Brazzlebox Small Business Summit: ana gil-taylor recap

Brazzlebox, “The applied social network for small and home-based businesses” This is how Glen Zinszer, Brazzlebox founder and CEO describes it.  After having the pleasure of chatting with Glen and his wonderful communications manager Sarynna Cruz, I can confidently say, Brazzlebox is more than an applied social network for small and home- based businesses.  On November 4th, 2015 Brazzlebox put together a local event in Syracuse, NY, which touched more than social media.
The way the Small business summit was laid-out and its content is an indication that Brazzlebox has done its homework and understands small business needs, at all levels.Brazzlebox-0811

The event opened up with a great panel discussion moderated by Sarah Roche, co-founder of Platypus TV,  which touched on a variety of topics such as, the importance of a business plan, Dan Rickman, SBA, believing in yourself and faith, DeBorah Little, Lil’MorStix, being confident and using your entrepreneurial fire to fuel your way to success, Mark Dengler, Research & Marketing Strategist, Inc, be your own cheerleader, Evin Robinson, New York On Tech, be humble and open to learn from others, Mac Cummings, Co-Founder/CEO Terakeet Corporation.

After the panel discussion, there was a nice little break for networking, followed by a fun and energetic presentation by Juli Boeheim of the Brazzlebox_ ana gil taylor-0830Jim & Juli Boeheim Foundation on the importance of community involvement and the personal rewards she has gained from being part of her beautiful Syracuse community. Jim Boeheim, Brazzlebox_ ana gil taylor-0851Head Coach of Syracuse men’s Basketball  and also her husband –  surprised the crowd by coming on stage and joining Juli – agreed by saying something like this –  Donating your time to your community will pay double your dividends, guaranteed, get involved.

Glen came on stage with motivational messages for everyone in the audience;  Brazzlebox_ ana gil taylor-0888I specifically enjoyed and related to the message he delivered to students – it went something like this-  It doesn’t matter what rank you graduate in, what matters is where you want to go and what you do with that desire. Glen had success stories after success stories which certainly defined who he is and what he has achieved and has yet to.

The crowd already hyped up from all real and relate-able success stories, gave Daymond John a resounding cheer as he came on stage. His story is inspirational, reachable, funny, and thought provoking. Of the many messages he had for 1100 attendees, the one that resonated with me were, you can have all the reaches in the world, but will be the poorest man without your family. Family first! The second was, keep swimming, no matter what, keep swimming. Brazzlebox-0929_D_ana gil taylor

An enormous congratulations goes out to Brazzlebox for putting on such fantastic event for small business owners and the general public. Summarizing, below are my awesome take take-a-ways.

1.There is nothing scarier that the thought of losing your family – Family First!

2. Let your desire to success lead you to where you want to go, then do it again.

3. Community involvement leads to a great return on your investment

4. Keep swimming

5. Take crowd selfies.. ha!

I leave you with a quick video recap by Officially-Unofficial and gil-taylor Productions.

Thanks for reading!

ana gil-taylor | Photographer & Officially-Unofficial Host

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Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation: Basket Ball 2015: My recap

This year marks the Jim and Juli Boeheim foundation 16th anniversary Basket Ball.  Held at the Turning Stone, in Verona NY.

Basket Ball Gala 15-0224eNo doubt, the Gala is their biggest fund raiser. They go all out for their supporters.   Starting with an intimate VIP reception hosted by Joyce Hergenhan where about 300 VIP guests get to enjoy three open bars, delicious looking Hors d’oeuvres, and hang out with the Syracuse Basketball team.

Basket Ball Gala 15-0195Basket Ball Gala 15-0190This year they added the “Orange carpet experience” where their VIP guests, definitely dressed to impress, got to take their photo with Jim and Juli Boeheim.

Basket Ball Gala 15-0162Juli herself did not disappoint her fans.  She looked stunning in her Armani dress; without a doubt one of the most beautiful women at the Gala.

Basket Ball Gala 15-1460e2The Atrium was adorned by a great variety of silent auction items sure to please all bid ranges. From sports memorabilia to beautiful painting to handsome bow-ties and professional head shots.Basket Ball Gala 15-0258A great hit for SU Basketball fans was getting their pictures taken with the team, made even better because they got to take a hard copy of the photo home! – thanks to Best Eye Photography.

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Their live auction was one of my favorite parts at last year’s Basket Ball;  and it didn’t disappoint this year.  Jim and Juli’s stage dynamic is phenomenal already, bring in Bob Costas! – a recipe for a fun live auction! Basket Ball Gala 15-1427 Basket Ball Gala 15-1464Live auction Items included, trips to the final four, to dinner with Jim and Juli, to great Dome seats. The really fun part was the auctioned off Rakeen Christmas, Jim Boeheim, and Bob Costas’ custom made J. Allen inspired bow-ties.  All three bow-ties were signed live by Rakeem, Costas and Jim.Basket Ball Gala 15-1534Basket Ball Gala 15-1548Of course the bid war started high for Rakeem’s bow-tie! The bidder bargained well and got all three signed bow-ties for $10K. However, as Jim often does he gave away a second bow-tie, this one was a basketball themed bow-tie which also went for $10K. The energy was so great, some of the players got on the floor to help collect the bids. Great, great time.   Basket Ball Gala 15-1562Basket Ball Gala 15-0355blog

Basket Ball Gala 15-0347eblogBasket Ball Gala 15-1579Basket Ball Gala 15-1592blogWhat can I tell you about the food? I can tell you what I heard – Guests were commenting how amazing the food was and how deliciously scrumptious the dessert – sea salt chocolate caramel.. YUM!

My second favorite part was the energy of all guests on the dance floor!  Everyone was enjoying themselves so much! Guests of all ages, smiling, singing along, dancing to the great music of Prime Time Horns.  – Not even Jim and Juli could resist the dance floor call.  It was so hard to contain myself – I love to dance!!

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Basket Ball Gala 15-0516Last, but certainly not least, the raffle! Donated by M. Lemp Jewelers– a beautiful pink sapphire and diamond bracelet. It was a a bit of a nail bitter as the first number called was either in the bathroom or had already left – oops!!  The crowd around was very liberal showing their support to pull another ticket! The next ticket pulled… Jim called it a couple of times.. then one winner yelled out!…..but it wasn’t the winner either.. soooo on again.. the crowd even more energetic and hopeful cheering to pull another ticket.  A number gets pulled out one more time… FINALLY, a winner! Her smile was as shiny and beautiful as the diamonds themselves.

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Basket Ball Gala 15-0550Basket Ball Gala 15-1666 Basket Ball Gala 15-0572 Basket Ball Gala 15-0575 It was meant for her!

At the end of the night, I am sure with tired feet, but still looking amazing, guests came out to claim their bids, and so it goes..Every guest came in happy and left happier! Their  donation goes to a great cause – to enrich the lives of kids in need as well as to support cancer research and advocacy.

Basket Ball Gala 15-0591The Basket Ball 2015 was a great success thanks to the event organizer and foundation administrator,  Kelly Taylor and her team of volunteers.  I would also like to give a shout out to the Turning Stone security team and staff it is always great to work with them!.  They are all equally helpful and a joy to work with.

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Kelly Taylor, Foundation Administrator and Gala organizer

Basket Ball Gala 15-0650It’s a wrap!

You can view my recap from last  year’s gala here . If you were at the Gala and would like to see more pictures, please feel free to send me an email. You can also follow me on any of these: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter Thanks for reading!

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ana gil-taylor | Photographer | Portfolio