MBK Corporate

Building A GradNation: America's Promise Alliance

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The Building a GradNation Summit occurs annually in Washington, DC to promote students graduating high-school nationally. Since the 2010 launch of the GradNation campaign, America’s Promise Alliance has brought energy and focus to the national graduation rate challenge through research and data analysis, community-level investments, and convenings at the national, state, and local levels. Their incredible work focuses on keeping the Five Promises to young people: Caring Adults, Safe Places, A Healthy Start, Effective Education and Opportunities to Help Others.

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I felt so honored to photograph this extraordinary event, which joins more than 800 leaders in education, politics, business, and nonprofits with youth and community leaders from across the country. I am excited to share highlights from the GradNation Summit, and hope to raise awareness and encourage people to take action for this great cause. From individuals to national organizations and all in between - there is a way to make a difference and impact the life of a young person!

What we have here is not an education challenge, it is an American challenge”
— Mrs. Alma Powell
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America’s Promise Founding Chairman General Colin Powell and current chair Mrs. Alma Powell presented at this event, followed by a special announcement from Mrs. Laura Bush.

GradNation aims to increase the national graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020 and put millions more young people on the path to adult success. It is so inspiring to see the huge accomplishments America’s Promise has made over the last several years, and thanks to their unmitigated passion and commitment, these goals are now tangible.

With hundreds of national partners and their local affiliates, America’s Promise Alliance is uniquely positioned to mobilize Americans to act. We have made improving high school graduation rates our top priority, and we are on track to achieve the nation’s goal of a 90 percent graduation rate”
— Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education

Main Event Catering

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I always enjoy working with Main Event Catering, and am excited to showcase these highlights from some of their amazing parties this past month. Whether it be an intimate dinner or a lavish gala, the MEC team prides themselves on bringing their client’s vision to life.

Main Event Caterers provide inspired menus with restaurant caliber cuisine, impeccable service and trend-setting florals and design for their clients. I am always so impressed with their ability to transform various spaces into the perfect setting for any event. Their extraordinary menus are complimented with highly designed settings, which consistently results in a full-sensory culinary experience that transports guests into a bold world of celebration.

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Every time I photograph for Main Event Caterers, I am so impressed with their innovative ideas and quality of their services. It is evident that they pour their hearts and souls into each event, and they truly care about bringing people together to share important times in their lives. It’s that passion that makes all of their events unforgettable, and ensures that every guest experiences an enjoyable and flawless occasion. I can’t wait to work with them on more fabulous events!

The 76th Annual WSWA Convention & Exposition

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This year’s keynote speakers were Ice-T (actor, musician and author), Bruce Himelstein (former Chief Marketing Officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company), and Bill Newlands (CEO, Constellation Brands).

In the newly developed WSWA Supplier Leadership Series, answers were provided to some of the most pressing distribution-related questions including: brand building, how to stand-out in a sea of similar products, alternative 3-tier compliant routes to market, finding venture capital, and navigating compliance and state laws.

One of my favorite parts of the WSWA Convention was the Brand Battle, which is their version of Shark Tank, and puts brands with impressive pitches and compelling stories in front of a panel of decision-makers to compete live on stage. At the conclusion of the Brand Battle, the panel’s scores are combined with the audience scores to determine a first and second place winner. Contestants are judged on presentation, brand viability in the marketplace, taste, marketing innovation and overall appeal. I really enjoyed learning about these startup brands, and the inspirational stories behind their creation. For the first time ever, two brands tied for first place, which was very exciting to see! The two winners were Boukman Botanical Rhum made in Haiti and Seaside Grown Bloody Mary Mix, which also got my vote.

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It was very fun and exciting to see my many photographs blown up and used in all of the amazing wall displays that were featured in the main exhibit hall at the convention.

The WSWA Annual Convention & Exposition is the only event that exclusively links wholesalers, importers and exporters with suppliers and service providers in the most value-packed event in the wine & spirits industry. Held in Grande Lakes, Orlando Florida, the WSWA Convention is the premier event where distributors seek out new and exciting beverage products, meet with existing partners and look for services to enhance internal operations. This event unites more than 3,000 suppliers, distributors, influencers and a record number of industry media attendees under one roof for three days of networking and deal making. I have been photographing this event for the last six years, and each one is better than the next. Every year, I leave the convention in high spirits (pun intended)!

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Another notable event was the Wholesaler Iron Mixologist Competition, which showcases the best mixologists in the business, and is judged by a panel of highly respected experts. They take part in a timed competition where they have to create cocktails that incorporate surprise ingredients, which are unveiled to the competitors at the very beginning of this creative challenge.

Foxhall OB/GYN Associates

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I really enjoyed working with the Foxhall OB/GYN team to take new headshots for their company website. Providing new, and great images for professional’s businesses is something that I take a lot of pride in, and love doing. The businesses always vary, but the end result, which is beautiful portraits, will remain constant.