Don Ressler is a well-accomplished entrepreneur with many successful start-ups. Among his earlier start-ups was FitnessHeaven.com. That was then bought out by Intermix Media in 2001. After that, Don teamed up with Adam Goldenberg. He had seen what Adam has accomplished in such a short time period that he thought Adam would make the perfect partner. What Don Ressler didn’t know about Adam was that Adam was only 19 years old. Adam’s age aside, they formed Alena Media together. Their division generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. It was Intermix’s only center of profit, proving how strong their duo was.
In 2005, News Corp acquired Intermix and began ignoring the e-commerce business run by Ressler and Goldenberg. The duo began frustrated and left to start up their ventures. Don had the experience and expertise to excel in growing any online business they decided to pursue. With their hearts set on a new venture, they gathered a small team of former Alena members and began brainstorming in Goldenberg’s living room. Eventually, they came up with Intelligent Beauty.
Don Ressler led the group to their first creation, DERMSTORE. DERMSTORE is online skincare and cosmetics marketplace where customers have a direct-to-consumer interaction. They waited two years to see if their success was genuine or just an initial burst of business, but it proved to be very successful. Soon after, they launched a second company, SENSA, which was a weight-loss system. Eventually, they brought in Dr. Alan Hirsch to help develop new products and Brett Brewer to be CEO. In 2008, Technology Crossover Ventures gave Intelligent Beauty $43 million in funding on en.wikipedia.org. That kept the company well within the black, and they opened a third company in 2010. Their new e-commerce fashion retailer, JustFab, is quickly becoming the shining star of Intelligent Beauty.
Don Ressler saw the potential JustFab had and began expanding it into new markets. In 2013, JustFab began selling children’s fashion on FabKids. Later that year, they began selling shoes on a new sited called The Fab Shoes. One of the most notable accomplishments was their partnership with celebrity Kate Hudson. Along with Kate, they launched a new athletic wear site called Fabletics. This came after years of hard work and successful funding and development. They have become one of the largest e-commerce businesses in the world, selling all kinds of products.
America still remembers Stephen Murray, one of the greatest private equity experts of his time, even more than a year after he passed away. The company he ran was CCMP Capital, a leader in strategic buyouts and growth funding, and his legacy will always be looked at as a shiny example of deal-making. Murray had been with the company since the mid-80s back when it was owned by a major Manhattan bank, and made it even stronger when it became its own company in 2007. He had to step down from the company in February of 2015 when he started experiencing health problems. Stephen Murray passed away in March of that year, leaving behind a wife and four children.
Stephen Murray excelled in economics studies as a young man, and attended Boston College where he got his bachelors, and Columbia University where he got his MBA. He went to work for Manufacturers Hanover Corporation, a private investment bank where Stephen Murray enrolled in the credit analyst training program. He moved from there to leveraged buyouts, where he became the vice president of operations when Chemical Bank took over. Chase Manhattan later bought Chemical Bank out and the buyout company became known as Chase Chemical Partners, only to be renamed JP Morgan Partners in the year 2000 when JP Morgan bought out Chase Manhattan.
Murray found a lot of companies that he believed buying out would help strengthen, and his growth equity attracted many investors to his growth fund offerings. His largest IPO happened in 2002 when the firm accrued $5.4 billion in funds and started building its portfolio to a high level. JP Morgan Partners owned a lot of shares in the healthcare, retail, and energy sectors but he also became interested in a pharmaceutical company whose stocks were going up. He bought out that company on Patch, but because he had outbid several of JP Morgan’s clients to do so, Murray’s firm had to separate from JP Morgan. He would later say that separating actually strengthened the relationship between his firm and JP Morgan.
Stephen Murray renamed his firm CCMP Capital and added many more companies to its portfolio including Quizno’s Subs, Aramark, Chromalox, and Milacron. Murray pitched two more IPOs to investors in 2007 and 2014 which totaled about $7 billion. Murray also gave back to the Manhattan community, sponsoring and sitting on the board of Make-A-Wish Foundation, and donating to local food banks and museums.
Harnessing the power of the private sector for the purpose of helping refugees is a vital but difficult task. George Soros is up to the challenge. He recently published an essay in the Washington Street Journal in which he outlined his plans to bring investment to displaced communities across Europe. He believes it is a necessary step for these people to be properly integrated into society and that without the government and business cooperating the misery experienced by those living in migrant communities will continue at http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2014/11/20/wake-up-europe/.
The Obama Administration has requested that global leaders work together on addressing these problems. He wants American companies to participate because these challenges are too big for the government to address by itself. A meeting was convened at the United Nations and commitments were made by many parties to help the refugees in some way. George Soros says that the scope of the problem is vast and that any help that can be provided will be greatly appreciated. A significant portion of the world has been unsettled by the migrant surge of recent years. There are millions upon millions of families who have had to move themselves. They are feeling terrible conditions in their home countries and most of them just want to live a productive life in relative safety on cnbc.com. In some home countries, civil war is raging and communities have been destroyed. It is also the case that extreme poverty exists and there is no work even for the willing. People could not advance themselves economically at home so they have collected their things and migrated to improve their situation but many have found difficulty, according to George.
Host governments are failing to do the best they can to aid the migrants. Their misery is constant and they are not making progress because they do not have the needed resources to do so. George is one man who aims to fix that problem. Soros is personally investing $500 million into migrant communities across Europe. He believes that by providing them with infrastructure and access to technology they will be able to form economies in their communities and this will allow them to integrate and be useful to their host countries. The failure of integration up to this point has been a large failure on host countries part up to this point. Why have people sitting idly when they could better themselves and be put to productive use?
George is going to invest in startup companies that service these communities. He is also interested in initiatives that can have a significant social impact. He believes that through philanthropic efforts he can make a lasting difference in the world. He has a long record of helping the needy through his non-profit organizations.
Someone like Sanjay Shah has always done things a little differently and that is something to be admired about him. While others might have tried to push him in one direction or get him to do something else, he has always done what he believes is best for him, his family, and their future. He used to practice medicine before he switched over to being an accountant. I’m sure many people questioned why he would leave that field, but when Sanjay Shah Denmark has a gut feeling, he likes to follow it and see it all the way through. Sometimes people need to try something out and figure it out for themselves. They can live the life they want to live. No one can live it for them.
As an accountant, he worked for some of the biggest investment banks out there such as Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley. However, once again, he decided to do what he felt was right and what was best for him. He started up his own brokerage company in Solo Capital. Again, he has always done what he thinks is best and he follows his gut. He has his pulse on things and the direction to go. He doesn’t listen to negativity or what others might think is the best course of action for him.
He is now taken his skills and expertise and used it along with his wife Usha to create Autism Rocks, an event that has been around since 2014. It is meant to raise awareness on autism and this is something that Sanjay Shah and his wife know a lot about, as they have a son with autism. It is a very personal matter to them. This event also has donations so people can help give back when it comes to autism and dig deeper when it comes to research for autism and looking for solutions. The more they can do for autism, the better. The event has live music, such as headliners Flo Rida and Tyga, and there are many events that are sure to leave everyone happy and feeling good.