In the News

For decades, publicists have prided themselves on getting their clients quoted in the biggest circulation and most popular publications possible. While that’s certainly a focus at Inkandescent Public Relations, we know that times have changed. Going hyper-local is important, as is having a presence in the social media sphere.

While our clients are regularly featured in such newspapers of record as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London, US News & World Report, Money magazine, Washington Post, and Philadelphia Inquirer — we also get them quoted in,,, and newspapers and magazines that circulate in their communities. Radio and TV is also a popular spot for Inkandescent clients, who have been interviewed on the CBS “Early Show,” NBC News, Fox News, “CNN Money,” “The Kojo Nnamdi Show,” and Federal News Radio, among others. Scroll down to see those media mentions.

Inkandescent PR also has thousands of friends, followers, and contacts in the social media world, where we regularly get the word out about our clients. Friend us today:

Certified Financial Planner Bryan Beatty Featured in Article: "7 Smart Ways to Work With Next-Gen Clients"

Jan. 1, — “Planning for a child’s education is a common goal for advisory clients. But beyond ensuring that a family can cover increasingly expensive college costs, how else can advisors aid their clients’ offspring?” writes reporter Joseph Lisanti.

“Some parents look to a trusted planner to teach younger children about money; others want help for adult children. Advisors, meanwhile, are often eager to develop new relationships with clients’ kids to keep oversight of family assets after a parent’s death.”

In this article he interviews CFP Bryan Beatty, a partner at the Northern VA firm Egan, Berger & Weiner, LLC.

Beatty explains: “Planners must also understand family dynamics, and it’s a very delicate thing. You have to tread lightly and know when you can push and when you can’t. So planners approach the question of helping the next generation in a variety of ways.”

Here are some ideas that can work in your practice.

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What are the Four Most Dangerous Words? Certified Financial Planner Howard Pressman Explains

December 23, 2013, News Channel 8 — Certified Financial Planner Howard Pressman had a college professor who made a big impact when he explained the four most dangerous words when it comes to planning for retirement: “This time it’s different.”

“As investors, it’s important to keep our eyes on our goals,” Pressman explains. “If your goals are one year away or two years away, you would be right to be concerned about what’s going on today. You also shouldn’t have money set aside for this goal invested in volatile investments. On the other hand, if your goals are 10 or more years away, don’t be intimidated by today’s “earth shattering” headlines, and don’t make long-term decisions based on short-term events. It’s really not that different at all—it’s just more recent.”

He shared more of this thoughts with Let’s Talk Live reporter Angela Stribling. Click here to watch the segment. For more information on Pressman’s insights, click here.

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Inkandescent PR founder Hope Katz Gibbs featured on

Dec. 16, 2013, — When Mario Schulzke asked Inkandescent PR founder Hope Katz Gibbs to answer 20 questions, the journalist and PR specialist couldn’t resist.

From “Where did the idea for The Inkandescent Group come from?” to “How do you make money?” she offered ideas and insights she hopes other entrepreneurs can use to Supersize their Small Business, including:

Tell the truth. The biggest PR mistake anyone can make is to be afraid to speak their piece and stand by their word.

Click here to read her the entire Q&A:

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Inkandescent PR founder Hope Katz Gibbs is the December 2013 cover girl of Evolution magazine

Dec. 1, 2013, Evolution magazine — Hope Katz Gibbs was honored to be selected to be the December 2013 cover story of Evolution magazine.

The business and technology magazine published by Darnell Davis features stories about small business owners, who offer their expertise. In this issue, Gibbs asked: “Are You Ready to Be Inkandescent?”

Click here, then scroll to page 16 to read the article on: Evolution magzine.

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Carmen Wu Helps Us Plan Ahead for College on Channel 8's Let's Talk Live

November 25, 2013, News Channel 8 — Are you worried about paying for college?* Financial Advisor Carmen Wu gives you food for thought with these four questions that she answers on today’s episode of Let’s Talk Live:

1. How does an American Family successfully address the challenges of saving for all of their financial needs — raising a family, educating their children and retire successfully?

2. How much do you recommend that a family save each year to afford college for one child? (Please show slide called “The growing cost of a college education.”)

3. How early should parents start savings?

4. What are the best options to save for college?

Don’t miss a moment!

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Interview with Hope Gibbs: Working Writers & Bloggers

Oct. 29, 2013, Working Writers & Bloggers — Reporter Cherie Burbach interviewed freelance writer and PR specialist Hope Katz Gibbs for, the website that helps writers succeed in business.

Questions included: Have you noticed the “feast or famine” world that people think about when they picture freelancing? Many freelancers today work for clients and also supplement that with their own blogs and books. What’s your approach to maintaining a successful freelance career? And, What’s the biggest misconception people have about freelance writers?

Check out the entire interview.

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Sheldon Weiner Explains The Do's and Don'ts For Taking Money Out of Your Retirement Accounts

October 18, 2013 — When it comes to taking money out of your retirement accounts, what are your options?

Is there a problem taking company stock, or is it better to take a lump sum distribution?

Is it a good idea to invest in a Roth IRA?

And, should a traditional IRA may be a better choice? If so, why?

Financial Advisor Sheldon Weiner answers to these questions on the Oct. 18 episode of News Channel 8’s Let’s Talk Live. Don’t miss it.

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Hope Gibbs offers insights into "How to Use LinkedIn’s New Channels to Grow Your Business"

Oct. 15, 2013, Vertical Response — “Social media’s most professional network is rolling out a new feature that could help your business grow,” writes reporter Lisa Fergison. “LinkedIn users can now follow channels, which are broken into broad-based topics such as marketing strategies, higher education and healthcare. Once you follow a channel, it shows up on your home feed.”

In this article, she asks PR expert Hope Katz Gibbs “How to Use LinkedIn’s New Channels to Grow Your Business.”

Click here to read the interview.

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Bank of America interviews PR Expert Hope Katz Gibbs on how to get the best exposure for your business

September 27, 2013, Bank of America Small Business Community — In today’s Bank of America feature article, reporter Robert Lerose interviewed PR expert Hope Katz Gibbs on the secrets of getting the best exposure for your business.

“The elevator speech—a statement that sums up what your business does in 60 seconds or less—seems to be a staple of marketing today,” Lerose explains. “It’s also a reminder for business owners to use every opportunity to make a clear, memorable impression on their clients and prospects.”

Don’t miss his Q&A with Hope Katz Gibbs, author of the upcoming book, PR Rules: The Playbook.

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CBS MoneyWatch interviews InkandescentPR client Sharon Armstrong on "4 Ways to Find a New Job Offline, in a digital age"

September 12, 2013, CBS MoneyWatch — “Do you feel like you’re spending 24/7 on the computer, applying to job after job and constantly tweaking your online profiles, but are no closer to securing a new position?” asks CBS MoneyWatch reporter Amy Levin-Epstein, who interviewed HR expert Sharon Armstrong on some things you can do offline that will be complementary to your online efforts.

Armstrong’s advice: “Work with headhunters. Utilizing these professionals can not only help you get an interview, but also a competitive salary once you’re the one that they want. It behooves them to get you the highest salary since their fee is based on it. The downside is that they will present several qualified candidates. That is a minor drawback.”

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IRAs 101: Certified Financial Planner Michael Egan Gives Us Insight Into Saving for Retirement

September 10, 2013 — In this episode of Let’s Talk Live, Certified Financial Planner MIchael Egan talks with News Channel 8 reporter Sonya Gavankar about:

  • What are the different types of IRAs?
  • What are the contribution limits for 2013?
  • Are beneficiary designations that important?
  • What are the distribution rules?

Click here for his important insights.

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Bank of America interviews InkandescentPR client Sharon Armstrong on how to find the best hires in the post-recession

August 23, 2013, Bank of America Small Business Community — In today’s feature article, reporter Robert Lerose interviewed HR expert Sharon Armstrong about the best places for employers to look for new hires.

“Over this past summer, the unemployment rate has slowly been ticking down and, increasingly, employers seem to be in a hiring mode,” Lerose explains. “But as small businesses restart the hiring process, the challenge to find qualified candidates will likely take up more of their time and energy.”

Don’t miss Armstrong’s insights into what’s different today than before the recession, tips on interviewing well, and how a small business can distinguish itself in the minds of job applicants.

Plus, be sure to download Armstrong’s free report: 100 Best Interview Questions.

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Bryan Beatty Offers Insights on the Future of Volatility in the Financial Markets

August 15, 2013 — Since Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced the Fed’s intention to taper the bond-buying program, know as quantitative easing (QE), the bond market has seen record flows out of all bond asset classes.No sector was spared.

What is happening?

In this episode of Let’s Talk Live, Certified Financial Planner Bryan Beatty talks with reporter Sonya Gavankar about:

1. Why would rising rates cause a more volatile market?
2. What is the real world impact of rising rates?
3. How can you protect yourself against increased volatility?
4. Is there a silver lining reason to embrace this kind of volatility?

Don’t miss their interesting conversation!

For more details on this important topic, click here to read Bryan’s column in the August 2013 issue of Be Inkandescent magazine.

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CBS MoneyWatch interviews InkandescentPR client Sharon Armstrong on: "Leaving your job? How to start the conversation"

Aug. 5, CBS MoneyWatch — “You don’t have to be a career coach or a seasoned executive to know you don’t want to burn bridges when leaving your job,” says reporter Amy Levin-Epstein in today’s CBS MoneyWatch article. “But if you’re even considering jumping ship, you may be fretting the conversation. Will it be awkward — or worse, confrontational and damaging to your reputation?”

She interviewed HR expert Sharon Armstrong, who said:

Share what you’re doing to ease the transition. The best way to avoid burning bridges is to make your leaving as easy as possible on everyone left behind. That’s why Sharon Armstrong, author of “The Essential Performance Review Handbook,” advises saying, “I’m in the process of finishing up all my projects and will leave detailed notes on the status of each. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions.”

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Investment News interviews InkandescentPR client Bryan Beatty on "Advisers lean toward Yellen for Fed post over Summers"

Aug. 3, Investment News — “As the Federal Reserve winds down the massive bond-buying program that has kept interest rates low for years, its next chairman will have to excel in people skills, making Janet Yellen the best choice, according to investment advisers,” explains legislation and regulations reporter Mark Schoeff Jr., in today’s issue of Investment News.

For insights, he interviewed Bryan Beatty, a partner at Egan Berger & Weiner LLC.

Although he predicts that the Obama administration will want a “dovish” Fed chair, Beatty wants the next leader to raise interest rates.

“What we need more than anything is healthy savings — real money at the banks,” Beatty said. “It would be very beneficial for spending in our economy if [savers] got a little interest on their money and not have to risk it so much. [The Fed] is fixated on the asset side rather than the disposable-income side.”

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The Future of Long-Term Insurance: Dave Beck Shares Insights on Let's Talk Live!

July 19, 2013 — What is long term care insurance and what does it cover?

Does everyone need long term care insurance and will the new healthcare law have any impact on long term care?

And, what is a partnership policy and should that be important to every aging American?

Those are some of the questions that insurance expert Dave Beck answered when he was interviewed by reporter Sonya Gavankar on the July 19 episode of Let’s Talk Live!

“Dave is a partner at Egan, Berger & Weiner LLC in Northern VA, has decades of experience working in the insurance and financial advising industry,” Gavankar told the audience. “He and the other partners at EBW always make understanding retirement-related issues easier to understand.”

Click here to watch the entire interview.

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Howard Pressman On Bonds: How to be Safe vs. Sorry

June 21, 2013 — The Bond Issue. We all know it’s an option to buy bonds vs. stocks—but what is the best investment?

“Since 2007, investors have poured almost $1.4 trillion dollars into bond funds; I presume this was done in an attempt to be safe,” says Howard Pressman, a Certified Financial Planner at Egan, Berger & Weiner, LLC. “But are these investors truly safe, or will they be sorry?”

In this interview on Let’s Talk Live, Pressman explains to reporter Sonya Gavankar:

1. What investors have done differently since the market fall in 2008.
2. If there are dangers in this type of behavior.
3. If you can lose money in bonds, what a better approach might be.
4. How investors can protect themselves.

Don’t miss a single minute of this informative interview! Click here to watch.

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Insurance Expert Dave Beck featured in Bankrate article, "How dangerous hobbies can affect life insurance rates"

June 14, 2013, Bankrate — Reporter Rachel Hartman writes, “Jumping out of planes, scuba diving, and deep sea fishing can lead to more than weekend thrills. They may also affect what you’ll pay when you take out a life insurance policy.”

In this article for Bankrate, she interviews Egan, Berger & Weiner partner and insurance expert Dave Beck about how to buy life insurance if you participate in a dangerous hobby.

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Making Medicare Work for You: Michael Egan Offers Insight

April 19, 2013 — When Financial Planner MIchael Egan appeared on today’s episode of Let’s Talk Live! today on News Channel 8, reporter Sonya Gavankar asked him to explain:

1. What is Medicare? Explain the different parts.
2. Is there a deadline for an individual to enroll in Medicare coverage?
3. Is Medicare the only coverage an individual needs?
4. If you have Medicare and supplemental coverage, then you are fully covered, right?
5. How do you enroll for Medicare?

Egan impressed the audience and producers with his expertise and ability to explain the complicated concepts. Click here to watch this interesting episode!

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Sheldon Weiner Answers the Question: Do you need Guaranteed Income in Retirement?

March 29, 2013 — Egan, Berger & Weiner partner Sheldon Weiner, Let’s Talk Live reporter Sonya Gavankar picks the brain of the financial adviser to find out if we really need guaranteed income in retirement.

Weiner offers insight into:

  1. How important is guaranteed income in retirement?
  2. What exactly are your sources of income in retirement?
  3. What do you mean by withdrawal rates?
  4. At Egan, Berger & Weiner, how do you structure your retirement income?

Click here to watch this 5-minute interview.

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In the News: Lyndsey DePalma's House of Steep Featured in The Washington Post

March 12, 2013, Washington Post — “Most eateries have a place to sit down while your takeout order is being prepared,” writes Food editor Nevin Martell. “It’s exceedingly rare that a foot bath is recommended to help pass the time. But that’s what happens at House of Steep, which opened last September in Arlington.”

He adds: “The narrow space offers something of a triple play: teahouse and cafe in the front, “foot sanctuary” in the back. The concept was developed by 31-year-old Arlingtonian Lyndsey DePalma, who says she was inspired by her great-grandmother.”

DePalma explains: “She soaked her feet every day, lived to a ripe old age, was healthy as a horse and had a happy life. So I thought there might be something to the whole foot soaking business.”

Click here to read the entire review.

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In the News: Sheldon Weiner featured in the Wall Street Journal: "Utilizing a Client's Only Major Asset"

March 5, 2013, Wall Street Journal — Sheldon Weiner is featured in today’s issue of The Wall Street Journal, in an article by reporter Niki Reading entitled, “Utilizing a Client’s Only Major Asset.”

The 65-year-old woman had recently lost her husband, and a significant chunk of her monthly income. The husband’s pension didn’t include survivor benefits, and the widow’s own Social Security and pension benefits provided just $2,000 in monthly income—far less than her $4,000 in monthly expenses. With only $35,000 in a bank account and a $25,000 annuity, she was on pace to run out of money before she turned 80.

“She certainly didn’t have enough to last a normal lifetime, and she recognized that,” says Sheldon Weiner, a fee-based financial planner at Egan, Berger & Weiner in Vienna, Va., which manages $300 million for about 400 clients.

When she was referred to Mr. Weiner by a friend, the woman told the adviser that her accountant recommended selling her only remaining significant asset: A piece of vacant farmland her husband had bought in the 1950s.

There were two problems with that plan.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Dealing with the Bad and Ugly of Customer Feedback from Entrepreneurs and Business Owners

“There is one thing that every worker, entrepreneur and business owner has experienced firsthand,” writes reporter Ashley Poulter on CEO Blog Nation.

“It doesn’t matter if you are at the top of your game in the business world or just getting your startup off its training wheels, you have still been there: bad customer feedback. There is that one customer who can’t be pleased or falls through the cracks of customer service and greets you with negative feedback about your business. They say you can’t please everyone, but you do have to deal with those you can’t.”

So how do you deal with bad customer feedback? Below are some tips from business owners and entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneur Hope Katz Gibbs advises: Keep calm and carry on

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In the News: Sheldon Weiner featured in cover story of Research magazine

March 2013, Research magazine — Egan, Berger & Weiner founding partner Sheldon Weiner is featured in this month’s issue of Research magazine in an article entitled, “Stocks: A Hard Sell.”

This cover story of the publication, written by Ellen Uzelac, explains that client enthusiasm for equities has evaporated. How are advisors responding?

Sheldon Weiner said: “Stocks have been a hard sell, but they shouldn’t be. They run in cycles and they have for several hundred years. Back in 2002 or so, Warren Buffett was asked by a reporter, ‘Who in their right mind would put money in the stock market right now? His answer was ‘the millionaire of tomorrow.’ That hasn’t changed.”

Click here to read the entire article.

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Bryan Beatty on Inflation: How Does It Impact Your Retirement Plan?

February 22, 2013 — On the Feb. 22 episode of “Let’s Talk Live!,” financial planner Bryan Beatty talks about the complicated topic of inflation with reporter Sonya Gavankar.

An expert on the topic, Beatty clarified some of the more confusing details of what inflation is, and how it applies to a retirement plan.

