Last week’s Facebook offering brought about a frenzy – for the media, for investors, for brokers and bankers, and of course for Mark Zuckerberg, America’s newest billionaire.  I’ve been through the whirlwind of attention that Mr. Zuckerberg and his colleagues experienced last week, and I lived to tell about it.

It’s an exhilarating feeling to let a company you created go public…sort of like sending a child off to his first day of school.  You know in your heart you’ve made something great but the time comes when outsiders – in this case the financial markets – get to weigh in and tell you with their buying and selling what they think of your creation.

Pundits are already busily dissecting the Facebook IPO.  There will be books and doctoral dissertations written about it.  Did the company over-hype itself?  Was NASDAQ up to the pressure?  Can Facebook’s leaders sustain their company’s value?  Where do they go from here?

But there’s a question I haven’t seen addressed in the financial media. For all the talk about Facebook’s newly-minted millionaires and billionaires, and all the attention focused on Who Made How Much Last Friday, I haven’t heard anyone ask, “What about the little guy?”

There was a time when Mom or Dad or Grandma could buy a few shares of ITT or IBM or General Motors.  Investing in business was one of the ways that people on Main Street bought into their country, like voting or paying their taxes.  But last week, Mom and Dad got shut out.  They were shut out by a system that lets the big boys run the show. 

Thirty-eight dollars a share sounds like a price that many of Facebook’s 900 million users could afford – and many of them would surely have liked to own even a tiny piece of a company that enriches and enhances their lives.  Except that they weren’t allowed into the IPO playground.  Facebook welcomes their postings about what they ate for dinner last night but it didn’t want their small change as investors.  The big brokers offered Facebook shares only to their biggest customers, customers who generate the fattest commissions.  John Q. Public had to buy shares at retail AFTER the IPO, and at an inflated price over the IPO price of $38 per share. 

The game continues.  How many more times does the little guy get crushed?  How many more times do the big guys play the game while the little guys only get to clean up afterwards?  What will it take for the playing field to become level?

Several trading days later and Facebook stock is below its IPO price, but who are the biggest losers?  The small investors!  Why doesn’t the system want Mom and Dad’s thirty-eight dollars? Why doesn’t the system want Grandma in the game?  What does it mean that small investors have to pay a premium to buy in, or to suck up to brokers to participate at all?  Could it be that Wall Street needs to create a new metric?

 

 

 

I attended a small luncheon a few days ago with the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. Their guest speaker was U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, who discussed the many opportunities – and challenges – involved with America’s growing trade relationship with China. Sec. Bryson addressed questions about streamlining the process for Chinese professionals to obtain the necessary visas to work in the U.S., as well as longstanding concerns over the protection of Intellectual Property. These are important subjects and it was a stimulating discussion.

more about Gary Winnick? Gary Winnick

In 1996 a man named Lod Cook called and asked to see me. I couldn’t imagine what he wanted to talk about but I knew very well who he was. Whenever a President of the United States – Democrat or Republican – visited Los Angeles, it was Lod they wanted to see first. Queen Elizabeth bestowed a knighthood on him. He was the chairman of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. He had spent 40 distinguished years at ARCO, from which he retired as Chairman and CEO. He helped rebuild the L.A. Library and served on boards of every variety – corporations and non-profits alike. Lod Cook was synonymous with the terms “pillar of the community” and “civic leader.”

Lod had been a big deal but he was retired now, and it surprised me to realize that he wanted to talk about building a football stadium and bringing an NFL team to L.A. As we chatted, though, it became clear that while this man was retired from his job, he still had a fire inside, a sense of civic duty. Lod Cook’s passion and drive were as strong as a man half his age, and with such a wealth of experience and energy sitting across from me, what else could I do? I hired him. We became partners, and together we built a company that today controls nearly 30 percent of the internet traffic in the world, an industry that didn’t even exist 15 years ago.
I’m no genius. I simply made an observation and acted on it. Men and women like Lod are the unsung heroes of America’s business community: top corporate executives, professionals, investors and public officials, who through no fault of their own have lost their platforms and relevance before they were ready. When seasoned leaders are aged out of the system, we lose a tremendous resource.

People in their 60’s and 70’s have an abundance of experience – as leaders, value creators, navigators – and we need more people with this kind of experience to help us through America’s tough times. Think about it – when you’re on an airplane in the middle of a storm, who do you want flying that plane? You want the most experienced pilot. The people I’m hiring lately aren’t thinking about cash compensation and up-front money; they’re looking for opportunity. They’re looking for an alternative to the story that somebody else wrote for them. No one likes feeling irrelevant, especially when they’ve contributed so much in the past.

