be a world changer, perhaps another Steve Jobs. You never know, right? 

And that's all she wrote. Have a great day. I was planning to cover the Driven Music Conference, but felt compelled to share this with you first after my experience this morning.

Today's the day though!:) Stay tuned. 

Inspirational Quote of the Day courtesy of Daniel Golston

“If you’re going to be passionate about something, be passionate about learning. If you’re going to fight something, fight for those in need.

If you’re going to question something, question authority. If you’re going to lose something, lose your inhibitions.

If you’re going to gain something, gain respect and confidence.

And if you’re going to hate something, hate the false idea that you are not capable of your dreams.”

Don't know him, but click the link to see the sweet memorial site dedicated to this special guy. What a deep thought and just what I needed to read today.

Have a great day everyone!

@MIHollywood @JinglePunks @RocketHub #Social Media Panel blogs & April 21 @Facebook Panel Speakers & Tickets

By Joy A. Kennelly

Normally when I attend conferences I take dictation and microblog what the speakers are saying while they are speaking. I couldn't do that while moderating which is why I'm very happy to share the Musicians Institute's comprehensive blog coverage of all the speakers on April 7th's social media panel which addressed viral marketing with videos, live concerts utilizing StageIt, YouTube, Facebook, personal vs. professional publicity and so much more.

Click the picture below to be stunned and amazed at the wisdom coming from these mere mortals with extreme talent, creativity and intelligence:

Blog header
And for those who didn't get to click the pic above,  you can click here:

Jingle Punks has another fun blog post and Facebook Fan Page highlighting our event as well which you can review here:

Blog_header - jingle punks
And for those who again, didn't understand to click the pic, click here:

They included more of the funny pictures taken that night which you can like here:

I'm in the camp of Jingle Punks where you can combine fun in business and life. Those who think those two can't work together, guess you haven't read Richard Branson's bio. You know, the Virgin Atlantic CEO, right?

Read his thoughts on life: 

Maybe it will change your mind.:)

And RocketHub has posted their blog coverage of our panel together too which is a nice quick overview of the most salient points which you can read by clicking the RocketHub logo or title below:


Musicians Institute Hosts The State of The New Music Industry Discussion


7:30pm - 9:00pm Musicians Institute 

This week's panel on Thursday, April 21, which I'm moderating again, covers everything you ever wanted to learn about Facebook. Speakers on this week's Facebook Marketing panel include: 

Brad Rockstar
Brad Bogus, Member of SXSW showcased band “Audio Runner” & Social Media Architect for “Speak Social
Joseph Yi VP Marketing Reward Me
Joseph Yi, Social Media & Marketing Solutions Manager – GAGA Sports & Entertainment/VPMarketing – RewardMe 
Hunter Scott
Hunter Scott, Co-Founder/President of La Famos PR & Branding firm and a Musicians Institute Music Business Teacher 
Britton Sparkman - sm
Britton Sparkman, co-founder and lead guitar player for Red Circle Underground are speaking at this week's Facebook marketing panel

You can buy tickets for the April 21 panel, or any of the ensuing panels below:

Come early to enjoy Chef Jack Harding's simply great gourmet food at his Clean Street Food Truck 5:30pm - 7:30pm across from the Concert Hall.  Jharding

@TheJoyWriter's Social Media Seminar Panel @MIHollywood April 7 Recap

By Joy A. Kennelly

Last week's Social Media Seminar I produced with the Musicians Institute on the overview of numerous social media platforms was a blast to moderate. Everyone who attended was raving too over the quality of information presented.

We also enjoyed KabobNRoll and KnockOutTaco Food Truck's delicious food before the panel began. Who knows who will show up next week?!

Kotacotruck2 It was great to finally meet all the panelists in person and see others I haven't seen since Social Media Week last year. Extremely talented, creative, smart and humble...

  Green room6

L-R Evan Lowenstein, Jared Gutstadt, Joy Kennelly, Terra Naomi, Vladimir Vukicevic

Their official bios are posted below to give you more information on their backgrounds and expertise. I read each as they walked out on stage to join the panel and then they each took turns sharing their perspective on social media which was excellent.


