Lena Hunt


The WRITE way to get your photographs the attention they deserve.

1222890_office_toolsWe spend so much time on our photography from loading up our equipment, getting to our destination, and editing the shots in order to get the attention of the ones who view our photos. And, yes, a picture does speak a million words BUT in the digital world, which is loaded with photos and videos bombarding us, how do we stand above the pile of pictures? By truly telling the stories with caption and a short blog or description.

A flowing stream in the mountains can be enhanced by telling the story of the brisk air, jumping fish, and how long it took to wait on just the right sunlight. An amazing castle photograph can speak even more with a history of the royal families who once dwelled within its halls. A simple flower picture is painted more graphically by giving the name of the flora and perhaps the meaning of the name. Also, if you’re going to put your photograph online, those words can drive your photos, blog site, and websites up the search engines. This is a win-win situation: to be user friendly and have search engine visibility.

 January 5th, 2011  
 Lena Hunt Photography  
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Celebritizing You, Mandatek.


2009’s largest CPA show

2100 CPAs

+100 Exhibitors


= Countless Success Potential

Mandatek logo

Mandatek will be hightlighting Comarch Altum, a European ERP/Accounting Solution, at The 2009 Midwest Accounting & Finance Showcase, the largest state CPA Show in the U.S.


Fred McMurray




Join Mandatek on August 25-26, 2009 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention

Center in Rosemont, IL. They will be highlighting Comarch Altum at The

2009 Midwest Accounting & Finance Showcase, the largest state CPA Show in

the U.S. Over 2,100 CPAs and finance professionals from Illinois and

surrounding states and 100 exhibiting companies will be at this 29th

annual premiere event.

ADP, BNA, CPA2Biz, Intuit, Thomas Reuters, SmartVault, and Warehouse

Direct are just a few of the exhibitors. For more information about the

event, learn the benefits of being an exhibitor, and/or to get a free

exhibit pass (save $25) visit www.flaggmgmt.com/icpas/default.htm.

The event will be held on August 25, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Central and August 26, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Central.

Be one of the first to test drive the latest business and technology products and financial services.



Press Release written and submitted by:

Lena Hunt



 January 5th, 2011  
 Social Media  
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LinkedIn: Are You Getting the First Degree?

Founded in 2002 by Reid Hoffman, the former Vice President of PayPal, LinkedIn.com is an online professional contact database where members can connect directly with people they already know and trust. Unlike other networking sites, you have to know these contacts directly by having worked with them, attending the same school, or being in a similar group or organization . This immediate connection with people that they already know is considered, according to LinkedIn, as a first-degree connection.

Then members can form second-degree connections by linking with their first-degree contacts’ connections. Then third-degree connections can be developed by going through their contacts’ contacts’ contacts. And so on and so forth. (Wow! Does this get confusing?) Actually, it’s quite simple. Through your friends and contacts, you can connect with their friends and contacts.

This method was created to protect LinkedIn members’ privacy and to develop trust. It was also developed to keep spam and unwanted solicitation at bay.

The power of belonging to such a trusted network means that you can connect with someone who knows someone who knows someone else. Can you imagine contacting the owner of the company in which you wish to gain employment through a friend or colleague of his/hers? Or how about connecting with someone who you might never get a chance to meet or talk to in real life? This increases your chances of success and meeting your goals as well as helping others succeed. This is the power of LinkedIn.

So getting the first degree isn’t such a bad thing after all, is it?

 January 5th, 2011  
 Entrepeneurship, Social Media  
 0 Comment

A real life success story. A real life recommendation.


Many people ask me why I don’t write fiction. “Because all of life is a story,” is my answer. Without the actual experience, this recommendation could not have been written in the way that only real life can tell it. My recommendation of my Consultant Daniel Stoica:

“I’m so frustrated. I am working on an all-commission basis for two companies and I’m supporting this specific cause. I’m spending twelve hours per day, six days a week, and even a few hours on Sundays and getting nowhere! On top of that, sales are extremely low due to the economy yet the result of my work are obvious such as ads being placed in print and online magazines, banners are all over various sites, and back-end linking are being created but I’m not getting income because I’m on all commission.” I told Daniel Stoica. He could hear my frustration over the phone.