Beatty shared the nitty-gritty with Gavankar, who asked:

  1. First, the concept of inflation is something that most people think they understand, but on deeper investigation may not necessarily. Can you explain how inflation works in a way that is easy to understand?
  2. What causes inflation?
  3. Is this a win-lose situation? Specifically, who wins when inflation is high, and who loses? Conversely, who wins and loses when inflation is low?
  4. Now, the million-dollar question: In a retirement plan, why is inflation expectation important?

Click here to watch the entire episode on Let’s Talk Live!.

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IN THE NEWS: Sharon Armstrong on "HR should know: 3 things to always share"

MoneyWatch, Jan. 4, 2013 — In today’s issue of CBS News’ MoneyWatch, our client Sharon Armstrong, an HR expert and co-author of The Essential HR Handbook, offers advice on the topic, “HR should know: 3 things to always share.”

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Sheldon Weiner Asks: Will You Run Out of Money Before You Run Out of Life?

January 4, 2013 — Egan, Berger & Weiner founding partner Sheldon Weiner knows that since 2008, it has been tough for people to feel confident about their retirement savings. To make matters more complicated, many people are behind in their retirement planning. So what can you do?

In this episode of “Let’s Talk Live!,” Weiner explains:

  • Why statistics show that it truly has gotten tougher to save for retirement.
  • Why so many people are behind in their retirement planning.
  • Tips to help us reach retirement with peace of mind.

Click here to view Weiner’s interview.

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IN THE NEWS: Hope Gibbs interviewed on "The Resilient Brain"

How can you get in front of reporters, and talk to them so they care about your story?

On the Dec. 1 episode of “The Resilient Brain,” the Blog Talk Radio show hosted Kathy Kitts, Inkandescent PR founder Hope Katz Gibbs participated in a strategy session to help the audience learn to think like a reporter, and get your company in the news.

Hope also discussed whether getting in the news is the best use of your PR energy and budget—and what it really takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

Click here to listen to the show.

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Michael Egan Answers the Question: Is Social Security Going Broke?

November 30, 2012 — Certified Financial Planner™ professional Michael Egan is an expert in traversing the Social Security system in helping his clients plan ahead for retirement.

In this episode of “Let’s Talk Live!,” Egan explains:

  • Social Security is not going bankrupt. Here’s why.
  • You can actually be eligible for up to three different benefits during your lifetime. What are these?
  • You know that most people think Social Security checks really do not mean that much. But Egan insists that’s not true. In fact, they have two big benefits. What are they?
  • Since Social Security is a complicated system, it requires a significant amount of planning before you file for benefits. What are some filing tips?

Click here to view Egan’s interview.

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IN THE NEWS: Bryan Beatty Featured in the Wall Street Journal

November 8, 2012, Wall Street Journal — In today’s Wall Street Journal, financial advisor Bryan Beatty talks about the Dangers of High-Yield Investments.

“The Federal Reserve is keeping short-term interest rates at near zero levels and very few foreign central banks have interest rates much above 1%,” he explains. “Finding themselves in a challenging environment in which to derive income from their stocks and bonds, many retirees think they’ve found a solution in the form of high-yield investments such as real-estate investment trusts. But they’ve actually taken on a lot more risk than they realize.”

Click here to read the entire article in the Wall Street Journal.

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Bryan Beatty Explains: If You Are Self-Employed, How Much Should You Be Saving for Retirement?

November 21, 2012 — Certified Financial Planner™ professional Bryan Beatty, CFP®, a partner at the Northern Virginia firm Egan, Berger & Weiner, LLC, stars in this segment on News Channel 8’s “Let’s Talk Live” show.

In this episode, Bryan Beatty explains:

  • If you are self-employed, is there something special you need to do to save for retirement—especially in a way that offers tax advantages?
  • Whether you are self-employed or not, exactly how easy or difficult is it to set up or maintain a retirement plan?
  • What is the difference between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA? And are there any other retirement plans that self-employed people should be aware of?
  • Exactly how much does the average person really need to save for retirement?

Click here to view Beatty’s interview.

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IN THE NEWS: Sharon Armstrong Tells Entrepreneur magazine: "How to Make a Poor Performance Review More Effective"

October 12, 2012, Entrepreneur magazine — Sharon Armstrong, author of “The Essential Performance Review Handbook,” shared her wisdom today with reporter Gwen Moran on the topic, “How to Make a Poor Performance Review More Effective.”

Armstrong says: “Being consistent in giving performance reviews can be tough when you’re delivering a not-so-great review,” and offers four tips to make the process less painful.

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IN THE NEWS: Bryan Beatty Featured on Video News Show, Business Battery Pack

October 5, 2012, — “When you run your own business, you are a master juggler,” financial advisor Bryan Beatty told the hosts of today.

He advised listeners how proper retirement planning can enhance your business,
how to become more confident and manage the daily risks that are essential to your growth, how a sound financial plan can attract more quality employees.

“The keys to creating a retirement plan without depending on Social Security,” Beatty insisted.

For more tips from Beatty on “How to Free Yourself from the Social (in)Security Trap and Secure Your Retirement,” click here.

For more information about this video news show for entrepreneurs, visit

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IN THE NEWS: Hope Katz Gibbs featured on Business Battery Pack TV

September 28, 2012, — “The first thing you should do when you start a business is get a client,” public relations expert Hope Katz Gibbs of Inknadescent PR told the hosts of today.

“A lot of times when people want to take the leap into entreprenuership they tend to lean towards something that they do as a hobby or are really passionate about,” Gibbs added. “But if in the end you don’t have a legitimate client or person trading you money for your services then is it really a business?”

Host Frank Do noted: “This is one of my favorite quotes from the Business Battery Pack hangout session with Public Relations expert Hope Katz Gibbs,

Click here to watch the broadcast.

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IN THE NEWS: Sharon Armstrong featured in MoneyWatch Article, "How to tell what a company can afford to pay"

August 15, 2012, MoneyWatch — “Given the tight labor market, it’s tempting to immediately accept any job offer you might get,” writes CBS News reporter Amy Levin-Epstein. “But how can you tell if a prospective employer is making the best financial offer for the position in question?”

To figure out if a company is low-balling you, she interviewed Sharon Armstrong, author of The Essential HR Handbook, and owner of Sharon Armstrong & Associates, who says, “Do your due diligence.”

Click here to read the entire article.

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IN THE NEWS: Sharon Armstrong featured in AmericanExpress OPEN Forum article: "4 Tips to an Effective Employee Review"

August 15, 2012, American Express OPEN Forum — An article on “4 Tips to an Effective Employee Review,” in today’s edition of American Express OPEN featured Sharon Armstrong, author of The Essential HR Handbook.

Her advice: Schedule frequent discussions. “Reviews can be stressful when employees don’t know what to expect and employers aren’t sure how to break news,” Armstrong says. “Take the edge off by scheduling frequent performance chats with your employee.”

Click here to read the entire article.

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IN THE NEWS: Hope Katz Gibbs featured on

August 9, 2012, — Entrepreneur and PR specialist Hope Katz Gibbs was featured today on, a website that interviews entrepreneurs from all walks, across all industries, and from around the world.

“We focus on their habits and methods; what makes them tick,” says founder Brian Null, noting M.O. is the abbreviation for Modus Operandi or Method of Operating and we interview entrepreneurs to learn about their methods and to share their strategies and business philosophies with our readers.

“We’re entrepreneurs ourselves and we get energized talking with others that have traveled down the same path of launching a new business or folks that are just about to embark on the adventure of starting a business,” he says.

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IN THE NEWS: Financial Planner Bryan Beatty Featured in Financial Planning Magazine Article, "Girding for Inflation"

Aug. 1, 2012, — “Experts disagree about whether the economy is in an inflationary cycle, but advisors can offer clients ways to brace for it,” writes reporter Joseph Lisanti in today’s issue of

Financial planner Bryan Beatty of Egan, Berger & Weiner, LLC in Vienna VA, says commodities are widely seen as an economic canary in a coal mine.

“The very first place inflation always shows up is in commodities,” says Beatty. “But they aren’t a panacea for inflation, he adds. When prices rise so high that they choke the economy, commodity bull markets can end abruptly. They can easily collapse if that inflation causes a recession.

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Morley Winograd featured on Diane Rehm Show

July 27, NPR — In a discussion about “Political Implications Of Today’s Generation Gap,” generations expert Morley Winograd joined David Leonhardt Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, and Karlyn Bowman, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute on the Diane Rehm Show today.

“Some say the gap between younger and older Americans over economic, social and political issues is wider than at any time since the the 1960s,” said Rehm. “We explore what this could mean for federal spending priorities and the outcome of the 2012 election.”

Click here to listen to the broadcast:

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In the News: Hope Gibbs explains, "How to Develop Your Entrepreneurial Mind"

May 30, 2012, The Network Journal — In today’s edition of The Network Journal, reporter Ann Brown explained how entrepreneurs can develop their creative minds.

“Some of the most successful businesspeople are those who think outside of the box,” she writes, and quotes Inkandescent PR’s founder Hope Gibbs about some of the steps needed to accomplish that goal.

“Creativity is the key to making any dream come true. Innovation in business is obviously driven by imagination,” Gibbs says. “But do keep in mind that all of the creative thinking in the world won’t make a business successful. A strategic plan, with goals and a timeline, is the key to turning the best ideas into reality.”

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IN THE NEWS: The Washington Post writes, "ACT College president defends late aid payments"

The Washington Post, April 11, 2012 — Washington Post reporter Daniel de Vise posted an entry on his blog, College Inc., today explaining the position of ACT College president Jeffrey Moore.

De Vise explained: “The president of ACT College, a for-profit higher education provider shut down last week for alleged federal aid violations, says the institution never intentionally withheld aid dollars from students.

“The Northern Virginia college closed its three campuses after the U.S. Education Department revoked its access to federal aid, a deal-breaker for any institution. Federal officials alleged the college “routinely and flagrantly” flouted the rules by withholding hundreds of thousands of aid dollars from students.” Click here to read the entire article.

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IN THE NEWS: InkandescentPR featured in article: "Small Business PR: Unique Goals and Challenges"

January 25, 2011, PR Newswire — “If there’s one thing that every small business can benefit from at one point or another,” writes PR Newswire columnist Grace Lavigne in an article entitled, Small Business PR: Unique Goals and Challenges.

“But it definitely takes a different approach to help a small company or ‘solopreneur’ than it does a larger firm,” says PR specialist Hope Katz Gibbs, founder and president of Inkandescent Public Relations. The trick, says Gibbs, is to help clients avoid what she calls the “Trifecta of Small Business Failure,” which is when they have one of these three attitudes.”

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IN THE NEWS: Amy Steindler featured on Page 1 of Business section" "Annapolis woman quits Wall Street to help others"

Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012, Annapolis Capital — Our Life Coaching expert Amy Steindler was featured on the front page of the Business section of the Annapolis Capital today in an article entitled, “Annapolis woman quits Wall Street to help others.”

“Looking back, Amy Steindler can admit that she knew a finance career wasn’t for her, even before the market tanked,” writes reporter Shantee Woodards. “The Annapolis resident had been caught up in the prestige of being a wealth adviser, but knew she wanted to do something more creative. So Steindler quit her job and spent more than a year re-evaluating her life.”

Inkandescent’s Hope Gibbs is also interviewed.

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IN THE NEWS: Sharon Armstrong featured on CBS' Money Watch

Jan. 7, 2012, Money Watch — “Do you view HR as the enemy, doing recognizance for Corporate? Or do you see your HR rep as Michael Scott did Toby—someone who tries to suck the fun out of the office?” asks CBS’ Money Watch reporter Amy Levin-Epstein. “While human resources teams can often lubricate sticky work situations and help build strong office relationships, they’re often viewed less generously by staff.”

But what is the most challenging part of the job? Epstein asked Inkandescent PR’s client Sharon Armstrong, co-author of The Essential HR Handbook.

Nowhere is this more clear than in the comments section of a story I posted a few months ago, 4 Things Never To Share With HR. But is such distrust really warranted? How do HR folks themselves view their position on the corporate ladder, and the criticism they might face? I asked four career experts — all former HR professionals — about their past professions (the good, the bad, and, at times, ugly). Here are their candid responses.

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Dylan Gibbs, 12, Blogs for the Life is good Playmakers about raising $2150

October 31, 2011 — “Dylan Gibbs Raised $2,150 for the Life is good Playmakers — and you can, too!” is the headline on the Life is good Playmakers blog, that appeared as today’s entry.

Click here to read that. Or click to read more to see the entire entry, inside.

To learn more about the Life is good Playmakers, check out our interview with Chief Playmaker, Steve Gross, in the September issue of Be Inkandescent Magazine.

And learn more about the creation, philosophy, and long-term goals of the Boston-based Life is good Company by reading our interview with co-founder, Bert Jacobs, our September Entrepreneur of the Month.

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Hope Katz Gibbs featured in article

In a December 2011 article for, reporter Linda DiProperzio writes about how interfaith families across the U.S. celebrate the winter holidays.

“One thing that can make the process easier is discussing with your spouse what each of you would like to do to celebrate your respective religion during the holidays,” she explains. “Whether it’s decorating the house or attending services, work out all the details well before the season begins.”

When interviewed, I told Linda about our way of mixing my Jewish roots with my husband Mike’s Catholic upbringing. Linda shared:

Hope Katz Gibbs, a mom from Arlington, VA, makes sure her house is decorated for both Hanukkah and Christmas, and isn’t afraid to combine the two. “Our tree is decorated with popsicle-stick ornaments in the shape of Jewish stars,” she reveals.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Chefs Kim and Edgar Alvarez of Avenida Restaurant Star on CBS Philly's "Talk Live"

Chefs Kim and Edgar Alvarez of Avenida Restaurant impressed CBS Philly viewers, and “Talk Philly” co-host Pat Ciarrocchi when they appeared on the Nov. 22 noon show entitled, “Alternative Holiday Dishes.”

On the menu was Turkey Mole, Roasted Pumpkin Soup with toasted pepitas, Chorizo Corn Bread Stuffing, and Vanilla Flan. Click here to view the broadcast.

If you’d like the chefs to prepare your Holiday feast this Christmas, Hannukah or New Year’s Eve, check out Avenida’s 2011 Holiday Catering Menu.

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IN THE NEWS: Sharon Armstrong featured in Inc. Magazine, "It's August. Time for Employee Reviews?"

August 19, 2011, Inc. Magazine — “An old joke among human resources professionals is that employee reviews are like fruitcakes. They come once a year whether you want them to or not,” writes Inc. Magazine reporter Elizabeth Sile in her article, It’s August. Time for Employee Reviews?

Because these reviews remain necessary evils, Shile turned to Sharon Armstrong, author of The Essential Performance Review Handbook, for advice.

Armstrong said, “It is crucial to gather as many specific examples of good and bad behavior as possible and collect objective information on employee performance. This shouldn’t be done right before a performance appraisal meeting; rather, achievements and slip-ups must be tracked throughout the year.”

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IN THE NEWS: Mimi Darmstadter Featured in Washington Post Express

August 15, 2011, Washington DC — Career transition coach Mimi Darmstadter knows the statistics. Since December 2007, 8.8 million people have lost their jobs, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor.

While devising a plan for an alternative “safety net” career is easier said than done, she told Washington Post Express reporter Nevin Martell this week that you can take steps now to find the perfect next career—even if you haven’t lost your job.

“Soul-searching is hard,” Darmstadter says. “I force people to ask themselves the tough questions: ‘What do I want to be when I grow up?’ ‘What’s important to me?’ ‘What are the implications for other people?’”

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Alice Waagen is featured in Philadelphia Inquirer / article: "Hire Authority"

“When leaders are looking to fill a staff vacancy, I suggest they start by creating an organizational staffing or resource plan,” says Alice Waagen, president and founder of the Washington, D.C.-based management training firm Workforce Learning. Think of it as a shopping list, not a wish list, created to fill specific needs for specific purposes, based on an actual inventory, not an ideal.

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Bryan Beatty Featured In Northern Virginia magazine: "Dodd-Frank—Congress takes a closer look at how money men work with you."

May 25, 2011, Northern Virginia magazine — In her article, Dodd-Frank—Congress takes a closer look at how money men work with you, reporter Amanda Millward writes:

After the demise of the financial sector—stock market crash, Enron and Worldcom scandals, housing market collapse, Madoff Ponzi Scheme, ETC.—it’s no wonder that the public is skeptical about entrusting their money to industry representatives. Many don’t understand the different roles financial professionals can play, or the amount of education they should have. It’s important for consumers to know as much as possible about their financial planners and how they work. And while the average person does a bit of homework, congress is working to ensure anyone who dubs him/herself as a financial pro is putting the consumers’ best interests first.

They were watched, but were they watched close enough? She asked financial planner Bryan Beatty to weigh in.

Beatty said: “They haven’t done any real work on the regulations to sort of control any behavior to [the] client adviser since the 1940 Act. [The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act] is going to change the industry.”

That’s not all! Click here to read the entire article.

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IN THE NEWS: Alice Waagen is featured on "Who's the Boss?"

May 3, 2011, Philadelphia Inquirer — To determine whether management is for you, ask yourself three questions about your current position, says Dr. Alice Waagen: How much do you love what you do? Can you be happy not doing it? Can you stand watching people do it less capably?

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IN THE NEWS: Scott Golden featured in article, "The ROI Of Getting In Shape"

April 2011, Ask Men magazine — “If you’re not motivated to get in shape, consider this: Fit men get hotter girls, earn more money and outshine their coworkers,” writes reporter James Fell in this month’s issue of Men’s Health.

