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Today’s guest blog comes from one of my fellow technology sisters in crime: the unstoppable, tenacious, energetic lady leader Kalli Meisler based in New York.  A trailblazer in the truest sense of the word, Kalli is the co founder behind StartUp Chicks, serves as a judge for SXSW V2V panels, and doesn’t just have her hand in the technology world, but is leading the charge for the next generation of technology leaders to make the world a better place. I hope you enjoy her fresh perspective as much as I do.  

I feel constrained- I’ve been watching the news- for months- in a sweaty state of terror- thinking that the world is about to pivot and climax: we are either going to go into a “cold war-like initiative” against Russia/separatistsIslamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)Hamas and Boko Haram (as I now call our multiple continent aggressors: our modern day anti-allies, AKA our WW3)… or we will have to rise up as the civilized world- and come together as HUMANS focused on sustaining a peaceful community, that seeks harmony and the protection of societies greatest gifts (i.e.: academic, liberalized, modernity- AND the safety of all of our children at school and home). After all, it takes an entire village to raise just 1 child. (I’ve drank the Clinton Global Initiative Kool-Aid, #noceilings #ImReadyForHillary). 

I’m only 1 generation removed from the holocaust– just a Shoah survivors granddaughter acknowledging that if he hadn’t escaped Poland, nothing that I have- or have affected- would exist; I feel (my) grandpa Joe Meisler in me- pushing me- to have a plan to protect his- our- Jewish family. I hear his long drawn breaths- and even longer solicitation to somehow get to Tel Aviv, or find a way to hide outside of Brooklyn (irony: I’m the passionate founder of thecrowdraising platform MazelTov, and known for working within the Jewishcommunity). As I have watched the synagogue attacks in Paris, and reminisced of the April 2014/Passover shootings in Kansas City– I’ve consistently thought back to my post-9/11 game plan: hiding myself in my Imam’s wife/Syrian-Muslim-friend-from-FSU’s tornado shelter (no ones going to accuse the leaders of amosque– in Oklahoma- of harboring a fugitive Jewish tech leader).

My Imam’s wife (Eman) and I came to this time worn conclusion: if women were in charge, there’d be peace, and since Halal food is kosher, but spicier- I can coexist under her watch- and nothing will happen to me under her back yard swingset? After all, we both survived 9/11 at FSU- when swastikas popped up on campus, and a bigot DROVE his F-150 into the mosque on campus!

Seeing the surrender flags on the Brooklyn bridge…wondering if I’ll wind up on a future social media panel- wearing a burqa– or see my idols stripped of their powerful female identities…I can see Rachel Sklar in a silence of the lambs mask, and Chelsea Clinton wearing a bonnet– while they’re on air, learning as the cameras start running- to placate the un-Americanized world- on a channel called ISIScnn? 

This is not a Philip Roth plot/mock up/pitch! Unfortunately, there’s more than a plot against America brewing- this one is of biblical proportions! 

Unfortunately, my alternate universe is all of our potential realities- under any type of fundamentalist rule. 

How can we fix the problems in the world, without destroying the generations coming after us? 

  1. Keep focused. 
  2. Work on the problems you see! 
  3. Stay directed- and rise up to the challenges you see hurting your vision. 
  4. Stay academic. 
  5. Be the most enlightened- and the person thinking about how projects will really benefit society.

When I talk about my MazelTov– I talk about micro versus macro. I talk about small versus large- giving one person the ability to help a big project, or letting a big project get finished by a lot of people! 

 A percentage of all MazelTov transactions are designated to pre-selected Jewish charities- partnered and funded by MazelTov.

As young adults and parents plan their Bar and Bat Mitzvah simchas (celebrations), and through my site, these families have the ability to change the lives of thousands of other Israelis. Part of each of their big days, and becoming a young adult in the Jewish community, is giving back (the biggestmitzvah one can complete is Tikkun Olam– the act of repairing the world). When party invitations are mailed out, families send along their party page link: and their own story- behind why their child’s Tikkun Olam project is so important: “by giving gifts through the MazelTov network, our “child is the best” is helping support the research at Laniado Hospital– a public hospital in Israel”, or their family wants to give within the reform movement “Help “My awesome preteen” rebuild the Jewish community in the RockawaysURJ West End Temple, still growing back after hurricane Sandy!”

As a late stage start up, MazelTov has carved it’s own path- choosing who to work with- and for the micro and the macro

 By aligning with large and small Jewish charities, MazelTov is able to see bigger and smaller projects succeed- just through crowdraising. 

Unlike crowdfundingcrowdraising is inherently victimless. If you don’t reach your personal gift goal- you’re still giving back a set percentage of your proceeds or gifts. You’re already going to donate from your total- because it’s the Jewish tradition to give when given- why not automate the process?  

