7 Surprising Facts About “New World” Wine

At The International Wine Awards for 2014, South Africa scooped five trophies. Australia, U.S., Chile, and Argentina were awarded more trophies than any other New World vintners. “New World” doesn’t mean fresh players in the wine field: It simply creates categories according to countries that were colonized and those that were colonizers. For this reason, some regions within Old World countries are classified as New World. Wine lover, Amir Landsman, has his favorites he found checking out 3 not to miss New Jersey wine festivals.


New World Wine Has Its Own Taste

The differences in the characteristics of wine between these two “worlds” are stark. Old World winemaking is regulated, leaving vintners with little room for creativity. This may be behind the rising popularity of certain New World vintners, who have experimental freedom to try out new blends and winemaking methods. Old World wines tend to be a little challenging for new hobbyists, since they can be high in tannins and acidity. They are made according to tradition, which can be limiting on their character. New World wines take on the characteristics of their region and are often braver, featuring strong, bold and fruity notes.


China Is Booming

China is the world’s fifth largest wine producer, with an output that has risen fourfold in the last 10 years. Its citizens are equally enthusiastic about wine, with China becoming the largest consumer of red wine in 2013 at almost two billion bottles in a single year. They are not, however, necessarily supporting their local winemakers: France is drinking less wine, but Chinese buyers are spending a lot of their purchasing time in France. The Queen of England, on the other hand, is supporting China’s newfound passion for winemaking. She has cleared permanent shelf space for the Chinese producer, Chateau Changyu. Traditional cabernet sauvignon and merlot have been added, but an interesting new kind of winemaking has created its own space on the queen’s list. Ice wine, China’s lightest offering, is made in its own valley, with the queen’s choice being the Gold Label blend. It is produced using frozen, extremely fresh grapes. This gives it a light citrus and honey flavor.


Greece Is Letting Go of Ouzo

It is not uncommon to find Greek wines on connoisseurs’ lists of international favorites these days. Vintners are famous for their Moschofilero, Xinomavro, and Tselepos varieties. Nimea, too, is in the news for its easy drinking, soft tasting wines. Their white wine is known for its crisp, tangy lightness, ideal for pairing with Greek dishes. Traditionally, Greek white wine is sweet, but dry blends are quickly taking over.


Chile Is Reinventing Viticulture

Chile has its own brand of sophistication, different from all other countries in South America. Its soil, climate, Pacific winds, and glacial water all work together to create a solid foundation for its grapes. It has become the ninth largest wine producer and has retained its place as the fifth largest exporter in the world. Almaviva has won the most awards and is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Carmenere. Its vintners took on many of France’s traditional winemaking techniques while adding the notes that can only come from the Chilean environment. The country is in its infancy as a producer and is thus still researching the sub-regions and grapes that will add personality to its output. This is being supported by some wine producers in the Old World, so Chile should enjoy speedy progress.


The New World Is Changing Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is one of the oldest wines, having first been produced in Burgundy, France. It was called Morillon Noir by monks in the fourteenth century and is the ancestor of Pinot Blanc, Gris, Meunier and Grigio. It may even have given birth to Chardonnay. Many of the world’s most prominent New World vintners are adding their own signature to this ancient wine. Argentina, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa have the climate and space needed to grow the vine. Their fresh, creative approaches have made Pinot Noir one of the most diverse wines to experiment with. Because the grape presents such a large scope of flavors, it has a natural ability to change simply according to where it is grown. Germany’s are earthy with a raspberry and cherry zing, while California’s are intense, daring and tinged with subtle undertones of vanilla, clove and caramel. New Zealand’s regions lend it a spicy bite, and South America’s has a floral aroma.


South Africa’s Wine Route Is the Longest in the World

The Cape Wine Routes feature back-to-back towns spanning hundreds of wine estates including the renowned Stellenbosch and Franschhoek routes. Because they are popular attractions, estates have developed to present five star food and wine pairing, with the occasional classical music event in their cellars.

South African wines often win international awards in the Value category but it has more than its share of top achievers in other classifications. It is the exclusive wine on the menu in Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, but it is best enjoyed on its own home soil. The Cape is constantly finding its way onto the Times LIVE’s top destination list and it is the sprawling Wine Lands that contribute to this. South African wine takes the best out of Old World and New World styles. It represents a quarter of international fine wine production and 3 percent of general wine production, even managing to bloom by nearly 20 percent during the global recession. Chenin Blanc is its most beloved grape worldwide, although its Merlots add just a hint of fresh charm to a traditional Italian taste. Meerlust, Kanonkop, Rust en Vrede, Simonsig and Mulderbosch are currently the most nominated South African wines in the international press.


Casillero Del Diablo is the World’s Most Admired Wine

Chile’s Casillero Del Diablo took second place on The World’s Most Admired Wine list, just below world leader, Torres. These wines are renowned not only for their creative, characteristic blends but their history as well. Concha Toro, their first winemaker, kept his favorite vintages locked away, but thieves were fond of them too. The cellar was frequently broken into, so Toro spread word that the devil haunted it. The legend gave the wine its name, which translates as “Cellar of the Devil.”