Now, for those who want to hang up their Mickey Mantle Number 7 jersey, God bless them. They’ve earned it. But I’ve met plenty who aren’t ready to retire their jerseys. Since the day that Lod Cook and I became a team I’ve embarked on similar journeys with other professionals whose industries had said to them, “Thank you, and good-bye.” Whether from business or public service or numerous other fields, these people have consistently brought intellect, solid judgment and unending passion to the table. With a purpose came performance.

Medical science tells us that retirees who stay active live longer, healthier lives. Allowing talented people the opportunity to stay in the game is good for them, but it’s also good for business and it’s good for our country.

more about Gary Winnick? Gary Winnick…

In July 1999 Jay Walker set a DiMaggian record by passing $1 billion in net worth (liquid or illiquid assets) within one year of founding Priceline. He broke a mark set a year earlier by Global Crossing’s Gary Winnick. Neither man is on the 400 today. That’s a good reminder for the speedsters of our time, Groupon’s Eric Lefkofsky and the Facebook mafia, to set some cash aside. Jay Walker: 1
Gary Winnick: 1.5
Eric Lefkofsky: 2.5
Jeff Bezos: 4
Mark Zuckerberg: 4
Sean Park: 6.5
Sergey Brin: 8
Larry Page: 8
Bill Gates: 12
Daniel Och: 13
Warren Buffet: 19
Henry Ford: 23
John D. Rockefeller: 25
Ray Dolby: 40 YEARS

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Three law students at Pepperdine University received grants for academic excellence and community service from Winnick Family Foundation

LOS ANGELES, CA – June  27, 2011 —  Pepperdine University has announced the three students who received Winnick Family Foundation Scholar grants during the 2011 academic year.  The three second-year law students are:  Gregory Zivna Boger, Catherine Moore, and Jennifer Sirrine.

S. Keith Hinkle, Senior Vice President For Advancement and Public Affairs, said: “We are grateful for the continuing commitment of the Winnick Family Foundation to our University and for its partnership with us in providing financial assistance to the most deserving students in our law school.  Financial aid is used to bridge the gap between the cost of education and the resources available through the families of the students.”

Gary Winnick stated: “The School of Law at Pepperdine University is unique in its commitment to a balanced curriculum that emphasizes community service with the challenging academic goals it sets for its students.  Gregory Boger is both an entrepreneur and a math tutor; Catherine Moore worked in Israel for a microfinance organization providing loans to women and minority families; Jennifer Sirrine is a published legal scholar.  Karen and I are pleased to support such future lawyers who have demonstrated commitment to community.”

About the Winnick Family Foundation

The Winnick Family Foundation encourages project-specific programs but also selectively supports capital campaigns and unrestricted gifts to grantee organizations.  There is a preference for projects in Los Angeles and New York – or for those having an international component.

Foundation naming grants include:

  • Winnick Family Clinical Research Institute at Cedars Sinai Hospital
  • Winnick House at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University
  • Arnold S.  Winnick Student Center at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University
  • Winnick International Conference Center at the Simon Wiesenthal Center / Jerusalem
  • Winnick Children’s Zoo in Los Angeles
  • Winnick Faculty Scholar at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University
  • Winnick Hall at the Skirball Cultural Center
  • Arnold & Blanche Winnick Popular Library and Karen Winnick Children’s Gallery at the Los Angeles Central Library
  • Winnick Hillel House at Syracuse University
  • Winnick Board Room at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City
  • Winnick Winners Mentoring Program for the Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Winnick Fellows at UCLA School of Medicine
  • Winnick Gallery at Yeshiva University Museum, Center for Jewish HistoryKaren and Gary Winnick and the Foundation have endowed university and high school literacy and scholarship programs at Brown University, at Mrs. Winnick’s alma mater Syracuse University, and at Gary Winnick’s alma mater, Long Island University.

They have also funded the transformation of the on-campus C.W.  Post mansion administrative center – renamed Winnick House – as well as the main cafeteria which is now named in honor of Mr.  Winnick’s late father.

In California, the Foundation has supported educational programs at the California Science Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, KOREH L.A., the Los Angeles Zoo, L.A.’s Best Afterschool Program, the Wonder of Reading, the Fulfillment Fund and Noah’s Ark at the Skirball Center.

Among the many other Foundation grantees are the Special Olympics, The Center for Jewish History, Children’s Scholarship Fund, Partnership for Better Schools, Teach for America, The Gettysburg Foundation, The National Parks Foundation, Best Friends Animal Society, The Los Angeles Police Foundation, Shoah Foundation, and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University.