“It’s not all about being pretty when it comes to making money off getting in shape; you can save cash just from being healthy,” he notes, and for evidence interviewed Scott Golden of Golden & Cohen LLC, about how healthier people save money on life, health and disability insurance. He told me that when it comes to life insurance, a really healthy guy with a good family history can garner the “super preferred” rate, which translated from insurance-speak means, “Sure, we’ll take your money because we don’t think you’re going to die any time soon.”

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IN THE NEWS: Sharon Armstrong Answers the Question, "Can bad spelling ruin your chances of landing a job?"

March 10, 2011, — “Can bad spelling ruin your chances of landing a job?,” asks reporter Rachel Farrell. “Almost every time you hear about mistakes to avoid in your résumé or cover letter, you see the same things: lying about your experience, providing too much information or using the same generic résumé for every application. We also preach about spelling,” she writes.

“Excellent communication skills can pave the way to promotions for employees,” says Sharon Armstrong, president, Sharon Armstrong and Associates. “If you are a life-long learner, you’ll continue to work on the skills that will help you grow and develop. Any company that cares about their ‘brand’ will be put off by bad spelling. A company that cares about the details will want to always show a professional image.”

“Read the entire article here.:

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e-GLAM Founder Robin McDougal Has It in the Bag

March 2011, Be Inkandescent Magazine — After spending 25 years working as an educator and marketing executive, Robin McDougal married her understanding of education with her flair for fashion in 2001 when she founded e-GLAM, a company that manufactures fashionable business products and sells them to the wholesale market. Her mantra: “Pursue your dreams in style.”

That philosophy put her in the company of Marie Osmond in 2008 when the pop icon hosted the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women — Untold Stories of the Heart campaign.

“Participating in Go Red For Women provided me with an opportunity to combine my passion for education, women’s health, and fashion, with my desire to give back through e-GLAM,” says Robin. “It was an incredible opportunity to share my laptop handbags with the world.”

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IN THE NEWS: Dr. Alice Waagen is profiled at, "When an HR Consultant Loses a Key Contact"

January 18, SHRM — “HR consulting is a relationship business, which can be both good and bad,” writes reporter Lin Grensing-Pophal in today’s issue of SHRM.

For the bright side, she interviewed Dr. Alice Waagen, founder and president of Workforce Learning, who explained: “I am very pleased when a client of mine leaves their current position to join a new organization. I see their transition as potentially increasing my client base with a new organization.”

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IN THE NEWS: Culinaria Cooking School Chef Stephen Sands on WUSA 9

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IN THE NEWS: features Culinaria Cooking School, "Made in Vienna"

January 19, 2011, — reporter Christine Neff featured Culinaria Cooking School in an article that explained CEO / Chef Stephen Sand’s belief anyone can cook and cook well – with the knowledge of basic techniques. “The techniques translate from country to country, recipe to recipe. If you have those, it doesn’t matter what you attempt,” Sands said.

Neff wrote, “This chef and retired engineer has been teaching cooking classes to people of all skill levels for many years now and claims to have never repeated a recipe in his courses.”

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IN THE NEWS: Roxanne Ladd quoted in US News & World Report, "Best Careers of 2011"

December 6, 2010, US News & World Report — Congratulations to our client, and Be Inkandescent Events columnist, Roxanne Rukowicz Ladd of Behind the Scenes Events, who was quoted in US News and World Report this week about “Best Careers in 2011.”

Roxanne said: “Take every opportunity to break into the field, even if it means catering or volunteering with a florist. You’ll build an appreciation for the time on your feet and what it takes to pull off a gig. All experience is good experience and will serve you well in becoming a more rounded candidate for a position.”

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IN THE NEWS: writes, "Business Profile: The Bagelry Popular for Black Friday Breakfast"

November 26, 2010, Colesville Patch — Got the Black Friday Blues? In today’s issue of the Colesville Patch, reporter Catherine Krikstan offers salvation in her article about The Bagelry, owned by Steven and Tracy Brecher.

“When it comes to Thanksgiving, most people are concerned with just one meal: dinner. But when stomachs start to rumble for breakfast on Black Friday, Colesville residents can turn to the Bagelry,” Krikstan writes.

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IN THE NEWS: Urgent care open for business on Columbia Pike

November 23, 2010, — In today’s issue of TDB Neighborhoods, reporter Rebecca Cooper writes about Simplicity Urgent Care, the newest medical office on 3263 Columbia Pike Arlington, VA, which opened its doors on Nov. 22.

“Co-founder, Dr. John Jones, says he hopes people will take advantage of the clinic’s services during the upcoming week if their regular doctors are unavailable due to the holiday,” she said.

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IN THE NEWS: The Vienna Connection writes, "Cooking School Opens in Heart of Vienna"

November 11, 2010, Vienna Connection — Soon after Culinaria Cooking School opened its doors on Nov. 7, Vienna Connection reporter Donna Manz wrote an article noting:

“Hundreds of friends, family and supporters turned out to celebrate with the owners and staff and share. An array of sweet and savory finger foods and bottles of flowing wine didn’t hurt the camaraderie, either.

“Between the two co-founders, there is more than thirty years of culinary experience, and many of the guests go back 20 to 30 years with co-founders Stephen Sands and Pete Snaith.”

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IN THE NEWS: "Patch Answers: Colesville Bagelry Changing Hands?"

November 8, 2010, Colesville Patch — In today’s issue of the Colesville Patch, reporter Rob H. writes about the new owner of The Bagelry, Steven Brecher, who took over the popular bagel shop from former owners last month.

He writes: “Just learned that The Bagelry on Vital Way changed hands a couple of weeks ago. Inquiring Colesvillians (and longtime Bagelry customers) want to know who’s new and where our old friends are going! Last month, the former owners of The Bagelry sold the landmark breakfast shop. After seven years of ownership, Ricky and Neva Silverstein decided that running the restaurant had become far too tough.”

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In the News: Alice Waagen featured on the Daily HR Solution

Oct. 18, 2010, Daily HR Solution — Today’s Daily HR Solution entry featured Dr. Alice Waagen, president and founder of the management training company, Workforce Learning.

In a Q&A with author Mary White, Alice answered a handful of questions including:

What are some of the unique challenges HR practitioners face when it comes to working with managerial level employees?

Alice said: Since the human resource manager’s main job is to keep the company safe from a liability lawsuit, we become de facto managers when the managers don’t manage well. And it happens all the time. In fact, in an interview with Inc. magazine in August, I told reporter Darren Dahl that for managers to succeed, the most important part of their job is to be accountable for results. For example, a good manager creates short- and long-term goals for all staff, and then sets realistic standards and targets to measure progress to plan. And, he or she needs to provide specific and objective feedback on an ongoing basis, which informs, enlightens and helps staff members improve their performance.

Remember, it’s the job of all senior staff members to monitor the rest of the team for compliance issues. When they fail to do this, lawsuits can occur — and that’s when HR must step in to minimize corporate exposure and liability. But the first line of defense is the management team, and they need to be pros.

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IN THE NEWS: Wall Street Journal interviews Inkandescent PR owner Hope Katz Gibbs

October 7, 2010, The Wall Street Journal — In today’s issue of the Wall Street Journal, reporter Emily Maltby interviewed five small business owners for an article entitled, “Preparing for a Double Dip.”

“Many business owners are worried that the economy will get worse before it gets better,” she wrote. “Here’s how some are readying their companies for a double dip.

Read more here.

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IN THE NEWS: Culinaria Cooking School recipe featured on

October 4, 2010, — Chef Stephen Sand’s recipe for Celeriac Bisque with Shiitakes is the recipe of the month for the online nutrition website

Editors explain: “It is probably fair to say that celeriac is one of the most ignored root vegetables in North America. Its unglamorous appearance does not do its flavor justice – its crisp texture, as well as its celery and parsley-like flavor, is a great addition to any dish that goes well with celery. October is the time to try this strange-looking root vegetable, as it is generally available from October through April.

Read more here:, and click on the link below to Read More, where you’ll find the recipe for this delicious Fall dish.

To sign up for a class at Culinaria Cooking School, visit

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IN THE NEWS: Best Lawyers 2010: U.S. News & World Report Lists Trow & Rahal, P.C.

October 1, 2010, US News & World Report — Hot off the presses is the 2010 Best Lawyers issue of US News & World Report, which lists Trow & Rahal as one of the top immigration law firms in the country.

“Guiding the firm with their winning attitudes and capabilities, Steve Trow and Linda Rahal have a solid reputation within the legal community.” Click here to read the entire article.

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IN THE NEWS: Scott Golden is featured in Wall Street Journal article

Sept. 15, 2010, The Wall Street Journal — In an article about “second-to-die” insurance, Golden & Cohen founder Scott Golden was interviewed by reporter Joe Mullich who wrote: “In addition to paying the estate tax, second-to-die insurance can also be used to build an estate and guarantee that a specific amount is available for heirs. Because of this, it is often suggested for families who have children with special needs or disabilities.”