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10 Social Media Tricks for Small Business Success

Engaging in social media is a popular pastime for millions of people. From teenagers to grandparents, just about everyone has at least one social media account. And social media isn’t limited to individuals—businesses can get in on the action, too. If you are not sure how to start using social media for your business, here are 10 easy tips to get started.

1. The big names. There are a lot of social media options, but it is hard to go wrong with the classics. Although Facebook is one of the oldest social media sites, it remains one of the most popular, reaching into all demographics. Twitter is another commonly used site, and it has been a big part of everything from celebrity connections to political posturing. There is no reason you cannot use one or both of these sites for your small business. These sites are often easier for novices since they appeal to a wider range of people.

2. Upcoming stars. Social media is always changing. Take Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, which rely more on text, these sites are graphics heavy, which encourages a whole different means of connection. For businesses that have visually appealing products, trying these sites may be a great way to make an impact on customers. To get a sense of what may be the best site for your business, it might be helpful to ask customers about their favorite sites so you can select one that will properly connect with your particular customer base.

3. The written word. Social media posts are great for announcing sales, new releases, important dates and more. This is your chance to tell customers anything you want, so be sure to post relevant and engaging text to capture their interest. It can be especially helpful to develop a certain tone in all your written posts, whether it is authoritative, quirky or silly. However, just remember that the Internet generally likes text to be to the point, so be careful about not making your text posts too long. Text can be broken up with bullet points and subheadings to make it easier to read.

4. Picture perfect. Sometimes a picture says more than text ever could. If you run a bakery, take a close up of your best cake. If you operate a clothing store, post photos of some of your best apparel on a model. If people can see what your business is all about, they will be more inclined to stop by. While simple photos can make a difference, better quality pictures are going to attract more of a following, especially on sites that feature photos often.

5. Lights, camera, action. Many social media sites also support videos, which can be an even better way to capture the life of your store. These videos could be informational, offering tutorials about how to use certain products. They could also be reflective, showcasing special events and fun interactions. Some businesses may even be able to create edited videos, complete with music and voiceovers for added impact. However, even amateur footage can be a hit if the content is good enough.

6. Where others have gone before. Social media is not merely a showcase for original content. Almost all social media sites have some form of reblogging function. This function allows users to highlight posts they enjoyed and advertise those posts to others. While the hope is that your original content will be liked or reblogged, you can also highlight other interesting posts. Pick posts that are relevant to your customers, community or store, and it can definitely pay to highlight posts from loyal customers as a way to build a relationship.

7. Asking for it. Sometimes the best way to get feedback on a social media site is to ask for it. Frame your posts with a question at the end. Try to post things that will start conversations. Even making contests can be a great way to get people talking. This requires a small shift in thinking while creating a post, but it can make a huge difference in the quality of the response.

8. Silence can be deadly. It is not enough to ask people to reply. You have to actively make time to reply to others. If people ask questions on your account, be sure to answer them. If your business gets mentioned in a post, make a point to respond. If you have relevant expertise on an issue, never be shy about jumping into the conversation.

9. Marketing on the mind. Be sure to let people know about major sales or other promotions. Offer coupons and other special deals. However, do not forget the other side of advertising. If you want people to know about your social media sites, you have to make sure you advertise that they exist. Include a URL on your letterheads or business cards. Invite people to visit your account on store receipts. Mention it when customers check out at the cash register. Get the word out if you want people to check it out.

10. Scheduled success. When running a business, success requires ongoing effort. You never stop pushing to excel, and the same is true when operating a social media account. The account must be active with at least several posts a week. If you do not maintain this level of activity, customers and guests will not be inclined to keep up with your online marketing action. That’s why, most businesses find that scheduling online posts as part of their weekly business plan can be a real asset to building a following.

Any business can use social media as part of a successful marketing plan. With these ten tips, you can get started and see where networking takes your business.

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What Makes the University of Haifa So Popular?

As one of the leading higher education institutions in Israel, the University of Haifa is already a popular choice for advanced education. However, there is much more to this highly regarded university. Just consider these eight things you may not have known about the University of Haifa.

1. Origin. Although the University of Haifa is regarded as the fourth university in Israel, it actually got its start as part of another academic institution. When the university first opened in 1963, it was a branch of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Its first year, the university welcomed 472 students. The first graduating class had 75 students in 1967. However, enrollment grew steadily during these early years, and by 1972, the University of Haifa declared its independence and became the sixth academic institution in the entire country.

2. Multicultural focus. Israel is a relatively small country with unique cultural divides. The University of Haifa is well aware of the inherent conflicts in that region of the world and strives to offer a safe place for students of all backgrounds to interact. The cooperation between Jewish and Arab students exists not only in the classroom but throughout the campus as well. Students from other backgrounds are also readily incorporated into the study body. There are Christian, Muslim, Druze and secular students represented on campus as well.