The Foundation also supports charities operating outside the United States, including the International Medical Corps, Flora and Fauna, World Wildlife Fund, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the Israel Museum, the Israel Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Zoo, Heifer International and the Bloomfield Science Museum at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  For more information on the Foundation and its work, visit http://www.winnickfamilyfoundation.com on the Web.

Karen Winnick gives back to her alma mater by supporting Literary Corps program at Syracuse University

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) June 21, 2011 – The Winnick Family Foundation has made a continuing grant to the Literacy Corps of Syracuse University. Under the Literacy Corps program, elementary students in the Syracuse City School District are tutored by university students to expand and deepen their reading skills. Tutors are compensated through Federal Work-Study funds.

Pamela Kirwin Heintz, founder and director of the Literacy Corps Program, said: “It is gratifying to see literacy advocate Karen Winnick, who graduated from Syracuse University in 1968, participate in and support this vital program. More than 200 of Syracuse University students have participated in this program since its inception in 1997. Literacy Corps also participates in the First Book program in Syracuse and has distributed more than 30,000 First Book free volumes to children across the Syracuse Community.”

Karen Winnick, chairman of the Winnick Family Foundation, said: “Syracuse University’s Literacy Corps is a transformative program for the children of the communities surrounding the campus. The SU tutors often deliver the first books these deserving youngsters have ever owned.”

The grants provided by the Winnick Family Foundation have funded more than 20,000 hours of literacy programming for children in the Syracuse urban area. Tutors working with these children develop fundamental teaching and story-telling skills that will enrich the rest of their lives.

About the Winnick Family Foundation

The Winnick Family Foundation encourages project-specific programs but also selectively supports capital campaigns and unrestricted gifts to grantee organizations. There is a preference for projects in Los Angeles and New York – or for those having an international component.

Foundation naming grants include:

  •     Winnick Family Clinical Research Institute at Cedars Sinai Hospital
  •     Winnick House at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University
  •     Arnold S. Winnick Student Center at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University
  •     Winnick International Conference Center at the Simon Wiesenthal Center / Jerusalem
  •     Winnick Children’s Zoo in Los Angeles
  •     Winnick Faculty Scholar at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University
  •     Winnick Hall at the Skirball Cultural Center
  •     Arnold & Blanche Winnick Popular Library and Karen Winnick Children’s Gallery at the Los Angeles Central Library
  •     Winnick Hillel House at Syracuse University
  •     Winnick Board Room at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City
  •     Winnick Winners Mentoring Program for the Los Angeles Unified School District
  •     Winnick Fellows at UCLA School of Medicine
  •     Winnick Gallery at Yeshiva University Museum, Center for Jewish History

Karen and Gary Winnick and the Foundation have endowed university and high school literacy and scholarship programs at Brown University, at Mrs. Winnick’s alma mater Syracuse University, and at Gary Winnick’s alma mater, Long Island University.

They have also funded the transformation of the on-campus C.W. Post mansion administrative center – renamed Winnick House – as well as the main cafeteria which is now named in honor of Mr. Winnick’s late father.

In California, the Foundation has supported educational programs at the California Science Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, KOREH L.A., the Los Angeles Zoo, L.A.’s Best Afterschool Program, the Wonder of Reading, the Fulfillment Fund and Noah’s Ark at the Skirball Center.

Among the many other Foundation grantees are the Special Olympics, The Center for Jewish History, Children’s Scholarship Fund, Partnership for Better Schools, Teach for America, The Gettysburg Foundation, The National Parks Foundation, Best Friends Animal Society, The Los Angeles Police Foundation, Shoah Foundation, and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University.

The Foundation also supports charities operating outside the United States, including the International Medical Corps, Flora and Fauna, World Wildlife Fund, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the Israel Museum, the Israel Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Zoo, Heifer International and the Bloomfield Science Museum at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. For more information on the Foundation and its work, visit http://www.winnickfamilyfoundation.com on the Web.

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Los Angeles, CA – May 31, 2011 – The Winnick Family Foundation has made its initial grant to the Ready, Set, Read! Project of Los Angeles, which provides low-income parents in Southern California with the tools needed to read to their children. The project trains parents to use dialogic reading techniques, a proven interactive protocol of question-and-response methods that draw a child from initial descriptions of the images in a simple picture book to the accompanying words and script.

Merrily Weiss, Executive Director and Founder of the project, said: “We are grateful to welcome Karen and Gary Winnick with the Winnick Family Foundation to our growing family of contributors who fund our work in Los Angeles. The financial help we receive has a profound impact on these families and sets high expectations in each family early on for their child’s continuing academic success.”

Ready, Set, Read! project leaders first visit each preschool to conduct one-hour read-aloud workshops with parents, conducted in English and in Spanish. At the end of the session, a new children’s book is given to each parent. Since the program’s founding a decade ago, over 21,000 parents have been trained at workshops held at more than 170 school sites across Southern California.

Karen Winnick, Chair of the Winnick Family Foundation, stated: “We are delighted to support Ready, Set, Read! and the important work they do. In addition to donating libraries to preschools with few resources, they teach parents to work effectively with their children to improve reading skills. In this way, parents are enabled to stay actively involved in their children’s education.”

About the Winnick Family Foundation

The Winnick Family Foundation encourages project-specific programs but also selectively supports capital campaigns and unrestricted gifts to grantee organizations. There is a preference for projects in Los Angeles and New York – or for those having an international component.

Foundation naming grants include:

  •     Winnick Family Clinical Research Institute at Cedars Sinai Hospital
  •     Winnick House at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University
  •     Arnold S. Winnick Student Center at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University
  •     Winnick International Conference Center at the Simon Wiesenthal Center / Jerusalem
  •     Winnick Children’s Zoo in Los Angeles
  •     Winnick Faculty Scholar at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University
  •     Winnick Hall at the Skirball Cultural Center
  •     Arnold & Blanche Winnick Popular Library and Karen Winnick Children’s Gallery at the Los Angeles Central Library
  •     Winnick Hillel House at Syracuse University
  •     Winnick Board Room at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City
  •     Winnick Winners Mentoring Program for the Los Angeles Unified School District
  •     Winnick Fellows at UCLA School of Medicine
  •     Winnick Gallery at Yeshiva University Museum, Center for Jewish History

Karen and Gary Winnick and the Foundation have endowed university and high school literacy and scholarship programs at Brown University, at Mrs. Winnick’s alma mater Syracuse University, and at Gary Winnick’s alma mater, Long Island University.

They have also funded the transformation of the on-campus C.W. Post mansion administrative center – renamed Winnick House – as well as the main cafeteria which is now named in honor of Mr. Winnick’s late father.

In California, the Foundation has supported educational programs at the California Science Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, KOREH L.A., the Los Angeles Zoo, L.A.’s Best Afterschool Program, the Wonder of Reading, the Fulfillment Fund and Noah’s Ark at the Skirball Center.

Among the many other Foundation grantees are the Special Olympics, The Center for Jewish History, Children’s Scholarship Fund, Partnership for Better Schools, Teach for America, The Gettysburg Foundation, The National Parks Foundation, Best Friends Animal Society, The Los Angeles Police Foundation, Shoah Foundation, and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University.

The Foundation also supports charities operating outside the United States, including the International Medical Corps, Flora and Fauna, World Wildlife Fund, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the Israel Museum, the Israel Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Zoo, Heifer International and the Bloomfield Science Museum at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. For more information on the Foundation and its work, visit http://www.winnickfamilyfoundation.com on the Web.
http://www.pacificcap.com/about.html

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A Contender Elbows In

March 28, 2011

A FEW weeks ago, Craig Susser, the former manager of the legendary Hollywood restaurant Dan Tana’s, interrupted a morning of paperwork to take a call from one of its regulars, the three-time Stanley Cup champion Junior Langlois.

One might also expect Dan Tana, who is 75, to be upset that his ex-employee — in another ritual of the restaurant business — rallied investors for his new place, including the billionaire Gary Winnick and the producer Jerry Weintraub, from within Dan Tana’s ranks. Mr. Susser, 45, said he’d been led to believe he was the heir apparent to Mr. Tana, and was taken aback when Mr. Tana sold his place to a friend, Sonja Perencevic, in 2009.

(Read more via The New York Times.)

In my sixty years of observing the restaurant scene in Los Angeles, I have never before seen a new restaurant open its doors right on the heels of a favorable full-page article in the New York Times about its owner (and, incidentally, without once mentioning its food!) The story, headlined “In L.A., a Restaurant Contender Elbows In,” details how Craig Susser, the long-time manager of a legendary Italian celebrity joint in West Hollywood, Dan Tana’s, recently left there after the 75-year-old owner sold it (supposedly for $6 million!) to someone else (a Croatian countryman of his).

One of my long-time readers, billionaire Gary Winnick, emailed me that “Craig is a very talented guy, and will succeed because he understands the marketplace and, most importantly, his customers. That’s why they keep coming back.” Gary invested in the restaurant, so I don’t know if his judgment is impartial, but he is a very hip guy so I kind of trust his acumen. He also alerted me to several dishes which I tried when my ex took me there for my birthday.

(Read more via The Huffington Post.)

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