Friday, October 31, 2014

WIF Chicago to Honor Four Amazing Women at Annual Focus Awards on November 5, at Museum of Broadcast Communications (Chicago,IL)

WIF Chicago to recognize Hollywood Director and former Chicagoan Shira Piven, others.

 WIF Chicago is proud to recognize the achievements of its colleagues in the creative arts during its renowned Focus Awards gala which will take place at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 5, at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 N. State Street in Chicago. The public and the press is invited to show their support for these amazing women - who through their remarkable work in the film, television and advertising industries, continue to make Chicago proud. For more gala information and to purchase tickets visit:

Honorees include Hollywood film and theater Director Shira Piven; Chief Creative Officer of Leo Burnett U.S.A, Susan Credle; Creative Director and Owner of Sarofsky Corp --Erin Sarofsky; and award-winning independent film producer, Christina Varotsis.

“The Focus Awards is our organization’s major fundraiser and serves two purposes,” says Megan Maples, president of Women In Film Chicago. “One, to raise the necessary capital to provide quality programming, networking and mentorship opportunities for women in the advertising, film and television industries and two, to highlight the phenomenal Chicago women who are out there changing the conversation with their amazing accomplishments.”

About our Honorees:
Shira Piven recently directed her second feature, Welcome To Me, starring Kristen Wiig. Her first feature, Fully Loaded, won the audience favorite feature award at Palm Beach International Film Festival as well as best feature at both The River's Edge International and Carmel Art and Film Festivals. It was also featured at the Boston, San Luis Obispo, Talking Pictures and Newport Beach film festivals and released by Starz. She also directed a short documentary, The Beast and The Angel, that premiered at the Lincoln Center Film Society and aired on PBS.
Piven’s other film and digital credits include the co-created shorts, That’s Not Racist, The Dog Park, Self Help Group and the short trilogy I Human. She also directed and was a contributing writer for 12 episodes of the political web series Tastes Like Home. She also created film sequences for the plays Shoemakers, Tastes Like Home, and has completed preliminary filming on a feature length documentary The Perfect Conversation, in collaboration with Jeremy Piven and Tarvis Watson.  She also contributes her time to the Actors Gang prison project, teaching commedia dell'arte to inmates in prison, and at Homeboys industries to former LA Gang members. She is married to filmmaker Adam McKay and they have two daughters.

Susan Credle serves as Chief Creative Officer of US at Leo Burnett Worldwide. Since Susan joined Leo Burnett in the fall of 2009, she has led and inspired the creative teams behind legacy-respecting yet forward-looking campaigns like McDonald's Happy Meal "Happy Tales," Kellogg's Special K "What Will You Gain When You Lose?" and Allstate's "Mayhem."

Erin Sarofsky is the president, owner, and creative director of Sarofsky Corp., which specializes in live action production, visual effects, 3D development, design, animation and editorial for the entertainment and advertising communities.  In addition to working on commercial spots for brands like Verizon, Capital One and Walgreens, Sarofsky Corp., has produced the main titles for Shameless, The Killing, Community, Happy Endings, Brooklyn Nine Nine and most recently Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. 
Christina Varotsis is an award-winning producer, who most recently finished work on Lost River, Ryan Gosling's directorial debut starring Christina Hendricks and Eva Mendes. Lost River was an official 2014 Cannes selection. Christina's past film work includes The Rite (2011), A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (2011); her television credits include the shows Sirens and Shameless.

About WIF Chicago
For more than 30 years, Women in Film Chicago has been building a global community of film, television, advertising, digital and on screen media professionals. With 6,800 members in the United States and 12,000 members internationally, Women in Film Chicago is the preeminent organization for the advancement of women in these industries.

Women in Film Chicago (WIFC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization for all creative content professionals.  WIF Chicago provides a dynamic network to facilitate the exchange of ideas and opportunities and builds a solid educational platform to accelerate the professional development of our members.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

101st Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony- Dee Snyder will perform! Nov. 25 on Daley Plaza (Chicago,IL)

CDC admits droplets from a sneeze could spread Ebola (link to NY Post article)

CDC admits droplets from a sneeze could spread Ebola


scary headline in the NY Post today!

