Wednesday, January 10, 2001

AIMing for charity

The opulence overwhelms as you look upwards at the massive gold-laden chandeliers with dancing bears. More dancing bears, etched in floor-to -ceiling mirrors, reflected flickering candlelight, The roomful of glittery guests was immersed in sparkling conversations. Near the entranceway, Carol Peters introduced me to's Sadia Carone, who explained that their goal of getting 1-minute email-able video clips from attendees. 1MinuteWebcast's president Mark Pressman added to the information by telling me that their video news release-like model is being used by the Cancer Society for the organization's Dog's Walk and various conferences.
IMarketingNews's Ken Magill and Rosko Direct's John Rosko were enjoying the evening as they perused some of the Silent Auction items. Wave Systems' Director of Charitable Programs Cristine Cronin told me how her boss wants to establish a way for charities to accept credit card donations via their online credit card processing. The two most ambitious chaps I met this evening were's President Richard Hecker and CEO Ruchit Shah. Sixteen and seventeen years old respectively, These two started this profitable and popular online ad agency a year ago. After having met online via Ruchit's stock-reporting site, there was a tip, a sale and then the idea that they could do something better, the two hit it off and began collaborating with a $280.00 investment. Now with more than 2 billion ads served and $1.5 million in revenues, they're hiring and planning to go to NYU Stern Undergrad. Lori Schwab, Knowledge Strategies's Eileen Shulock and NYU's Center for Direct Marketing's Associate Director Lynda Confessore all had happy, bubbly things to say (it was Lori's birthday). Bells began ringing, and as I made my way up to the 3rd floor, where dinner was being served, I chatted with's Philip Kaplan.

During dinner, we heard speeches from AIM's Ben Isaacson and representatives from the charities: Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, Future Possibilities, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. We heard shocking facts about missing children and inspiring stories of how many are being found, thanks to online databases. Afterwards, Blinn PR's Steve Blinn introduced me to @NY's Senior Editor Christine Gordon. I also chatted with Fox News's Charles Zakaib and David Hnatiuk and BchinaB's Founder Jeremy Haft. These two strapping young men have a great collaboration between the graphics and music departments, respectively.'s Executive Editor Jonathan Krim spoke before the gathered guests. Dawn Fotopoulous and I caught up a bit before heading home. Before I left, I spied AIM's "Diva" of Marketing Alexis Bonnell entertaining NY Business Forums' Burt Alimansky and Dara Tyson. Leaders and heads of companies enjoyed the sumptuous setting, dinner and conversation, all while supporting three important causes.