My new Consultant, Daniel created a word picture so that I could see my life’s scenario in my mind’s eye. “Okay, imagine three circles and each represents your various business endeavors. One is for this company. One stands for the other company. The last one stands for the cause where you donate your time and efforts. Each circle also has to do with luxury, or in other words, things that are more desired in a better economy. Now I’m drawing a big circle around the three smaller circles. This big circle represents Lena. You are working on all three yet none of them belong to you. You’re spending all this time without pay to build someone else’s business. Not only that,  you’re promoting things that aren’t really that needed right now.” Daniel told me quite honestly and I listened very intently.

He asked me what my passion is and said he already knew and had it written down. “My passion is writing, photography, creating artwork, designing and sewing, creative marketing. It is fitness and traveling.” I went on to describe the things I truly enjoy. “Those are parts or factors of your passion but what is your passion?”

I searched my heart. it took a few minutes because I kept coming up with favorite interests and hobbies. Then suddenly, it came to me although my gut instinct had been nudging my mind to pay attention. “OH! I know my passion! Whether I’m jogging on the beach or writing a magazine feature, I do everything with such creativity, I have to say that my passion is to be intensely creative.”

“Exactly!” my Consultant exclaimed. After that enlightening conversation, in a month’s time he helped me to revamp my love and experience for writing, photography, marketing, public relations, and people skills into a business that is mine and that will help others in a time when people are needing to network. Business networking is the new revolution as people turn to this form of connecting to find jobs and to reach their business goals.

thumb“Celebritize You,” said Daniel. And this is how CelebritizeYou.com and Lena’s working on something for Lena was born. I assist others in redoing their profiles and digital presence. I help them find the right words and use SEO web copy and writings to get the attention of their target audience (user friendly) and to climb the search engines (search engine visibility).

Celebritize You allows me to assist others in their success. By taking my passion (which I have been doing as a writer, photographer, and creative marketing expert) and creating a niche, the phone is ringing again and the e-mails are coming in.

Having Daniel Stoica as my full time Consultant has changed my work from a daily frustration to a daily joy of looking forward to helping others meet their goals as I meet mine. It makes all the difference in the world when my passion is my profession!

By Lena Hunt

 January 5th, 2011  
 Entrepeneurship, Lena Hunt Photography  
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Turn your passion into your profession.

Why settle for clocking in and clocking out doing what you’re told to do and when to take coffee breaks and lunch breaks? Why work night and day only to long for some free time when you can play your guitar, travel the world, or tear apart that computer to see how it’s built? Why wait for some day to do what you really want to do? I had decided over ten years ago that seeing the world, taking shots of my trips, and writing about the great time that I spent with my family would be my profession. I gave myself a goal of six months. It happened in two. By submitting a short article that I had written about a recent trip to a Caribbean island, my article was published within the first week of submission and began a decade-long journey of making my passion of travel writing into my profession.

Now I have a full-time Consultant who guides me throughout my business endeavors to help me to continue on the the path of turning my passion into my profession. Regardless of the various business ventures that I come upon, Daniel Stoica insures that what I do professionally will always be done passionately. It’s a WORLD of difference when you have someone who makes it his passion to turn your passion into your profession.


 January 5th, 2011  
 Entrepeneurship, Lena Hunt Photography, Travel  
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The WRITE of Her Life!


Julia’s eyes lit up and her voice exuded confidence when she talked about fitness and showed others how to set the machines. As a gym floor attendant, she had just started her own personal training business. She had no problem passing on her hard-earned knowledge and assistance but when it came to telling a potential client about her training services, she just couldn’t gather up the nerve.

She wanted to find a way to be more confident, know what to say to people, and how to present her new training service to others. Yet when she tried, she stumbled through the words and before she could get them out, people were already telling her no and she continued to give away her personal training skills.