5 Factors Influenced Amal Alamuddin’s Decision to Take George Clooney’s Last Name

5 Factors Influenced Amal Alamuddin’s Decision to Take George Clooney’s Last Name 
Name Change Expert and CEO of, Danielle Tate, Provides the Reasoning Behind the Latest Celebrity Name Change
  George Clooney married Amal Alamuddin married nearly three weeks ago and Amal announced that she is changing her name to Amal Clooney.  While Amal opted to take Clooney as her last name, her age (36) and professional identity as an international lawyer are factors that would make one think that she would have kept her maiden name in some way (perhaps as a middle name).
While Amal is a high profile woman in the public eye, all newlywed women as well as more and more same sex partners face the concept of name change after marriage.  What influences their decisions about their names is very interesting.  Danielle Tate, a name change expert and the CEO of
, the leading online name change service for bride, provides the five key factors that influence name change decisions after marriage
     1.         The Age of the Bride. Statistically, the older a woman is when she marries, the more likely she is to keep her maiden name in some way.  Property accrued, businesses created and more life spent as Miss XYZ tend to make older women hyphenate last names, take two last names, or take their maiden name as a middle name.
     2.         The Bride’s Profession.  Women with careers that depend on name recognition, such as lawyers, doctors and real estate agents are also more likely to keep the name that makes them money.  Again, they may take two last names, hyphenate, or take their maiden names as middle names.
     3.         The Educational Level of the Bride. The more degrees held by a woman before she weds, the more likely she is to keep her maiden name as part of her name. Typically this trend is attributed to the time/money spent earning the degrees, the pride in her degrees or simply the dread of trying to change her name on all of them.
     4.         Presence of Male Siblings. Having one or more brothers in her family is a factor that typically skews a woman towards taking her spouse’s last name.  As she has male family members to carry on her family name, she is less likely to feel the need to keep her maiden name after marriage.
     5.         A Family Plan. Women who intend to have children after marriage are more likely to take their spouse’s name in some way.  Sharing the same name with their offspring will alleviate school pickup and international travel headaches.
Outside of all of these factors, are the romantics who truly wish to share a name with their spouse and see it as the final step in becoming a married couple.  For them, the factors above may mean absolutely nothing.  Perhaps Mrs. Amal Clooney is one of the romantics.
As a successful entrepreneur, Danielle is a name change expert, on-camera personality, writer, author of a top rated Google newlywed blog and a frequent media and bridal magazine contributor.  It was a 13-hour struggle to change her name after getting married in 2005 that prompted Danielle to leave her medical sales career to develop and launch Wanting to save other brides countless hours of hassle, Danielle researched name-changing laws and rules in all 50 states to streamline and implemented her unique three-step, 30-minute online service.
Since 2006, Danielle has served as CEO of and revolutionized the online name change market. Since launching, has assisted more than 225,000 brides in their transition from Miss to Mrs and recently launched for Canadian brides. She is also the founder of, the original proprietary name change algorithm to determine your ideal married name,, an online service dedicated to helping women get their name back after divorce and, an online resource that offers succinct and up-to-date marriage license information organized by county and state. 
Danielle has numerous television appearances. She has been interviewed on FOX National News, NBC DC News, KTLA-TV Morning News, Better TV, WBFF-TV Fox News, WBKO-TV ABC News, WJXT-TV News, and KTVK-TV “Good Morning Arizona.”
ABOUT MISSNOWMRS.COM is the premier online name-change service created to simplify the name-change process for brides and newlyweds nationwide. Our unique service guides brides through a series of questions, uses their answers to auto-populate all of their state and U.S. government name-change forms, as well as notification letters for all of their creditors, and then supplies detailed filing instructions for each form/letter. Our service accommodates every legal name-change option based on marriage, so brides can decide which name-change option works best for them.

Unconventional Colonial History Told Through Comics


  Fulcrum Publishing is pleased to announce the release of Colonial Comics: New England, 1620 - 1750
Colonial Comics is a graphic trilogy featuring unconventional stories of Colonial New England from an eclectic collection of comics writers and artists, fiction and nonfiction authors, university professors, and renowned historians. This first graphic volume is a collection of 20 stories focusing on the colonial period from 1620 through 1750 in New England. Bringing to life the stories not found in history books, including tales of Puritans and free thinkers, Pequots and Jewish settlers, female business owners and dedicated school teachers, whales and livestock, slavery and frontiers, and many other untold aspects of colonial life.
Jason Rodriguez says of Colonial Comics: New England, 1620 – 1750, in his interview with the Comics DC blog:
“I want to create a book that functions as both entertainment and education. The main idea is to tell stories that you often don’t find in school history books that can, in turn, lead into larger discussions about colonial American history […] What I want to do is fill in those gaps and tell stories about the Native Americans and women and free-thinkers and slaves and business owners who came to the Colonies and give a better understanding of what life was like over our first 150+ years, the good and the bad.”
Read more about Colonial Comics and all of Fulcrum's nonfiction graphic novels in our recent Publisher's Weekly feature!

Meet the Author:
Jason Rodriguez is a writer and editor, whose books have been nominated for an Eisner Award and 8 Harvey Awards.Colonial Comics
 represents Jason’s most ambitious project to date. He lives in Arlington, VA with his wife and their three dogs, two cats, and a parrot. You can usually find him on a street corner, staring out into the future. For more on Jason’s current and future projects, visit his website at or the Colonial Comics website at Connect with him on his TwitterFacebook, and Tumblr page. 

