Posted in Communication, Consulting

LaGuardia Community College – Dare To Do More

LAGCC1In January 2017, I accepted a temporary contract position as a marketing communications manager at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, NY. LaGuardia is part of the City University of New York and is based in one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the world, the borough of Queens.

As a marketing communications manager within the academic affairs division, I assist with promoting programs and events to the student population via email, online student portal, and social media platforms. There is a great deal happening at LaGuardia. The community college offers over 60 degrees and is abundant with resources which help students reach their academic goals.

LaGuardia is a unique institution of higher learning where – through a varied offering of academic and vocational programs – students from all over the world are guided toward building a better life for themselves and their families.

LaGuardia is well known for several academic degrees, notably Nursing, Paramedic, Commercial Photography, and New Media Technology. The college had over 45,000 students enrolled in both degree and non-degree programs in the fall of 2015.

My experience at LaGuardia has been incredible. The teamwork between administrative staff and faculty meshes extremely well and a majority of  students are dedicated, talented individuals working to achieve greatness. I definitely recommend the school to anyone who dares to do more with their lives.

Posted in bar/restaurant, Consulting, New York

Miti Miti NYC – An Awesome Bar/Restaurant in Brooklyn

Photo courtesy of MIti Miti's Facebook Page.
Photo courtesy of facebook.com/mitimitiNYC.

Colorful, vibrant, and sleek are just a few words to describe the modern and multifaceted Miti Miti, an incredibly awesome bar/restaurant in Brooklyn, NY. I have seen and experienced firsthand the wondrous transformation of this second business venture brought to us by Farid and George of Bogota Latin Bistro.

In full disclosure, I have been a communication consultant for the co-owners of these two fabulous establishments since 2009. I just attended a LGBT mixer at Miti Miti last Tuesday night sponsored by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. I had not been to the location in a few months and was impressed with various additions the charming decor. The hors d’oeuvers and drinks were on point and the crowd was energetically friendly.

Miti Miti is building up a good following, based on its Yelp! reviews, in just over a year in business.  The hot spot in Park Slope is just blocks from the Barclays Center. My favorite plate is their bacon wrapped dates and my favorite drink is the red sangria.

Miti Miti is a great place where you can enjoy an undoubtably delicious cuisine in a visually appealing space with magnificently mixed drinks. But don’t just take it from me, check it out yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

Posted in bar/restaurant, Communication, Consulting, New York

Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar – The Italian Restaurant on The Upper East Side of Manhattan

Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar - The Italian Restaurant on The Upper East Side #NYC
Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar – The Italian Restaurant on The Upper East Side #NYC

I enjoy a good glass of wine. The red house wine at Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza and Wine Bar, an Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side, was awesome. I dined there with a friend on Thursday and also really enjoyed the restaurant’s Salmon Risotto special. My pal Richard had the Rigatoni special and he liked it very much. The establishment blew us away with their White Chocolate Cake dessert which was described by Gaven, the general manager, as “one of the best desserts in the house.”

Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar has been in business for seven years and was started by brothers Jon and Marc Bash (fratelli means brother in Italian.) The decor is warm and wood-based with incredible chandeliers creating cozy lighting. The hospitality is friendly and the staff takes the extra step to make sure every thing is fine.

The entrance to Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar on the Upper East Side.
The entrance to Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar on the Upper East Side.

I have always loved Italian food and was torn by the vast choices on Fratelli’s menu. I will have to return some day to try their raving pizza and partake of their delicious red house wine again. I think I have found my “go to” place on the Upper East Side and possibly one of my favorites in Manhattan. If you are in the New York City metropolitan area and feel like an authentic Italian restaurant experience, definitely consider visiting Fratelli on the Upper East Side (on 1st Avenue near 71st Street.)

Which Chocolate Cake dessert at Fratelli on the Upper East Side.
Which Chocolate Cake dessert at Fratelli on the Upper East Side.

 

Posted in Communication, Consulting, Social Media

Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau Fraternity

Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau Fraternity
Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau Fraternity

I am a member of The Delphic Fraternity, Inc., also known as Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau. Every March my fraternity has a reunion in the small college town of New Paltz, NY. I’m looking forward to this year’s event, which celebrates the 27th anniversary of the organization’s re-establishment.

The fraternity officially becomes 143 years old in October. I am the self-proclaimed historian of my era for the fraternity and manage a site called the Delphic Fraternity History Homepage.

As I prepare to join my follow fraternity members to recognize the organization, discuss business, catch up with old friends, and connect with my Ala mater, the communicator in me can’t help but promote my fraternity via a social media shout out.

I was blessed to attend college and joining a fraternity was one of the best college-related decisions I’ve ever made. I knew when I joined the fraternity it would be a life-long commitment and I look forward to continuing to represent it the best way I can.

D E L – P H I !

Posted in Communication, Consulting, New York, Technology

Startups of Puerto Rico: Boricuas Doing It For Themselves

Startups of Puerto Rico
Startups of Puerto Rico

The economy of Puerto Rico may be struggling like many others, but there is a community of dedicated technologically-savvy entrepreneurs working hard to make La Isla de Borinquen a startup technology hub.