Scott Golden explained: “The overall internal rates of return (IRR) can vary based on age, health condition at time of underwriting and death of both of the insured, but on average, the IRR is a tax free 6 percent which looks very attractive in the current financial environment. he insurance isn’t that complicated, but you should consider several variables which might affect how you fund the insurance and the cost of it.”

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IN THE NEWS: Dr. Alice Waagen is quoted in Inc. magazine: "How to Manage Managers"

Aug. 23, 2010, Inc. magazine — “When you work for yourself, as most entrepreneurs do, the notion of ‘managing’ those you have hired to do just that may seem quaint in light of all the work you need to catch up on,” writes Darren Dahl in this week’s issue of Inc. magazine.

“But as the company you started begins to grow, and you hire more and more people to fuel that growth, it is a good idea to take a step back from the day-to-day grind and consider what it might mean to both you and your company if you devoted some of your time to thinking about how best to manage your managers. After all, the more people you empower to make decisions, and that free you up to think more strategically, the faster, at least in theory, your company can grow.”

In the section entitled, “Managing Managers: Measure Tasks,” he interviewed Dr. Alice Waagen who said: “For managers to succeed, they need time to learn to manage” she says. “And then, once they do, they need to be held accountable for their results.”

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IN THE NEWS: Scott Golden offers thoughts on the "The End of Medicare Advantage?" in Agent's Sales Journal

August 1, 2010, Agent’s Sales Journal — Scott Golden talks about the future of Medicare in the new issue of Agent’s Sales Journal. Reporter Heather Trese wrote:

Some people, including Scott Golden, chief financial officer of the health benefits consulting company Golden & Cohen, predict that other Medicare plans — such as original Medicare with a Part D or Med supp addition — will start to become more attractive as Medicare Advantage loses its luster.

“Whenever you make one product less attractive, you’ll make the other product more attractive,” Golden said. “So it does work to an advantage for those who work in the indemnity market.”

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IN THE NEWS: Avenida Restaurant Wins "Best of Philly 2010" Award

July 28, 2010, Philadelphia Magazine — We are thrilled to announce that this week Avenida Restaurant was awarded the 2010 Best Kids Menu by Philadelphia Magazine.

At Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best of Philly 2010” celebration last week, owners and chefs Kim and Edgar Alverez celebrated the incredible honor with Philadelphia dignitaries such as Mayor Michael Nutter (click Read More to see that photo), and the other Best of Philly winners.

Click here to see the dishes that kids all over Philadelphia have been raving about.

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IN THE NEWS: Immigration Attorney Steve Trow is quoted in Legal Bisnow's "Sound Bites"

July 28, 2010, Legal Bisnow — Immigration attorney Steve Trow, CEO and co-owner of the DC law firm Trow & Rahal, was quoted in the “Sound Bites” column of the July 28 issue of Legal Bisnow.

Sponsored by Hellerman Baretz Communications, Steve and three other attorneys were asked: What are your thoughts about the DOJ’s lawsuit this month challenging Arizona’s immigration law?

Steve said: “Congress dropped the ball on immigration reform, but that doesn’t give Arizona the right to run onto the field and pick it up. DOJ needs to get Arizona off the field, then Congress needs to fix our broken immigration system.”

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AVENIDA IS IN THE NEWS: "Mount Airy's Avenida thrives despite Delaware Market House's departure" says Philadelphia Inquirer Restaurant Critic Craig LaBan

July 25, 2010, The Philadelphia Inquirer — “When the economy came crashing down in 2009, it brought Kim and Edgar Alvarez’s crab cakes with them – at least for a moment,” writes Inquirer Restaurant Critic Craig LaBan in today’s Food.

He continues: Those cakes were among the signature items at the couple’s former prepared foods store, the Delaware Market House in Gladwyne. But once the recession prompted enough Main Liners to start cooking more for themselves, the Alvarez’ business, which thrived on small pleasures like fresh chicken salad and sirloin broil, suddenly went “completely off the deep end,” says Kim.

It was a sorry moment for Gladwyne take-out addicts, perhaps, but has turned into a boon for Mount Airy, where the resilient Alvarezes have resurfaced with Avenida, a Latin-inspired neighborhood restaurant well-cast for a neighborhood that can use all the good flavors it can muster.

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SHARON ARMSTRONG IS IN THE NEWS: Author of "The Essential Performance Review Handbook," is quoted in The Wall Street Journal

July 18, 2010, The Wall Street Journal — “If you’ve been marking time at work and hoping to get a new job, you’re not alone,” writes reporter Dennis Nishi in today’s issue of The Wall Street Journal. “But employment experts caution restless job seekers from jumping ship too soon. If you move too quickly you might end up in a new job that you dislike even more. Still, you can improve your odds of finding something worthwhile by planning ahead and doing some research.”

Nishi quotes Sharon Armstrong, owner of Sharon Armstrong & Associates and author of The Essential Performance Review Handbook, who says:

“When you land an interview, use the opportunity to learn about the company. You should get as much from them as they will try to get from you, says Sharon Armstrong, a human-resources consultant in Washington. Salary and benefits are important, but you also want to make sure you’re compatible. It’s difficult to tell what the workplace culture is like from casual visits. Don’t be shy about calling for more information and contact current and former employees, if possible, to get a feel for the company and opportunities.”

“If you get an offer, before you accept, consider doing more in-depth financial research on the company; try the Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR Public Dissemination Service (”

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IN THE NEWS: The Washington Business Journal's TIP JAR features Sharon Armstrong

June 25, 2010, Tip Jar at the Washington Business Journal — “Vacations can be blessing or bane, depending on whether you’re in the midst of one yet,” writes Tip Jar at the Washington Business Journal in an article entitled, Vacation skeds no day at beach.

“The curse comes at both ends of the time off — hurriedly finishing tasks so you’re not still pounding on your BlackBerry during the painfully long drive to the beach or tiredly returning to a messy desk, logjammed inbox, full voice mail, overworked colleagues and cross-examining boss.”

HR expert Sharon Armstrong, author of “The Essential Performance Review Handbook,” and co-author of “The Essential HR Handbook,” says the key to sanity amid a landscape of empty offices is lassoing more short-term help — calling all temp agencies! — or doing more with the lucky folks left in the office.

“Just make sure there’s enough cross-training that’s happened so it isn’t so desperate when someone wants to take off,” says Sharon Armstrong, who founded a D.C. human resources consulting and training business. “There should be some coverage.”

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IN THE NEWS: Inkandescent founders featured in Washington Post article, "At home with work"

By Dan Rafter
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, November 21, 2009

When Michael Gibbs and Hope Katz Gibbs moved this August, one house in Arlington rose to the top of their wish list: a remodeled and expanded ranch home. The big selling point? The house had enough flexible space that both of them could both set up their own home offices.

Both Hope, owner of the District-based Inkandescent Public Relations, and Michael, an illustrator, work from home. And they needed a house that would allow them to create two home offices. The ranch house in Arlington fit.

The couple have since turned their new home’s large basement into two separate offices. The space also includes a dance studio for their 14-year-old daughter, Anna.

“This is nothing new for us. We’ve each worked from home since we got married,” Hope said. “It enables us to both work as much as we do and still take care of our children the way we want. I remember when the kids were babies: I’d work, and he’d hold a baby. Or I’d be nursing one of the kids and be interviewing people on the phone. We couldn’t have done it without both of us working from home. I think that working moms have a tough time when their husbands work incredible hours and are out of the home all the time.”

Click here to read the article on

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IN THE NEWS: Federal News Radio talks to Sharon Armstrong about her new book, "The Essential Performance Review Handbook"

June 3, 2010, Federal News Radio — At 3 p.m. today, Federal News Radio reporter Christopher J. Dorobek interviewed Sharon Armstrong, author of new The Essential Performance Review Handbook, about how to make performance reviews a less painful process.

He explains:

“If you hate your annual performance review, don’t worry. You’re not alone,” he said. “Some employees dread that yearly meeting with their boss, where intangible topics, such as ‘future goals’ are often discussed. And we’ve heard tales that bosses don’t like them much, either.”

“But the performance review doesn’t have to be a chore . . . or torturous. They can actually be productive conversations that not only benefit the office, but the organization as a whole.”
“Sharon Armstrong is author of the Essential Performance Review Handbook, and has served as director of human resources at several organizations in the D.C. metro area. She says progress is being made when it comes to performance reviews, and successful organizations are making them really work.”

Click here to download the mp3 file, and read the article.

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Earn a Living as an Artist Interview With Michael Gibbs

May 29, 2010, Small Home Business magazine — Reporter Katelyn Thomas posted an article today about illustrator Michael Gibbs, that discussed how he earns a living as an artist.