MIPanelPost1Photo Credit Michael Twigg

All the panelists were swarmed after the panel with eager audience members continuing their questions and interest in their companies and careers also. Two attendees even wrote into the Artist and Career Services Department after to share their thoughts:

Robb A. "Honestly, I thought the Social Media Seminar was great! I will happily attend the rest of them..."

Remi S.  "I'm so glad I attended this most interesting seminar..."

It was personally very gratifying to have several attendees come up to me and thank me for organizing the series.

Even Musicians Institute staff and faculty commented on how much they learned and enjoyed the session. I knew they would!

Green room with todd
L-R Jared Gutstadt, Evan Lowenstein, Todd Berhorst, Joy Kennelly, Terra Naomi, Vladimir Vukicevic

When you read their bios here below you will see why I was so confident. I add my quick highlights in italics after each:

Evan Lowenstein

Founder & CEO

Recently named to Digital Media Wire’s list of 25 Execs to Watch in Digital Entertainment for 2011, Evan Lowenstein launched StageIt with the goal of creating a web-based platform that would empower artists to deliver and monetize interactive live experiences. While overseeing all aspects of this groundbreaking company as CEO, Lowenstein relies on his nearly 20 years of experience in the music industry as a recording artist, award-winning writer and executive.

Most recently, Lowenstein founded and served as President of HookUp Feed, a premier social networking and mobile marketing company where he still remains as a senior advisor.    

Previously, he hosted USA Network’s Character Road Trip, a weekly series providing viewers with a peek into the greatest "characters" the country has to offer. Lowenstein was also a recording and touring artist with pop/rock band Evan and Jaron who scored three Top 40 hits, including the Top 10 song Crazy For This Girl.

Evan shared a video of StageIt in action showcasing he and his twin brother, Jaron performing in their living room which raised over $1,000 using his program.  His in-depth knowledge of the music business both as a performer and executive was very informative and well-received. His swag included a sticker stating "Show us your Tips." LOL

Jared Gutstadt

Founder - Jingle Punks to Composer, Co-Founder/CEO JinglePunks (composer: Pawn StarsAmerican PickersReal Housewives of Atlanta; JinglePunks placements: Entourage/HBO, 90210/CW, Jackass 3D/film)

Jared Gutstadt is an American music Entrepreneur and C.E.O. of Jingle Punks Music. Jingle Punks Music has been featured in Billboard, Wired, Variety, and his company was named "one of America's most promising start ups" by Business Week.

Jared started Jingle Punks Music after spending a decade balancing a dual career as an editor by day and rockstar by night. After years cutting and composing for many of the TV industry's top networks, it was apparent to Jared that the media had a ravenous appetite for dynamic music collections that would change and grow to reflect cultural trends. Jared also found that the way in which a library is made accessible to a client also would determine how often such a collection would be used. Because a source such as this did not exist he knew there was an enormous opportunity for him to take the lead.

Jared is also the lead singer in two very well known indie bands who now gets his live fix speaking on industry panels mentoring at conferences and keeping a busy schedule of school and Apple store appearances.

Jared's music background as a composer is something he applies to his business and was very happy to share a recent viral marketing success Jingle Punks experienced with an orchestral remake of a Strokes song. This video blew up the Twittersphere and helped raise their profile in numerous ways.

He generously passed out swag to all attendees who asked questions and spoke to him after. I grabbed a Jingle Punks bobble head.:)

Terra Naomi

Terra Naomi became YouTube’s first breakout music star when she launched her innovative “Virtual Summer Tour” from her Hollywood apartment in 2006 & scored an accidental viral hit with her song “Say It’s Possible.” Naomi was the only new artist to perform in Al Gore’s Live Earth at Wembley Stadium after an invitation from the man himself & has toured/performed with The Fray, Martha Wainwright, Tyler Hilton, Sara Bareilles, Corinne Bailey Rae & Natasha Bedingfield.

After releasing her album 'Under the Influence' on Island Universal Records & touring the UK, Terra performed at the newly resurrected Lilith Fair, alongside artists including Colbie Caillat, Miranda Lambert, A Fine Frenzy, Sarah McLachlan & Heart. With songs in several feature films, TV shows such as “Private Practice” & “American Idol,” & a new album in the works, produced by John Alagia (John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Jason Mraz) Terra Naomi is ready to break through to the mainstream in an organic, authentic way.

Terra Naomi has created her own music for years and shared her experiences finding accidental success on YouTube before YouTube was even an everyday channel for everyone. She also shared she bakes cookies for fans in order to raise money to self-fund her music.

Terra is performing at Hotel Cafe on April 19 and decided to go old school passing out postcards promoting her show.

Vladimir Vukicevic

 Vladimir Vukicevic is an entrepreneur and established thought leader in the world of social media and innovation. He has taught Fortune 500 companies how to apply innovative technology, combined pop culture with management theory on his blog, and is the co-founder of RocketHub.

Vlad is the co-author of The Crowdfunding Manifesto, a popular foundational resource for musicians and other artists. Vlad and the RocketHub team share a bold vision: that crowdsourcing funds and brand engagement is the new path to creative empowerment.

 Vlad's company experienced media success on ABC just before the panel and flew all the way in from New York to share his perspective on crowdfunding. RocketHub connects brands and fans with entrepreneurs and creatives seeking funding which was a popular topic.

World Renowned Photographer, Bo Bridges, has 'followed the snow' documenting the seminal moments of Olympiads Jonny Mosely and Picabo Street and has captured athletes Serena Williams, Lance Armstrong, Derek Jeter and Taylor Mays in their respective excellence, to name only a few.

His photographs have been featured in Sports Illustrated, Surfer, Maxim and Fortune Magazines and his ad credits are lengthy; notably ESPN, Gatorade, Coke and Pepsi, Ford, Nike, NBC, Discovery, Sony, Oakley and Interscope Records. Whether it's action sports, fashion, music, or an ad campaign, Bo Bridges delivers the stamp of an Artist with his use of natural light, impossible angles and unique perspectives.


MIPanel1Photo Credit Michael Twigg

Bo Bridges showcased images of Snoop Dogg and the Pussy Cat Dolls on-stage during the panel which you can see here if you look closely. He is an amazing photographer and personal friend I was happy to include that night.

The Musicians Institute Marketing Department has written a comprehensive blog on all the speakers and the discussion of the panel which I will share when it's available.

Look forward to having you join us April 21 to hear our next illustrious panel at the Musicians Institute at 7:30pm. You will walk away entertained, informed, and happy you came.

Buy tickets and read more information here:

The Joy Writer & Musicians Institute Social Media Seminar Panelists Announced Today



Social Media Expert, Joy A. Kennelly, of The Joy Writer, and the Musicians Institute are pleased to announce the panelists confirmed to speak during their Social Media Seminar Series 2011. The five-part instructional seminar series is designed to teach the how-to’s of social media and online marketing. 

The seminars will be held Thursday’s April 7 and 21, May 5 and 19, and June 2, 2011, from 7:30 to 9pm in the Concert Hall of the Musicians Institute located at 6752 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, California 90028

Confirmed Panelists include: 

Founder/CEO, Stageit, Evan Lowenstein, recently named to Digital Media Wire's list of 25 Execs to Watch in Digital Entertainment for 2011 (April 7)

CEO/Co-Founder, Jingle Punks, Jared Gutstadt, named one of "America's Most Promising Startups" by Business Week (April 7)

Co-Founder/CTO, Rockethub, Vladimir Vukicevic, which has been called a "renaissance style of fundraising" by American Songwriter (April 7)

SXSW performer, Audio Runner Band Member & Social Media Architect with Speak Social, Brad Bogus (April 21)

Social Media & Marketing Solutions, Manager GAGA Sports & Entertainment/VP Marketing RewardMeS, Joseph Yi (April 21)

COO/Executive Producer/Host,, Amanda Coolong (May 5)

Photographer/Author/Web Strategist, Kris Krug (May 19)

Managing Partner of TAG Strategic and former Senior VP of Digital Development and Distribution for EMI Music, Ted Cohen (June 2)

More panelists to be announced. 

Each hour and a half program, moderated by Kennelly, will focus on the basics of the social networking tools currently available and feature panels with high-profile entertainment industry executives and technology experts discussing how to utilize current social media platforms, upgrade social media skills and how to brand and market your company, your label or yourself online.

For more details or to buy tickets:

#American Cinematheque & #Social Network Live Present: #Social Networking Seminar for the Film Community November 16, 2010 at 7:30pm #AMCINSNL

By Joy A. Kennelly

  Please note Tickets are available for purchase on Fandango under American CInematheque by clicking this link or at the box office.

Co-presented with Social Network Live

Social Networking Seminar for The Film Community: Filmmakers, Actors, Writers, Agents, Studio Executives

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 7:30pm American Cinematheque Egyptian Theatre

You can’t escape the words "social networks" if you engage in any media format. What are these tools and why does every professional need to use them? Social Media Strategist, Joy A. Kennelly of The Joy Writer will moderate a panel of experts discussing everything from the basics of using social networking tools to creative techniques and tips for more advanced users.

Topics include the latest tools, trends and platforms available to filmmakers, agents, talent and studio executives. Learn how to brand, manage, market and develop a fan base for you or a project with experts in the field.

Panelists include: Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood  Anne-thompson-pic

Born and raised in New York, Anne Thompson has been a contributor to the New York Times, Washington Post, The Observer, and Wired. She has served as film columnist at Variety, and deputy editor of, where her daily blog, “Thompson on Hollywood,” launched in March 2007.  Anne was the Deputy Film Editor at The Hollywood Reporter, the West Coast Editor of Premiere, a Senior Writer at Entertainment Weekly, and West Coast Editor for Film Comment.  She wrote the film industry column “Risky Business” for L.A. Weekly and the Los Angeles Times syndicate.

Follow her on Twitter @akstanwyck

American Cinematheque’s Digital Marketing Strategist, Margot Gerber;   Margot_Gerber

Margot Gerber runs digital strategy for the American Cinematheque's brand (Aero and Egyptian Theatres), as well as release campaigns for foreign and independent films. She has worked for the past 20 years in marketing, publicity and advertising and just when she began to lose interest in traditional publicity, new opportunities arose in the digital arena that captured her imagination. She now spends a disproportionate amount of her time online, monitoring social media.

Follow American Cinematheque on Twitter: @sidgrauman

Founder & CEO of MomentFeed, Rob Reed;  Rob Reed pic

Rob Reed is the founder of MomentFeed, a provider of location-based marketing solutions. The company's Location Engagement Analytics (LEA) platform aggregates data from multiple LBS sources and provides a familiar analytics dashboard for companies with hundreds or thousands of locations to monitor. In addition, MomentFeed provides key insights and reporting on the LBS industry as a whole. Rob is also the founder of, a blog covering social media, geolocation, and sustainability, which has been syndicated to more than 200 blogs including The Huffington Post, Mashable, and Treehugger.

Follow MomentFeed on Twitter: @momentfeed

Take Parts Community, Alliances & Digital Lead  Waiting for ‘Superman’ campaign, Wendy Cohen WCohen_041107
Waiting For Superman banner

 A native of Montreal, Wendy Cohen began her film career as the Programmer and Outreach Coordinator for the Media That Matters Film Festival. As the Manager of Community and Alliances at Participant Media since 2007, Wendy has developed innovative online initiatives for numerous films including Charlie Wilson’s War; and currently runs the digital social action campaign for Waiting for 'Superman,’ a documentary on the American education system. Wendy was the first Community Manager for The Huffington Post in New York City. She believes the combination of storytelling with online activism can lead to great social change.

Follow TakePart on Twitter: @TakePart

and Founder of Film Threat and "Nerdlebrity" Chris Gore. Chris Gore pic

Chris Gore is a writer, filmmaker and a television personality who has built a solid reputation as a hilariously outspoken voice in the film world. As a teenager, Chris founded the legendary Film Threat, which began as a fanzine. He is the author of several books including The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide, The Complete DVD Book and The 50 Greatest Movies Never Made. In addition to being a noted speaker and author, he is the film expert on the G4TV’s Attack of the Show where his weekly movie review segment DVDuesday is among the most popular.