3. Hecht Museum. Anyone from around the region can appreciate the Hecht Museum. Located on the campus, this museum was opened in 1984 by Reuben Hecht. As a member of the university’s Board of Governors, Hecht had a unique interest in the university and its potential. As an avid archeological collector, Hecht had a private collection of important artifacts from Israel’s long history. This collection became the basis of the museum, which was expanded to include other exhibits as well. Now the museum provides an in depth look at Israel’s history with an emphasis on the Byzantine period. Visitors can see genuine Semitic seals, pieces from the Temple Mount, Phoenician metal pieces and more. One of its most notable displays is the Ma’agan Michael Ship, which is a shipwreck from the fifth century. There is also an impressive collection of art at the museum, including pieces from Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and Max Liebermann.

4. Research centers. Higher education facilities are not only about teaching students. They are also about advancing study for everyone. In this, the University of Haifa excels with impressive research facilities. The research at the University of Haifa is varied thanks to its diverse academic focus. From the advanced science at the Evolution Institute to the growing need at the Center for the Study of National Security, there is something for every academic interest here. There is also important work at the Center for the Study of the Information Society, which looks at information technology in the modern age. Its most prestigious research center is affiliated with IBM. This facility was opened in 1972 and considers the role of technology across a wide range of disciplines. The IBM facility at the University of Haifa is the largest IBM facility outside the United States, making it particularly noteworthy for potential students and faculty.

5. Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences. Thanks to its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, the University of Haifa has opportunities to explore marine-related fields. To accomplish this, the university operates its Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences. The school utilizes the Caesarea Center, which is a unique diving facility that gives students and teachers hands on access to the sea and its inhabitants. Students can pick from three fields of study, including Marine Biology, Marine Geosciences and Maritime Civilizations. The Caesarea Center is so important to the region that it is also used for the Israeli Antiquities Authority.

6. Political hotbed. With a range of subject areas for students to study, graduates from the University of Haifa go on to do many things. However, many of the most notable students to graduate from the university have pursued careers in the military and politics with a great deal of success. Of particular note are Assad Assad, who served in the IDF before becoming a diplomat and politician, Meir Dagan, who worked as the director of the Mossad, and politicians Yaakov Edri, Haneen Zoabi, Carmi Gillon and more.

7. Creative inspiration. Graduates from the University of Haifa have also excelled in other areas. Ashraf Barhom has starred in a number of major films, including the American production “The Kingdom.” Ram Karmi is a noted architect, and Bernardo Sorj has done impressive work in sociology. Ronen Bergman is known around the world for his work as an author of investigative journalism. Even renowned footballer Yochanan Vollach is a graduate of the University of Haifa.

8. Opportunities for all. The University of Haifa continues to attract students because it has programs that support learners at all points of their academic careers. Although most of the original students at the University of Haifa were teachers and the original academic catalogue offered only degrees in Humanities and Social Sciences, the university has evolved significantly since that time. Now there are additional degree tracks in Law, Social Welfare, Health Studies, Education and Science. In addition to these undergraduate options, postgraduate students can pursue degrees in Management, Marine Sciences and more. With this range of options, over 18,000 students attend the University of Haifa each year. This includes nearly 9,000 undergraduate students and 7,000 postgraduate students. The University of Haifa also has a thriving population of international students, meaning that there are students from around the world studying there.

Clearly, the University of Haifa is more than another academic institution. This world-class facility is a unique academic environment that must be experienced in order to be fully appreciated.

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Eight Ways to Make Online Marketing Work for Your Small Business

The modern customer is far more tech savvy than ever before. This is why most companies realize the value of harnessing the Internet as part of their overall marketing plan. However, for smaller businesses with less capital and fewer resources, online marketing can seem daunting. Even so, small businesses can greatly benefit from online marketing. Just consider the eight following ways to make a big impact on your small business with online marketing.

1. Website. A website is an essential feature for any business, regardless of size or specialty. Many consumers will use the Internet to research and find local businesses. A website can provide information about the company’s location, hours, products and services. With this information online, customers will likely feel more comfortable when contacting or visiting the business. In fact, some small businesses have expanded their pool of potential customers dramatically by using a website. After all, a physical store is only accessible to people within a small radius. A website, on the other hand, can be viewed by the entire world.

2. Social media. Most customers are not only online but are also extensively connected on social media networks. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest have huge followings, attracting users with fresh, interactive content. With these sites, users can connect with people they know and people with similar interests. Many businesses have already started to use social media since this venue can connect businesses with new and current customers. Social media is not only a great advertising tool, but it can also help foster long-term relationships with customers. This way, even if the customers are not in the store, they may still be interacting with the business in a meaningful way.