As a native New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent, I did not know there was a tech startup community on the Caribbean island.

According to one of the Puerto Rican pioneers of the startup community, Marcos Polanco, the startup community in Puerto Rico has officially existed since 2010 but has been around since 1996.

In 2010, Ramphis Castro and Marcos joined forces to create an association called Startups of Puerto Rico. They envisioned Puerto Rico and its people establishing start up technology companies and representing a growing number of successful businesses.

Castro and Polanco hosted a Startups of Puerto Rico Showcase on Tuesday, October 15 at the New York offices of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration.

I registered for the event to write this blog post. It was an honor just to be in the space, let alone in one with over 60 people with the collective idea of doing what we can to promote the startup community of Puerto Rico.

The event allowed four Puerto Rican startups the opportunity to pitch their companies to successful technology startup investors. The companies received priceless feedback from the tech investors who could have been anywhere they wanted to be at the time.

The tech investors on the pitch review panel included Bob Dorf, Amol Sarva, KJ Singh, and Ricardo García Amaya.

The startups from Puerto Rico included:

Blimp, represented by Giovanni Collazo, a startup providing “beautiful and easy project management for doers.”

Leavebox, represented by Roberto Santos, describes itself as the place “where Human Resources meets Business Intelligence by providing tools to manage employee absences.”

Kytelabs, represented by Jonathan Gonzalez, offers OneCard, “The last card you’ll ever carry.  Pay from any account, anywhere, on any system.  Say goodbye to your wallet.”

iGenApps, represented by Norman Ortiz, allows users to “create function-rich mobile apps from the palm of your hand with no programming.”

The startups showcased their companies and products and were open to suggestions on how to move their company/product to the next level. The investors also provided critical advice by expressing their occasional wish to either hear more specific information or see more dynamic presentations.

All the startups were amazing but I was most impressed with iGenApps. Smartphones are becoming more popular than laptops and it makes sense to be able create your own mobile app on your phone without the use of a desktop computer.

The night’s theme highlighted Puerto Rico as a place to do business and, as Startups of Puerto Rico notes on it’s website, “a real technology startup scene right smack in the middle of the Caribbean.”

Some of the event’s sponsors included the law firm Perkins Coie, Puerto Rican crowd-funding company Antrocket, and Puerto Rico’s first co-working space, Piloto 151.

A social gathering sponsored by Fans and Friends of Startups of Puerto Rico, founded by Carmen Bonilla, at Iguana‘s ended the evening.

I enjoyed the informative night and look forward to hearing more about Startups of Puerto Rico on the island and in New York.

It’s incredible to see a vibrant and visionary community of Boricuas creating their own, contributing to the local economy, and demonstrating leadership.

Keep up the wonderful work!

Posted in Blogging, Consulting

WordPress Powers More Than 20 Percent of New Websites

(Image courtesy of WordPress.com.)

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform out there and it has been for quite some time. There are about 58 million WordPress websites on the Internet today, and counting.

Currently, WordPress powers about 22 percent of all new websites. Companies using WordPress to power their blogs include CNN, General Motors, eBay, the New York Times, and UPS.

More and more small business are using WordPress to run their main websites, basically because it is easy to use and there are a multitude of design themes to choose from.

I assisted Bogota Latin Bistro, a Colombian/Pan-Latin restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with its dynamic website using WordPress. One of Bogota’s owners just started his own small business consulting firm, MumtazCoaching.com, and I also helped with its initial installation.

What makes WordPress so easy to use it that you do not need to know html or any other computer coding. The most challenging part is setting up the software and database on a hosting site. Once that’s done you can choose a theme and download plug-ins that allow you to add contact forms, Twitter feeds, Facebook Like Pages, etc.

I learned so much working on the sites above that I revamped my personal site at philvelez.com using a self-hosted WordPress site (the site you are presenting viewing is directly hosted by WordPress.com.)

To find out more about the difference between hosted and self-hosted WordPress sites, check out this informative article.

If you would like help creating your own self-hosted WordPress site, feel free to contact me at any time.

Posted in Blogging, Consulting

ModernDowntownDwellings.com

moderndowntowndwellings.com
Modern Downtown Dwellings

I am happy to introduce the blog of a designer that was not once, but twice featured in an article in the New York Times. His name is Alejandro Aguilar and he is a specialist in the art of designing small spaces for maximal use. He’s slogan is “Taking the Small Space to the Infinite Dimension.”

Alejandro had been anticipating the printing of his most recent featured article, published today in the New York Times, and needed some assistance with creating a blog to publicize his future design services. So I stepped in to help. After some discussion and a few meetings, the blog is now ready for its debut. Please keep in mind that it’s still a work in progress so feedback is welcome.

Blogs today can serve as main websites for a lot of businesses. So definitely consider it an option if you are ready to use social media to widely promote your business, art, passion, hobby, or whatever drives you to strive.

Check out Alejandro’s work and his present and past media coverage by visiting his blog at ModernDowntownDwellings.com.

If you need help or some guidance with your future blogging needs, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Congratulations on the New York Times article, Alejandro!