Have I Told You Lately…


My husband went to Rod Stewart’s concert in Las Vegas last year. Rod told the crowd that the song “Have I Told You Lately (that I love you)” was originally written by Van Morrison as a prayer to God. After listening to the song for years, I never made that connection, but it is clear after actively listening to the lyrics. Since this is Valentine’s week, love is all around us. I listened to Rod’s version of the song today, as I often do, and I realized that more often than not, the answer to his question is “no.” You can’t say “I Love You” too much…and you can never hear it too often either.

I am reminded of another lesson about love from a scene in the 1983 movie Terms of Endearment. In the scene, Debra Winger’s character, Emma Horton, is about to die of cancer and has her final conversation with her oldest son, Tommy, who has expressed a great deal of anger and resentment towards his mother. She says:

“I know you like me. I know it. For the last year or two, you’ve been pretending like you hate me. I love you very much. I love you as much as I love anybody, as much as I love myself. And in a few years when I haven’t been around to be on your tail about something or irritating you, you could… remember that time that I bought you the baseball glove when you thought we were too broke. You know? Or when I read you those stories? Or when I let you goof off instead of mowing the lawn? Lots of things like that. And you’re gonna realize that you love me. And maybe you’re gonna feel badly, because you never told me. But don’t – I know that you love me. So don’t ever do that to yourself, all right?”

Sometimes, we need to let other people, especially our children, know that WE KNOW that they love us. That is a wonderful gift. Giving love is important but acknowledging other people’s gift of love is also a gift in itself.
Growing up, my dad often asked us, “When is the best time to say I Love You?” And his answer was always the same…”Right Now.” So let’s spread the joy this week and let people know that they are loved. And tonight, when you tuck your kids in bed or kiss your partner goodnight, let them know that you know how much they love you.

My husband went to Rod Stewart's concert in Las Vegas last year. Rod told the crowd that the song "Have I Told You Latel...

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Paper or Plastic?


Sometimes you run across an individual who champions multiple causes that are near and dear to your heart. Dan Rosenthal is one of those champions.

I spend portions of my life at our condo on the Atlantic Coast of Florida. In the summer months, we keep our interior lights off in the evenings so we don’t interfere with the birthing processes of the Loggerhead turtles. Dan Rosenthal’s mother managed Loggerhead Turtle Watch program on Longboat Key and pioneered the efforts to handle endangered species programs for turtles throughout the state of Florida. While vacationing in St. Maarten, Dan saw a Loggerhead turtle wash ashore and later learned that it had died from ingesting a plastic take-out bag. The fact that he provided those same bags at his restaurants (over 400,000 per year), made him realize that he was playing a role in harming the same creatures his mother had worked so hard to preserve. He had to enact change…

Rosenthal founded the Green Chicago Restaurant Co-op in 2007, in order to provide affordable option for fellow restaurateurs to procure sustainable products and services in volumes that are affordable. The Co-op has evolved into the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition, which focuses on advocacy and education regarding purchasing sustainable food products and supporting the restaurants that do so. They have tackled such issues as composting, immigration, and the agricultural industry’s impact on consumers and the environment.

What I love most about Rosenthal’s story is that family values often come full circle in creating social entrepreneurship. So many stories about various people who have created responsible business models to help solve problems in our society are tied together by the same golden thread…an awareness that was instilled in them by a prior generation. It is yet another reminder that the greatest accomplishments in life may not always be what we directly create, but how we impact others on a daily basis…how we mold and shape the entrepreneurship of our future generations by instilling the values needed to make a difference. Whatever your values may be, it is a great time to include your children in conversations and activities centered around those values. Sometimes the indirect impact we make is even more powerful than the direct one.

You can learn more about The Rosenthal Group’s most recent green accomplishments here.

Sometimes you run across an individual who champions multiple causes that are near and dear to your heart. Dan Rosenthal...

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“Life is Better When You Share the Ride”


Since I grew up in California, I was very young when I first heard or read the word “carpool.” Considering that my vocabulary at the time consisted primarily of nouns, the compound word did not make sense to me. Nobody was swimming. Was it a joke about traffic swimming through busy lanes, I thought? Enter Logan Green and John Zimmer. There’s nothing funny about the two young businessmen who propelled carpooling (the verb) down the fast lane of social entrepreneurship.

Logan Green announced his creation of the ‘Zimride’ service in 2007 on Facebook, which was one of the first online ride share companies inspired during his trip to Zimbabwe. The name caught his friend, John Zimmer’s, attention online. The ZIM, however, was just a “crazy, fateful coincidence.” But it was no coincidence that Zimmer had already thought about the transportation challenges facing the US when he took a Green Cities class at Cornell. This class highlighted the fact that 80% of highway passenger seats are empty and the second highest household expense is owning a vehicle. Out of every challenge comes an opportunity.

The two eventually launched Zimride as a social media platform, where drivers could create profiles highlighting their preferred destinations and departure dates. The service then matches drivers and passengers, while allowing for people to post interests and reviews. In many ways, this has created new networking opportunities for those looking to make new professional connections.

Zimride’s success has taken off, becoming the largest service of its kind. There are more than 400,000 users in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, New York and Washington D.C., including 130 university and corporate networks.

The two created Lyft in June 2012. The app provides on-demand, short-distance rides within a city, which organically encourages networking within one’s immediate neighborhood. When they launched Lyft, they introduced the iconic pink mustache logo in an effort to add a fun component and sense of community to the ride experience. And YES, they are big furry pink mustaches that attach to vehicle’s grill.


