Tuesday, June 26, 2007

America's Entrepreneurs Access Hollywood's Red Carpet With Launch of OPENForum.com

Several of Hollywood's leading lights and business owners are assembling at the Los Angeles Film Festival to share tips and insights with America's entrepreneurs on how to use the power of networking to build a business -- whether on Sunset Boulevard or Main Street.

Tonight, Peter Bart [pictured], editor-in-chief of Variety, is moderating a panel with the Academy Award-winning director, Sydney Pollack; Nancy Meyers, whose ground-breaking first film was "Private Benjamin" and recently wrote, produced and directed "The Holiday"; and Lawrence Bender, producer of the Oscar-winning film, "An Inconvenient Truth."

In their role as business owners and producers, the panelists will share ideas and insider advice business owners can use, no matter what type of small business they run. The live broadcast begins at 7:30 p.m. PDT on OPENForum.com, the newly launched portal featuring exclusive content, networking and marketing opportunities.

Business owners participating in the event can ask panelists questions and chat with OPEN from American Express President Susan Sobbott, and small-business marketing expert and award-winning blogger John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing. Starting today, Jantsch is one of many small-business problem-solvers who will be featured on OPENForum.com in order to provide busy business owners with actionable information to succeed in business.

OPENForum.com content includes a mix of information developed by OPEN from American Express -- including videos and information from its educational platform; interactive commentary from business owners; as well as a stream of fresh, relevant small-business content which is provided, in part, through media alliances with best-in-class small-business news providers, such as the New York Times, Fortune Small Business, Entrepreneur and Inc.com.

"Business owners want easy access to insights and connections that will help them solve problems specific to their business," said Susan Sobbott, president, OPEN from American Express. "OPEN Forum is a collaboration with and among America's entrepreneurs, and serves as a meeting place for business owners based on industry, region and business interests."

In addition to the launch of its online community today at OPENForum.com, OPEN from American Express is celebrating the success of the business owners it has partnered with over the past 20 years by releasing "OPEN Book: A Practical Guide for Business Growth."

"OPEN Book" is a concise guide offering actionable information to lead entrepreneurs through key business decisions, and help them recognize and avoid pitfalls along the way. It features cardmember profiles representing a diverse cross-section of entrepreneurial America.

They're "coolpreneurs," corporate workers who've decided to go it alone; "greypreneurs," retirees who've opted to start a new chapter in their working lives; "mompreneurs," mothers who've found new and fulfilling ways to meld their working and personal lives; and "ethicalpreneurs," those who've aimed to use their business as a platform to influence or affect social change.

Found among the colorful collection of small-business personalities in "OPEN Book" are:
* Chris McIntyre and Jeff Brown of EagleRider in Los Angeles, Cal., who operate a Harley-Davison Motorcycle tour company and "give people the chance to live the American myth";
* Lenie Ramos of Little Twig in Manhattan Beach, Cal., who creates organic baby bath products used by celebrity and ordinary Moms;
* Jinsoo Terry of Advanced Global Connections in San Francisco, Cal., who truly represents the American dream, and runs a consulting company that trains immigrants in leadership and communication skills by "overcoming weakness and setbacks and helping people unlock their potential";
* Alpaca farmers Connie and Thomas Betts of Cascade Alpacas of Oregon in Hood River, Ore., who discovered their inner entrepreneurs after retirement;
* Daniel Leader of Bread Alone in Boiceville, N.Y., owns an artisanal bread company and has established community-based micro-bakeries in South Africa to help improve the nutrition of malnourished people there; and
* Dr. Lynn McMahan of Southern Eye Center in Hattiesburg, Miss., an eye surgeon who, two days after Hurricane Katrina, loaded up two vans with equipment and drove through the devastated area to treat people in shelters whose eyes had been damaged by flying debris.

"'OPEN Book' showcases the lives and success stories of customers who inspire us every day," said Sobbott. "'OPEN Book' provides concise and actionable information business owners can apply to critical decisions related to cash management, branding, customer service and other challenges to help promote and grow their businesses."

OPEN's small-business experts share actionable content in six specific business areas:
* Raymond Joabar, senior vice president, addresses cash management;
* John Steward, senior vice president, covers customer service;
* Qing Lin, vice president, provides advice on how to use credit;
* Gina Taylor, vice president, speaks to sales;
* Marcella Shinder, vice president, talks about the importance of branding; and
* Diego Scotti, vice president, addresses advertising.

"OPEN Book" was edited and designed by Winkreative and magazine maverick Tyler Brule.

OPEN is the American Express team dedicated exclusively to the success of small-business owners and their companies. The OPEN Team supports business owners with unparalleled service. With tailored products and services, the team delivers purchasing power, flexibility, control and rewards to help customers run their business.

Specifically, business-owner customers can leverage an enhanced set of products, tools, services and savings -- including charge and credit cards, convenient access to working capital, robust online account management capabilities, plus savings on business services from an expanded lineup of partners.

To obtain more information about OPEN, visit www.OPEN.com, or call 1-800-NOW-OPEN to apply for a card or loan. Terms and conditions apply.

GoodBiz113 ad partner American Express Company is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.

Sources: American Express Company, USA TODAY [photo]

Save Up to 25% on Business Expenses -- OPEN from American Express®

No comments: