Channel Bakers Names Jason Rubenstein Director of U.S. Business Development

channel bakers

Global advertising and marketing agency Channel Bakers has named Jason Rubenstein as Director of U.S. Business Development, as announced by Joshua Kreitzer, Founder and CEO. In this role, Rubenstein will leverage his direct marketing and sales experience as well as his relationships with major brands to help lead the continued growth of Channel Bakers’ client roster.

“We are excited to add Jason to our growing team,” said Kreitzer. “He is a recognized leader in our industry and thus will be able to play a key role managing our explosive new business growth in 2020.”

Prior to his role at Channel Bakers, Rubenstein held global advertising leadership positions with Amazon, Microsoft, Expedia, and Ad Lightning. He hails from the Pacific Northwest and graduated from the University of Washington. Rubenstein’s career has been focused on e-commerce and digital media partnering with brands such as Georgia Pacific, T-Mobile, Delta, and State Farm. In his free time, he volunteers with FareStart, an organization working to end joblessness, poverty and hunger.

Channel Bakers provides turnkey e-commerce solutions, advertising and marketing consulting fueled by analytics to optimize their strategies. The agency has differentiated itself by combining traditional storytelling with technological innovation. Its campaigns range from apparel, consumer packaged goods, over-the-counter drugs, automotive, and electronics, to financial, insurance, education and more.

About Channel Bakers:

Founded as one of the first agencies purely focused on Amazon Advertising in 2015 by CEO Joshua Kreitzer, Channel Bakers is a full-service, global agency founded upon a core tenet to help brands find the right audience at the right time to tell their story and drive sales. The agency utilizes its decades of experience leveraging data and analytics to grow revenue within specific retailers and verticals. With this strategy Channel Bakers has helped clients become top brands on Amazon. Channel Bakers is one of the selected partners featured in Amazon Advertising’s find-a-partner directory. For more information,

Meet John Costello – Voyage LA Magazine | LA City Guide

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Costello.

John, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.

I believe this interview will be more focused on my work as an author rather than my executive position at Microchip Technology. I was born in Chicago’s north side. My father was a career criminal with mob ties. I grew up around violence, drugs, street gangs, outlaw bikers and mob figures. My book details the events in my life that led to the decisions I made along the way. Some were terrible, but most were good. My book explains the challenges of growing up and attempting to achieve higher education and career while dealing directly with the criminal elements in my family. There are certain specific events that shaped my thought process. The first was the severe beating my father gave my mother around my tenth birthday, leaving her comatose for days. She eventually survived but received a tainted blood transfusion and contracted hepatitis. She took to the bottle and ended up dying of cirrhosis, three years later and one month after the murder of my uncle. During this time, I (as my brother & sister) were bounced in and out of foster homes. Unbeknownst to us, my father has another family in the rich part of town while we lived on welfare. When my mother died, I was never informed, did not attend the funeral, just taken from foster care to learn of my father’s other family in somewhat of a shocking manner. I developed a great hatred for my entire family the more I learned and I used this hatred to drive my success in academics and sports, eventually earning a college degree (BBA) and going on to a successful career only to stumble as my father dragged me into his criminal world when I was 24. A bad decision on my part as his actions nearly got me killed. I rebounded and got my career back on track and began to climb the corporate latter when circumstances took a bad turn during my marriage. My wife’s infertility was a cause of great stress and eventually killed the relationship after ten years of struggling to have a family. At this time, I became bitter and angry, leading me to another bad decision. I re-entered the world of crime while continuing to work and even be promoted at my company. I let my anger and inherent violent nature get the best of me. Things again changed as I began to meet many celebrities and LA’s rich and famous, including the late Hugh Hefner, who invited mine to dozens of his parties at the Playboy Mansion. As I moved up the corporate latter, the CEO took me aside and told me I had a great future. I needed to keep arms distance from my other world. I took his advice and was soon promoted to VP. This moved me into that 1% bracket. I eventually remarried and now have four kids (two sets of twins).

