Joseph Baliva is a 4th generation entrepreneur, and his 21 years of business experience are characterized by his love for social impact businesses. Starting at a young age, he learned to live and run a business on nothing. Many times, he’d go a day and a half on an empty stomach, then dine on just beans or potatoes. He once lived two-weeks on a five pound bag of potatoes that cost four bucks. In 2003, he broke his back in three places working at a family manufacturing plant, and afterward he put himself through college. In 2006, he bootstrapped his first business through the Great Recession and was able to close several orders of $250k using only a website, a laptop, and a cell phone. Joseph has helped several Fortune 500 clients, and the tech from his first company still helps over 165,000 welfare recipients in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2013, he came down with a difficult illness and was told it was untreatable and incurable, and had a 90% fatality rate! He did own research, and over a period of three years, he created an immunotherapy treatment pathway that cured him and a friend who was suffering from the same illness. Read his free health blog ExceedingHealth.Wordpress.com! His recent focus has been Go Fish, a platform to help millions of low income people achieve financial freedom, and he believes it can disrupt the $182 Billion Direct Sales industry by implementing the industry’s first central marketplace. Wow.
Jeffrey Orrell – President of NEUMA
Jeffrey Orrell never imagined himself working fro 30 years in the beauty industry, but that is what happened. He began his career at selling for AVEDA in 1988. There, he learned about harvesting plant materials, carbon distillation and essential oil extraction. In 1991, Jeffrey moved to ABBA Haircare, where he gained experience in manufacturing. After the sale of ABBA, he bought Rocky Mountain Salon Concepts, a professional beauty products distributor. He successfully operated until 1998, when he sold it. He then helped create Perma of Paris, a professional hair color firm. After time working with Apple, Sun, Dell and HP, he returned to the beauty industry and collaborated to create the Pureology brand. They perfected the industry’s first sulfate-free vegan shampoo, with anti-fade hair color and essential oils. He served as Vice President & Co-founder of until they sold to L’Oreal in 2007. In 2010, he created NEUMA. The NEUMA brand has raised the bar in the professional hair care category, allowing salon professionals and communities to help protect themselves, their clients and the environment while making a real difference in the industry. NEUMA is now carried in destinations spas worldwide and distributed throughout North America, Central America and South America.
Herman Portocarero – Ambassador to Cuba and Author of Havana without Makeup: Inside the Soul of the City
Herman Portocarero was, until recently, the European Union ambassador to Cuba. He has published more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction, including the Hercule Poirot Prize winning crime novel “New York Nights.” He has been a diplomat New York and the Caribbean and ambassador to Jamaica. His experience with Cuba since 1995 has lead to an unparalleled knowledge and understanding of Cuban history, politics, and society. He also authored the libretto for the oratorio Flamma Flamma (available on Sony Masterworks), a monumental work popular with audiences of neo-classical music. He is a gifted public speaker, and helped launch TED talks in Havana. In his book “Havana without Makeup,” he mixes narrative skills and a feeling for people and places, with a search for the truth behind the façade of Cuba. In this interview, we talk about entrepreneurship in Cuba.