3. Web hosting. While most businesses may know that a website is a good idea for their success, they may not be aware of how to go about creating one. In fact, businesses should realize that developing a website is only half the battle. All websites must be hosted, which means they are supported by a company that operates space on the Internet. Although there are free web-hosting options, these are typically best suited for personal websites. Paying for web hosting can guarantee consistent service, which means that the website should rarely be down or overrun with traffic. Web hosting prices will vary depending on the amount of web space needed, the desired bandwidth speed and security considerations.

4. Online shopping. One of the most powerful elements of the Internet is that it gives a small business access to a bigger audience. This is not only a great advertising tool, but it can also be a new sales model. If the business has goods that are easily shipped, starting an online store may be a great way to expand profits. This way, people can shop from the comfort of home, and the sales numbers are no longer limited to a local market. There are some obvious costs and risks associated with an online store. For example, logistical issues with payment and shipping must be resolved before undertaking such a venture. For businesses that sell enough to make the investment worthwhile, however, the results can be enormously positive.

5. Search engine optimization. While some customers may be looking for a particular store by name, many others will simply be searching for general services. This is why search engine optimization, or SEO, is so important. SEO refers to the method of creating a website that does well with search engines. When a search engine conducts a search, it is using the desired keywords and matching them against all the websites available. Each search engine will then calculate how well a website matches the search terms. Designing a website with SEO interests in mind is easier said than done, which is why most businesses hire a professional. SEO design involves using the right keywords on a website to match the most common search terms. The end result is increased traffic for overall success.

6. Hit analysis. While maintaining an online presence, it is useful to know who is visiting a website. This is why most web-hosting companies include some sort of visitor analysis. This analysis can typically show how many people visited and when, and many will also break down the results based on where the visitors are located and how they came to the website. This information can be very useful in knowing whom the website is reaching, which can focus refinements to improve the results.

7. An attractive layout. A website is more than text on a page. A good website should be easy to navigate and inviting to use. Good design is a balance of color, text and graphics. If the page is too busy, users will turn away. It may also be too slow to load. All text should be catchy and error free. Images need to be engaging and clear. Be sure to have logical navigation links on every page, and contact information should be readily available to visitors.

8. Consistent updates. Any online strategy needs to be properly maintained in order to be effective. Social media accounts must be updated frequently or users will stop following them. Websites must contain current information, or they are useless. In fact, websites that are not consistently updated will often go down in search engine rankings. Success online requires dedication over the long haul in order to make a real difference in the bottom line.

The Internet is a thriving part of modern culture, so it should be a part of your thriving business as well. By considering the options, it is possible to develop an online approach that fits with your small-business goals.


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Three Popular Universities in Israel

Israel is an exciting country, flourishing with arts, culture, science and business. With all this, it is no wonder that students from around the world are interested in coming to Israel to pursue their advanced education. For those who are considering studying in Israel, there are a growing number of reputable institutions from which to choose. To start on the selection process, here are three excellent universities in Israel.

1. Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Established in 1925, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem predates the existence of the country itself. The university has an impressive history, especially since its original Board of Governors included important thinkers like Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud. The university has had many notable alumni, including four Israeli prime ministers and seven recipients of the Nobel Prize. By many measures, this university is considered to be the best in all of Israel and is highly ranked against other notable institutions around the world. Its mathematics and computer science programs are especially well respected. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is home to the largest library dedicated to Jewish studies in the world. Currently, about 22,000 students attend the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, including 12,000 undergraduates and 10,000 postgraduates.

2. Technion: Israel Institute of Technology. The Technion is Israel’s oldest advanced learning institution. Founded in 1912, the Technion was originally governed by the Ottoman Empire. Located in Haifa, the Technion has survived the political unrest in the area and is now a proud part of Israel. The university boasts 18 academic departments, and there are also 52 research centers affiliated with the school. As a technical institution, the Technion offers a wide range of degrees in science and engineering. It has also expanded to include medicine, education and architecture, among other programs. The Technion currently has 9,500 undergraduate students and 2,300 postgraduate students. There are also 934 students enrolled in doctoral programs.

3. University of Haifa. The University of Haifa is also located in Haifa, but unlike the Technion, this university has a broader focus that includes liberal arts. The university opened in 1963, originally as an extension of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. However, as enrollment boomed over the next decade, the University of Haifa became an independent academic institution in 1972. Students who choose the University of Haifa can select from six programs, including Education, Humanities, Science and Social Science and more. Among its most respected programs is the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, which has elite research and diving facilities. In addition to its academic focus, the University of Haifa is committed to a multicultural environment that promotes connections between students of all backgrounds. There are currently around 18,000 students, including undergraduates and postgraduates, enrolled at the university.

These three universities offer academic rigor and inclusive student cultures, making them exciting choices for advanced studies in Israel.

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Top 12 World Destinations for Tennis Lovers

Golfers and skiers travel around the world to enjoy their sport at the golf courses and ski resort. Tennis fans can do the same thing. For example, tennis player Amir Landsman takes on the challenges of classic tennis resorts and courts around the world. While he maintains his status as a talented amateur, he has enjoyed the chance to play on the same courts once dominated by the greats in the sport. In no particular order, here are his 12 favorite tennis destinations in the United States and overseas.