The MazelTov user base of 200,000 registered members, chooses what charity WE want to help. I’m invested in West End Temple because I am in love with the Rockaways, and I know that the children deserve a beautiful school and sanctuary- and I can give to the Hebrew school rebuild by hosting more potluck dinners for Shabbat, planning more speed dating dinners at my apartment, and plan more diverse pro-Israel technology forums, on college campuses and in international offices! With each ticket I sell, I’m guaranteeing that I’ll  give back to the people that need it the most- the big and small charities making it happen.

The news keeps focusing on the next generation- and who will clean up all of our messes. We can only make the world better through innovative, creative ways. By making doing “good things for society” with automation- we are GAMIFYING giving back. 

Imagine if you had an army of young kids, eager to help you: now, give them the tools to get the work done. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Visit Kalli’s blog and follow her adventures here or chat with her on twitter.   


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The last week has been an incredibly fun one for me, with three new discoveries in Las Vegas that I had to share with all of you. Like most things in the Las Vegas valley you can snag some great bargains, enjoy a good value, or indulge at the luxury level thanks to all of the options that our tourist mecca has to offer. These are personally tried, enjoyed, and celebrated.  

BARGAIN: Sun Foot Spa $30 1 Hour Full Body Massage
Sun Foot Spa recently opened on the corner of Robindale and Rainbow in the Dairy Queen parking lot and when I first pulled up I seriously thought my massage might come with a happy ending.  Just walking in was an adventure, but once you are seated in an open air room your feet are placed in a luxurious hot bath while you relax fully clothed. The entire massage is done while you are fully clothed, which left me doubtful that they would be able to get as deep as I like my massages, but my concerns were massaged away as my masseuse beat my stress right out of me.  Half way through you flip over like any standard massage, but the attention to detail and cleanliness of this spa has me determined to return often.  Give them a call at 702-897-8729 or just walk in any time from 10AM-midnight.  

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VALUE: Lex’s Lounge $40 Pedicure 
Located in the heart of delightful Summerlin, Lex’s Lounge is my go to place to get rid of my rough sandal feet and walk out with perfect toes and soft heels.  The customer service is excellent, but it’s not a secret and you will need to make an appointment before you go.  Next door is the deliciously healthy Daily Kitchen for a quick bite and the Coffee Bean provides a caffeine fix if you need one.  I particularly love the massive selection of gel polishes that will last forever on your toes and the variety of scented lotions that you can choose from. Currently they are running some ridiculous summer specials for facials, blow outs, and nails, so give them a call at 702-254-2378 or stop by at 3645 S Town Center Drive in Las Vegas.   

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LUXURY: Giada
I love food and, thanks to my frequent workouts, it was time to indulge thanks to the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce with Food Network star Giada de Laurentiis at her new restaurant based inside the Cromwell. Giada is her first restaurant after writing seven best selling cookbooks and starring on several food shows, but her time has not been wasted.  Each and every detail in Giada is perfection from the bag you take your autographed cook book home in to the detail on the plate of lobster roll that will leave you wanting to lick the plate. Our table indulged in gourmet cheeses, mushroom pizza, delectable sliders, rich open faced lobster roll sandwiches, and sampled nearly every desert on the menu. The rich tiramisu made from scratch was a heavenly experience and everything- from our French waiter who was delightfully charming to Giada herself, who made time not just to meet us, but took the time to greet all of the diners in the entire restaurant. Giada understands hospitality, but, most of all, she understands leadership and the Las Vegas valley is lucky to have a leader like her joining our community. Reservations are a must and you will need to plan in advance, but it is worth the wait and the investment.  Book your reservation here.  

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Funny how life unfolds. Things you never imagined, the farthest thoughts from your mind, one day pleasantly become your reality. 

Welcome to my life. I’m Jackie Zlatanovski, a Las Vegas dreamer, wife and mother of three kids under 10, who recently traded the corporate world for the free world of entrepreneurship. What made me give up an executive position with a great company, one where I could have securely grown up the corporate ladder? Flip flops. And not ordinary flip flops, but FLIK FLOPS (www.FLIKFLOPS.com), a cool new design in kids’ flip flops that light up every time kids take a step, helping keep kids safer at night. We’ve all seen light up shoes and sneakers, but never flip flops like these. And best of all, the idea came from my daughter when she was only 7. 

Back in August 2012, we were on a summer family vacation in Laguna Beach and while standing at a flashing cross-walk, our daughter Izabella said,” Wouldn’t it be cool if they made light up flip flops for kids so cars could see us better at night and keep us safer?” My typical response would have been “Yes, we can look for a pair when we get back home.” However, I couldn’t think of any place I had seen such a sandal, let alone heard of such a sandal existing. Her younger sister chimed in, “They could be called FLIK FLOPS, because the lights would flicker.” Funny to look back now, but we created FLIK FLOPS on the street corner.

