Author of Living on A Dollar A Day, The Lives and Faces of the World’s Poor and Founder of The Forgotten International

My new interview series, REMARKABLE PEOPLE 2014 includes experts in technology, the arts, well-being and social good. It is an exciting group of creative thought leaders and enlightened personalities. Some are extraordinary examples of social responsibility; others are creating game changing paradigm shifts in their market segments.

I am extremely pleased to include Thomas A. Nazario, an attorney and advocate for the world’s poor and forgotten, particularly women and children.

Profile: Thomas A. Nazario is a professor of Law at the University of San Francisco and the president and founder of The Forgotten International, a non-profit organization that provides poverty alleviation throughout the globe. Nazario’s expertise in children’s rights has led him all over the world documenting children’s rights violations.

Thomas Nazario is the author of Living on A Dollar A Day, The Lives and Faces of the World’s Poor, the first genuinely comprehensive portrait of unimaginable poverty and suffering that also bears witness to the human spirit. His book will surely change your life from the minute you turn the first page. I can say that your compassion and resolve will change completely.

He writes about often overlooked communities around the world and helps us discover how we are far more alike than different. Living on a Dollar a Day is about our shared human condition, and Nazario reminds us that we must all continually pull together and care about one another, regardless of whether we seemingly inhabit different worlds.”

Mary Olson: How have your views changed as you look back on your experience?

Thomas A. Nazario: When I was young, I thought it was easy for people to grow and change, but as I have grown older and looked back on the people I have met and the experiences I have had, I have come to realize that people don’t change that much, at least in their character and in the way they approach life. I once told a friend this, and after she objected vehemently, I conceded that maybe people change up to 40%., but not much more than that, unless an epiphany comes their way, and that doesn’t happen too often because most of us lead quite sheltered lives.

I have often thought that it would be great to change people over the course of their life. To make good people out of bad, generous people out of the stingy, and peaceful loving people out of the hateful and violent, but somehow, either at birth or shortly thereafter, possibly through experiences that people have when they are young, too many of us get stuck in our ways. Of course that is fine if you are born to be a sweet and loving person. I have run into children who seem to have been born angels, and as I watched them grow, they usually remain so, and I think the same can be said about children who are quite difficult and mean spirited.

That isn’t to say that nothing can be done to help us all be better people. In fact, I spend quite a bit of my time trying to encourage people to be the best they can be, I am just suggesting that it is by no means an easy task, and I have yet to find the key that will open the hearts of so many of us to the love and compassion this world desperately needs.

MO: How do you see the way the world is emerging?

TN: Although I spend a lot of my time thinking about the problems confronting the world today and those we will face in the near future, I am actually optimistic. I am optimistic despite the fact that I am constantly hearing about wars in the Middle East, starvation and disease in Africa, poverty and exploitation in Asia, and of course, global warming affecting all of us. On top of this, I am very worried about the fact that the young people, who are likely going to be inheriting many of these woes, seem to be spending too much time on their Facebook or playing video games or texting friends or shopping. Nevertheless, the 20th Century was filled with great wars, millions upon millions of deaths, and poverty that was even worse than the poverty that exists today. So when comparing these two centuries, so far it looks like we are doing better, and as long as we continue to teach our children well, make medical and scientific advances, limit population growth, and try to put aside our differences to focus on the challenges before us, this world stands a chance. For now I will put my money on that.

MO: What are your thoughts as you look forward?

TN: Let me answer this question in a personal way. I have just turned 65, and although some people think about retiring at this age, I am simply not ready for that yet. The truth is that there is too much work to do, and at least with regards to the work I do, it has all been quite rewarding. I can’t see myself spending the rest of my life playing golf or traveling to scenic places around the world, and not continuing to do more to make the world a better place. I believe such work enriches people’s lives and brings meaning to a life well lived. My foundation, The Forgotten International, encompasses much of the work I do these days. The foundation works to alleviate poverty in several countries around the world, and in that regard also helps to relieve suffering, particularly that experienced by women and children ( For me there could be no greater effort. So I will continue to do this work until I cannot do it any longer. Please feel free to visit us on the web and contact me. Also please consider exploring a book we just published about the world’s poor. It’s called Living on a Dollar a Day. It is intended to introduce many of us to people who have long been forgotten and are in need of help. So if you are considering some mission for yourself in life, please give some thought to at least spending a portion of your time helping those around the world who have so little and suffer so much. You will find that you will receive far more than you give in return.