Rancho Valencia in Rancho Santa Fe, California

Rancho Valencia has been named the top tennis resort in the United States by Tennis Magazine and has the facilities and expert staff to back up this reputation. The resort even features 18 championship courts with Plexipave acrylic surfaces for optimal traction and cushioning. This innovative system ensures uniformity of bounce during play. Luxury packages are available for guests, and the fully stocked Pro Shop ensures that players have access to the best equipment during their stay.

Carmel Forest Spa Resort, Haifa, Israel

Designed for adults only, the Carmel Forest Spa Resort offers a restful retreat at an admittedly steep price. While tennis is just one of the activities offered by this exclusive resort, the exceptional beauty of its seaside location and the full range of spa treatments make it the perfect getaway for couples looking to rekindle romance or to relax in an idyllic setting in Israel.

The Lodge at Pebble Beach, California

The Beach & Tennis Club’s Tennis Center has hosted numerous tournaments at all levels of play and features 12 exclusive championship courts. Instructors certified by the United States Professional Tennis Association are on hand to help guests improve their game and take on even greater challenges in this exciting sport. The Pebble Beach Golf Links are located nearby and have been honored as the top public golf course in the United States.

Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt, Tirol, Austria

Located at the base of the Wilder Kaiser mountain range, the Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt hosts the PBI Tennis Camp. This elite facility features six indoor and eight outdoor courts along with professional staff well versed in multi-lingual tennis instruction. A well stocked pro shop and highly skilled tennis instructors attract large crowds of European and American guests each year. Children are welcome at this family-owned resort hotel complex.

Lew Hoad Tennis and Paddle Club, Mijas, Spain

For year-round tennis excitement, it’s difficult to do better than the Lew Hoad Tennis Club. Located in Mijas, Spain, this exclusive tennis resort offers a number of other exceptional attractions. Tropical gardens, sunny skies and palm trees await lucky travelers to this exquisite destination nestled in the foothills of Mijas in Costa del Sol. Holiday tournaments and year-round training programs provide plenty of excitement for tennis fans of all ages.

Saddlebrook Resort, Wesley Chapel, Florida

Home to the renowned Tampa Tennis Camp, Saddlebrook Resort is actually located 25 miles to the north of Tampa and combines the appeal of a rustic village with some of the most intense training programs available anywhere. Guests who take on the challenge of these high-octane programs enjoy access to 45 courts encompassing a full range of surfaces. Grass, Rebound Ace, hard and clay courts are available for use by students at every level of play.

Palmas del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico

Court time is in high demand even during the hottest part of the day at the Palmas del Mar tennis center. Both hard-surface and clay courts are represented in this exclusive complex. Ten of the 20 available courts are lighted for evening play. Although the pro shop may be smaller in size than those available in other resorts, the view of the exhibition court from this equipment center compensates guests at the Palmas del Mar for any minor shortcomings.

Stoke Park Country Club & Resort, Buckinghamshire, England

Tennis fans with a taste for adventure will enjoy the true James Bond experience at the Stoke Park Country Club & Resort. “Goldfinger” and “Tomorrow Never Dies” were filmed on and around this impressive facility. Stoke Park also hosts the annual Boodles Challenge, a popular event among major stars in the local and national tennis scene.

Fairmont Le Château Montebello, Quebec, Canada

The Fairmont Le Château Montebello offers tennis enthusiasts a rare opportunity to enjoy fast-paced play on two exclusive indoor courts and a stay in a picturesque log cabin with 210 rooms. Located on 65,000 acres of unspoiled recreational area, this private retreat offers an exceptional range of family-friendly activities that include horseback riding, canoeing and swimming in the temperature-controlled indoor Olympic pool.

Sandy Lane, St. James, Barbados, West Indies

The tropical setting and clear blue sea provide the perfect backdrop for intensive training with Sandy Lane’s experienced team of tennis instructors. While most instructional offerings are designed for adults, the facility does provide classes and tournaments for younger players at selected times throughout the year. During off hours, guests can enjoy lounging on the beach or relaxing at the luxury spa located in the Sandy Lane resort.

Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Despite its name, the Kiawah Island Golf Resort has much to offer dedicated tennis players. The resort has earned a Mobil Five-Star award and features a protected nesting ground for the endangered loggerhead turtle as well as an extensive Audubon-certified bird sanctuary. Professional tennis player and local legend Roy Barth oversees the two tennis clubs and provides guidance to guests of the Kiawah Island facility.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Kohala Coast, Hawaii

Located on the Big Island, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel boasts some of the whitest sand and most tranquil surroundings in all of the Pacific. It is also home to the Seaside Tennis Club and 11 tennis courts with stunning views of the beach and ocean. Under the leadership of Craig Pautler, the Seaside Tennis Club team offers basic and advanced lessons in tennis technique for guests at the Mauna Kea.