On our trip back to Las Vegas, we researched the idea further and realized a product didn’t exist like the one Izabella had in mind, putting lights on the outside of the flip flops so the flashing lights could be visible from the side. The idea however lay dormant for months after the vacation, with a day job and parenting taking up the bulk of our time. But our inventor daughter still had this idea fresh in her mind. She called a meeting with her Dad and I because she was “disappointed in us for not following through on what we said could be a great product.” That was a slap in the face to us as parents and just what it took to jumpstart the idea and truly begin researching, designing, sourcing, marketing and creating a business. In October 2013, FLIK FLOPS was successfully launched as a Las Vegas online business (www.FLIKFLOPS.com). Needless to say, our daughter kept tabs on us along each step of the way to make sure we didn’t forget about her idea!

Running the company as a side business for the next 6 months, alongside a corporate day job and family with three young kids, was a tough balancing act. Thanks to Mark Cuban, add to that the constant question that kept resonating in my head. As a family we are avid Shark Tank fans, perhaps that’s what inspired our daughter’s entrepreneurial side. Mark Cuban always questions contestants on Shark Tank, “Is this a hobby or a business? If you work at it part-time, it’s a hobby.” This kept going through my head non-stop and frankly I was tired of racking my brain on what to do next. Finally, after many long conversations with my husband, I mustered up the courage and made the decision that FLIK FLOPS was to be a business. It’s a business that proves kids sometimes do have the best ideas. And my job now is to make sure the rest of the world knows too. 

Please visit our Kickstarter campaign to watch the video and join our project http://kck.st/1nWVUri


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Ever have a “what was I thinking?” moment?  Well, the look on our faces in the photo to the left is just that. Thanks to the new Voodoo zip line team at the Rio my friend, Jennifer, and I had the opportunity to try out the newest Las Vegas adrenaline attraction. Opened just six weeks ago and based in the same sky high tower as Voodoo Lounge, the Voo Doo zip line is a towering 498 feet in the air. It is so high, in fact, that they have to wand you to make absolutely sure that you don’t have even a penny that could fall and kill someone at the Rio pool down below. Just to compare the zip line on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas is just 40 feet in the air.  After you have purchased your tickets, which are typically tourist priced for $27+ per person (more at night), you will ride the 51 floor elevator to the very top of the Rio tower. Customer service at the ticketing was horribly slow, but the customer service at the top was excellent. The security team took their jobs seriously and strapped us in after wanding us to ensure that we wouldn’t be killing anyone with our loose change. Unlike other zip lines that I have been on, this is a two person chair style with a belt across your lap. After they remove the security gate you are released to fly forward at over 30 miles per hour. Flying forward was exhilarating and the view was amazing. Since I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie who has sky dived, white water rafted, and motorcycled my way to this point I genuinely expected not to be truly scared. WRONG. What goes out must come back and that, my friends, is where the genuine, pee your pants, close your eyes tight fear came into this situation. Once you stop you go flying backwards where you came from and the combination of not being able to see where you are going coupled with being almost 500 feet in the air damn near killed me. After our ride of terror Jennifer and I wanted to see photos, which were completely hilarious and worth every cent of what we paid for them. All in all, I wouldn’t take young children on this ride, but if you are 48″ tall and fearless, this new Vegas adrenaline rush might be just what your day needs.  

*Full disclosure: Jennifer and I were given complimentary passes to try out this fun new attraction.  


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On Sunday I was reading my Facebook feed and noticed that someone had posted a perplexing challenge asking if you would be able to spend 24 hours without complaining. I wondered inside if I could and decided that Monday would start the clock. Externally it was remarkably easy. Rather than complain about the time it took my barista to get my coffee, I appreciated the extra time I had to enjoy my community and connect with my neighbors. Instead of discussing the challenges and obstacles a client was facing, I approached the discussion about all of the opportunities we had to help them. I am often referred to as an incurable optimist, so looking at things on the bright side without complaint was fairly easy about everything in my life with the exception of one thing: me.

Externally it was easy to flip the switch from complainer to thankful, but the internal dialogue that I struggle with was a much more challenging story. The daily struggle with my hair- the impossibly thick, long, always heavy mane left me insisting that I should just give up and put it in a bun rather than celebrating that I have a healthy head of enviable hair that is a blessing. The crushing doubts and second thoughts that go on inside my head instead of having my first thought be representative of the unshakeable confidence that others swear that I have in endless quantities. Throughout the entire challenge it was the moment by moment battle of my internal dialogue about my own body that felt the most like Mt. Everest. Yes, I easily spent 24 hours without complaining about anything external, but I was still facing the biggest bully in the room and she was the person looking back at me in my bathroom mirror.