“Technically, by doodling in school when I wasn’t supposed to. But my real interest in art began when I went to art school (Pratt Institute) as a photography major, got introduced to drawing, and gravitated toward it. I’d wanted to work for myself for as long as I grasped the concept of having to earn a living, so after art school and three years of working in a graphics department, I decided to jump into freelance illustration with both feet.”

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Business owners are making New Year's resolutions []

December 31, 2009 — “Small-business owners aren’t just putting together budgets and sales projections as 2010 approaches,” wrote Associated Press reporter Joyce M. Rosenberg in an article that published in dozens of newspapers around the country on New Year’s Eve. “Like the rest of us, they’re making some New Year’s resolutions but their goals aren’t about losing weight or exercising more. Business owners are resolving to fix problems in their companies or come up with ideas for working smarter in the new year.” Here’s a sampling.

Working on work/life balance

Hope Katz Gibbs wanted to spend less time at work in the new year and more time with her two children. But “instead of dialing things back for a work/life balance, ramping it up seems to be the best strategy at this point,” said Gibbs, president of Inkandescent Public Relations. Her Washington-based company, which targets entrepreneurs, expects to have more work as more people start businesses.

So she looked at her family life and realized that overbooking her 14-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son with after-school activities wasn’t the answer. “The trend is to overextend them, give them a million activities, make them competitive,” Gibbs said. “I’m trying to have more fun with them rather than micromanage them.”

So Gibbs and her husband, illustrator Michael Gibbs plan to involve her children more in her work, taking them to child-appropriate work events when possible. She likes the idea of exposing them to the business world so they can find out how it works. “It’s balancing in a different way,” she said.

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In the News: Alice Waagen featured in article, "Women Building Homes"

May 13, 2010, The Arlington Connection — In today’s newspaper, Dr. Alice Waagen of Workforce Learning put on her philanthropist hat — quite literally — as a participant in National Women Build Week (May 1-9) on behalf of her nonprofit Habitat Women Who Build, a fundraising chapter of Habitat for Humanity Northern Virginia.

Arlington Connection reporter Dalia Sava wrote:

Alice Waagen is wearing a hard hat and a tool belt and she’s covered in dust from the demolition work she is doing at the Perry Hall Condominium, the Habitat for Humanity 12-unit building on South 17th Street in Arlington. The construction project is an existing apartment building that will be converted to condominiums.

Waagen is taking part in National Women Build Week (May 1-9), an initiative by Lowe’s and Habitat for Humanity which challenges women to devote at least one day to efforts to eliminate poverty housing. This is the first Women Build event for Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia.

“My female friends who knew of my work with Habitat would tell me, ‘Oh, I’d love to do that but I can’t hammer, I can’t saw, I can’t give back’ and this drove me crazy because the way that the program works — the volunteer house leaders break down every task so that it’s suitable for anybody’s size, anybody’s level of skill,” Waagen said.

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In the News: NFTE is featured on NBC

NBC News, April 29, 2010 — The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship-DC Region was profiled on NBC News today.

Kate Michael writes:

Chris Gardner, whose story as an on-and-off homeless salesman turned stockbroker was portrayed in the 2006 film “The Pursuit of Happyness,” joined a group of local high-powered business leaders last night to honor hundreds of ambitious youth who have started their own businesses.

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IN THE NEWS: Chefs Kim & Edgar Alvarez are featured on Philadelphia's ABC News Channel 6

April 17, ABC News — On April 17, ABC News Channel 6 did a 5-minute segment on the hot new businesses in town: Avenida Restaurant.

The cameras went inside Avenida’s kitchen and watched as Chefs Kim and Edgar prepared some of their signature appetizers: Grilled Baby Octopus with Tequila Roasted Tomato Sauce, Garlic and Avocado and Queso Fondito.

“I was trained at the Culinary Institute of America, so I tend to cook by the book,” explains Chef Kim. “And I went to cooking school every day of my life as I watched my mother, aunts and grandmother prepare a meal for our entire family — dozens of people who ate three times a day in our home in Guatemala,” shares Chef Edgar.

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Stephanie Cohen to speak at Disruptive Women in Health Care panel, March 30

Washington DC, March 29, 2010 — Stephanie Cohen, CEO of the health and retirement benefits firm Golden & Cohen (, will offer insight into what insurance customers can expect from the health reform tomorrow morning, Tuesday March 30 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Hotel Liaison Capitol Hill.

Cohen will be a panelist at the first monthly breakfast series on health reform, which is hosted by Amplify Public Affairs’ Disruptive Women in Health Care Blog ( and its media partner, The Hill (

The topic: Health Reform: US Patience (not a typo) Pay the Price.

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March 2010NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” TV series contacted Inkandescent PR to help spread the word about auditions this Saturday, March 6 in Washington, DC.

Here’s what they are looking for:

NBC’s popular reality series “The Biggest Loser” is launching a 15-city cross-country search to find new contestants for the next edition of the hit show. Individuals and teams of two who have at least 100 lbs. to lose are encouraged to apply for the new season, which will air in the fall of 2010.

Casting producers are looking for outgoing and charismatic individuals and teams of two who have the personality, desire and competitive edge to vie for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lose weight, change their lives forever and compete for a grand prize of $250,000. Candidates must be at least 18 years of age and legal residents of the United States.

While they will try to see everyone, “The Biggest Loser” casting teams will do their best to see the first 500 people in line. People will not be allowed to line up prior to three hours before the start of the open call. Candidates should bring a non-returnable photo of themselves (and their partners if applying as a team).

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IN THE NEWS: Bognet to build Brookland apartments

Feb. 24, 2010, Washington Business Journal — Arlington, VA-based Bognet Construction ( has signed a deal to build the Brookland Artspace Lofts.

In today’s issue of the Washington Business Journal, reporter Tierney Plumb wrote: “Arlington-based Bognet Construction will build an affordable apartment complex where artists and their families can live and work. The four-story, 57,000-square-foot arts campus, located in D.C.’s Brookland neighborhood, will break ground April 9 and deliver in July 2011.”

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IN THE NEWS: Sharon Armstrong featured in NJ Star-Ledger article, "A cover letter without a personal touch is a deal breaker"

Feb. 21, 2010, New Jersey Star-Ledger — Are cover letters important when you are applying for a job? Career experts have very strong points of view when it comes to this question. Unfortunately their opinions are all over the lot.

Sharon Armstrong, author of “The Essential HR Handbook,” suggests a two-column cover letter as a way to demonstrate that fit. The first column heading is “Your Requirements,” which lists each requirement set forth in the job posting.

The corresponding column is “My Qualifications,” which lists how the candidate satisfies each requirement. This format works, according to Armstrong, because:

1. You never know who is screening interviews and you’ve done all their work for them;
2. If the company is scanning, you’ve used all their key words
3. You already have started to prepare yourself for the interview by reviewing your background and how it applies to the needs of that position and the company.

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IN THE NEWS: Stephanie Cohen quoted in Washington Post article, "HHS secretary decries higher rates for health insurance"

February 19, 2010, The Washington Post — In today’s issue of The Washington Post, health insurance broker Stephanie Cohen was quoted in an article by Alec MacGillis and Amy Goldstein entitled, “HHS secretary decries higher rates for health insurance. Separately, Washington area residents holding individual health insurance policies said they have received notices that their premiums are increasing by as much as 40 percent.”

They wrote, “The Obama administration stepped up its criticism Thursday of health insurers’ efforts to raise their rates, an attempt to harness public aggravation with the industry and rebuild momentum for broad changes to the nation’s health-care system.”

“Stephanie Cohen, an insurance broker with the District firm of Golden and Cohen, said she is seeing many similar rate increases, including some that are even larger for small-business policies,” they explained. “She said the increases had been approved by regulators in the District and surrounding states. Insurance regulators in the District and Maryland were not able to provide details about the rate increases on Thursday.”

Read the article online at

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IN THE NEWS: Scott Golden talks about "Four health insurance musts for students"

Feb. 17, 2010, — In an article in today’s issue of AOL’s Walletpop,- reporter Steven Kent talked about how college students can find, and afford, health insurance.

He interviewed Golden & Cohen co-founder Scott Golden, who said, “Know your policy, and pay attention to the fine print.”

“We’ll always get a call from someone who was penny-wise and pound-foolish,” Golden said. “A student gets in a car accident somewhere off-campus, and then they go into their inexpensive student plan and find out it only covers accidents on their campus. There’s just not much we can do for them at that point.”

Students can use online resources like the health insurance FAQs at to help decipher the complex (and occasionally daunting) language of health care.

“View the decision to purchase health insurance as a research project,” Golden added. “Don’t just rubber-stamp it; it’s a huge decision that can have life-altering consequences.”

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IN THE NEWS: Scott Golden talks about "Four health insurance musts for students"

Feb. 17, 2010, — In an article in today’s issue of AOL’s Walletpop,- reporter Steven Kent talked about how college students can find, and afford, health insurance.