Amidst crocodile tears, Julia told me that she did not graduate high school. Then she married young and spent many years caring for her children and taking them to work with her. Janitorial work was her job. She gained that employment after many failed interviews and her self esteem wilted away. The message, “You’re no good. No one wants you.” was what she heard repeatedly as she was turned down job after job.

I worked with her for a year. It all started with the words that she told herself. The words that she heard from those who told her that she was not worthy were allowed to play in her mind repeatedly. Together, we rewrote her story. As typing was a skill she did not acquire, I had her type out her story on the computer. I asked her to write about herself from my eyes. “But you view me in such a great way” was her cry. I told her that I view her in a realistic way.

Day by day and month by month, she poked at the keyboard, typing out her story again but this time, in a more positive, realistic manner. During each biweekly session with Julia, I directed her to locate her strengths. At first she said that were none. I told her to explore and refused to move on until she could see what others see when they asked her for fitness advice.

As she rewrote her life, she found the right words to use for her biography, her introduction, and a way to promote her new business. She found a way to help others by offering them her personal training services. Julia is now a successful personal trainer with many clients. She was also able to do something else that she had always dreamed of which was to type her husband a love letter and e-mail it to him as he had no idea that she learned how to type and use the computer.

To this day, I still get cards and letters from Julia….

 January 5th, 2011  
 Entrepeneurship, Social Media  
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It’s 5:00 somewhere…but it’s 5:30 p.m. in Chicago, 6:30 p.m. in New York, 12:30 p.m. in London, 11:30 a.m. in Japan!

clockYou’re just in time for the connection of your life. Celebritize YOU by joining others around the world at the above times on Wednesday, August 12, 2009, for The Big Chicago Blitz #6 phone networking event.

Use your phone to crank up your networking efforts by several notches with one-on-one conversations with people from around the world. The Big Chicago Blitz #6 gives you the opportunity to:

  1. have one-on-one phone networking events and the opportunity to grow your business without having to leave your home or office
  2. participate BlitzTime phone events according to your schedule
  3. choose your networking events and groups and creating your own
  4. create your profile and audio introduction before the phone networking event
  5. select who you want to talk to before a phone conversation event have phone conversation events with people nationally and internationally while  eliminating long distance phone costs (using VoIP Internet phones, international callers can take advantage of these events)
  6. send follow-up e-mails to those you have just spoken to immediately after an  event
  7. help you find people, clients, customers, partnerships, work, and more
  8. conduct meetings and mastermind and brainstorm with others
  9. strengthen connections from other networking sites such as Linkedin, Ecademy, and Facebook, from the convenience of your home, office, or even country
  10. Celebritize YOU by sharing with the world via phone networking

Now is the time to celebritize YOU and start seeing results from your networking efforts by signing up at http://www.blitztime.com/events/3284-1128767286-160379

 January 5th, 2011  
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Google, Yahoo, and MSN have just laid off all their employees?!

Have these search engines decided that the visitors and users can do the job without any paid staff? Are they now encouraging the world to continue supporting their businesses by providing the content, images, videos, ads, and culture?

Have the major search engines really given their staff the boot? No!

But they do have their doors wide open, as always, for anyone to contribute by continuing to take part in the production and publishing. In other words, the success of the Internet is due to the participation of the users.

This has led to the new buzz word “social media”. The best way to describe social media is that it is the content that has been created by its audience, its society. Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter are forms of social media as the content is created by their members.  Although you may not work for the search engines or social media sites, you are helping to create their content and culture. How amazing and powerful is that? Wow!

So the next time you sit down and tweak your profile, post a blog, or add a comment think about the tremendous step that you are taking in expressing yourself to the world. It is indeed much bigger than your 140-character tweet!

 January 5th, 2011  
 Entrepeneurship, Social Media  
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Networking is the New Revolution!


Here are some of the reasons why networking is growing at lightning speed:

The ability to express yourself.

Connecting to others locally and globally.

Connecting with people you may typically may not get a chance to talk to.

The economy crisis leads more people to post their profile and resumes on line in order to look for work, switch careers, and/or promote what they have to offer.

Higher prices lead to staying home more which means more time so it helps to beat boredom.

