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Archive for October 12th, 2011

Leslie Seppinni Speaks to Everyday Health about Amanda Knox

Posted by Levine Communications Office on October 12, 2011

Dealing with the Aftermath of the Amanda Knox Trial: Can She Bounce Back?

A look at why we became a nation fascinated with the trial of the 24-year-old American exchange student. Plus now that she’s free, what kind of life awaits Amanda Knox?

TUESDAY, Oct. 4 — After four years of trials, appeals, and jail time, American student Amanda Knox is finally free. As she collapsed into tears and sobs after the judge overturned her murder conviction, it’s clear that the 24-year-old student has a long road of recovery ahead of her.

Knox, 24, has always been adamant about her innocence in the murder of her former study abroad roommate, Meredith Kercher. Earlier on Monday, Knox, visibly shaking and barely able to stand, made a final plea before the court. “I did not kill. I did not rape. I did not steal. I was not there,” she said. In 2009, Knox and her co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito were convicted for the 2007 murder of Kercher, Knox’s roommate in Perugia, Italy. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison; Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years.

However, on Monday, the Italian judge declared the pair not guilty of murder. “We’re thankful that Amanda’s nightmare is over. She suffered for four years for a crime she did not commit,” Knox’s sister, Deanna Knox, said at the courthouse following the verdict.

Why We Care So Deeply About the Knox Trial Outcome

In the wake of the verdict, many took to Twitter and the Web to comment on the case and share in the family’s joy. The public’s infatuation with the high-profile case is reminiscent of that other young brunette on trial for murder earlier this summer (Read: Casey Anthony); however the reactions are completely different.

Whereas Anthony’s acquittal elicited harsh responses from those following the case (one follower Tweeted, “This is a sick and disappointing ending to the Casey Anthony trial.”), the majority of the Knox trial reactions describe a sense of justice winning out. Everyday Health Facebook fan Frances Sanchez said, “Amanda always stuck to her innocence…I think justice prevailed.”

Everyday Health Twitter follower @Beachlady58 said, “I am praying sooo very hard for her freedom. I feel she has been done so wrong by the Italian government.” Another follower, @yella_xo, says, “I think Amanda Knox deserves to be free! I’m happy her conviction was overturned and hope her life can resume to normal.”

Given the high-profile nature of the Knox case plus the mere drama of it all (it has inspired a Lifetime movie and numerous books), it’s no surprise that whether you followed the case from the beginning or not, you have an emotional reaction to the verdict.

“This is a young woman thousands of miles away from home, and she’s being accused of something that they didn’t have enough evidence for,” explains Leslie Seppinni, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles and regular contributor to Nancy Grace on CNN. “She’s a very clean-looking girl. She doesn’t look like a drug or alcohol addict, and because she looks like that people take more interest in whether or not could she have done it.”

Can Knox Ever Resume a Normal Life?

While Knox and her faithful supporters are clearly breathing sighs of relief and screams of joy, the overturned sentence is a bittersweet one. Knox has finally been freed, but she has spent four years of her young adulthood trying to clear her name. And years in prison can take a significant toll on her emotional and physical health.

“Probably at first she’s going to be relieved to come home and to sleep in her own bed. And it’s going to take a minute to realize that this wasn’t a dream,” says Seppinni.

Once reality does set in, the key to a smooth transition and dealing with the reality will be support. “She’s going to need a lot of community support, and hopefully she still has her friendships in place,” says Seppinni. “She’s going to need family support. She’ll also need counseling and maybe even family counseling so that they can be informed of what her experience was like.”

“It will take time to get back to normal,” Ann Rosen Spector, PhD, a professor of psychology at Rutgers University, told ABC News. “She still has had a horrific experience and her sense of trust in police and people is gone. Some people may believe she did it and will treat her differently.”

Even though the American public largely supports Knox, the aftermath of the experience will still be traumatic for her. “She is going to be just as wrecked as Casey Anthony — the trial and the lurid details — the accused sex play and throat slashing and a drug-filled orgy,” Judy Kuriansky, PhD, an adjunct professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University’s Teachers College, told ABC News. “This will continue to follow her forever.”