He interviewed Golden & Cohen co-founder Scott Golden, who said, “Know your policy, and pay attention to the fine print.”

“We’ll always get a call from someone who was penny-wise and pound-foolish,” Golden said. “A student gets in a car accident somewhere off-campus, and then they go into their inexpensive student plan and find out it only covers accidents on their campus. There’s just not much we can do for them at that point.”

Students can use online resources like the health insurance FAQs at to help decipher the complex (and occasionally daunting) language of health care.

“View the decision to purchase health insurance as a research project,” Golden added. “Don’t just rubber-stamp it; it’s a huge decision that can have life-altering consequences.”

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In THE NEWS: Alice Waagen offers tips to Toastmaster magazine readers — "Facing an event full of strangers? Here's how to Work a Room"

February 2010, Toastmaster magazine — In this month’s issue of Toastmaster magazine, reporter Lin Grensing-Pophal writes:

“Some people seem to have a knack for automatically connecting with others in any setting. For those who don’t, learning how to interact quickly and comfortably with others is critical.”

She interviewed Dr. Alice Waagen, president of Workforce Learning, who said it is critical to have a goal in mind.

Networking should be considered a professional activity and not a casual event, says Waagen, adding that it’s important to start with the end in mind. “The most important lesson I learned early on is to establish for yourself your goal or objective before you go to the event,” she notes. “That way you keep focused and don’t get distracted by the hors d’oeuvres, the drinks or your best buddy across the room.”

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IN THE NEWS: Chef Edgar Alvarez is featured on MyFoxPhilly Morning Show

MyFoxPhilly Morning Show, February 1 — Latin food was celebrated on the Fox Morning Show this week when anchor John Anderson welcomed Avenida’s Chef Edgar Alverez.

“They are chefs, restaurateurs and husband and wife! Edgar and Kim Alvarez opened Avenida Restaurant in Mount Airy last fall and were gracious enough to stop by Good Day to share some favorite recipes,” Anderson said.

Chef Edgar then prepared Pan Seared Red Snapper with Tomatillo Salsa, Sautéed Vegetables and Spanish rice. Yum!

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IN THE NEWS: CNN Money Features Avenida

JANUARY 4, 2010, CNN Money — In a CNN Money article posted today entitled, 100-year-old businesses we lost, reporter Elizabeth Montalbano writes, “More than 45,000 businesses closed their doors for good in 2009, including some that survived for longer than a century.”

One of the six U.S. businesses she profiled was the Delaware Market House, which chefs Kim and Edgar Alvarez closed last March. Click READ MORE to view what Montalbano wrote.

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IN THE NEWS: Avenida, a new restaurant by Kim & Edgar Alvarez opening Dec. 17, is featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer

DECEMBER 10, 2009, The Philadelphia Inquirer — Philadelphia Inquirer restaurant columnist Michael Kline reported today: “Dec. 17 will mark the debut of the long-delayed Avenida (7402 Germantown Ave., 267-385-6857), a family friendly, budget-conscious Latin concept from husband-and-wife chef team Edgar and Kim Alvarez, who most recently ran Gladwyne’s Delaware Market House, a gourmet takeout and catering operation. The building was last home to Cresheim Cottage Cafe. They’re opening without the liquor license, whose paperwork has been held up. Their partner here is Wayne Zukin, a real estate developer and Mount Airy-ite.”

Read the entire article here


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IN THE NEWS: Sharon Armstrong interviewed for Yahoo! HotJobs article: "After the Fall: Preventing Employee Exodus When the Job Market Picks Up"

January 2010, Yahoo! HotJobs — “Whether the economy roars back in 2010 or slowly climbs out of the hole, HR professionals are anticipating fewer layoffs, more hiring, and, in some cases, a rush to the exits,” writes Yahoo! HotJobs reporter Larry Buhl, who interviewed DC human resources expert Sharon Armstrong.

Armstrong said: Conduct “stay” interviews. Too many companies only learn about employee gripes at exit interviews. Sharon Armstrong, an HR consultant in Washington, D.C., and author of The Essential HR Handbook, recommends surveying employees now. “But employees shouldn’t feel like there will be a ‘gotcha’ when they have complaints. These ‘stay interviews’ should be conducted by a third party, not the manager, or HR could hold focus groups in a safe setting.”

Read More columnist reviews The Essential HR Handbook: HR handbook helps all managers

January 13, 2010, — In Monday’s Washington Examiner, Kansas City Leadership Columnist Eric Jacobson featured The Essential HR Handbook as One of top 235 recommended leadership books from various LinkedIn members.

In today’s newspaper, he reviewed the book and its authors, noting:

It’s unfortunately too common for an employee to be promoted into a management position with little to no Human Resources (HR) training. Similarly, many small business owners don’t have a dedicated human resources person so they end up muddling their way through critical human resources issues while wearing the HR hat.

These are some of the reasons authors Sharon Armstrong and Barbara Mitchell wrote the book “The Essential HR Handbook,” described by them as “a quick and handy resource for any manager or HR professional.”

If you don’t have the time or funds to attend HR training at a nearby educational institution or if there is not within your workplace a qualified and seasoned mentor to teach you HR skills, this book provides the novice manager important basics, accompanied by real-world examples and templates that you can readily use as you lead your team of one or more employees. It’s also an excellent refresher for managers who need to hone their hiring, onboarding, and performance evaluating capabilities.

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Washington Examiner features The Essential HR Handbook: One of top 235 recommended leadership books from various LinkedIn members

Washington Examiner, January 10, 2010 — In today’s Washington Examiner, reporter Eric Jacobson featured The Essential HR Handbook as one of the top recommended leadership books from various LinkedIn members.

“Within the list of favorites you’ll find titles published decades ago and ones published last month,” Jacobson explained. “All the books are available on Amazon and through a variety of other sources, including via author web sites. Nearly 70 of the books on the list are linked here to Amazon. All will be in this list format within the next few weeks.”

Here is the list of all 235 books, in alphabetical order. It represents many of the vast approaches to leadership in practice today throughout the world. Take a look to see how many you’ve read. Perhaps you’ll find one of your favorites. Then, select a few to further research and to add your reading list for 2010.”

What’s Your Favorite?

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IN THE NEWS: Alice Waagen featured in article, "Watch out for signs you’re coming on too strong"

Jan. 8, 2010, The Calgary Sun — In an article today that focused on helping desperate job seekers, reporter Dawn Klingensmith interviewed Alice Waagen, president of Workforce Learning about warning signs that will alert them to the fact that they are coming on too strong.

“Some applicants send flowers or candy. This is not a date — it’s a job,” says human resources consultant Alice Waagen.

And if you don’t hear back, take the hint, Waagen advises.

“If you’ve left messages and e-mails and don’t get a response, that’s either a strong indication you’ve been rejected or that the hiring manager is a poor manager lacking basic skills,” she says. “It’s time to move on.”

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IN THE NEWS: Hope Gibbs offers "6 Tips for an Easy Move with Kids"

December 30, Life@Home magazine, Century 21 — In today’s issue of the Century 21 newsletter, reporter Robyn Friedman writes:

Hope Gibbs thought her move from Clifton, Va. to Arlington, Va.-a mere 45 minutes away-would be easy. And it was for daughter Anna, 14, who found new friends on Facebook even before she moved.

But Gibbs’ 10-year-old son Dylan found it more difficult. “You’d have thought we moved to Mars,” says Gibbs. “He still wants to go home despite having made tons of friends.”

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Gaithersburg MD, December 18, 2009 — Stephanie Cohen, CEO of the health benefits firm Golden & Cohen, will appear tomorrow on Executive Leadership Radio, The show will air from 10-11 a.m. on WHFS 1580.

Stephanie will talk about her company, the health and retirement benefits firm Golden & Cohen, and her life in the trenches of the insurance industry.

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AGENT'S SALES JOURNAL asks Scott Golden to give the "Top 5 Reasons People Don’t Buy Health Insurance — And What You Can Say to Help Them Reconsider"

By Scott Golden, CFO
Golden & Cohen
November 2009
View the entire article here

Why should individuals rely on a professional to assemble comparisons of various plans only after a fact-finding conversation with the agent? That’s a question that has been raised regularly in my office, especially since the discussion has heated up on health care reform. The reality is that agents like yourself — good ones, at least — are essential and continue to be relevant, for you can bring viable options to the table that the individual may not have otherwise considered.

Why do people need an agent to help find the right policy?

Truth be told, there are some sophisticated, high-tech services out there, and more effective online tools seem to pop up regularly.

However, I have found that using the Web alone usually does not give the individual all the information needed to select the best plan. There is more to the issue than which plan is cheapest. And sometimes, you have to not just read the fine print, but also read between the lines to determine what the plan truly offers.

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