US Business News

Beyond Physical Health: Exploring the Mental and Emotional Benefits of Exercise

By Strategy Achievers LLC

Today, many people recognize the physical benefits of a good workout, including improving cardiovascular health and increasing strength and flexibility.

Gym memberships and fitness apps are on the rise as more people prioritize their fitness and enhance their curves. This is a positive development – there is nothing wrong with pursuing the ideal beach body. In fact, noticing changes in your body and knowing you are in control of your physique is a powerful feeling.

However, did you know there’s more to exercise than just physical health?

In our fast-paced world, where stress, anxiety, and depression are common, exercise can be one of the effective ways to maintain mental and emotional well-being.

As Christa Camarillo, a clinical exercise physiologist and founder of Retrain LLC, asserts, exercise isn’t just about sculpting your body; it’s about nurturing your mind and soul.

Through her many years of experience as a health and wellness coach, she supports the numerous studies that link movement to mental and emotional wellness. Incorporating regular exercise into your routine can have amazing effects on mental health, helping to alleviate symptoms of stress, depression, and trauma.

Letting Go of Stress and Managing Stressors

When one is going through challenges that lead to stress, the body keeps track and responds accordingly. One of the responses is that the adrenal gland produces a hormone called cortisol. Increased cortisol levels can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression.

Regular exercise provides an outlet for stress, relaxes your body, and helps regulate cortisol levels. Additionally, every time you engage in physical activity, whether it’s a brisk walk, a workout in the gym, or a yoga session, your body releases endorphins into the bloodstream.

Endorphins are often called the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals. They are neurotransmitters that interact with receptors in the brain to reduce the feeling of pain.

They act as natural painkillers and can reduce stress. The endorphins replace that kind of down feeling with feelings of happiness, leading to an uplifted mood and well-being. With time, your body increases its ability to reduce stress levels and cope with stressors.

Boost Your Mood

Exercise also stimulates the production of serotonin and dopamine, which are crucial in regulating mood, sleep, and pleasure. Serotonin, also known as the happiness hormone, helps stabilize mood and promote feelings of relaxation and contentment. On the other hand, dopamine is associated with pleasure and reward.

While working out and breaking a sweat, your body increases the level of these neurotransmitters in your brain. In turn, this can manage symptoms of anxiety and depression and help you have a more positive outlook on life.

Relax Your Mind and Take Charge of Your Life

Next time you feel unmotivated to hit the road for your morning jog, remember that the workout will create more tranquility in your life. Physical activity provides a much-needed distraction from negative thoughts and worries, allowing you to focus on the present moment. Exercise reduces muscle tension and promotes deeper breathing, which helps calm the mind and gives you a sense of peace. Creating and following a routine can provide a sense of accomplishment and uplift your confidence and self-esteem. When you set and achieve fitness goals, you build your resilience and develop a greater sense of self-efficacy. Most importantly, exercise offers a sense of empowerment and control over one’s health and well-being, buffering the negative effects of stress. As Christa Camarillo emphasizes, “Taking the time to prioritize exercise is an act of self-care and self-love.” Whatever form of movement you plan to embrace, setting aside time for physical activity sends a powerful message to yourself that you are worth investing in.

Published by: Holy Minoza

Tak Salmastyan: Bridging Cultures through Art

In its many forms, art serves as a global language, overcoming cultural barriers and uniting people globally. The artist’s work integrates tales, emotions, and viewpoints, appealing to individuals from diverse backgrounds. For example, an Armenian picture or an African sculpture might elicit feelings in someone in America, demonstrating the shared human experience. Artistic works often contain aspects from the artist’s cultural past, giving spectators a window into their culture, customs, and history. Artists also take inspiration from many cultures and incorporate these ideas into their work. Art and artists play an important role in bridging cultural gaps, appreciating variety, and encouraging global harmony. Takvor or Tak Salmastyan is one of the few contemporary artists who have successfully integrated the rich tapestry of many cultures into their work.

Salmastyan’s new approaches, BinArism™ and Auto Plasticism, demonstrate how art can bridge cultural differences and embrace modern influences. His journey from the landscapes of Soviet Armenia to the thriving creativity of Los Angeles, California, is more than just a personal triumph; it’s a story of how art transcends geographical and cultural borders. Tak Salmastyan, born on April 20, 1963, in Soviet Armenia, became a significant player in the American art scene. His artistic work and creative techniques combine cultural history with contemporary invention, particularly influenced by modern life and computer technologies.

Tak Salmastyan developed and pioneered the BinArtism™ style, a novel painting method using the binary number system to create images. This style employs just two symbols: “0” and “1”. In BinArtism™, human, animal, or other silhouettes are depicted using these binary digits, with “0” typically representing the female symbol and “1” the male symbol. The background of these images often features a short phrase or word in binary code, reflecting a direct influence from modern life and computer technology rather than his Armenian heritage.

Auto Plasticism, another unique style developed by Salmastyan, is a blend of Neo-Plasticism and Automatism, strongly emphasizing geometric shapes, the Golden Ratio, and the Fibonacci Sequence. This method restricts movement to horizontal and vertical lines, using only primary colors: black, white, and gray. Auto Plasticism is characterized by its strict adherence to these rules, combining the precision of mathematical sequences with the freedom of artistic expression.

Salmastyan’s painting and art changed dramatically in Los Angeles when he started to merge his Armenian heritage with the many influences of American society. This synthesis is visible in his distinct styles, which combine his cultural heritage and his experiences in America. His artworks, typified by this ethnic amalgamation, demonstrate his ability to manage and cherish diversity. His artworks and artistic styles, including BinArtism™ and Auto Plasticism, reflect his blending of Armenian heritage and American culture.

Tak Salmastyan developed and pioneered the BinArtism™ style, which uses the binary number system to generate beautiful and meaningful pictures. Although very contemporary, this style hints at his Armenian roots, notably in how it combines simplicity and intricacy. Auto Plasticism, on the other hand, combines Neoplasticism with Automatism, using the Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Sequence. This style pays homage to his scientific and mathematical background in Armenia but is reinterpreted through the prism of his American experiences.

These art styles and artworks are physically appealing and serve as tales recounting stories of journeys across countries and cultures. They represent a conversation between the classical and the modern, the traditional and the contemporary. Salmastyan’s paintings enable viewers to study Armenia’s rich past while experiencing America’s diverse cultural environment.

Tak Salmastyan’s transition from Armenia to America and his creative progress exemplify how art can cross cultural borders. His art acts as a bridge between two cultures, providing a distinct viewpoint firmly entrenched in his ancestry while still being broadly global in scope. As he continues to explore and create, Salmastyan’s work remains a monument to the uniting force of creativity, a beacon of cultural convergence amid the variegated world of contemporary art.

Tak Salmastyan’s role as an instructor at the Art Institute of California is just as important as his accomplishments as an artist. His cross-cultural experiences have significantly impacted his teaching philosophy, allowing him to give his pupils a unique viewpoint. In his courses, students from many backgrounds discover a shared language in art. Salmastyan’s mentoring extends beyond teaching methods; he instills in his pupils a love of varied creative styles and encourages them to explore their ethnic identities through painting. His approach to education and training reflects his belief in art as a global language that crosses cultural boundaries.

Tak Salmastyan Bridging Cultures through Art_2

Photo Courtesy: Tak Salmastyan /

Tak Salmastyan’s artworks act as bridges linking various cultures through visual tales. His paintings, rich in symbolism and influenced by multiculturalism, allow visitors to go on a cultural trip. His BinArtism™ artworks generally represent his Armenian background, while his Auto Plasticism works embody the energy of American society. Several exhibits have shown these artworks, such as Gallery 825 in Los Angeles and Upstream Gallery in New York. They have been commended for their capacity to connect cultural disparities. Salmastyan’s artwork catalyzes international connection, providing a platform for manifesting creativity, fostering cultural comprehension, and cultivating empathy.

Salmastyan’s transition from Armenia’s historic landscapes to America’s flourishing art community showcases his unwavering determination, flexibility, and innovative advancement. His impact on the art world goes beyond creating unique artistic forms; he has played a crucial role in fostering cultural comprehension via his artistic endeavors and teaching. His ongoing exploration of new creative realms profoundly influences the worldwide art community. Salmastyan’s legacy encompasses his artistic creations and the cultural connections he nurtures, establishing him as an authentic ambassador of cross-cultural art in the modern day.

Tak Salmastyan embodies the core of cultural amalgamation and ingenuity through his life and work. The trip he undertook showcases the capacity of art to transcend cultural barriers and foster international understanding. His ongoing inspiration and education will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the art world and beyond.

Published by: Martin De Juan

Emir Horton: Crafting Timeless Elegance with Luxury Watches

By: Sanders Cooper

In the realm of chronometry, sophistication and precision are at the core of excellence. At the pinnacle are Eartha watches, an emblem of exquisite craftsmanship and profound symbolism that bridges time and purpose for ambitious professionals. Delving into the heart of Eartha watches, the enchanting ethos of “Connecting Time to the Mission” becomes vivid, illuminating the brand’s unique narrative of extraordinary timepieces serving as vehicles for personal empowerment. 

Founded by the visionary Emir Horton, Eartha watches are far more than tools to track hours. Instead, they are manifested tokens of the relentless pursuit of success. Like patrons who inhabit the high echelons of professional landscapes, Eartha watches exude a distinctive precision, grace and refinement. 

Emir is a testament to the philosophy that time is a luxurious and irreplaceable asset. By weaving his creative interests and business acumen, Horton has crafted an orbit where expressive design converges with definitive functionality. Drawing inspiration from the cosmic expanse that bears his brand’s name, Emir bridges the elusive qualities of time and space, instilling them artfully into wearable timepieces. 

His quote elegantly summarizes the ethos of Eartha watches, “Time is not simply to be accounted for; it’s to be adorned. It’s the ultimate asset bestowed upon us. Nurturing it, being aware of it, cherishing it in style, is the secret to breaking the barriers.” This insight, pivotal to Eartha watches conception, invites everyone to envision time as more than a rote progression of seconds, minutes, and hours. Instead, it symbolizes an invaluable asset, a measure of our personal journey toward success and self-discovery. 

From minimalist to ornate, each timepiece is a beacon in the wilderness of mass-produced watches, signaling individuality, ambition, and poise. Encrusted with precious gemstones or designed with bold, sweeping arcs, each watch is a tribute to the wearers’ unique cosmologies of experiences, dreams, and achievements.

The brand’s digital presence, particularly on social media platforms like Instagram (@emirhorton, @earthabyemir), is a curated art form showcasing its innovative design philosophy. Horton cleverly uses these platforms as an avenue for potential customers to connect with the essence of Eartha watches. The striking visuals and engaging narratives authentically capture the brand’s elegant character and business ethos. These interactions epitomize the heartening reciprocity between brand and consumers, escalating beyond transactions into deeper bonds of shared values and aspirations. 

The luxury watch market is teeming with established names, each vying for supremacy with their venerable heritages and trademark styles. What sets Eartha watches apart is its marriage of style and meaning and its commitment to empowering customers by making timepieces that resonate with their ultimate missions. Through a synergistic blend of innovative design, premium craftsmanship, and the enduring ethos of time as a luxurious binder, Eartha propels its customers to conquer their missions with an empowering sense of self and an inherent style.

Elegantly punctuating the horizons of time with style and grace, Eartha watches is emboldening chronometry with an intoxicating allure, facilitating a transcendental journey of personal growth and tenacity. The blend that Horton impeccably crafts situates time as a luxurious asset cocooned in aesthetic grandeur. It fosters an elegant parallel between the temporal reality people live in and the surge toward their personal and professional summits. 

Thus, Eartha watches serves not just as instruments that mark the fleeting seconds but as timeless companions that encourage its wearers to chase dreams and shatter barriers. With each tick marking an unreturnable moment, every Eartha watch amplifies the ethos of treasuring time and employing it to shape a future that mirrors ambitious aspirations. 

Feel the irresistible pull of Eartha watches. Peek into the enchanting universe of time, grace, and purpose at, where Emir Horton’s vision invites you to make your time truly yours. Calling to you, not just as a potential customer but as a passenger embarking on the journey towards your mission, where time is your most luxurious asset.


Published By: Aize Perez

Riding into the Future: How Tru’s Partnership with Metro Systems is Changing the Game with the Mobility Wallet Program

By: Ina Bochian

Tru (Tru Universe) is revolutionizing public transportation by partnering with metro systems worldwide. This collaboration goes beyond simply selling rides. The company is teaming up with metropolitan metro systems to make riding the bus or subway more than just riding the bus or subway. By getting more passengers on board, Tru’s initiatives aim to tackle three major issues that are challenging our cities: increased traffic, environmental impact and lack of community outreach. This means smoother commutes for everyone, a greener future for our planet, and strengthened community support. The partnership is a win-win for commuters and the environment!

Tru has joined forces with partners in the transportation sector to aid in creating various incentivized programs. One initiative in particular is the Mobility Wallet (MW). The Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s (LADOT) Mobility Wallet program is specifically designed for transportation systems serving the South Los Angeles area. “The MW is a prepaid debit card that is loaded with $150 per month for 12 months (May 2023 – April 2024) that allows one person, or several members of the same household, to pay for public or private transportation,” explains The Source

By developing an innovative payment platform, Tru has become a leader in shaping the future of public transportation. “Creating and developing such instrumental initiatives for communities has been the most rewarding part of what Tru does as a company to solve problems through the collaborative process, technology, and marketing,” says Mira Tzur, Senior Vice President of Tru. 

The launch of the program in March 2023 has grown in success, with over 1,000 debit cards being distributed amongst the community. Application for the MW was initiated online, where individuals who qualified for the program could register and receive their custom prepaid debit card. “Participants must be at least 18 years old to qualify in addition to meeting eligibility requirements, such as self-certifying their income and living in one of 10 qualifying southern Los Angeles zip codes,” states the LA Metro website. 

“It allows you to ride: public transportation, such as buses, trains, bike shares, and Metro Micro vans; regional transportation, like Metrolink and Amtrak; private buses, such as Greyhound and Flix Bus, and shared rides, like Uber and Lyft. You can also use the card to pay for trips on the FlyAway, rent scooters, and pay for services or products in bicycle shops,” as summarized in the article Introducing the Mobility Wallet (MW): A Collaborative Transportation Solution for residents of South LA. 

The MW program has caused quite a stir within the transportation sector. The success of LADOT’s initiative in highlighting and incentivizing public transportation has allowed them to exceed their expected results. “The mobility wallet will serve approximately 2,000 subscribers for one year, making Los Angeles’ MW program the largest of its kind in the nation,” as stated on the LADOT website. The good news keeps rolling in! This innovative program is doing so well that Phase II is launching. Those wondering how to take advantage of the MW initiative can look to Tru. As a pioneer in the prepaid payment card industry for over 30 years, the company’s experience in building, maintaining, fulfilling, and overseeing programs makes Tru a one-stop shop.

As technology continues to transform various industries, transit agencies are adapting to meet the evolving needs of urban commuters,” said Lisette Anciaes, Senior Program Director at Tru. “By embracing Tru Prepaid Cards as an alternative payment solution, agencies have improved the overall user experience and operational process within their public transportation system,” the director adds. 

Tru is passionate about collaborating with companies that have shared goals and are committed to finding solutions together. The MW program is just one of many successful initiatives developed by Tru within the transportation sector, but this is just the beginning. To learn more about the Mobility Wallet program and how it can help you, check out Tru’s Newsroom



Published by: Khy Talara


The Intersection of Medicine and Art: Exploring Creativity in Healthcare

In the realm of healthcare, the intersection of medicine andMed art is a fascinating and increasingly recognized phenomenon. While traditionally viewed as separate domains, medicine and art share a common thread: both are deeply rooted in human expression, creativity, and the pursuit of understanding. This article delves into the fascinating realm of how creativity and artistry are playing an increasingly significant role in modern healthcare, enriching patient experiences, fostering healing, and empowering healthcare professionals.