Follow him on Twitter: @ThatChrisGore

Panel Moderator: Joy A. Kennelly of The Joy Writer Joy's headshot

Joy Kennelly's award-winning social media marketing and publicity experience includes page one Google blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), and creative business strategies across multiple platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin & more) for clients in entertainment, travel, technology, fashion, and politics. Past clients include: the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau, Chef David Linville, The Shore Restaurant & Lounge, Original Long Beach Lobster Festival, fine artist Gali Rotstein, Actor Domiziano Arcangeli, Penton Media, the American Institute of Architects, and more. She has presented classes and seminars on social media at Musicians Institute, American Cinematheque, and at conferences throughout the US.

Follow The Joy Writer on Twitter @thejoywriter

EgyptianTheatreBlockLogo - Eventbrite

$20 general admission and $15 student/senior. 

Tickets are available here:

You can also purchase them at the box office Tuesday night.

American Cinematheque Egyptian Theatre is located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028

For more information, please call 310 714-2077.  Look forward to having you join us!

Follow the hashtag #AMCINSNL on Twitter to hear what attendees are sharing.

Checkin on Foursquare when you arrive!

#Personal Branding by #Joy Kennelly, #Seth Godin, and #Dan Schwabel - Introduction #in

By Joy A. Kennelly

After recently experiencing poor leadership in an organization, I began a search to discover what quantifies great leadership and what qualities are common among those who are great leaders.

I focused in on creative leaders and how they lead because of my personal entertainment and fashion background and my own perspective as a leader.

That, and watching the fun times Bret Michaels and Sharon Osbourne had working together on their Celebrity Apprentice Team projects which helped me realize they are leaders even though they don't fit the corporate world's mold of leadership. They actually have fun doing what they're doing which is my main motivation in everything I do too.

This will be a series of posts on some of the things I've learned thus far on those who are successful in branding themselves as leaders others should follow.

My first stop was Borders where I researched the top selling leadership, marketing and success gurus. What I discovered was there were a few prolific authors who rose to the top of this genre like Seth Godin, Robin Sharma, and John C. Maxwell to name a few.

Because I've been tested reading 900 words a minute and am a voracious reader whose personal library would quickly outgrow anywhere I live, I then went to the library to check out books by these men.

I don't know if its gender bias, or if female leadership books fall into a different section of the bookshelf, but I found it interesting there weren't that many, or any, in the leadership category.

I've always worked best with men so it doesn't bother me too much not to read some fluffy female's perspective, but I am still curious to hear if there are any female leadership books out there! Sorry ladies, you know some of you can be fluffy and all warm & cozy don't deny it. lol

My dad wanted boys growing up so we were raised completely different than most little girls and as a result are very independent socially, mentally and relationally. Plus, living and traveling overseas as a child apparently affects the way I look at things too according to Third Culture Kid research.

Or maybe even more telling, we didn't have a TV in the house until I was a Junior in High School and only then because I won it selling the most candy bars (with my sister's help) in a school contest. Not being bombarded by commercials and other society programming of what a girl is supposed to be in your formative years does tend to make you think differently than the average female living in the US I'm learning.

That said, if any of you reading this have any recommendations for female leadership books, please leave a comment as I would love to hear. I am a woman after all and do love learning from everyone.

Moving right along.

After collecting a stack of books to read and starting to read them, I then began searching for others who exhibited leadership qualities with something to say in the online realm in this regard as that's an area of focus for me also as a Social Media Strategist.

The guy who stood out to me immediately was Personal Branding Guru, Dan Schawbel. I'm sure there are others, but his profile and information caught my eye because of his age and his command of personal branding in the corporate world and online space.

In addition to reading and watching webinars, I also plan to start interviewing creative leaders in fashion, entertainment, food, and publishing which should be very interesting. I've also been invited to interview influential Hermosa Beach residents for Patch Hermosa which I'll announce here once they're published.

So, in the ensuing posts I'll be sharing what I've learned thus far and what I know about creative leadership having helped numerous people create their own personal brands as Actors, Fine Artists, Screenwriters, Filmmakers and others.

I'm breaking it up into separate posts because there's a lot of content and I want to give you a more in-depth analysis without overwhelming you with content.

More to come. Stay tuned...