She’s also still likely coping with the death of her roommate. “As a young person to have someone die in such a horrendous way, she can finally have the opportunity to grieve for that loss,” Seppinni explains.

However Knox chooses to cope with the events of the last four years, the future is up to her. Seppinni summarizes that Knox is at a sort of crossroads with her life right now: Either she can consider herself a victim for the rest of her life, or she can choose to lead a life where she is fulfilled by her passions and dreams.

“I believe you make that choice,” Seppinni says. “So she has some choices to make.”

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Michael McIntyre teaches Monster.com readers how to get the salary they want

Posted by Levine Communications Office on October 12, 2011


Tips on Getting the Salary You Want

Just because the economy seems a bit precarious doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a lower salary than you deserve. But if you’re feeling less than confident about speaking to your boss about a raise, sales expert Michael McIntyre has some tips for you. The president and CEO of Benefits America, as well as the author of “The Authentic Salesman: Mastering the Art of Transforming Real Objections into Real Transactions,” McIntyre offers these ten tips for people entering into salary negotiations with a manager:

1. Do a reality check. Take a coworker or two out for coffee or lunch and ask them for blunt feedback about how you come across at work. Consider this your pre-performance review.

2. Read the tea leaves. If your company is laying people off, try back later. It’s just common sense.

(Learn to understand the signs — read “How to Tell If a Layoff Is Coming.”)

3. Brag mercilessly. Make a list of everything you have done to help your company achieve its goals. And be specific.

4. Practice that pitch. Rehearse with your spouse or friends first, and make sure they’re tough on you so that you’re battled-tested and prepared for your boss’s curve balls.

5. Cut the sly act. Be upfront with your boss about why you want to sit down. No boss wants to be ambushed. Also be specific about how much of a raise you request –- it shows leadership and confidence.

(Is now the right time to schedule that meeting? Read “Can I Ask for a Raise Yet?”)

6. Acknowledge your boss and company. Be gracious, saying something along the lines of, “Mr. Jones, thank you for taking the time. I truly appreciate the opportunity.”

7. Zip it! After you acknowledge them, if you have done it correctly, they know why you’re there. Let them be in control (bosses like that) and ask the obvious or make a statement.

8. Acknowledge them, no matter what. They might say, “Well, I reviewed your file and as you know, the company is on a tight budget and I just don’t see how you getting a raise is going to fit in this.” Reply, “I understand and felt this might be a possibility when I came in; however, I want to share with you a few ideas about this. Have you considered the value …”.

(Get more negotiation tips — read “Ask for the Raise You Want.”)

9. Do not ramble! Once you make your rebuttal (if needed), let it go. Bosses hate rambling, so make your point concisely and watch for the ball now in their court.

10. Never, ever get emotional. No matter what, chances are that you will get a raise if you have made yourself invaluable. Leave your sensitivity at the door if you want to move up the corporate ladder.

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Dick Zimmerman – Artist to the Stars

Posted by Levine Communications Office on October 12, 2011


From the time he was seven years old Dick Zimmerman knew what he wanted to do…paint; but he didn’t want to paint just anything, Dick wanted to pain portraits. So Dick worked and studied on his craft earning a Bachelor’s degree from New Yor University and a Master’s degree at the Brooklyn Museum.

But at least for a time Dick’s path took a bit ofa turn; still working with people, he began a career as a photographer. Dick photographed fashion models, celebritites, and album covers. One such album cover belongs to one of the most popular and top selling albums in history – “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. But for Dick the story does not end there. In preparation for the photo shoot Dick had a collection of various costumes and outfits for Michael to choose from; however, Michael was not totally satisfied with the choices…until he saw the suit Dick was wearing. Since Michael and Dick were of similar size Dick loaned his suit to Michael and the white suited Jackson became the cover for the “Thriller” album. When he saw all of the photos that Dick had taken, Michael could not decide which one to use so he enlisted the help of Quincy Jones who pointed to the photo that would adorn the album cover in a matter of seconds. That photo shoot was the beginning of a 12 year relationship between Michael and Dick. A short time after the album’s release, Michael weaved his way through a restaurant to thank Dick for the album cover. When Michael married Lisa Marie Presley it was Dick who shot the photos and when Steven Spielberg hired Michael for his ET project, Michael insisted Dick also be hired for the photo work.

