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Q&A With Wen-Jay Ying: Founder Of Local Roots NYC

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I met Wen-Jay a couple months back after stumbling into a Sustainability Commerce Popup Conference in Williamsburg.  She was among an eclectic panel of speakers that day who’s company missions were not only vivid with green priority, but also deeply rooted into the fabric of their local communities. Her company, Local Roots NYC provides New Yorkers with a access to goods and produce from a network of local farmers (local meaning that their supplier’s operations happen within a 250 mile radius).  It’s a subscription based membership where you can sign up for different seasons, each having a variety of different seasonal foods.  Throughout the city are different “markets” where your allotted order is ready for pickup.  What’s awesome about Local Roots is that their markets don’t just happen anywhere, they happen at your favorite cafe or dive bar right in the heart of your local New York community.

Local Roots NYC has been in operation for six years, with over 25 market sites, and over 750 members.  When meeting up with Wen-Jay at one of her market locations set up outside of a cute Brooklyn cafe, I got an overwhelmingly inclusive community vibe.  Toddlers were running around, and Local Roots members came to grab their goods while also inviting me to their yoga class later that day… I felt right at home! Here’s some things we talked about that day:

How’d you come up with the idea for Local Roots?

I wanted to find a better, more social way to connect people and their communities to local farmers.  Creating Local Roots was my solution to the gap between farm to table.  Not only does it support local farmers but also the local businesses that we symbiotically partner with for our markets.

What makes this different than meal kits or other food delivery systems?

Having markets not only encourages the social aspect to shopping with us, but also greatly reduces waste.  When you order a food kit or have groceries delivered they tend to come with an excessive amount of packaging.  At are local market locations you can bring your own reusables and stop it at your favorite bar for a drink all at the same time.

How does your company take sustainability into account?

Each of our farmers practice different levels of sustainability.  Kindness to animals and to the land are extremely important to us.  Our vegetables are either Certified Naturally Grown, a grassroots alternative to the USDA’s National Organic Program, or USDA Certified Organic . While the standards and the labels are the same – organic – the USDA Organic Program favors medium to big-sized farmers, and the Certified Naturally Grown program is better suited for small farmers. The Certified Naturally Grown label was created in 2002 in response to the USDA labeling, which is expensive in terms of time (paperwork per crop) and application fees. The Certified Naturally Grown program has farmers review fellow CNG farmers and prioritizes the exchange of feedback and ideas for growth.  More info on each of our famers can be found on our Farm page if you want to check it out.

So far what has been your favorite part of starting this company?

We’ve been running for over six years now.  In this time I’ve had customers become friends.  I’ve seen them get married and have babies, and I’ve seen those babies grow up on Local Roots produce.  Now these kids are almost three and they know so much more about their farmers and where their food comes from.  Not many other three year old kids are that connected to their food and how it grows! This makes me extremely happy and proud.

What's up!? I'm Katrina. I'm wandering, collecting, witnessing and learning. I'm drawn to all things found at the intersection of art and technology. If I could go back in time, I think I'd be best friends with Mark Twain, Nikola Tesla and Cleopatra. When I'm not obsessing about the human endeavor or the nature of time, I'm probably cooking or dancing.

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Top CEO Salaries

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Elon musk

One of the most coveted positions is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) role. The position comes with benefits and bonuses. However, it does come with many responsibilities to ensure that the company operates smoothly. 

That’s why corporations need to entrust the role to someone deserving of the position and can help raise the company soar to new heights. When done right, that CEO can get so much more than what their company offers. As such, in this article, we discuss the top CEO Salaries in 2019.

ELON MUSK

Two CEO indexes list Tesla, Inc.’s Elon Musk as the CEO with the highest salary. The majority of his salary is option awards ranging from $500M to $2 B, which made him high up the list. His actual salary is around $56,000.

Meanwhile, for the Forbes Billionaires 2019 list, he was number 40. His net worth is $22.3 B.

Not only does he leads Tesla, but he’s also the CEO of SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company.

SAFRA CATZ

Before Mark Hurd’s passing in 2019, Safra Catz and Hurd were both the CEOs of Oracle. Based on the New York Times index, Catz and Hurd received equal pay as Co-CEOs. Catz (and Hurd) gets more of her CEO salary from stock options. She has $103.7 M from stock options.

Furthermore, she’s also part of the Forbes Billionaire 2019 list having a net worth of $1.1B.

ROBERT IGER

Walt Disney Co.’s Robert Iger is always part of the Top 10 CEO salaries index. He’s both the Chairman and CEO of the company. Most of his salary comes from stock options or acquisition awards ($30 M to $100 M range). His actual salary is more or less at $2.8M.