The details of my story are in my book Executive Hoodlum – Negotiating on the Corner of Main and Mean. There are many side stories most will find intriguing as it reads like a fictional crime novel even though it is all true. I fact-checked the book thoroughly and most of the authentication can be found on my website. Certainly, it is the road less traveled and my experiences are sometimes difficult to believe. i.e., Although I am a high-level executive at a $20B public company I have been subpoenaed for and organized crime trial as well as from a grand jury for another well-known large scale criminal investigation (of which I was a suspect)- I did two TV reality pilots – have a strange group of friends – a very eclectic bunch from celebrities, organized crime figures, outlaw bikers, members of congress and the pentagon, all detailed in my book. I signed a life rights deal with Bleiberg Entertainment for a proposed TV series based on my book before it was written. I suppose that covers the basics.

Full article linked here.

We know design matters to business—here’s how to leverage it


This article was created as part of a collaborative effort by IIT Institute of Design, Capital One, Google, Ford, Philips, Salesforce, and VMLY&R.

Over the past several years, companies like 3M, Hyundai Motors, Philips, Salesforce, and PepsiCo have appointed Chief Design Officers to their leadership teams. Much as the rise of Chief Financial Officers in the 1980s and Chief Marketing Officers in the 1990s signaled the expanding influence of their trades within corporations and organizations, the growing number of CDOs during the 2000s and 2010s reflect wide recognition of design’s ascendance in business.

Alongside the rise of executive design leadership, a number of reports on design’s business value have begun rippling through the business community. For example, McKinsey’s report, “The Business Value of Design,” finally began cracking the nut of design’s quantifiable impact on revenue and growth, while Invision’s Design Maturity Index offered a framework to qualify the maturity of a design function in a wide swath of organizations.

It’s no longer a question of why design matters to organizations, but how it can be leveraged to move them forward. A report from IIT Institute of Design (ID) seeks to answer just that.

Completed by ID faculty and graduate researchers and with the support of industry partners, the 2020 ID report, “Lead with Purpose: Design’s Central Role in Realizing Executive Vision,” drew on the expertise of over 50 design and business professionals.

The study’s key finding: The challenges organizations face when realizing visionary goals can be addressed by an integrated design function. Researchers found that design can bridge the gap between purpose, or intent, and fully-realized effect—a process that the report refers to as the “Intent-to-Effect Pathway.”

“Lead with Purpose…” homes in on six skills inherent to the design discipline that help bring vision to fruition. Those core skills include: storytelling, prototyping, foresight, facilitation, collaboration, and systems thinking.

The six key design skills promote alignment across functions and levels, as well as produce clearer guidelines to hand down when objectives may be ambiguous and sweeping. Design offers concrete tools to manage, overcome, and ultimately thrive in the face of ambiguity.

“Designers dispel ambiguity through concrete things like infographics, [user] stories, or insights boiled down to a sentence,” explains one of the report’s respondents.


But making concepts tangible is just the beginning. Using foresight to anticipate industry demands, deploying collaborative skills to reconcile needs across business units and prototyping possible solutions—all are critical to taking an organization from vision to execution.

As another respondent put it, “a mature design organization leverages design to support its other functions. It’s not design as a service. It’s design as collaboration.”

“Lead with Purpose…” proposes four design-specific roles to facilitate action along the Intent-to-Effect Pathway. Depending on the size and structure of an organization, those roles may include: an executive vision partner; a vision interpreter; an action aligner; and producers.

An “Executive Vision Partner” would be a business-savvy design leader who collaborates with executive leadership to articulate its vision into a defined pathway for success. These are roles we can already see embodied in the rise of the Chief Design Officer.

Working closely with the Executive Vision Partner would be the Vision Interpreter, a strategic design leader skilled at translating vision into actionable steps. The Vision Interpreter, the report says, has the foresight to anticipate possible outcomes and unintended consequences of the conceptual pathway that others might miss.

Full article linked here.

Tangram Hosts Screening at Downtown LA Showroom of Inspirational Documentary “Relentless” on Overcoming Adversity

Tangram DTLA

Tangram, a curator of highly creative commercial interior environments and workspaces, recently hosted a special screening of the powerful documentary “Relentless” at its Downtown Los Angeles office and showroom. On hand were the film’s subject, Marty O’Connor, along with filmmaker Shelby Thomas and O’Connor’s mother, Judy.