For dedicated tennis players and avid travelers like Amir Landsman, these resort destinations offer the chance to explore the finer points of the sport in serene and scenic surroundings far from the distractions of everyday life.

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Macroeconomics in Small Business Finance

Amir Landsman developed an in-depth knowledge and understanding of macroeconomics during his studies at the world-famous Open University in Haifa, Israel. This institution of learning provides comprehensive educational services for students in eight departments that include the following disciplines:

•    History, Judaic Studies and Philosophy

•    Natural Sciences

•    Language, Literature and Fine Arts

•    Sociology and Political Sciences

•    Psychology and Education

•    Mathematics and Computer Science Studies

•    English

•    Management, Microeconomics and Macroeconomics

Landsman’s studies in the macroeconomics field prepared him for a career in the financial services industry and provided him with a unique perspective on the effects of stock market and currency fluctuations on the average investor.

As the study of large-scale movements in the financial marketplace, macroeconomics is inextricably linked with microeconomics. The shifts in global markets and economies have both direct and indirect effects on individuals and privately owned companies, regardless of their financial stake in the stock market. Changes in the prime interest rates for one country, for instance, can affect the availability of loans for large corporations and small businesses around the globe.

Even slight shifts in the world economy can have significant effects on individual businesses. Variations in currency values can increase or reduce the value of corporate assets or create limits on access to credit options for these companies. By acknowledging the importance of macroeconomic fluctuations in creating market conditions, company leaders like Amir Landsman can adjust their business enterprises and financial plans to meet these new challenges and achieve a greater degree of profitability and productivity in the ever-changing business world.

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The Power of Diamonds: Beyond the Engagement Ring

As a former representative of the prestigious Denya Diamonds firm, Amir Landsman has acquired a solid working knowledge of the diamond markets and the use of these sparkling gemstones in commercial and industrial applications. Diamonds are found and mined in areas all over the world but are most commonly found in central and southern areas of the African continent. Synthetic diamonds can also be created in laboratory conditions; however, nearly all synthetic diamonds are currently used for industrial purposes. Cubic zirconia can also be cut and set to create a near-perfect resemblance to diamonds. Unlike true synthetic diamonds, however, cubic zirconia is not chemically identical to diamond and cannot be used in industrial applications.

Industrial Diamonds

The hardness and durability of diamonds makes them a favored material for use in saws and other cutting implements. Lower-quality diamonds are not suited for use in jewelry; however, they are ideal for grinding and cutting tasks. Diamond tools are even used to shape and polish other diamonds for use as gemstones in the jewelry industry.

Diamonds as Gemstones

Most gem-quality diamonds are white. However, pink, yellow, brown and other colored diamonds are also available and have become increasingly popular. Larger specimens are in high demand for diamond solitaire engagement rings and may be passed down from one generation to the next as treasured family heirlooms.

Diamonds play a critical role in both the jewelry industry and in providing ultra-hard grinding and cutting equipment for manufacturing and machining firms. This versatility ensures that this beautiful gemstone will remain in high demand for centuries to come.

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How to Manage Cash-Flow Concerns

Maintaining liquidity is a critical issue for many of Amir Landsman’s commercial and small-business clientele. Positive cash flow and steady revenue streams can provide added stability for companies in the competitive marketplace. A number of strategies can provide improved financial results for companies in the current economic climate. Here are two of the most successful methods for ensuring adequate cash on hand for everyday expenses and emergencies in the small-business world.

Maintain Clear Lines of Credit

For companies with an established and clean credit history, obtaining open lines of credit with financial institutions can be a solid way to maintain positive cash-flow conditions within a small business. Companies can draw on these funds as needed and can repay the borrowed money over time to manage financial emergencies more effectively.


Small businesses with less-than-perfect credit can often take advantage of factoring arrangements that allow the sale of future payments on contracts for immediate cash on hand. Factoring companies collect the funds due and retain a percentage of the profits to cover their costs. Because the risk assessments for these arrangements are based on the creditworthiness of the company’s clientele rather than the company itself, small businesses that have experienced serious credit problems in the past may still be able to qualify and obtain funding through factoring companies.

Companies can also improve their liquidity and cash flow by increasing revenues and retaining a portion of profits as an emergency source of funding. By exploring all avenues for enhancing cash flow, small- to mid-sized businesses can create a more favorable financial environment for their ongoing operations.

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Realistic Financial Solutions for Small Business Challenges

Amir Landsman’s realistic approach to assisting small business owners with their cash-flow problems has proven beneficial for many repeat customers of this qualified financial services provider. His company provides financial support for underserved small businesses in the current struggling economy. These services can help these small businesses manage cash-flow difficulties, weather unexpected expenses and take advantage of limited-time opportunities in the competitive marketplace.