Networking sites are usually free to use.

Networking sites come in many formats. They offer a wide variety of applications, allowing users to be able to add profiles, photos, blogs, articles, classified ads, upload videos, and much more.

Joining different groups of interest has also made networking such a hit.

There are many more reasons why networking has become the new revolution but there’s not enough room in this blog. Here are some of the most popular networking sites according to InsideCRM:
  1. LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a popular networking site where alumni, business associates, recent graduates and other professionals connect online.
  2. Ecademy: Ecademy prides itself on “connecting business people” through its online network, blog and message-board chats, as well as its premier BlackStar membership program, which awards exclusive benefits.
  3. Focus: Focus is a business destination where business professionals can help each other with their purchase and other business decisions by accessing research and peer expertise. Most importantly, Focus provides open, quality information for all businesses that is freely available, easily accessible, and community powered.
  4. YorZ: This networking site doubles as a job site. Members can post openings for free to attract quality candidates.
  5. Xing: An account with networking site Xing can “open doors to thousands of companies.” Use the professional contact manager to organize your new friends and colleagues, and take advantage of the Business Accelerator application to “find experts at the click of a button, market yourself in a professional context [and] open up new sales channels.”
  6. FacebookFacebook is no longer just for college kids who want to post their party pics. Businesses vie for advertising opportunities, event promotion and more on this social-networking site.
  7. Care2: Care2 isn’t just a networking community for professionals: It’s touted as “the global network for organizations and people who Care2 make a difference.” If your business is making efforts to go green, let others know by becoming a presence on this site.
  8. Gather: This networking community is made up of members who think. Browse categories concerning books, health, money, news and more to ignite discussions on politics, business and entertainment. This will help your company tap into its target audience and find out what they want.
  9. MEETin.org: Once you’ve acquired a group of contacts in your city by networking on MEETin.org, organize an event so that you can meet face-to-face.
  10. Tribe: Cities like Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, New York and Chicago have unique online communities on tribe. Users can search for favorite restaurants, events, clubs and more.
  11. Ziggs: Ziggs is “organizing and connecting people in a professional way.” Join groups and make contacts through your Ziggs account to increase your company’s presence online and further your own personal career.
  12. Plaxo: Join Plaxo to organize your contacts and stay updated with feeds from Digg, Amazon.com, del.icio.us and more.
  13. NetParty: If you want to attract young professionals in cities like Boston, Dallas, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Orlando Fla., create an account with the networking site NetParty. You’ll be able to connect with qualified, up-and-coming professionals online, then meet them at a real-life happy-hour event where you can pass out business cards, pitch new job openings and more.
  14. Networking For Professionals: Networking For Professionals is another online community that combines the Internet with special events in the real world. Post photos, videos, résumés and clips on your online profile while you meet new business contacts.

You’re an amazing person with a lifetime of experiences, skills, and talents to share. But if these qualities are not shared or properly displayed, the world may never know. No matter where you are in life and what your goals may be, people are the most important resource to help you meet your goals and dreams. Others need you, as well, in reaching their needs and wants.

This is why networking is so important. But only the right type of networking and not the ones that lead you to frustration, spending needless time, effort, and money. Genuine, positive, and mutual connections and relations should be the focus when networking. In other words, relational-business connections should be the goal as it is the balance between social and business networking. For example, if your connections are strictly business, then this may work a few times or temporarily but approaching someone with a business-only approach won’t be effective in the long run. In fact, it usually is a quick way to make a not-so-good first impression. You know these types of connections by their immediate e-mail or chat, “Hi. Check out my website and get a 20% discount if you purchase within the next seven days.” People tend to want to flee from the all-business “introduction”. Like in reality, many people, when approached with a sudden sales pitch, want to find a way to get out of there fast, make excuses, or if they do make a purchase, it’s very unlikely that they’ll buy again or tell their friends.

On the other end of the spectrum, those who are too sociable and/or mix too much social networking with business tend to run people off due to their lack of professionalism and unclear goals. You can spot these people by their profiles, websites, and conversations. “Hey, how ya doin’? So I have this commercial fishing business and, well, you should hang out with me some time and we can throw back a few beers, and, hey, check out the prices of each trip at my website.” Their pages and sites contain a mix of personal photos, some professional links, some scanned letters from loved ones, and their posted comments (whether written by them or posted by others) are extremely varied. This is not effective when trying to conduct business and to network for professional purposes.

A balance between the two (business and social networking) which I shall call “relational business” networking provides the best approach for positive, genuine, and mutual connections. These connections are similar to the way we successfully conduct business in the real world. A little bit of getting to know someone on a personal level mixed in with talks of business projects and collaborations. A conversation about a possible conference blended with a hint of humor. You get the point as it’s just natural and logical. In other words, just be REAL.

So go out and network to your heart’s content but keep it genuine, positive, and mutual. Then you will find much success through your networking efforts.

 January 5th, 2011  
 Entrepeneurship, Social Media  
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Don CeSar Resort: Backdrop of many photography events

Where do the finest winemakers and chefs gather under one enormous pitched tent on a pristine beach to present amazing creations that are delicious, entertaining, and eco friendly? Not only that, where do celebrity chefs, new “Green” companies, local tourism and commerce businesses, and the media wine and dine with the public like rock stars to pulsating island sounds of Caribbean artists?

Where else but at the Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival held recently at the historic 1928 five-star Don Cesar, a Loews Hotel.  This famous unique “pink” hotel with an amazing history oozes luxury from its perfect beachfront setting to its impeccable touch of class attitude. Business guests and vacationers will be spoiled rotten with indulgences in every corner starting with frozen grapes delivered to their poolside lounge chairs.

From the perfect valet parking to concierge’s assistance to my entrance in the Grand Tasting Tent, everything at the Don CeSar is smooth. The Grand Tasting Tent. I like that name! No shoes are required in sand so I place my sandals in the shoe slot and a’ grand tasting I go!   Over 400 wineries and 40 eateries with their main focus on the global trend of going green are here to fulfill the tastebud dreams of guests.

Mendocino Wine Company, Jim Bean Global, Solaire by Robert Mondair, and Seven Daughters as well as Bern’s Steak House, Capitol Grill, and Parkshore Grill are just a few of the distinguished wine and food purveyors serving drinks and treats. They are among many who are here to give excited guests an amazing experience in culinary innovation in sustainable living and the Green Movement.

In other words and as far as my stomach is concerned, they are here to give me a taste of delicious environmentally-conscious creations which is not only great for my tasting pleasure but excellent for the planet too. Time to unleash my palate!

Sizzle! Chop! Puree! Swizzle! Splash! Blend! As the drinks and food come to life so does the intoxicating sounds of steel drums. Tropically-attired artists perform as the coconut palms sway in theFlorida breeze. This is as close to the Caribbean as one can possibly get and paradise is not but one step away.

Gleaming, peaked chefs hats bob above the crowd. Finely dressed fashionistas, casually-clad tourists, and suit and tie’ed managers mingle happily under the shade of the enormous tent. Two small children, who are oblivious to the going on’s around them,  are the only ones to remember that the floor is still a beach and continue to build their sandcastle.

Tucson’s Southwest Grill of Clearwater, Florida offers rich, bold flavors. Tucson’s 7 Layer Dip, Fiesta Salads, Slow Cooked Baby Back Ribs, and Homemade Enchiladas are just a few of the fixin’s from the Southwest that these guys deliver.  www.TucsonsCantina.com gives you the lowdown on more yummy dishes and their full-service customized catering.

As the music mellows out to a jazzy beat, Gulfport’s Island Flavors & Tings spices it up with exquisite food presentations so colorful that I think I’ve landed in Bora Bora. Or Barbados. Or is it Thailand? Their staff of international chefs provide delicacies for both eye and palate:  Shrimp Cigar, Rasta Pasta, Oxtails, Mango Bread, and Coconut Lobster are on the wish list that has literally come true.