Shown at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the documentary is a story about humility, resilience, passion and perspective. It offers a revealing and inspirational portrait of an action sports athlete who appears to lose everything when he becomes a quadriplegic in a freak accident. Through his relentless pursuit of self-improvement, he learns to embrace his challenges and forge a new sense of self through a journey of love, growth and acceptance.

In a Q&A session following the screening, O’Connor and his mother offered a candid look at the impact the accident has had and the grueling recovery process that is still ongoing. Subjects addressed included overcoming frustration and depression, the rigors of physical therapy, and the roles played by friends, family and faith in supporting him throughout the journey.

Among his post-accident accomplishments, O’Connor created the Marty O’Connor Foundation for Progress, earned an MBA in marketing and entrepreneurship with top honors, received an executive certification in leadership, and tours the country sharing his story. He also runs his own creative agency, hosts a podcast focused on empowerment and entertainment, and he is writing a book to show others a strategic roadmap for turning their adversity into their advantage.

Thompson grew up in Southern California and resides in Los Angeles where she works at Fox Sports as a creative production assistant. Greatly influenced by the ambition and competition surrounding the athletic community, she played Division III lacrosse and captained the team at Chapman University. Fascinated by people who pushed the limits in sports, Shelby realized that documentary filmmaking would enable her to find stories representing true grit, extreme situations and peak performances.

“Marty’s saga is truly amazing and one with deep insights for anyone facing challenges and adversity in their lives,” said Lindsey Sage, Tangram Vice President of Business Development. “It was an honor to have him with us, and the response from our attendees clearly showed how meaningful the experience was.”

Visit to learn more about the project, view a trailer of the film and purchase a password to stream the documentary. Exclusive in-person screenings will resume based on official guidelines for convening group sessions.

Tangram provides solutions that foster workplace satisfaction, collaboration and productivity while enhancing the client’s brand and culture. In addition to its core contract furniture offering, the company operates multiple additional business units for a comprehensive approach to commercial interiors. This range of services allows for top-to-bottom involvement that integrates each aspect of planning, design and installation.

For information on Tangram Interiors and its full capabilities, go to

About Tangram Interiors
Tangram is a flagship dealer for Steelcase, Inc., and the leading commercial interior solutions provider in Southern California with offices in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Kern and Fresno counties. The company has nurtured a collaborative and people-focused culture in the belief that people fuel innovation. That culture has led to the organic growth of multiple business units complementing the firm’s core contract furniture offering: custom furniture, ancillary furniture, flooring and light construction, audio-visual integration, architectural walls, on-site furniture reconditioning, asset management and storage, delivery and installation, and corporate moves.

Unconditional Care in the Time of COVID-19


Even as communities across California are sheltering in place, Seneca’s work cannot and does not stop. With the safety and wellbeing of our staff and the families we serve as our highest priority, Seneca has pivoted to distance treatment modalities, and we are working creatively with our county and school partners to get essential support to young people and families in need. Our mental health therapists are now providing critical mental health services virtually; we anticipate needing to sustain this shift to telehealth for several months to come to ensure families have access high quality therapeutic care with as few interruptions or disruptions as possible. With schools closed for the remainder of the school year, Seneca’s school-based programs are similarly making a rapid shift to virtual services so that we may support students to continue meeting their learning goals. Seneca is even slated to provide virtual trainings to help educate school districts on virtual engagement with families, as requested by Orange County Mental Health Collaborative.

Seneca’s Placement Program is working creatively to continue our critical support services for youth and families whose lives have been touched by the foster care system. The program is collaborating with county and community partners to secure placements for foster-involved youth who have tested positive for the virus or whose placements are disrupted due to caregiver illness. Staff are also actively recruiting families interested in parenting foster-involved children in our community, and just launched a new online training cohort of families to receive training and be approved for placement. Ongoing post-placement services to improve family functioning and ensure the permanency of families in this time of great stress are now being provided virtually.