TIM COOK

It’s no surprise that Apple’s CEO makes it on the list. Apple continues to become one of the largest tech corporations in the world through innovation. According to Bloomberg, Tim Cook has an estimated $140M overall compensation. Most of his salary comes from stock awards (~$125 M) and bonuses ($12 M). 

DAVID ZASLAV

Discovery Inc.’s David Zaslav has been the media channel of Discovery Media since 2007. He receives most of his salary from stock options and retention awards ranging from $60 to $100 M. He also receives $3 M as his actual salary, making him part of the Top CEO Salaries list.

NIKESH ARORA

Palo Alto Networks is a cybersecurity company and welcomed its new CEO in June 2018. The newly-appointed CEO, Nikesh Arora, has one of the highest CEO salaries. Even if his actual salary is on the $100K to $200K range, his stock options gave him the boost. The range of his options is from $60 to $70 M.

JOHN LEGERE

As CEO of one of the largest mobile networks in the US, it’s no surprise that T-Mobile’s John Legere is part of the top 10. As with many on the list, stocks are one of his main sources of compensation. As such he receives around $58 M from it. Based on the S&P 500, he has an annual salary of $66 M.

JAMES HEPPELMANN

James Heppelmann is the president and CEO of PTC, Inc. It’s a company delving into software solutions. Most of his salary comes from stock, ranging from $20 M to 45 M. According to the Russell 3000 Index, his annual salary was at almost $50 M.

VIVEK SHAH

J2 Global is a global internet and service company that handles known brands like Mashable, IGN, and PCMag among others. Vivek Shah is their CEO accumulating around $45 M in 2018. The majority of his salary comes from stocks valued at $35 M.

RICHARD HANDLER

Richard Handler is the CEO of Jeffries Group. The company handles financial services such as investment banking and asset management. According to the New York Times Index, his overall salary is around $45 M, and he receives most of his salary with stocks priced at almost $39 M.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Some corporations provide a low basic salary, but through stocks, some are compensated. In turn, they’re able to skyrocket at the top of indexes. Meanwhile, some have high salaries, but get more through stocks and benefits. 

In this regard, not all CEO salaries are the same. It’s dependent on what the corporation gives them and how they can make better use of their salaries especially when given stock options or rewards.

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How To Successful Deal With Stress Like A CEO

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White man with plaid shirt sitting stressed out by ocean

You’ve encountered stress countless times. And everyone has their own way of dealing with stress. Whether it’s taking a quick walk, drinking some water, or reading, knowing how to deal with stress effectively is essential to both your personal and professional life. Stress is a natural part of existence and knowing how to deal with it effectively will be the difference between success and failure. Here are some effective stress management techniques used by some of the most successful people in the world.

Taking A Walk

Man walking in a field

Despite its simplicity, taking a walk does several things for you. First, it removes you from the environment or situation that’s causing the stress. And by removing you and taking you as far away as possible from the source of stress, you’re much more likely to be able to think more clearly. Taking a walk also has the added benefit of promoting more blood flow to your brain. Your legs are powerful pumps that help circulate more blood throughout your body. And taking a stroll outside also gives you a nice breath of fresh air. All these factors combine to give you an edge in thinking more clearly and then deciding what to do with the situation.

Take A Nap

Beautiful white woman sleeping on bed

Or get a good night sleep. Your ability to think clearly can be inhibited if you’re not well rested. Taking a quick nap or attempting to get a good night sleep will help reduce tension and allow you to wake up with renewed energy to tackle the problem at hand. Taking a nap or getting some sleep is also effective at removing you emotionally from the problem. Constantly dwelling on the source of stress might not yield any immediate answers. However, waking up from a good nap may give you some newfound perspectives on the situation.

Writing Things Down

Person writing using pen and paper

Sometimes the thoughts in our head aren’t as clear as we’d like them to be. Sitting down and writing down what’s stressing us out and clearly detailing the event/incident can often give us insights into the situation. Writing things down also helps to calm us down if the stress is high and caused anxiety. The simple act of writing and keeping the notes also helps us recall past events that are similar to this one. And you can look back at some previous notes you’ve written to see if there are similarities and draw conclusions.

Do Something Nice For Someone

Asian woman holding up red heart cutout

As odd as it sounds, the more we think to ourselves and about ourselves the more likely we are to obsess over our own stress. Sometimes we forget that we’re all in this together and that everyone also goes through stress – just like us. By doing something nice for someone else, it removes us from our current self and allows us to empathize and think about another human being. It’s a simple act of kindness that helps someone else and at the same time, buys us a bit of good karma. Helping another individual also helps release dopamine, a chemical that helps us feel good about yourself. And sometimes we just need a bit of boost to give us the confidence to go back and face the situation at hand.

Ask For Advice From A Colleague

Man and Woman sitting outside talking

Talking to someone can certainly help. But you don’t want to come off as venting or complaining about your life. It’s better to consider carefully who you’re going to reach out to and frame the conversation as getting advice on a situation, rather than needing to vent. Because when you’re venting or releasing steam, the other party is less likely to add value to the conversation, since you’re not looking for anything other than someone to vent to. When reframed as getting advice, you’re giving someone the permission and space to review your situation, ask productive questions, pick at the problem, and hopefully help you see the problem from a new perspective that you didn’t see before.

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Hedgehog Umbrella: The Umbrella For All Seasons

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With the stormy season just over the horizon, what better time to invest in a high-quality umbrella other than now?

Introducing the Hedgehog Umbrella; a compact umbrella that is able to withstand strong winds up to 70mph without breaking. Yes, 70 miles per hour winds, that’s already a category 1 hurricane.

The structure was inspired by automobile technology. Its WINDFlex system can confidently say that it can withstand anything nature has to offer. It has a carbon fiber construction, a sturdy stainless steel shaft and handles, with polycarbonate joints.

One might ask, why in the world would someone need an umbrella that can hold up or withstand hurricane-level winds? Well, we would say, “Why not?”. Umbrellas were designed to either keep us dry during the rain or provide shade when it’s sunny. That is often the case. But when faced with strong, chaotic winds – our umbrellas tend to break – making us buy umbrellas over and over again.

But the hedgehog umbrella provides a solution to a problem we always tend to sometimes overlook. As its company has boldly stated, “the hedgehog umbrella is engineered to be unbreakable, tested to the extreme, and backed by a global lifetime warranty.”

To understand this statement, let’s have a look at the different aspects of what makes the hedgehog umbrella amazing.

Fashionable and Customizable Canopies

With the hedgehog umbrella, you can choose from a variety of colors. The canopy is comprised of a 210 thread count Pongee fabric that is water repellent – which is thin sturdy. It is also built in a way that you can easily switch out canopies if the need arises.

The hedgehog umbrella will also be releasing an option in the near future to customize your own canopy via uploading an image. Now your dream of having an umbrella with your dog’s face on it can come true- or not.

Short and Practical Umbrella Shaft and Handle

The hedgehog umbrella also comes with the usual umbrella “slip” so you can easily store it all tight and snug like. Once collapsed and ready for storage, the umbrella is only 13 inches long and weighs 1 lb, making it easy and practical to bring along with you anywhere.

Unfortunately, the hedgehog umbrella does not come with an automatic button for deployment. Though priced at $99, it is a fully manual umbrella. But at the same time, the automatic machinations are what makes umbrellas weak, so though the hedgehog umbrella sacrifices a little bit of luxury, it makes up with emphasizing its bold statement of being “unbreakable”.

On that note, to deploy the umbrella, one just needs to hold the handle and use the other hand to push the frame up towards the lock at the top. To close it, one just needs to press the button at the center to unlock the lock mechanism.

The handle is thick, making it easy to grasp giving out a feeling of sturdiness and dependability. The overall feel of the hedgehog umbrella gives out a sense of comfort. Even though it’s made of high-grade materials able to withstand hurricane-level winds- it’s petite structure and design can sometimes make you forget.

Width Capacity

When fully deployed, the hedgehog umbrella can comfortably fit two people within its canopy span. So you don’t have to worry if this umbrella can fit you and your significant other because yes, it can.

To summarize, the hedgehog umbrella has the ability to:

  • Be unaffected  by 70MPH winds
  • Interchange canopy 
  • Design your own canopy (for the fashionista inside all of us)
  • Provide lifetime warranty
  • Ensure practicality and be built using high-grade materials

What does that mean? It means that the hedgehog umbrella has successfully solved most problems people have with umbrellas:

  1. it’s unbreakable
  2. it’s compact and practical
  3. it’s eloquently designed, and
  4. it has a lifetime warranty

Wrap Up

Gone are the days when you have to lower your umbrella or to make sure you’re walking downwind just so your umbrella won’t break. Gone are the days where you have different separate umbrellas for different occasions; be it windy, rainy, or sunny – the hedgehog umbrella is a star for all seasons.

You will no longer have to think about where to put your big long umbrellas. With the hedgehog umbrella, you can easily store it inside your bag. With the design, you also don’t need to worry about putting an eye out. The hedgehog umbrella can be the best friend you never knew you needed. Be it rain or shine, it will be there for you – protecting you. 

Though it is indeed a bit pricey at $99, plus it lacks the automatic button for deployment, it is still without a doubt one of the best umbrellas out there. If you live in a windy or rainy area, the hedgehog umbrella is a must-have item for you. 

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