Tom Selleck has appeared in a number of films and television shows, one of the most famous being “Magnum PI”. Dick was hired to create what would become a post of Selleck; the poster was shot at Selleck’s Hawaii home and became one of the top selling posters.

Dick was chosen to shoot the portraits for Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s wedding which was a Christmas wedding in Telluride, Colorado. While decorating the tree they noticed Cruise was missing. He was discovered outside in subzero temperatures wearing a flannel shirt and no coat shoveling snow to free the car of a trapped woman. While the wedding and shoot went off flawlessly, the return home did not. The plane carrying Cruise, Dick, Dick’s assistant, and four other passengers filled with smoke and the pilots were declaring an emergency radioing a Mayday. The plane landed safely on a deserted airstrip. It was discovered the problem was pilot error when they failed to release engine pressure upon landing the plane.

In 1991, Dick returned to his first love of portrait painting. Over his career Dick Zimmerman has created over 600 commissions for some of the best known celebrities in the world that include the fiftieth wedding anniversary portraits for Salvador Dali and his wife Gala.

Dick’s client list reads like a Who’s Who and include Kristy Alley, June Allison, Pamela Anderson, Christina Aguilera, Burt Bacharach, Scott Baio, Linda Blair, Josh Brolin, Mel Brooks, George Carlin, Stockard Channing, Joan Collins, Chick Corea, Billy Dee Williams, Patti Duke Aston, Morgan Fairchild, Farrah Fawcett, Eddie Fisher, Jane Fonda, Lou Gossett Jr., Wayne Gretsky, Dorothy Hamil, David Hasselhoff, Charlton Heston, Billy Idol, Janet and LaToya Jackson, Sebastian Janikowski, Don Johnson, Sir Tom Jones, Lorenzo Lamas, Diane Lane, Tommy LaSorda, Huey Lewis, Heather Locklear, Barbara Mandrell, Donna Mills, Dudley Moore, Paul Newman, Tony Orlando, Dolly Parton, Victoria Principal, Christopher Reeve, John Ritter, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jane Seymour, William Shatner, Jaclyn Smith, Aaron and Tori Spelling, Donna Summer, Randy Travis, John Travolta and Kelly Preston, Tanya Tucker, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mary Tyler Moore, Blair Underwood, Robert Wagner, Barbara Walters, Robin Williams, Edgar Winter, and Pia Zadora to name a few.

Currently Dick is working on a series of 10 portraits of Marilyn Monroe. To date two of the portraits have been completed and each contains $40,000 in jewels. Dick has studios in Los Angeles and Tampa.

With hard word, determination, and education Dick Zimmerman has parlayed a chilhood dream into a life long passion fit for any Hollywood movie.

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Blanche Garcia’s Decorating Tips for Fall

Posted by Levine Communications Office on October 12, 2011


We chatted with HGTV star and interior design guru Blanche Garcia to get her take on how to transition our decor to reflect the warmth of the fall season.

Now that the days are getting shorter and the nights chillier, what can homeowners do to transition their decor to reflect the change of season?

Blanche: It is easy to change the mood of a home to one that’s more in keeping with the fall season. Here are a few inexpensive, easy-to-execute ideas that will have a big impact:

  • Switch out your bedspread for a poufy down comforter, and change your sheets to ones with a heavier weight/higher thread count.


  • Protect your outdoor furniture with fitted covers. Several online retailers sell great covers that fit all sizes of outdoor furniture.


  • Change out your pillows, throws, smaller rugs, and even your bath towels to ones with warmer colors, such as aubergine and burnt orange.


  • Create a mudroom area. Most of us don’t have the luxury of a dedicated mudroom, but you can create one by dedicating a space right next to the front door for boots and coats. The last thing you want in fall and winter is to track damp and debris throughout the house. It’s messy, not to mention unsanitary. This is one instance where it is worthwhile making an investment in a piece of furniture such as a wooden coat rack, a bench, or an antique storage chest that can act as an instant mudroom.


  • Bring the outdoors inside with branches, seasonal produce such as apples and gourds, and beautiful fall flowers. Go for simple arrangements, such as a wooden bowl filled with apples as a table centerpiece or a vase filled with interesting branches on the mantelpiece. A concentrated arrangement in one place makes more of a visual impact than several smaller, scattered arrangements. Think 20 oranges in a bowl, versus one on a mantelpiece.

Any words of caution for homeowners eager to decorate for fall?

Blanche: Be careful not to get too “stagy.” Shy away from draping fake garlands of leaves above the window frames. It comes off as inauthentic. When you think of your grandmother’s house in fall, what likely comes to mind are the brilliant colors of the trees and the smell of cinnamon and baked apples and pine cones.

Each season offers an abundance of natural products just waiting to be used. Pull out the crystal bowl you received as a wedding gift and load it up with pinecones. Fill the vitrine with gourds and pottery in colors of the season. It’s almost unlimited what you can do with what you already have and with what’s right outside your front door.


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Shawn Achor in the Business Insider

Posted by Levine Communications Office on October 12, 2011


Do you find yourself dreading going back to work on Monday, searching for a new job every spare second you get, and feeling as if you’ll never move up or escape your current job? Do you feel like you’ve hit a “dead end” in your current role, at your company or in your career field?

You’re not alone. In fact, according to the September 2011 Globoforce Workforce Mood Tracker, 38 percent of employees are actively looking for a new job.

How can you make certain you set yourself up for success on the job hunt? Harvard researcher Shawn Achor advises you adjust your attitude to ensure the best ROI. In his latest book, The Happiness Advantage, he provides seven tactics for increased success and performance, including:

  • The Happiness Advantage: Positive brains have a biological advantage over unengaged, negative brains
  • The Fulcrum & the Lever: Adjusting our mindset (our fulcrum) in a way that gives us the power (the lever) to be more fulfilled and successful
  • The Tetris Effect: Retraining our brains to spot patterns of possibility so we can see – and seize – opportunity wherever we look
  • Falling Up: Finding the mental path that not only leads up out of failure or suffering, but teaches us to be happier and more successful because of it
  • The Zorro Circle: Regaining control in negative situations by focusing first on smaller, manageable goals and gradually expanding out to the bigger picture
  • The 20-Second Rule: Making small energy adjustments to reroute the path of least resistance, replacing bad habits with good ones
  • Social Investment: Investing more in your social support network – one of the greatest predictors of success and excellence

Positive attitude is certainly one of the most important parts of a successful job search. Other tactics that could lead you to a new job are networking, building your personal brand, and finding a mentor.

Have you ever held a “dead end” job? How did you break free and what tips do you have for others in similar situations?


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Nima Saati and Jack Black attend The Miracle Project’s Concert at the Grove

Posted by Levine Communications Office on October 12, 2011

Nima Saati – “Autism is Awesomism” Concert with Jack Black and Stephan Stills to Benefit the Miracle Project at the Grove in Los Angeles – October 4, 2011 – The Grove – Los Angeles, CA, USA © Glenn Francis / PR Photos


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Willie Basse on Starpulse.com

Posted by Levine Communications Office on October 12, 2011

Check out LCO client and rocker Willie Basse attending The Miracle Projects autism awareness event held at the Grove, Los Angeles.


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Jaimie Hilfiger talks fashion on Fox

Posted by Levine Communications Office on October 12, 2011


As fashion weeks in New York, Paris, London and Milan have come to a close, it seems that designers around the world are finally doing away with crazy, outlandish fashion and replacing it with more conservative, feminine looks.