Merchant cash advances are designed to provide the operating capital necessary for companies to navigate difficult economic conditions successfully. By working with Landsman’s staff of financial professionals, small business owners can not only obtain much needed infusions of cash for their operations but can also receive the advice and guidance necessary to avoid serious cash-flow deficits in the future. Proper budgeting can ensure that funds are available to managers and business owners when emergency expenses arise. Additionally, performing the necessary due diligence in the contract-management field can help small businesses identify weak links in the supply chain and can boost profitability by reducing expenses for materials and necessary services.

Small businesses that have encountered credit difficulties in the past may still be able to qualify for a merchant cash advance to manage temporary cash-flow problems. By working with Amir and his team of professional finance experts, small business owners can access increased options for managing their financial situation responsibly and quickly.

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Boosting Your Business With Online Marketing

In his role as a business owner, Amir Landsman has been presented with numerous challenges and opportunities. One of the most important elements of success today is effective promotion in the online marketplace. Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies can deliver higher page rankings for corporate websites with major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. By creating fresh and compelling content that incorporates relevant and popular keywords, companies can often achieve a higher degree of saturation in their local markets and can position themselves effectively for improved profitability and increased traffic to their online sites.

Search engine companies employ advanced algorithms to determine the organic page rankings for each site they analyze. Organic page rankings cannot be bought and are the result of automated evaluation using a specific set of criteria. While the exact weighting and nature of these criteria is not known, most search engines rank websites higher if they feature fresh and original content, if they are directly relevant to the search terms entered by the user and if they offer factual information rather than simply consisting of advertisements and promotional language.

Paid placements, by contrast, typically are charged on a per-click basis and are not dependent on search engine rankings. Targeted advertisements designed for specific geographical locations, demographics or interest groups can be a good way to jump-start an online marketing campaign and can create buzz with potential clients in the Internet community. These low-cost advertising strategies can often give companies the competitive edge they require to achieve a higher degree of success.

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Delivering the Sale

Amir Landsman has a great deal of experience in negotiating sales agreements with current and prospective clients in a number of different industries. However, his talent for negotiating the right deal may have its roots in his military service with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). As a member of the elite IDF equivalents of the U.S. Navy SEALs, he was given advanced training in a wide array of military and martial arts to ensure that he could perform his duties effectively in combat and reconnaissance situations. One of the most critical skills acquired during these training sessions was the ability to read situations quickly and to respond to them effectively in real time. In the sales and marketing field, this ability can make the difference between a successful sale and a blown opportunity.

Especially in the business-to-business (B2B) marketing arena, it is critical to understand the needs and values of potential clients before approaching them to make a sale. In military terms, this would be the equivalent of scoping out the situation before moving troops into place. Failing to understand the terrain and the existing situation can lead to failures and losses in the commercial marketplace.

Landsman’s exceptional powers of perception allow him to identify win-win scenarios that benefit prospective clients while making his corporate enterprises more profitable. By finding mutually beneficial solutions for their companies and their customers, he and other sales professionals can enjoy a greater degree of success in closing sales and generating profits in the retail and wholesale marketplaces.

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Financial Basics Are the Key

During an average workweek, Amir Landsman deals with numerous corporate clients seeking help to manage their cash-flow difficulties quickly and effectively. In many cases, however, proper budgeting could help these firms avoid financial difficulties and could create a monetary buffer for managing short-term cash-flow shortfalls and one-time emergency expenses.

Setting aside a percentage of the company’s earnings in a separate account or under a different category in the corporate ledger can ensure that small businesses have a ready supply of available cash to manage unexpected repair and replacement costs or to take advantage of immediate opportunities in their industries.

Streamlining and optimizing the various elements of the corporate supply chain can provide added savings and can increase the financial efficiency of the business. Negotiating lower rates for items purchased in bulk or for frequently bought materials can also allow for greater financial flexibility in the company’s everyday operations.

Outsourcing certain elements of the company’s workflows can also free up funds for ongoing expenses. IT services, for instance, can be purchased on a scalable basis to allow companies to pay just for those Internet support and maintenance services needed to continue their ongoing work and retain their current customer base.

By establishing a workable and financially responsible budget plan for their company, small business owners can achieve a greater degree of stability in their everyday operations. This added degree of security can make it easier to manage one-time expenses and to maintain profitability even during difficult or unsettled economic times.

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Navigating the Diamond Trade

In his role as a sales manager for Denya Diamonds, Amir Landsman learned a great deal about the international diamond trade. Gem-grade diamonds can go for exceptionally prices depending on clarity, size and color.

More than 90 percent of all diamonds are cut and polished in India. Diamond deposits are found and mined in locations around the world. However, nearly half of these diamonds originate from mines in the southern and central regions of Africa.

In addition to their use in jewelry, diamonds are in high demand in the industrial world due to their exceptional hardness and ability to cut through other substances easily. Diamond-edged saws are especially useful in the lumber and construction industries.

Reputable diamond dealers maintain a meticulous record of the provenance of the gemstones they sell. The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme was instituted by the United Nations in 2000 to combat the sale and shipment of conflict diamonds used to finance wars in African nations. The Kimberly Process requires that diamonds be shipped in tamper-proof containers and accompanied by detailed certificates that list the point of origin for the diamonds along with any stops made between the mine and the eventual destination.

This certification process provides a greater degree of control during the diamond shopping process and can allow buyers to enjoy a clear conscience when purchasing these unique and beautiful gems. Dealing only with reputable diamond retailers who comply with all aspects of the Kimberly Process can allow consumers to buy with confidence in the international diamond marketplace.

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Biography: Diverse, Eclectic Careers Spurred Amir Landsman’s Success

As the founder and owner of a major financial-services company, Amir Landsman puts his financial acumen on the line everyday to ensure profitability and to provide reliable help to his corporate clientele. His experiences as a young man in the Israel Defense Forces prepared him well for the challenges he would face in the corporate world. As a member of Israel’s equivalent to the U.S. Navy SEALs, he underwent extensive training to take on the challenges and demands of this fast-paced military position.

His next major position was with Tnuva Ltd., a leading poultry production company in Israel. Amir was a regional sales manager for the firm and held responsibility for sales, marketing, budgeting and production forecasting for the southern region of Israel. In this role, he built lasting relationships with the farmers and merchants of the area and developed people skills that have served him well in his later career choices.

Landsman then moved around the world to New York City to accept a position with Denya Diamonds, a respected and reputable international diamond firm. In his role as the East Coast Sales Manager for Denya, he traveled extensively throughout New England and the southeastern states to represent the interests of Denya Diamonds and to promote sales and profitability for the company. He met with clients to pursue sales for Denya and managed stock inventory control, forecasting for future sales and accounts receivable.

In his current leadership role with a national financial-services firm, Amir Landsman works with small business owners and corporate leaders to help them manage temporary cash-flow difficulties. The company provides merchant cash advances to provide added flexibility for small businesses and other corporate entities that may be experiencing difficulty in today’s struggling economy. By working with him and his knowledgeable financial staff, these companies can explore added options for acquiring much-needed infusions of cash for their ongoing operations. An accomplished entrepreneur, his investment in this company has provided him with added financial flexibility to pursue his outside interests and charitable activities.

Amir Landsman is an avid world traveler and has visited many countries around the globe. His love for fine dining and for exploring new cuisines has led to some serious experimentation in the kitchen, earning him accolades among his friends and family. Indian, French and Korean cooking styles are particular favorites in the household. To keep fit, the whole family plays tennis and spends much of its leisure time enjoying a little friendly competition on the courts. He is also a music lover and has a particular fondness for the masterworks of Leonard Cohen and the stadium rock band Queen.

His charitable activities include contributions to SHARE Africa and to the Blacksmith Institute’s Blacksmith Benefit for India, an innovative environmental program that promotes safer and healthier development practices in this ecologically sensitive part of the world. By maintaining a healthy balance between the responsibilities of work, play, family and society, Amir ensures that he can enjoy every aspect of his life to the fullest.

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The Ball in Your Court

As a long-time fan of the Brooklyn Nets and an avid tennis player, Amir Landsman enjoys the thrill of competition. He also understands how success can be difficult when the odds are stacked against you, as is the case when banks are only willing to lend to large, established companies. H. Capital provides short-term financing through a merchant cash advance, purchasing a percentage of your business’s revenues or receivables. Your repayments are then based on your business’s success. If you believe in yourself and your business, regain your competitive edge by working with H. Capital to obtain the working capital you need to grow.

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Personal Touch to Business Financing

Amir Landsman understands that small businesses are a direct reflection of the people that run them. Instead of relying on credit history to determine whether to provide financing, he turns to the business owners themselves. He talks to them directly to gain insight into how they manage their business. The more he understands the business and its goals, the more likely he will make a successful investment in them. His approach helps him establish a personal connection with people in the community, and his success gives him the opportunity to help other local businesses, too.

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Local Small Business Financier Keeps Community Connected

Amir Landsman takes pride in his community and knows that a healthy local economy starts with viable local businesses. As a resident of Upper Nyack, his goals are no different than those of other business owners: he wants to do his part to maintain a safe and thriving environment for his family and friends to enjoy. For Landsman, that includes his love of playing tennis and catching the Nets when they are in town. He started H. Capital so that he could help friends in the business community survive when banks refused to help, and his efforts have helped keep the community together.

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Amir Landsman Makes Financing Easy

When business owners are in desperate need of cash to keep their doors open, they are prone to making poor decisions. That can include striking deals full of red tape and fine print that may not be in their best interests. Amir Landsman created H. Capital to remove the confusion around financing so that business owners can understand the terms and are aware of the flexible repayment options. If an unexpected event requires additional working capital, H. Capital can provide the funding you need within one business day and eliminate the hassle of long applications and collateral requirements.

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