Understanding the Role of Creativity in Healthcare

Creativity is often associated with the arts, but its importance in healthcare should not be underestimated. Robert MacArthur, MD, a physician with a background in biochemistry and physiology, emphasizes that creativity plays a vital role in problem-solving, innovation, and patient care. In the context of healthcare, creativity manifests in various forms, from developing innovative treatments and technologies to fostering empathy and compassion in patient interactions.

Art as a Therapeutic Tool

One of the visible intersections of medicine and art lies in the realm of art therapy. Art therapy harnesses the creative process of making art to improve mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It provides individuals with a non-verbal means of expression, allowing them to explore and communicate thoughts and feelings that may be difficult to articulate verbally. Robert MacArthur, MD, acknowledges the therapeutic value of art therapy, particularly in the context of mental health, trauma recovery, and chronic illness management.

Integrating Art into Healthcare Environments

Beyond art therapy, the integration of art into healthcare environments is becoming increasingly common. Hospitals, clinics, and healthcare facilities are recognizing the importance of creating healing environments that promote well-being and reduce stress for patients, families, and staff. This includes incorporating art installations, murals, and sculptures into healthcare spaces to create a more visually engaging and soothing environment. Robert notes that these artistic elements can have a positive impact on patient experiences, contributing to a sense of calm and comfort during medical visits and hospital stays.

Artistic Expression in Medical Education

Creativity also plays a role in medical education, where art is increasingly being used as a tool for teaching and learning. From medical illustration and anatomy drawings to storytelling and narrative medicine, art offers medical students alternative ways of understanding complex medical concepts and connecting with patients on a deeper level. Robert MacArthur, MD, highlights the value of incorporating art into medical education as a means of fostering empathy, cultural competence, and communication skills among future healthcare professionals.

Creative Approaches to Patient Care

In the realm of patient care, healthcare professionals are exploring creative approaches to enhance the patient experience and improve health outcomes. This includes using art-based interventions such as music therapy, dance therapy, and drama therapy to address a wide range of physical, emotional, and cognitive needs. Robert recognizes the value of these creative modalities in complementing traditional medical treatments and supporting holistic patient care.

Artificial Intelligence and Creativity in Healthcare

Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) are also reshaping the intersection of medicine and art in healthcare. AI-powered technologies are being used to generate creative solutions to complex healthcare challenges, from developing new drugs and treatments to analyzing medical imaging and predicting patient outcomes. While AI may seem worlds apart from traditional notions of creativity, he emphasizes the importance of embracing innovation and leveraging technology to enhance patient care and advance medical research.

Art as a Source of Inspiration and Reflection

For healthcare professionals, engaging with art can serve as a source of inspiration, reflection, and self-care. Whether it’s attending art exhibitions, creating artwork, or simply appreciating the beauty of artistic expressions, incorporating art into their lives can help healthcare professionals recharge, renew their sense of purpose, and find moments of respite amidst the demands of their profession. he encourages his colleagues to explore their creative interests and embrace art as a means of promoting well-being and personal fulfillment.

Embracing Creativity in Healthcare

To sum it up, the intersection of medicine and art offers a rich tapestry of opportunities for creativity, innovation, and healing in healthcare. From art therapy and healing environments to creative approaches to patient care and medical education, the integration of art into healthcare settings is transforming the way we approach health and well-being. Robert MacArthur, MD, believes that embracing creativity in healthcare not only enhances patient experiences and outcomes but also enriches the lives of healthcare professionals and fosters a more compassionate and holistic approach to healing. As we continue to explore the connections between medicine and art, we have the opportunity to harness the power of creativity to transform healthcare and improve the lives of patients and providers alike.

Published by: Holy Minoza

Elevating Your Digital Dreams: The Inspiring Journey of Reco Jefferson and The Digital Pipeline

In the ever-evolving landscape of the digital economy, stories of perseverance, innovation, and success serve as beacons for aspiring entrepreneurs. Among these narratives, the journey of Reco Jefferson, the founder of The Digital Pipeline, stands out as a testament to the transformative power of resilience, continuous learning, and the drive to share knowledge with others. Jefferson’s transition from an Air Force veteran to a software engineer, and ultimately, to a pioneering digital entrepreneur, exemplifies the boundless possibilities inherent in the digital age.

A Foundation Built on Service and Learning

Reco Jefferson’s professional journey started with his service in the Air Force, a period that instilled in him a deep sense of discipline, strategic thinking, and adaptability. Following his honorable discharge, Jefferson pursued further education, earning a degree from Penn State, which would later serve as a cornerstone for his ventures into the tech industry. His tenure at renowned companies such as Lockheed Martin and Vanguard provided him with a solid foundation in software engineering, yet Jefferson’s aspirations reached beyond the confines of conventional employment.

Elevating Your Digital Dreams: The Inspiring Journey of Reco Jefferson and The Digital Pipeline

Photo Courtesy: Chum Photography

The Leap into Entrepreneurship

Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, Jefferson embarked on a journey into the world of online sales and digital products. Starting with flipping items found on Craigslist, he gradually ventured into dropshipping on eBay and finally found his niche on the Amazon platform. These initial forays into online commerce were not just about financial gain; they were learning experiences that shaped Jefferson’s understanding of the digital marketplace.