The thread that runs through Seneca’s broad continuum of care is our commitment to do whatever it takes to support youth and families thrive, no matter the challenges. In this spirit, Seneca has launched a state-wide effort to procure new or gently used connective technology devices – smart phones, tablets, and laptops – to provide to the families we serve who do not have other means of accessing telehealth or distance learning services. For the families made most vulnerable by the COVID-19 crisis, these devices make a world of difference in this time of isolation and anxiety. Staff have also begun to deliver groceries, basic needs supplies, and birthday surprises so that families can remain safely at home.

While our services are by necessity going to look a little different for the duration of this crisis, Seneca’s mission remains the same: to support children and families through the most difficult times of their lives. We are humbled and grateful for the collaborative effort and support from our partners – other service providers, county, corporate, foundation, and donor partners alike – who make this work possible.

For more information or to give go to,

COVID-19 – Video Update from Orange County United Way President and CEO

Sue Parks

Watch video here.

Thanks to your generous donations to our Pandemic Relief Fund, over the last three weeks we have been able to help 564 families who were referred to us for our pilot Homelessness Prevention Program by 21 service provider partners.

As the next phase of our program, today we’re announcing the launch of our OC Family to Family Campaign with a goal to help 2,000 families. Your gift to this campaign will be automatically put toward a $500 emergency debit card to help Orange County families who have had their income impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and are at risk of homelessness.

The Lyons-Smith Family Foundation is generously providing a dollar for dollar match during this campaign, up to $500,000 – so donate today and double your impact.

To make a donation to the OC Family to Family Campaign, please visit our GoFundMe page or text Family2Family to 51555.

If you are an individual or family in need of assistance or support, please visit, text your zip code to 898-211, or call 2-1-1 to be connected with local health and human services resources.

Donate to help Orange County families here.

For nonprofit organizations looking to apply for funding, please reach out to Carol Kim, Director, Community Investments and Evaluation, via

Evite Pro Opportunities for Small Businesses and Nonprofits

Evite Pro Opportunities for Small Businesses and Nonprofits

Evite was built on the power of human connection. Our continued promise is to provide easy ways to connect and support communities, especially now when we all need it most. For small businesses and nonprofits, who are very much like families, we are providing a free year of our Evite Pro subscription (regularly $249.99/year).

We’ve made a couple updates to our offering with your needs in mind:

1. Connect with your community through virtual events. Preserve your employee and customer relationships by taking your events virtual during social distancing. Our platform now supports virtual events with video chat on any Evite invitation. Keep morale strong by hosting virtual happy hours for your team, celebrating key milestones and even singing happy birthday to teammates.

2. Raise the dollars you need with virtual fundraising. Invite your community to donate to your own business needs or a critical nonprofit effort, directly through any Evite invitation. Host a virtual fundraising event, or host a virtual course in exchange for donations. 100% of proceeds go to your cause.

We’re eager to serve our community in a time of need. And when life returns to normal, we can’t wait to help reunite your community face-to-face.

Sending love from our family to yours,

Victor Cho
CEO | Evite

#GivingTuesdayNow: May 5, 2020

Giving Tuesday 2020

Over the past two months, the Pepperdine community has demonstrated a prevailing solidarity, coming together to stand up, help out, and give back during this unprecedented crisis.

We are Waves. Together we rise.

On May 5, 2020, Pepperdine University will come together with the rest of the world for #GivingTuesdayNow to honor the shared sacrifices of our community and give back to what matters most to us— our students. Your support on this day will help meet our students’ greatest needs and ensure that those facing unforeseen hardships as a result of the COVID-19 crisis will continue to receive a Pepperdine education.

Learn more here.

Invitation: 2020 Virtual Notte di Savoia Los Angeles

Notte di Savoia

Although the American Savoy Foundation’s Third Annual Notte di Savoia Los Angeles gala planned for April 4, 2020 at the Montage Beverly Hills has been canceled due to COVID-19, charitable beneficiary Caterina’s Club continues to provide 5,000 fresh pasta dinners to homeless and motel children daily.

Caterina’s Club, led by Chef Bruno Serato, a Savoy Cavaliere, has also kept helping families move from their cars and hotel rooms to apartments, changing their lives.

Instead of the Montage gala, the American Foundation of Savoy Orders will raise funds online for Caterina’s Club through a virtual giving event beginning now and running through May 11, 2020.

Caterina’s Club has made it its mission to not miss a single day of feeding the kids. Chef Bruno and the Caterina’s Club staff are working daily with every program location to ensure kids can be fed a fresh pasta dinner, in keeping with the Savoy Foundation’s “Chivalry for Children’s Causes” charitable mandate from HRH Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy. Please consider donating online now, perhaps in the amount you were planning to give or spend on gala tickets at the Notte di Savoia.

For more information and donation options, please use the button below.

Donation page linked here.

Please direct questions regarding the event to the
Notte di Savoia Virtual Event Chairman,
Daniel J. McClory, Tel: +1 949 233 7869,

View the Donation Options below:

$25,000 Provides a Week of Fresh Pasta Dinners or Moves 5 Homeless/Motel Families into Apartments

View Details + Donate Today >

$10,000 Two Full Days of Fresh Pasta Dinners or Moves 2 Homeless/Motel Families into Apartments

View Details + Donate Today +

$7,500 Half a Day’s Fresh Pasta Dinners and Moves 1 Homeless/Motel Family into an Apartment

View Details + Donate Today +

$5,000 One Day’s Fresh Pasta Dinners or Moves 1 Homeless/Motel Family into an Apartment

View Details + Donate Today +

$1,000 One Thousand Fresh Pasta Dinners

View Details + Donate Today +

$500 Five Hundred Fresh Pasta Dinners

View Details + Donate Today +

Submarines, Ponies and Locomotives… Oh My: Communicating in Crisis


By Chad Jordan, Vice President of Business Development, Brands, SOCi Inc.

In the blink of an eye, our world has certainly changed. Like Dorothy told Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore. And from the look of it, we aren’t going back anytime soon. In fact, when we do get back to the new normal, most of what we have known for so long will have changed. The way we work, the way we shop, the way we gather together and more will most likely have shifted to some version of an altered reality we couldn’t have anticipated just a short while ago.

So how we market, how we advertise, how we communicate must adapt as well. Let’s be honest, marketing and advertising in the midst of this feels kind of silly, right? And not just silly, almost insensitive, even, dare I say, icky. But what is marketing, really? What is advertising? It’s communication. Marketing is messaging. So right now, through this, we have to continue communicating. We have to do our marketing through keeping our clients and employees well informed.

We’re seeing a few types of marketing coming out of companies right now.

  • You’ve got the companies that have gone completely dark. I call these companies the submarines. They have shut everything down and submerged for the duration of this Social Distancing Quarantine. We are not hearing ANYTHING from these companies, nothing on social media, no emails about their operations, nothing.
  • Then you’ve got the companies that are still continuing to message as if nothing has changed. I call these companies the one-trick ponies, because they are committed to the marketing plan they put together for 2020, and they are NOT budging from it. For example, their social media approach is stagnant. At best, they might have adjusted the verbiage a smidge to incorporate Social Distancing, but aside from that, it’s business as usual.

But the companies that will survive this crisis are the ones that will adapt and put out the right messaging, at the right time, on the right channels.

  • So there is another strategy that is needed in a time like this. I call it the locomotive strategy. A locomotive is the engine, the lead car of a train. It’s the one that sees the light at the end of the tunnel before anyone else and calls out, whistles out, signals to everyone else the way ahead, pulling the other cars, dragging folks along for the ride if necessary.

Social media is an essential aspect of communicating in the current situation. The point of your social media activity is not about driving business right now. That’s essentially out the window for most companies. Social media’s major impact through this is building the community that will sustain you and revitalize you once this crisis is over.

Let me repeat that point: social media will help you build the community that will help you rebuild your company, and much more quickly than you could have otherwise. So the longer you wait to jump on the social media train, the harder you will find it to create the community you’ll need down the line. If you take nothing else away from this article, please remember this: your social media efforts through this crisis can make or break your recovery from this crisis.