Book Information:
October 2014 | Trade Paperback | US $25.95 | print ISBN: 978-1-938486-30-2 | ebook ISBN: 978-1-938486-81-4 | 8 x 8 | 256 pages COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS | ANTHOLOGIES | Young Adult Readers
For ordering information:
Fulcrum Publishing | 4690 Table Mountain Dr., Ste. 100 | Golden, CO 80403
Toll-free 800-992-290 | fax 800-726-7112 |

Fulcrum Publishing: Celebrating 30 Years of Thinking Outside.
- Based in Colorado and Wisconsin -

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                                                                         Fulcrum Publishing                                                                            4690 Table Mountain Drive, Suite 100
Golden, Colorado 80403
Phone: (800) 992-2908 

Lord & Taylor Hosts “FUNdraising Day: Shop Chic and Make It Count” Nov. 4 (Oakbrook,IL)


  Lord & Taylor at Oakbrook Center is teaming up with local, not-for-profit organizations to raise money in style. On Tuesday, November 4, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., guests will have the opportunity to attend FUNdraising Day at Lord & Taylor to shop for the latest trends, support their favorite not-for-profit organization and enjoy food and entertainment. By purchasing a coupon book – for only $5 – from one of the participating not-for-profit partners or on site, shoppers will be entitled to exclusive deals throughout the store.
FUNdraising Day will allow Lord & Taylor to support not-for-profit organizations throughout the greater Chicagoland area while rewarding guests with special deals. Leading up to the event, participating organizations will be selling $5 coupon booklets – all proceeds of which will benefit the not-for-profit organizations. Lord & Taylor also will donate additional money to the two not-for-profits that sell the most tickets, as well as to the two not-for-profits that generate the highest event attendance.
“FUNdraising Day is a great event that gives guests the chance to donate to a not-for-profit of their choice while benefitting from amazing deals on the latest fashion, cosmetics and fragrances, and accessories,” said Ravi Paudel, general manager for Lord & Taylor at Oakbrook Center. “We are excited to host this event and to support worthy organizations in the communities where our customers live.”
Nine local, not-for-profit organizations will be participating in this event to raise money for a variety of deserving causes, ranging from animal rescue to housing support.  
  • Black Diamond Charities, located in Lake Zurich, equips underserved children with school supplies, and helps veterans transition back to civilian life.
  • Community Nurse Health Center is located in La Grange and serves residents of the western suburbs of Chicago. The organization helps those who have limited access to care, providing them with integrated health care services and education.
  • DuPage Habitat for Humanity is the locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. The organization works in partnership with the community to build affordable housing for limited-income families.
  • DuPage Homeownership Center provides a full range of services to promote responsible, sustainable homeownership, with an emphasis on serving first-time homebuyers, low- and moderate-income households and homeowners in crisis.
  • Giving DuPage is an organization that connects donors and volunteers with local opportunities to give back and get involved. Giving DuPage also offers training opportunities and provides a board recruitment and placement program for local not-for-profit organizations.
  • Greyhounds Only, located in Carol Stream, strives to place retired racing and at-risk greyhounds into responsible, loving homes, educate the public about the breed and provide greyhounds access to high-quality medical care.
  • Hanover Park Community Resource Coalition offers a safe and supportive environment at several locations that provide multiple educational resources to both children and adults through tutoring, mentoring and advocacy by trained and dedicated volunteers.
  • Helping Hand Center, located in Countryside, serves children and adults with developmental disabilities. The organization offers a range of programs and services, including outpatient therapies, high school transition, residential homes, employment services, adult developmental training and special recreation programs.
  • Oak Park and River Forest Food Pantry provides hunger relief to families in Oak Park and surrounding communities, including portions of the city of Chicago. In 2013, the organization fed 43,937 individuals.
More information about this event can be found online at
, or by calling 630-574-8000. To purchase FUNdraising Day coupon books, contact your preferred not-for-profit organization or visit Lord & Taylor at Oakbrook Center starting October 23.  

About Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor is an upscale specialty department store that has built a reputation for attentive customer service and high-quality merchandise focused on apparel and accessories. Founded in 1826, Lord & Taylor is America's oldest department store and one of America's premier retailers.  Today, Lord & Taylor operates 49 full-line stores in 10 states and the District of Columbia, four Lord & Taylor outlet stores and, the company's online store.


Sneak Peek of Billy Dec's new role on CBS's Criminal Minds


Chicago International Children's Film Festival>> iPad Animation for Ages 5-8 (Chicago,IL)