Recognizing the potential to share his accumulated knowledge, Jefferson began coaching individuals on how to sell on Amazon, initially conducting sessions out of his home. This endeavor highlighted a crucial gap in the market: the need for accessible, comprehensive guidance in starting and scaling digital businesses. Thus, The Digital Pipeline was born, rooted in Jefferson’s desire to democratize digital entrepreneurship.

The Digital Pipeline: Empowering Aspiring Entrepreneurs

The Digital Pipeline is more than just a brand; it’s a community and a platform designed to facilitate the growth of digital businesses. Drawing from Jefferson’s own experiences, the coaching programs within The Digital Pipeline are structured to guide individuals through the intricacies of creating and marketing digital products. Jefferson’s hands-on approach and commitment to teaching others are reflected in the affordable pricing of these programs, aimed at removing financial barriers for budding entrepreneurs.

Elevating Your Digital Dreams: The Inspiring Journey of Reco Jefferson and The Digital Pipeline

Photo Courtesy: Chum Photography

A Journey of Continuous Growth and Giving Back

Jefferson’s path from software engineering to digital entrepreneurship is a compelling narrative of transformation and success. However, it is his dedication to sharing his journey and the lessons learned along the way that truly distinguishes The Digital Pipeline. The community he has built is not just about achieving individual success; it’s about fostering a culture of knowledge-sharing, support, and collective growth.

Reco Jefferson’s story underscores a powerful message: with determination, a willingness to learn, and a commitment to helping others, achieving your digital dreams is within reach. The Digital Pipeline is more than a testament to Jefferson’s achievements; it’s a resource for anyone looking to navigate the complexities of the digital marketplace and carve out their path to success.

As Jefferson himself has said, “I don’t always make the right decisions, but I always make my decisions right.” This philosophy, grounded in resilience and adaptability, is at the heart of The Digital Pipeline, encouraging entrepreneurs to embrace their journeys, learn from their experiences, and contribute to a thriving digital community.

For those inspired by Reco Jefferson’s journey, more information can be found through his Instagram and The Digital Pipeline on Skool. Here, aspiring digital entrepreneurs can explore avenues for growth and learning, guided by the founder’s extensive insights and experiences.


Published By: Aize Perez

On View Now: OCHI Presents Group Exhibition Spring Flowers with Nature-Based Sculpture by Karolina Maszkiewicz

OCHI is currently presenting Spring Flowers, a group exhibition featuring the work of Karolina Maszkiewicz, a Polish-born American artist and sculptor, which will be on view through May 10, 2024. 

Karolina’s sculptures often incorporate natural elements and are meant to immerse the viewer in nature. Her Sérpsates series is a meditative series of pendant mobiles. Each composition is made of collected seed pods from their native area that reflect the unique habitat in which they are found. They are then joined with stainless steel rods and transformed into a hanging kinetic sculpture. She finds beauty in the juxtaposition of natural and manmade materials, often incorporating veneer and metal to highlight the organic textures of her sculptures.

The key piece in the show is Maskiewicz’s Black Pearl from 2024, inspired by the Sicilian Island of Pantelleria made with metal mesh and wild cucumber seed pods. 

Other artists featured include Joshua Aster, Debra Broz, Kristin Calabrese, Amie Cunat, Velia De Iuliis, Paige Emery, Sarah Giannobile, Peter Halasz, Ara Hao, Luke Harnden, Phaan Howng, Will Hutnick, Louise Jones, Stan Kaplan, Allison Katz, Thomas Linder, Karolina Maszkiewicz, Mabel Moore, Nicole Nadeau, Francisco Palomares, Annie Pendergrast, Lydia Maria Pfeffer, Sofie Ramos, Benjamin Reiss, Ian Stanton, Paige Turner Uribe, Angela Witmore, Hana Ward, and Jonas Wood. 

Celebrating delightful bursts of vernal energy Spring Flowers blooms after a long Sun Valley winter. In neat arrangements placed throughout the gallery, artists explore myriad themes that expand upon the symbolic power of the flower. Flowers represent life and death, healing, and spiritual rebirth. They stand in for all of nature and for all the love one has to give. Flowers offer insight into cultural constructs and ecological discourse. They are used for medications, meditations on temporality, and for wildly escapist fantasies. Ikebana, garlands, wreaths, pattern and decoration, Art Nouveau, scientific illustrations, memento mori, and beyond—the artists included in Spring Flowers rewild and reimage a bouquet of floral motifs. Spring Flowers proves the persistence of flora and heralds the arrival of new creative seasons.

OCHI is located at 119 Lewis Street in Ketchum, Idaho.

ABOUT Karolina Maszkiewicz 

Karolina Maszkiewicz is a Polish-born American artist currently based in Los Angeles. Karolina’s childhood was imbued with creativity and craftsmanship, as her family was deeply involved in artistic endeavors. Karolina’s early experiences shaped her current artistic aesthetic  – from sewing clothes to crafting furniture, which was often a necessity in the Post-Communism era in Poland. After attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in the late 90s, she eventually found her true calling as a sculptor. While studying with modernist sculptor Brad Howe in Malibu, Karolina’s interest in kinetic sculptures was sparked. She was drawn to their ability to evoke motion and interact with their environment. Inspired by her love of nature, Karolina’s work reflects the serene landscapes of her childhood and her experiences exploring the deserts and mountains of California.