“Designers are sic of the trashiness of reality stars and we’re rebelling [against] reality and things like the Kardashians,” prominent celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “We’re also sick of the costume show that we see so much of between Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj. The heels have even come right down on the runway, and there are classy little details.”

For one, Giorgio Armani showed soft silvers and blues – glamour fused with sophistication, shimmering fabrics and a feminine flow with his mother of pearl-inspired collection in Milan last week. The models sashayed in off-the-shoulder blouses and simple belted jackets – a far cry from last year’s collection featuring all dark colors, some midriffs and tribal headpieces.

Luxury English brand Mulberry brought back bright colors, pleated maxi dresses and kitschy knee-length skirts reminiscent of a seaside English vacation decades ago. And just a few seasons ago the Gucci girls were sent strutting in jaw-dropping dominatrix heels, but traded them this season for simple stilettos along with high-waisted pants and flapper-style dresses in homage to the roaring 20’s.

And that was no coincidence, according to supermodel Jaimie Hilfiger – the niece of famed designer Tommy Hilfiger . She tells us that said designers are most likely already channeling the highly-anticipated remake of “The Great Gatsby,” which is currently being filmed in Australia.

“Movies and popular television shows have always had a strong influence on fashion. Since ‘Mad Men’ has hit the scene, we have seen a strong 60’s lady-like influence on fashion as well, and with the remake of ‘The Great Gatsby,’ we are going to see the return of the 20’s influence which also consists of these elements,” she explained. “The Kate Middleton impact was definitely present – designers always need an inspirational muse. We saw this evidenced during Jason Wu and Tommy Hilfiger. Wu even named his collection fittingly, ‘The Princess Diaries.’”

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Rock n’ Roll Fantasy Camp and Paul Stanley in Travel and Leasure

Posted by Levine Communications Office on October 12, 2011


Everyone has someone they admire—a certain chef, musician, or adventurer, perhaps. Here’s the chance to get up close and personal with your hero.

For the Music Lover: At Hollywood, California’s Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp, you’ll form a band, get pointers from Kiss’s Paul Stanley, and take the stage at the Gibson Showroom. Leather pants not included. From $6,000 (includes most meals, a recording session, and evening activities); Nov. 10–13.

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Grant Cardone in the Central Valley Business Times

Posted by Levine Communications Office on October 12, 2011


Stop whining about the recession, because these times offer opportunity to build your business says sales trainer Grant Cardone. It’s time to be proactive.

“Whatever the product or the idea or the services of a company, it has to be pushed into the marketplace much more aggressively,” says Mr. Cardone, an entrepreneur who has founded three companies and is a sales training consultant, a motivational speaker and an author of four books.

“My message to small businesses is that there is a solution – you’re it. Your sales team is the solution [but] they have to be extremely well trained, motivated daily, so that they can push through the uncertainty, the lack of confidence in the marketplace, the resistance,” he says. “There are companies out there that are still buying things, spending money.”

Mr. Cardone says too many companies and individuals are using the recession as an excuse for failure.

“There are so many people lost in distraction right now, lost in bad news,” he says. And that means a lot of competitors “have bought the bad news” and essentially thrown in the towel.

“If I’m willing to persist longer than my competitors, if I’m willing to show up … and do a better, more optimistic presentation of value-add proposition where I’m actually helping someone, then I’m going to get the business,” Mr. Cardone says.

(Listen to Grant Cardone’s conversation via Skype with CVBT and consider playing it for your staff to motivate. Left-click on the link below to listen now or right-click to download the MP3 audio file for later listening.)

Mr. Cardone is the author of four books, the latest of which is “The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure.”

He says the title sums up what’s needed today: ten times the effort to achieve success.

And, he says, it’s important to limit the negativity that seems to envelop the nation right now.

“Eight hundred TV channels pumping negativity relentlessly 24 hours a day, constantly delivering negative messages,” he says. “This is a massive problem today.”

Mr. Cardone says companies must make a constant effort to offset the negative, to “displace all the negativity with a positive message.”


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