Which leads me to this afternoon, as I wrote this post to share with each of you. Within two minutes, I received two back to back brutal comments on the weight loss blog I recently posted. Initially I wanted to delete them and pretend they never existed, but my friend Daria agrees that the best blogs are candidly honest and these deserve the light of day. Clearly they are vile, hateful insults directed to provide fuel for my own inner dialogue that is a daily struggle. Well, bad news “Agatha” and “Katherine M”: there isn’t anything that you said in these comments that I haven’t thought to myself a thousand times. A pig, a Michelin man, a fraud, ugly with and without makeup- I dare any woman who has struggled with her self image not to admit that she has thought these ugly thoughts to herself. Now, when you have to share them about someone else on their blog about their healthy living journey, it says more about how your mama raised you than it does about how ugly, fat, or ignorant I am.


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Meet Danica Speer. With a long history as a lady leader in marketing and growing businesses, Danica has always had a passion for working with children. Her passion fueled the creation of Five Star Sitters, a locally owned and operated, insured and bonded nanny service. When she heard that the children of downtown Las Vegas were having to venture outside of the neighborhood for summer camps, Danica couldn’t sit idle and took action, creating Dream Factory Kids. Not only does this affordable summer camp keep downtown kids in downtown, but they are engaging in all kinds of kid friendly downtown activities like playing at the Container Park, sipping fresh juices from Grassroots, and swimming at the rooftop Ogden pool.  Recently the children were disturbed to learn that a homeless man on the street didn’t have a lunch, so they asked if they could make lunches and pass them out. Homeless activist and character catalyst Tiger Todd with Hero School gave the children a lesson in homelessness and character change before going with everyone to find hungry people to give their lunches to.  When the children aren’t active in the community, they are flexing their artistic muscles by creating puppets, puppet shows, and working as a team on theatrics presented to parents at pick up time. 

It’s a bold declaration of independence to detour from a successful marketing career and dive head first into working with children every day.  Frankly, it is a bold declaration of independence for every individual that chooses to blaze their own trail and become an entrepreneur. The entrepreneurial journey is filled with daily battles, wars that you may lose, managing troops that aren’t always cooperative, and an endless list of challenges that will prove “you don’t know what you don’t know” when it comes to owning your own business. At the end of the exhausting day it is all worth it if you are doing what you love because you really are passionate about it.  

My two girls are attending the summer camp and let me just share that Danica is knocking it out of the park as a new entrepreneur. She loves what she does and her passion is palpable.  The kids love the camp, the parents are thrilled to have a local option, and the community is actively celebrating another family friendly option to bring more families to our downtown core.  


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I have hot friends. My entire life I have been the funny one, the smart one, the ambitious one, but I have never been the hot one. Well, friends, that is changing.  I always wrote off the good food choices my friends made as “skinny bitch problems” and explained as they were headed to the gym that I preferred to dive into work. Every excuse that you can imagine I have used, abused, and reinvented with my own sparkly flair. About two months ago I was fed up- my marriage fell apart and I opened my eyes to really look in the mirror at myself. There was a lot that I didn’t like. I insisted that my ex husband take photos to document where I was and thought they would surely never see the light of day. Screw it. Here goes. The internet is filled with naked women, so I am owning my own authenticity in this journey and sharing my progress with you- lumps, bumps, cellulite and all.  
The photo on the left is from two months ago at 255lbs. I could do about 30 minutes on the treadmill, all while listening to angry Eminem music and thinking profane thoughts about every cheeseburger I’d ever consumed.  The photo on the right is from this morning at 230lbs.  Yes, I have lost 25lbs and I am doing frequent kick ass workouts with Allen Gaines with Making Gaines, who has been equal parts personal trainer, life coach, and good friend throughout my journey.  Today I can dive into a challenging 90 minute cardio session, lift at least twice as heavy weight, and I have been introduced to muscles I didn’t know existed on my body.  No, this is not a commercial for some multi level marketing program.  I didn’t join Weight Watchers and I have just started applying the common sense philosophy of “Less In, More Out” by eating less and working out more.  It sucks. Working out sucks. I would rather be doing well, most anything, instead of spending time in the gym. I still covet In N Out burger on a daily basis and had a passionate dream about a pizza that was almost sexual in nature.  I am sore pretty much every second of every single day.  The surprising thing is that I am also more alive.  I am really living. I hold my head higher. I am proud of me. I feel good inside. About two weeks into this adventure it stopped being about how my clothes fit or the number on the scale and became about being the best person that I could be for my two little girls.  I want to be around for many years for them.