Her sculptures, often incorporating natural elements, are meant to immerse the viewer in nature. Through her Sepsates series, Karolina meditates on humanity’s often overlooked connection to nature, transforming foraged seed pods into striking sculptures that command attention and reverence. She embraces trial and error when at work, and allows her intuition to guide the composition of each piece. She finds beauty in the juxtaposition of natural and manmade materials, often incorporating veneer and metal to highlight the organic textures of her sculptures. Karolina finds inspiration in the pioneering female sculptors of the 20th century, such as Niki de Saint Phalle, Ruth Asawa, and Louise Bourgeois. She also admires the fiber sculptures of Magdalena Abakanowicz, whose monumental creations elicit a sense of primal mystery and wonder.

Karolina’s work can be found in galleries such as Twentieth in Los Angeles, Tappan, and Harbinger LA. Her upcoming endeavors include an art residency at Parco de Sesi on the Sicilian island of Pantelleria, where she plans to create a sculpture using natural elements found on the island. Additionally, she aims to refine her painting and drawing skills, exploring new materials and techniques to further enrich her artistic practice. Karolina’s future plans also include a possible semester in Florence to immerse herself in the rich artistic traditions of Italy, ultimately infusing her sculptures with inspiration from around the world.


Published By: Aize Perez

Insights into the Average Billable Hours in the Legal Industry

On the surface, billable hours appear straightforward. Attorneys meticulously track the time they dedicate to client matters, forming the basis for client invoices. However, this seemingly simple concept belies a much deeper reality. Numerous factors influence the average billable hours an attorney is expected to achieve. 

Furthermore, analyzing the pressure associated with meeting these targets reveals a double-edged sword. While aiming for high billable hours incentivizes productivity, this can have detrimental consequences. The constant pressure often leads to work-life imbalance, leaving attorneys with little time for personal affairs and potentially leading to burnout. This, in turn, can negatively impact the quality of work. Rushed research or neglecting thorough analysis can lead to errors that ultimately cost the firm more in the long run. Furthermore, unrealistic expectations can contribute to high attorney turnover, impacting firm stability and requiring significant resources for recruitment and training. Clearly, a more sustainable approach is necessary to ensure attorneys’ well-being and law firms’ continued success.

Is Law Practice Just a Numbers Game?

The actual number of hours an attorney works often extends far beyond the billable time recorded. Tasks like legal research, case preparation, client communication, and administrative duties all contribute to a successful case but may not be directly billed to the client.

Furthermore, the billable hour standard can vary significantly depending on several factors:

  • Practice Area: Attorneys specializing in complex litigation, intellectual property, or corporate law may have higher billable hour requirements compared to those in personal injury or family law.
  • Experience Level: Associates, particularly those in their first few years, are often expected to log billable hours closer to the minimum firm requirement. Partners, with their established client base and experience managing cases, may have more flexibility in their billable hours.
  • Law Firm Size: Large law firms with a corporate culture often have higher billable hour targets compared to smaller firms or boutique practices.
  • Location: Billable hour expectations can vary geographically, with major metropolitan areas typically having higher targets compared to smaller cities or rural areas.


Understanding Average Billable Hours

Several factors influence the average billable hours expected of an attorney. Practice area plays a significant role, with complex litigation or intellectual property cases demanding more time compared to personal injury or family law. Experience level also comes into play, with associates typically logging closer to the minimum firm requirement while seasoned partners have more flexibility. Law firm size and geographic location further complicate the equation. Large, corporate-focused firms often have higher billable hour targets compared to smaller firms or those in rural areas.

Moving forward, a more holistic approach to attorney performance evaluation is needed. This could involve considering factors like client satisfaction, efficiency in handling matters, and innovation in legal solutions. By going beyond the limitations of billable hours, law firms can create a more balanced and sustainable work environment for attorneys, ultimately leading to improved client service and long-term firm success.

Meeting Billable Hour Requirements

The pressure to meet or exceed billable hour targets can have a significant impact on attorneys. Some of the challenges associated with this pressure include:

  • Work-Life Imbalance: Long working hours can lead to burnout, fatigue, and difficulty maintaining a healthy work-life balance. This can negatively impact personal relationships, physical and mental health, and overall well-being.
  • Diminished Quality of Work: When under pressure to log a certain number of hours, the quality of work can suffer. Rushing through tasks or neglecting thorough analysis can lead to errors and inefficiencies, ultimately costing the firm more in the long run.
  • High Attorney Turnover: Excessive workloads and unrealistic expectations can contribute to high attorney turnover, impacting firm stability and requiring significant resources for recruitment and training.


A More Sustainable Approach

Fortunately, there’s a growing recognition of the need for a more sustainable approach to attorney workloads. Law firms and legal professionals are exploring ways to balance client needs with attorney well-being. Here are some key considerations:

  • Focus on Value, not Just Volume: Shifting the focus from billable hours to the value delivered to clients encourages efficiency and strategic thinking. This may involve utilizing technology for routine tasks, streamlining workflows, and leveraging attorney billing software to accurately track not just billable hours but also the value of services provided. Law firms can leverage legal practice management software like CARET Legal to address these opportunities, which can help attorneys focus on higher-value activities and demonstrate the true worth they bring to client matters.
  • Promoting Work-Life Balance: Firms can create a culture that encourages healthy work-life balance by offering flexible working arrangements, paid time off, and discouraging “face time” over actual productivity.
  • Transparency and Communication: Clear communication regarding billable hour expectations, workload management, and alternative fee arrangements can help manage attorney expectations and reduce stress.
  • Embrace Technology: Legal technology offers a range of tools that can automate tasks, improve communication, and enhance efficiency. This allows attorneys to spend less time on administrative burdens and more time on strategic work, maximizing their billable hours and overall value contribution.
  • Invest in Professional Development: Firms that invest in ongoing professional development opportunities for their attorneys empower them to develop valuable skills that increase their efficiency and allow them to handle complex matters with greater confidence. This can lead to higher billable rates and increased client satisfaction.


Rethinking How Success is Measured

The billable hour, the long-reigning metric for attorney performance, is revealing its limitations. While offering a seemingly objective measure of productivity, it fails to capture the full picture. High billable hour targets can lead to work-life imbalance, burnout, and, ultimately, a decline in the quality of legal services.

This calls for a paradigm shift. Success should be measured by a more holistic approach, considering factors like client satisfaction, efficiency, and innovative solutions.  Additionally, integrating technology, focusing on value delivered, and prioritizing attorney well-being will cultivate a culture of excellence in the long run.


Published By: Aize Perez

Clinic Empire: Empowering Medical Weight Loss Clinics for Marketing Success

In the bustling landscape of weight loss solutions, where options abound and promises proliferate, medical weight loss clinics stand out as beacons of reliability and sustainability. Among these leaders, Clinic Empire emerges as a guiding force, shedding light on the inherent advantages of medical weight loss while leveraging its technological prowess and industry expertise to bolster clinics’ marketing endeavors.

Ross Mahoney, Co-Founder of Clinic Empire, articulates the essence of medical weight loss succinctly:  “Medical weight loss addresses the core reasons for weight gain, offering patients a healthier and more effective path to lasting results.” At the heart of Clinic Empire’s mission lies a commitment to facilitating clinics in reaching their ideal patients, disseminating educational content within their communities, and nurturing a reputation as vanguards in the weight loss arena.

Partnering with Clinic Empire unlocks a realm of marketing potential for medical weight loss clinics, amplifying their visibility and resonance in the following ways:

Highlighting Medical Expertise: Clinic Empire serves as a conduit for clinics to spotlight their unique approach, accentuating the invaluable benefits of medical supervision, personalized plans, and enduring support structures. By showcasing their medical prowess, clinics can instill confidence in prospective patients and differentiate themselves amidst a sea of options.

Attracting the Right Patients: Clinic Empire’s targeted marketing strategies hone in on individuals actively seeking safe, sustainable weight loss solutions under the guidance of medical professionals. By aligning messaging with the needs and aspirations of this discerning demographic, clinics can effectively capture the attention of those primed for transformative journeys towards wellness.

Emphasizing Results: Through strategic collaboration with Clinic Empire, clinics can amplify their success stories, showcasing tangible outcomes and fostering trust and credibility within their communities. By sharing real-life testimonials and quantifiable achievements, clinics can paint a vivid picture of the transformative potential inherent in their programs, inspiring confidence and conviction in prospective patients.

Educating the Community: Clinic Empire equips clinics with the tools and resources necessary to craft informative content that underscores the value of medical weight loss. By positioning clinics as authoritative sources of knowledge and insight, this educational outreach not only cultivates awareness but also establishes them as trusted thought leaders within their respective communities.

In essence, Clinic Empire’s partnership empowers medical weight loss clinics to navigate the complex landscape of marketing with confidence and efficacy, positioning them for sustained success and prominence as purveyors of transformative health solutions. By harnessing the collective power of medical expertise, targeted outreach, results-driven narratives, and community education, Clinic Empire and its affiliated clinics pave the way for individuals to embark on journeys towards lasting wellness and vitality.

About Clinic Empire:

Clinic Empire is transforming the weight loss industry with its cutting-edge technology and personalized marketing approach. Their proprietary 4-Phase Clinic Accelerator System empowers clinics to deliver sustainable results, driving patient success and clinic growth. Clinic Empire is the future of effective weight loss marketing.

For more information, visit

For media inquiries or to schedule an interview with Ross Mahoney or Jeffrey Polaski, please contact:

Media Contact:

Company Name: Clinic Empire

Contact Person: Ross Mahoney

Contact Person: Jeffrey Polaski



SOURCE: Clinic Empire


Published by: Khy Talara


Want Lead Ninja CEO to Visit Your HVAC, Plumbing, or Electrical Company in Person? Here’s What To Expect

By: Victoria Kennedy

In a remarkable showcase of expertise and dedication to the HVAC industry, CEO and Founder of Lead Ninja System Gene Slade, a renowned figure in sales training and business growth in the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC industries, recently completed an intensive on-site training session with an heating and air-conditioning company in Louisiana. The company is part of one of the world’s largest franchises and the second-largest company inside of that franchise doing approximately $20 million in HVAC business per year.

Over four half-days, Slade imparted his wealth of knowledge and strategies, tailored specifically to the unique needs and dynamics of the HVAC sector. We sat down with him post-on-site to hear all about it.

Bigger Impact

“The mansion events that we do — the next one is scheduled for May 29th to June 2nd — the class or the content that we teach there is the same that we would teach at an on-site,” Slade said. “It was a straight heating and air-conditioning company this week, which is great! I was able to focus and make a bigger impact. It’s a bigger company inside of a huge franchise. I was there from Monday to Thursday, a half day each morning. Then, the folks I trained were released to implement the training!”

His commitment to delivering high-caliber training was evident as he told us how he engaged with the sales team, ensuring they were equipped with his tried-and-true techniques and insights to elevate their sales processes. Slade’s approach is deeply rooted in understanding the core values and goals of the businesses he works with, thereby crafting training sessions that resonate well with the team’s aspirations and market challenges.

“It was a great group of people, there were almost 70 people in the room, and the level of engagement was awesome,” Slade said of the on-site. “One thing that was really cool was that even though it usually takes two or three days for us to start seeing results, after the very first training session — on the second morning — I asked for success stories, and one of the guys stood up and shared that he had closed an $11,000 sale already. He said he never would have closed that amount had he not been through day one with me. So, that was an immediate success.

“Another success that was significant — there were a bunch of them — happened when we were on our follow-up mastermind call this morning. One of the guys who signed up for the continuing education training — the mastermind training, which he paid for himself — has more than quadrupled his average ticket. So, his average sale has increased by four, and his closing ratio has increased by 280%, so almost 300%. Those were two cool successes that happened from this on-site almost instantly, and there were quite a few others like that.”

Rick also told us that he has already sent eight more participants to Slade’s next Lead Ninja Mastermind Mansion Event, which happened at the end of March, just two weeks after the on-site. At the time of this writing, Lead Ninja has already acquired 29 five-star reviews on Google from Rick’s team. What’s more, Rick is speaking with Slade about a second on-site visit, which costs around six figures. If that wasn’t enough to impress, every single one of Rick’s team members are moving forward with Slade’s continuing education program!

“Last year my average maintenance ticket was 86 dollars, after going to gene Slade class last week, my average maintenance tickets for this week went to 5785.60, thank you gene for teaching me how to better myself,” JJ Matherne posted in the Lead Ninja Facebook group.

In response, Slade shared with us, “That was never gonna happen for JJ, it was a miracle. Mark my words, he’s gonna add tens of thousands in personal income. Old dogs that can still learn new tricks, it just took the right person and tools.”

This particular training session in Louisiana is part of Slade’s broader mission to enhance the sales capabilities of HVAC, plumbing, and electrical companies, recognizing the pivotal role these businesses play in providing essential services to communities.

One Drop Makes a Ripple

By focusing on a company that is a significant player within a larger franchise this time around, Slade’s training promises not only to uplift the company’s performance but also set a benchmark within the industry for excellence in salesmanship.

We reached out to the owner of the company where the on-site was held, Matt Rick, for commentary. He has been in the HVAC industry for 30 years and has worked on everything from refrigeration, commercial, new construction, and residential service maintenance and replacements. For the past 16 years or so, he has been primarily in residential work.

“I have learned to be successful the hard way, through trial and error,” Rick shared. “I heard about Gene Slade and Sales Ninja on a podcast, and I felt that we had very similar views and opinions when it comes to client interactions. I ended up scheduling a Zoom call with Gene, and within a week, I decided to move forward with onsite training. This was not an easy decision due to the initial investment cost, especially being this was the slowest time of the year for us — February — with cash flow being at a yearly low.

“I decided to take the leap and invest in the training opportunity. I had all my guys listen to the podcast episode and buy into the opportunity to better themselves and our clients. The overwhelming feedback from my guys has been nothing short of great. I was able to meet with Gene and Britney Slade outside of the training classes and was able to build a very strong relationship that will last. Looking forward to continuing to see my guys’ success increase!”

The training covered a comprehensive range of topics, from customer engagement and retention strategies to exact scripts for sales efficiency. The choice of conducting the training on-site was strategic, allowing Slade to immerse himself in the company’s environment and tailor his training to their specific needs and challenges.

Weeks after the on-site, Rick let Slade know that he ordered $300k worth of supplies for his team to keep up with demand brought on by their new sales skills.

As the HVAC industry continues to evolve, the demand for skilled sales teams that can navigate the complexities of the market and connect effectively with clients is at an all-time high. Slade’s latest training endeavor in Louisiana is a testament to his commitment to meeting this demand, fostering growth, and instilling a culture of continuous improvement among sales teams in the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical sector.

As companies look to the future, the importance of robust sales training tailored to the unique demands of the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical industries cannot be overstated. Slade’s work in Louisiana is a shining example of how focused, on-site training can make a significant difference in a company’s trajectory. With Slade’s guidance, the team is now better positioned to tackle the challenges ahead and achieve new heights in customer satisfaction and sales performance. Plus, Slade keeps himself available to advise and troubleshoot after the on-site if needed.

Want to schedule Slade to personally overhaul your HVAC, plumbing, and/or electrical sales team? Start by attending a mansion event! Check out more info here:

About Gene Slade

Gene Slade, CEO of Lead Ninja System, is a pioneering force in the realm of AI outbound sales, sales training, and business development. With a steadfast commitment to empowering professionals in the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical trades, Lead Ninja AI offers transformative AI packages that revolutionize the way business owners approach sales and growth through personalized responses, unlimited memory and recall, and total versatility. For more information, please visit and

Published by: Martin De Juan