This is where the future of urban transportation lies…in creative ways that we can all pool our resources to cut costs, build relationships, reduce the impact on the environment and have more fun. So, how many miles have been driven using Zimride and Lyft? Over 200 million miles, which is the equivalent of driving around the world 8,000 times. This has provided saving of over $100 million for the platform users.

I was reminded of how rare carpooling is when I noticed that the carpool lanes in LA require only TWO people. My hope is that Zimride will take off to the extent that major metro markets will consider increasing that number to THREE, which seems much more admirable when it comes to ridesharing. Until then, you can inflate the blow up doll or pick up a hitchhiker to get from A to B faster. Or maybe you can just check out Zimride and Lyft. Your passenger may even throw in some gas money, give you a good review or provide you with an intro to your next boss. Worse things have happened!

Since I grew up in California, I was very young when I first heard or read the word "carpool." Considering that my vocab...

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“It Came From Soil. Shouldn’t it Go Back?”


It is time to publicly (and shamefully) admit that I am not a recycler. After years of filling tubs in my hometown, just to see the collector drive around the corner and dump it in a mainstream dumpster, I was disheartened and ended up reverting back to bad habits. “Why am I spending time sorting and why am I paying to fund an unethical business model, solely for the sake of being able to say I am doing the right thing,” I asked? The answer was clear…”most of the time we are over-capacity and unable to handle the volume of recyclables we collect.” Needless to say, that left a bad taste in my mouth and I went from GREEN to a very light shade of sea foam rather quickly. What is sea foam, you ask? Throwing plastic water bottles in recycle bins when available. We all have our flaws, so I ask that you accept my honesty and commend me in that I have called to re-up my membership in the “Circular Arrows Curbside Pick-up Society,” effective this week.

Walker Lunn, CEO of EnviRelation LLC; however, is to be commended for developing a company that has diverted approximately 20,000 tons of food waste from landfills by encouraging restaurants like those at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner in Virginia to focus on organic separation, composting and recovery. Some restaurants that have embraced this same philosophy have cancelled their garbage pick-up completely by generating NO WASTE what-so-ever. Truly amazing!

What is driving this behavior? Two things. Cost savings and environmental stewardship; the latter of which is the primary driver. But let’s be honest…saving a few bucks doesn’t hurt either!

What really impresses me is the power of composting. Composting jenerously keeps trash out of landfills and helps soil retain natural fertilizers, thereby reducing nitrogen runoff into our beautiful US waterways. What does nitrogen do in our water, you ask? It provides a food source to algae, which grows quickly and cuts off the natural oxygen supply in our water, ultimately resulting in stagnant water and death to aquatic life. Quite simply…composting = life.

EnviRelations, the food-only composting company which fuses the words “Environment” and “Relationship,” services Washington D.C., parts of Maryland and is planning expansion into Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania within the next year. While it began servicing hotels, it has expanded to include restaurants, grocery stores and healthcare facilities.

Why I do I love what Walker Lunn has produced, other than the fact that what he is doing by composting is transparent and value-added? He has created a new model of Jenerosity in a category that will shape the environmental future of our world. I have the feeling that this is the type of business model that will grow rapidly, market-by-market, throughout the US as other like-minded entrepreneurs recognize the opportunity that this creates – a true Win/Win for all parties involved, even the consumer. Lunn is helping to develop this industry’s infrastructure and regulatory framework as well.

Thank you EnviRelations for all that you are doing. You have inspired me to be a little Greener. As Kermit said, “It’s not easy being green.” But…companies like yours make it is a little easier than it used to be.

It is time to publicly (and shamefully) admit that I am not a recycler. After years of filling tubs in my hometown, just...

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Batteries Not Included

fuzzy cuffs

A few weeks ago, I was swapping dog stories with a friend over lunch.  Little did I know, I was about to hear a doozy.  Buried deep in her closet was a bag full of toys (of the battery-operated kind).  Of course, it just so happened that her son was home from college on break.  Her curious dog was doing what she does best…rummaging through the nooks and crannies of the house…and came across the bags of whirlies, shakers and glow sticks.  What fun!  In an effort to share her new discovery, she brought each item to her “brother” in hopes that he would engage in a game of fetch.  Push-bottom technology (for ease of use) allowed most items to be delivered in the ON position.  Did the college kid do the admirable thing and put them back in his parents’ room for them to discover in due time and hope that nobody saw?  Of course not!  All of the years of violating his privacy was about to be repaid in full.  The best revenge, he decided, was to play dumb and see how mom explains herself.   Needless to say, she was mortified.

Another girlfriend recently returned from a visit with her elderly parents in Michigan.  Her sweet little mom sat her down for what she could sense was about to be a serious talk.  “Honey, I have one wish and I need to know that I can trust you completely to carry it out.”  She nodded in agreement, convinced that there was no task too great to fulfill.  “When I die, I want you to immediately take a big yard-sized trash bag and just dump the contents of my drawers into it without looking.  Don’t unwrap anything.  Trust that there will be nothing of value in there.  I don’t want anyone to look through my drawers.”  She smiled and Jenerously agreed.  I know she will honor that promise.

I was sharing this story with a group of friends and one in the group instantly asked me to do the same for her.  So next time you are at happy hour with friends, make sure to assign someone the noble duty of cleaning out your drawers.  And ask them to remove the batteries before they drag the bag past your family and friends.

A few weeks ago, I was swapping dog stories with a friend over lunch.  Little did I know, I was about to hear a doozy. ...

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