All the way from breathtakingSonoma County, Ferrari-Carano gives us tastes of fruit so fresh they seem to have been plucked this very morn. Directed by Don Carano and orchestrated under the supervision of Steve Domenichelli, Director of Vineyard Operations, intensive irrigation and nutrient regimes, trellis systems, and canopy management, rootstock and clone combination, and prune and cane selection make the finest wines on this planet. Hand sorted and whole clustered pressed, Chardonnays Fume Blanc and Pinot Noirs blink and wink at me through my wine glasses.  So many wines, waters, and beverages and so much food yet only one me! But I have to say that my favorite drink of all uses the Asian lychee fruit. I start to wonder if they are going to tell me to go elsewhere but nope, another smile and another pour.

I duck into “The Master of Green Seminar”. SWS Masters Sommelier Eric Hemmer and Brian Kozial challenge my inner cork dork. Industry experts can judge a sample of wine without knowing its origin, price tag, or label. And I’m about to learn their secrets!

Glasses holding liquids of various tints and scents stand before me like pastel soldiers in a row. A plastic bucket is at hand for my testing procedure. Look. Sniff. Swirl. Spit. I’m still trying to get the process down as other guests are spilling out their guesses faster than I can spit the wine into the bucket.

“This sample merits a cloudy-clear sediment. It has a dull brightness. Its color is a yellow gold. Using deductive tasting, there are obvious flaws. The wine must have come from the first winery in New Zealand,” one person explains. Say what? How do they get all this from one swish around the tongue? I nearly said out loud. I’m baffled.

Another guest chimes, “the palate is, as my nose confirms, a hint of grapefruit and blackberry. Sensory analysis concludes that this is a grape blend from a warm climate in the Old World.” Now I’m not only bedazzled but also confuzzled. They have got to be making this stuff up or someone’s playing a joke on me. Okay where is the tutoring session for this seminar? I think to myself.

“Greenability” with Michael Lynch. This class seems simple enough. Senior Culinary Manager for the Art Institute teaches how to tastefully go green. He educates us on the importance of consumers and food providers to encourage a self-sufficient community and to help the environment in the process. Local and seasonal foods that don’t have to travel thousands of miles save energy and leaves very little carbon imprint on the environment. Regional foods are more economical and nutritionally complete. Easy enough and makes sense, I tell myself.

Live to you from the Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival, The Love Chef Francis Anthony from the “Love Chef” Reality Game Show entertains in person as he does on television. I’ve seen him on “Live with Regis & Kelly” and now the audience roars with laughter as newlyweds and not-so newlyweds discover that they hardly know each other’s food and going green knowledge.

All this gut-busting laughter is making me hungry so I must find my way back to the most scrumptuous scallops I had ever tasted. Now where is that booth again? I look for Eve, the mascot-ess of the event, who is donning her garden apparel.

The Grand Tasting Tent. Like I said earlier, I love that name! Ladies in wide brim hats and men in rolled-up linen pants juggle plates and glasses smile as they walk by. I have my own juggling act going on as two plates of those scallops and two glasses hang on for dear life. My Nikon gets in the way of adding a third plate and my always-willing-to-help assistant struggles with his own camera equipment and dishes. If one person brushes into either of us, the end of my electronics could lead to the end of my travel correspondent career.

Ah! But I’ve had much experience with testing food and drink. I have this down to perfection. No problemo.  Now it’s time to use my passport to fine wines by Pernod Ricard for the grand finale. The romance between Pierre-Nicolas-Marie Perrier and Rose Adele Jouet produces the elegant Champagne Perrier-Joulet.

From the Grand Cru vineyards, thirty to forty crus are used in mastering the art and magic ofChampagne blending. As a painter mixes his oils, the blended masterpieces are Perrier-Jouet’s Grand Brut and Blason Rose.

Simply, simply magnificent!

Now that I have wined, dined, and have been refined it’s time to find a place under a coconut palm to rejuvenate from all the festivities. As I slip into a slow slumber with a view of the pink birthday-cake-look-alike Don CeSar Resort, I am offered a frozen grape by a poolside attendant. Shrug. Why not?

by Lena Hunt

 January 10th, 2010  
 Dining and Food, Features, Travel  
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