Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Weather Channel Photo Contest 2016

Contestant Weather Channel Photo Contest 2016

George Powell of Northport, Michigan is much more than a photographer, a bender of wood and a musician. In fact, he seems more like an Artist who happens to work in multiple mediums. The common denominator in his work is how he blends and highlights the perfections of mother nature, whether it is designing and building boats, carving replicas of a butterfly chrysalis, or taking photographs.

This is my favorite photo and is George Powell's (Plankster) other entry in this year’s Weather Channel Photo Contest. It is called 'Iceman'. Please look closely at it, it is an amazing looking creature made of mother natures spinning wind and ice.
In his day job, George restores historic wooden boats in Suttons Bay, Michigan. Recently one of his restored Coast Guard Boats appeared as the star in Disney’s film, The Finest Hours. 
On the set of The Finest Hours

After Staring in Disney's The finest Hours, a well used and tired boat
returned to the Suttons Bay boatyard for another refurbishing by George Powell and his team. 
In July of 2016, it was brought into its new home in South Haven Michigan
at the Michigan Maritime Museum

If you like George's photo of the 'Iceman',  Please visit the link http://bit.ly/2amDWPe and vote for the photo, you can search his photos by entering “Plankster”). I’m the one who encouraged him to enter the photos, so I’d appreciate your support. He’s not one to boast or show off so help me out if you can. You can vote once a day, which seems a bit odd but still appreciate your votes, as many as you can cast.

.... Sandy Dhuyvetter

Author, Mark D. Van Ells introduces us to his new book, America and WWI: A Travelers Guide.

Mark D. Van Ells is Professor of History at Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York.

He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1999, and is a native of the Badger State.  Prior to his position at Queensborough, he taught for Mt. Senario College and the University of Wisconsin – Platteville.

Dr. Van Ells also served as Archivist/Historian at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison from 1994 to 1998.  Among his duties at the museum was the conduct of the Wisconsin Veterans Oral History Program, in which he interviewed nearly 200 veterans who served in conflicts ranging from World War I to Somalia.

His research specialties include the cultural history of U.S. military, immigration and ethnicity, World War II, and popular culture.

America and WWI: A Travelers Guide


International Entrepreneurial Women Come Together to Brand Jordan Region as Peaceful, Welcoming and Fun.

MONACO Business Development an International team of entrepreneurial women announced their business strategy this week from their offices in Amman, Jordan. 

Producing out-of-the-box solutions to positively brand and build awareness of Jordan will continue to be the focus for the later part of the year. One of the original hallmark strategies of the organization will also stay in place and that is, all solutions would be built in Jordan by Jordanians using Jordan’s talent and natural resources.

MONACO Business Development is led by Mona Naffa an American born Jordanian. Mona brings her passion, focus, and experience to the group and embraces the best of Western practices. She then blends them into the Eastern culture creating campaigns highlighting the good and positive life in Jordan. Her early career in the US was based in
 hospitality, telecommunications and the pharmaceutical/health industry. Later when she moved to Jordan in 2006, Mona set her sights on Tourism and Hospitality and introduced Expedia and Trip Advisor to Jordan 2007,  Mona built a successful partnership with Expedia as their Destination Manager where her tourism offerings are still highlighted as the preferred Expedia answer.

MONACO Business Development is fast becoming known as the welcoming voice of Jordan. What you have”, says Naffa, “is a situation where many people view the culture in relation to where the country is located rather than the reality that Jordan is peaceful, welcoming and highly accomplished. Our intention is to change that point of view and create a brand that is based on the truth that Jordan is thriving in terms of a positive and social environment.”

The first successful event, The Dead Sea Mud Festival" in early May of 2014 featured the Dead Sea Jordan as a Destination and the therapeutic Dead Sea muds and salts as one of  Jordan’s most important resource made in Jordan.

The second event in October 2014 raised the bar where the Monaco Team presented Jordan with a Guinness World Record, as they produced "The Largest Human Floating Image -- a Peace Sign" and was then featured in the Guinness World Book of Records Annual Book in 2016.  

In 2015 again Monaco Business Development presented Jordan with another Guinness World Record by producing the Longest Slip & Slide in the World.  “This is what we mean by 'out-of-the-box and unique campaigns” said Naffa, “these are the messages that feature Jordan as a Family Fun Destination for all to enjo

The events and projects created by the Monaco Team have a universal thread and that is the team’s commitment to protect the environment and educate communities by bringing to light awareness of day to day issues. Recycling services are offered at each venue of every event. Educational materials are also developed and distributed to orphanages on behalf of Monaco and more in the future is planned.

Dovetailing two industry sectors:
Dovetailing two industry sectors like the environment and tourism is first and foremost in the minds of the Monaco team. Positive perceptions are at the heart of decision making for travelers. A clean and healthy Jordan is a positive step to attracting additional visitors

Upcoming Goals:
The Monaco Team’s next ambitious goal is to invite Celebrities to Jordan and provide those celebrities with an opportunity to explore Jordan. “We know”, said Ms. Naffa, “that these guests will bring a bit of Hollywood glamour and Paparazzi to our deserving nation. We are also confident when our celebrity guests visit Jordan their expectations will far exceed any prior travel experience.  Ms Nafa reminds us “if Academy Award Winner Leonardo Di Caprio takes his holiday in Jordan then it must be ‘cool and welcoming destination”.

Yahoo Music, senior editor Kevin Polowy wrote in a September 29, 2015 feature:
Matt Damon — who plays an astronaut stranded on Mars for more than a year — was blown away by the natural landscapes: “I was in awe of that place, it was really, really special,” he said. “One of the most spectacular and beautiful places I have ever seen, and like nothing I’ve ever seen anywhere else on Earth.”

The Monaco Team
Mona Naffa is at the helm of the organization and oversees the operation.

At the heart of each project is Barbara Kamal. Barbara left behind her career as a Real Estate Broker with Coldwell Banker of Southern California when she switched gears in 2007 and relocated to Amman, Jordan. Today Barbara is a partner at MONACO. Barbara shares her knowledge of marketing, merchandising and finance and is a driving force in attracting new projects.

Eva Al-Sunna, a project manager, concentrates on Social Media at MONACO where she uses the online tools to attract attention to all the projects at MONACO.

Sandy Dhuyvetter, well known journalist and artist in the US also serves with MONACO team in the capacity as writer, media producer and US distribution manager.

Mona Naffa
Phone: +962796600962

US Press Sandy Dhuyvetter: