Randi Shinske Brings Fine, Quality Merchandise to Jewelry and Watch Enthusiasts

March 16th, 2011

Cambridge Who's Who Member Randi Shinske

Located in the center of historic Ridgewood, N.J., Red Velvet Luxe offers fine craftsmanship and exquisite, quality jewelry. Founded by Cambridge Who’s Who® Lifetime Member Randi Shinske, the luxury retail establishment is the perfect place for savvy consumers who are looking for designer jewelry and have a passion for luxury watches.

With 20 years of experience as a luxury brand executive, Randi Shinske specializes in locating the best buying opportunities on the most exclusive brands and offering them to her customers — her inventory is constantly changing according to the great opportunities she unearths. All of Ms. Shinske’s merchandise is first-rate, and comes with the original tags and packaging; no pre-owned pieces or seconds can be found at Red Velvet Luxe, and customers enjoy saving 40 to 70 percent off the retail price.

Occupying a 950-square foot space, the store has the look and feel of a chic Madison Avenue boutique with an intimate ambiance, which lends itself to the pampering of customers. Ms. Shinske believes in creating a personal experience for each of them. “Owning a luxury item is as much about the purchasing experience as the actual piece,” notes Ms. Shinske. “Customers want the attention, the details about the item, and appreciate the knowledge from a former CEO in the industry,” she adds. “A luxury item is a special purchase — it should be a unique shopping experience.”

Red Velvet Luxe’s top-quality customer service, unique merchandise and extraordinary savings put luxury within jewelry enthusiasts’ reach.

For more information about Red Velvet Luxe or to contact Randi Shinske, visit her website at http://www.redvelvetluxe.com or call (201) 689-1800.

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Constance A. Burns Provides Life-Enhancing Assistance to U.S. Veterans

March 8th, 2011

Cambridge Who's Who Member Constance A. Burns

The National Association of American Veterans, Inc. (NAAV) is a nonprofit organization founded by Cambridge Who’s Who® Member Constance A. Burns. The organization provides emergency funds, counseling, training, employment and housing assistance to service members and veterans who have served and continue to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Since the organization’s launch in the District of Columbia in 2005, Ms. Burns and her staff have assisted service members, disabled veterans and severely wounded soldiers, and their dependents, by helping them obtain and access their due benefits, and advocating for their rights.

Currently, hundreds of combat veterans are being treated in hospitals for physical injuries, brain trauma and psychological distress. Faced with the hurdles of recovering from their injuries, soldiers and their families often feel overburdened and daunted by a system that is difficult to navigate. These servicemen find that they lack the needed support mechanisms to help them cope and recuperate from the trials they face upon their return home.

In addition to the recovery challenges veterans battle, many families must endure other changes, including loss of employment, bankruptcy, homelessness, divorce and suicide, among others. “We owe it to those who have risked their lives in servicing this great country [to provide them with] the care and services they so richly deserve and [have] earned,” acknowledged Constance Burns.

NAAV supports the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Defense in caring for the nation’s military veterans and their families. The organization has taken the responsibility of improving communication and collaborating with veterans associations, health agencies, medical professional organizations, educational organizations, and the public, in support of veterans, their families and military caregivers.

To help generate residual income for its programs and services, NAAV has partnered with Viridian Energy, an electrical utility provider that offers renewable energy to residential and commercial customers across the nation. A provider of “greener” electricity, Viridian customers have the option to choose between products that deliver 20 percent renewable energy or 100 percent renewable energy.

Viridian Energy has also created a fundraising program with NAAV to help its constituents save on electricity bills while raising money for the organization. For every NAAV supporter who signs up with Viridian, a percentage of the proceeds generated is donated to the organization each month for as long as he/she is a Viridian customer. NAAV constituents interested in switching their electrical providers in support of U.S. veterans and soldiers, or wish to obtain additional information, can visit www.viridian.com/helpingvets for more information.

As a former veteran service officer, Constance Burns has more than 20 years of experience in providing volunteer services to those who have served and are serving in U.S. Armed Forces around the world. She earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts in secondary education and history from the University of Alabama in Birmingham with additional doctoral fellowship course work completed at Carnegie-Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh in history and curriculum development.

In addition to her work at NAAV, Ms. Burns has co-authored three publications: “Stella’s Girl: The Autobiography of Captain Evelyn Decker, a World War II and Korean War Veteran” (2008), the “Quick Series Guide to Healthy Caregiving” (2008), and “The U.S. Army’s First, Last, and Only All-Black Rangers: The 2d Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) in the Korean War, 1950-1951” (2009). Her contributions to the latter two earned her honors and recognition from Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, and Gen. William E. Ward, head of the U.S. Africa Command. Ms. Burns has also sponsored several documentaries about African Americans throughout military history. Furthermore, Ms. Burns has served as an adviser for: the National World War II Reunion; D-Day to France and a Salute Parade to WWII veterans (2004); the President’s Commission on Care of America’s Returning Wounded Warriors (2007); and the Task Force on Mental Health and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder of those returning from Afghanistan and Iraq (2007).

Constance Burns values the honorable and selfless service of our nation’s service members and disabled veterans. She aspires for NAAV to be a leader in advocating for the needs of U.S. soldiers and their families.
For more information about the National Association of American Veterans, Inc., please visit www.naavets.org. You may also view this informational brochure.

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Susan Silok has an Innate Knack for Sales and Marketing

February 11th, 2011
Cambridge Who’s Who member Susan Silok has gained considerable expertise in networking, marketing, self-promotion and sales. Since joining La Bella Baskets on Nov. 1, 2010, she has proven to be a force of nature in the field of gift consulting. She has gained the lead in sales, ranking number one in the company for six consecutive weeks. With approximately 3,500 consultants nationwide, attaining this level of productivity is no small feat. She has managed to earn the highly coveted title of Diamond Gift Director, which is the highest level within the company. She is the first person in the organization to ever achieve this level of sales.

For the majority of her career, Ms. Silok has worked in some form of sales, and always on commission. She is driven to succeed and enjoys the thrill of reaching higher levels of selling. At La Bella Baskets, she is responsible for managing her own online store, where she offers an assortment of flowers, gift baskets and gourmet foods. In addition to fulfilling each order, she is responsible for marketing and driving traffic to her site.

Ms. Silok attributes her success to her persistence and customer service skills. Her love for giving and receiving gifts makes her job even more rewarding. “I cannot sell what I do not love,” she said.

Ms. Silok received a Master of Fine Arts from the Instituto Allende, and a Bachelor’s Degree in fine arts and communication from The University of Vermont. She is a member of The Gift Basket Association, the Gift Retailers Connection Networking Community, the National Association of Professional Women, BNI Northwest Winners, The Social Register of Las Vegas, the Kiwanis Club of Las Vegas and The Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Nevada.

When she is not working, Ms. Silok enjoys ballroom dancing with her husband, traveling, attending shows in Las Vegas, and listening to music. While she maintains a laudable track record in sales and marketing, she considers her family to be her greatest accomplishment. She has been married to her wonderful and supportive husband for more than 33 years, and they have two successful adult children. They are also the proud grandparents of a beautiful baby girl, who turned 1 on Feb. 2, 2011.

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