Business Advisory Board
Leonard S. Chaikind
Mark Victor Hansen
Charles H. Stein
Ray Kurzweil has been described as “the restless genius” by the Wall Street Journal, and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes. Inc. magazine ranked him #8 among entrepreneurs in the United States, calling him the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison,” and PBS included Ray as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America,” along with other inventors of the past two centuries.
As one of the leading inventors of our time, Ray was the principal developer of the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Ray’s web site Kurzweil AI.net has over one million readers.
Among Ray’s many honors, he is the recipient of the $500,000 MIT-Lemelson Prize, the world's largest for innovation. In 1999, he received the National Medal of Technology, the nation's highest honor in technology, from President Clinton in a White House ceremony. And in 2002, he was inducted into the National Inventor's Hall of Fame , established by the US Patent Office .
He has received twelve honorary Doctorates and honors from three U.S. presidents.
Ray has written five books, four of which have been national best sellers. The Age of Spiritual Machines has been translated into 9 languages and was the #1 best selling book on Amazon in science. Ray’s latest book, The Singularity is Near, which went into its fourth printing after two months, was the fourth best-selling science book of 2005 according to Amazon despite coming out late in the year.
Leonard S. Chaikind
Mr. Chaikind is Chairman & CEO of Institutional Investors Consulting Company (IICC) in Houston, Texas since 1991. IICC is a holding company, an investment bank and an investment advisory group to help and assist institutional tax-exempt funds and trusts to manage themselves as efficient and cost-effective organizations. IICC also supports a number of not-for-profit groups.
Prior to founding IICC, Mr. Chaikind worked for Royal Dutch Shell and the Shell Oil Company for 34 years (1957 to 1991) in a wide variety of assignments. From late 1985 to August 1991, Mr. Chaikind served as the Administrator of the $12 plus billion dollars Shell Savings and Retirement Programs with responsibility for both the investment and administration of 4 major funds. During this period, the Shell Funds were recognized by the industry to be one of the very best. Mr. Chaikind was also very active in the tax-exempt industry. He was one of the key founders of the Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets (CIEBA), the largest Corporate Pension Fund Group in the World, and served as Vice Chairman of this group from its beginning until his retirement from Shell. He also served as an active member of both the NYSE Institutional Investors Advisory Committee and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Advisory Board (CFTC). From 1981 until 1985, Mr. Chaikind was responsible for all foreign currency transactions done by Shell Oil.
From 1977 to 1981, Mr. Chaikind served as the Regional Treasurer for Royal Dutch Shell’s operations in the Far East and Australasia. In this capacity, Mr. Chaikind was responsible for financing well over $30 billion dollars in both corporate and major project activities though out this region.
From 1958 to 1977, Mr. Chaikind worked in many key jobs for Shell including Finance Director (CFO) respectively for Shell Oil Products and Shell Chemical Products and Controller of the Shell Chemical Company (1970 to 1973).
Education - MBA, Harvard Business School in 1958, BA Harvard University in Economics in 1953.
Charles H. Stein (In Memoriam)
Mr. Stein was Chairman and CEO of Hardwicke Companies Inc., which employed several thousand people worldwide, and which built, developed, or operated more than 50 restaurants (Tavern on the Green, Maxwell’s Plum and others), health spas, theme parks in North America, Europe and Asia (including Great Adventure in New Jersey), and duty-free shops from 1970 to 1984.
Mr. Stein served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Kitchens of Sara Lee, the world’s largest bakery from 1962 to 1967. He was also a director, Member of the Executive Committee, and a Vice President of Consolidated Foods, the parent company of Sara Lee, and one of the top 30 companies of the Fortune 500 from 1962 to 1967.
Mr. Stein has served as director or advisor to a wide range of American and International public companies including: General Host Corporation (NYSE), Ward Foods (NYSE), Consolidated Foods Corporation (NYSE), Goldfleld Corp. (AMEX), Tokyu Corporation, Land Development Division (Tokyo Stock Exchange) and Watney Mann, Ltd. (London Stock Exchange), a British-based brewer and hotel company.
He was President of Benihana of Tokyo, an international restaurant chain from 1973 to 1978.
He was also one of five senior executives reporting to the CEO of Kraft Foods from 1953 to 1962.
Mark Victor Hansen
Chairman of Mark Victor Hansen & Associates, Inc., co-founder and chief visionary officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul Enterprises, Inc. and president of One Minute Millionaire, LLC.
Mark and his business partner Jack Canfield, create what Time magazine calls "the publishing phenomenon of the decade." With more than 90 million Chicken Soup for the Soul books sold in North America alone, and over 100 licensed products in the marketplace, it is one of the most successful publishing franchises in America today.
Mark is an enthusiastic crusader of what's possible and is driven to make the world a better place. For more than 25 years, Mark has focused solely on helping people and organizations, from all walks of life, reshape their personal vision of what's possible. His powerful messages of possibility, opportunity, and action have helped create startling and powerful change in thousands of organizations and millions of individuals worldwide.
Mark is an internationally sought-after keynote speaker, best-selling author, and marketing maven. His credentials include a lifetime of entrepreneurial success. In addition to an extensive academic background; Mark has made a profound influence through his extensive library of audio programs, video programs, and enriching articles in the areas of big thinking, sales achievement, publishing success, and personal and professional development.
He has been called one of the "Top 10 Greatest Motivational Speakers." In the year 2000, The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans honored Mark with the prestigious Horatio Alger Award. The University of Toledo presented him with an Honorary PhD in Business Administration and established the Mark Victor Hansen Entrepreneurial Excellence Fund, which will help shape the minds of future business leaders and assist in the development of the faculty who will teach them.
His energy and exuberance travels still further through television (The Oprah Show, CNN, and The Today Show), print (TIME, US News & World Report, USA Today, The New York Times, and Entrepreneur), and countless radio and newspaper interviews. Mark is also known as a passionate philanthropist and humanitarian, working tirelessly for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross, March of Dimes, Childhelp USA, and many others.
Owner, Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino. Founder of the city of Laughlin, Nevada.
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