Summertime reading is usually not about building brand value and creating new business equity based on caring for people. However, I’d like to add a book to your reading list, Living on a Dollar a Day, The Lives and Faces of the World’s Poor, by Thomas A. Nazario.

I had an OMG moment when Nazario’s book arrived today.

I can speak to one of the most exceptional CSR brand models, Sumitomo Chemical to bring you closer to Nazario’s work. Sumitomo Chemical’s Group Companies of the Americas is based on an authentic business model that seamlessly incorporates 100 years of corporate responsibility into its commitment for a better tomorrow. Just use your imagination to connect the dots with Thomas Nazario.

Throughout my career, I have created global digital businesses and brands not only to drive wealth, but I am increasingly focused on creating business models that care about people as one of the primary ROI factors.

What do I think about the future of branding? Doing good is good for business. Nazario will lead you in the right direction. Just consider the options for increasing the long-term value of your brand.

Learn more about Thomas Nazario and purchase copies of his book for your Board and C-suite executives. Don’t hesitate to engage his foundation, The Forgotten International.

As the 14th DALI LAMA writes in Nazario’s book, “Unfairness in the human condition can only be remedied when people everywhere care.”


My new interview series, REMARKABLE PEOPLE 2014 includes experts in technology, the arts, well-being and social good. It is an exciting group of creative thought leaders and enlightened personalities. Some are extraordinary examples of social responsibility; others are creating game changing paradigm shifts in their market segments.

Profile: In May 2014, Lisa Goldman Van Nostrand was elected to a second term on the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partnership Board of Directors as one of two Private Sector representatives. The RBM Partnership is the global framework to implement coordinated action against malaria. It mobilizes for action and resources and forges consensus among partners. The Partnership is comprised of more than 500 partners, including malaria endemic countries, their bilateral and multilateral development partners, the private sector, nongovernmental and community-based organizations, foundations, and research and academic institutions.

Since 2005, Lisa has served as Strategic Advisor for Sumitomo
 Chemical, representing the company in global partnerships as well as developing branding and marketing for the Vector Control Division. Her assignments in the last seven years have ranged from the highest platforms of international advocacy to community-level work in villages across Africa. Key projects include the Olyset photo library, the “Palufoot” PSA campaigns, and the official opening ceremony for Olyset manufacturing in Arusha. 

Sumitomo Chemical is deeply committed to developing and 
providing vector control tools for public health, as a core part of the company’s CSR approach.

Lisa is a founding board member of the Youssou N’Dour Foundation. She also produced international partnerships and sponsorships for the Africa Live concert, DVD and CD properties – which was broadcast on the BBC, PBS, across Africa and Europe, and around the world, and helped put the fight against malaria into the spotlight.

In prior years, Lisa founded her own Internet design company and was director of the Interactive Media Festival, an international competition, gallery and exhibition of interactive media.

Mary Olson: How have your views changed as you look back on your experience?

Lisa Goldman-Van Nostrand: Coming from the Internet world of rapid evolution – a Cambrian explosion of innovation over the last few decades – to work on Malaria, an ancient problem that has co-evolved with humanity – I’ve really had to shift my perspective on time frames for action. In the hyper-competitive Internet development world, you have to act quickly on an idea or lose its moment. For malaria advocacy, the horizon stretches out and a project idea may be realized years after inception without being diminished. There is urgency but the time scale is increased by an order of magnitude.

MO: How do you see the way the world is emerging?

LGVN: There is a convergence underway in the global health and development spheres, much like what we experienced as the Internet, media and telecommunications converged in the 1990s. This puts us at a strategic crossroads in the world of malaria. With 2015 we approach the completion of the Millennium Development Goals and the advent of a new set of Sustainable Development Goals. New ideas can come to scale very quickly in a changing landscape, but not all the existing models make the transition. Malaria partners need to move with clarity and consideration through this transition, and work more closely with ascendent development issues while avoiding a deadly resurgence.

MO: What are your thoughts as you look forward?

LGVN:: Transformative change opens great opportunities, but it’s also immensely challenging. Ultimately, the gains we have achieved, cutting malaria mortality in half over the last 10 years through coordinated action, are at risk of reversal. Resurgence is a risk not only for people living in endemic countries, who have lost immunity due to the 50% reduction in malaria transmission over the last decade — but for all of us. The irrefutable link between malaria and poverty means that if we fail to seize this historic opportunity to move to eliminate malaria, the very foundations of sustainable economic development will be undermined. Looking ahead, we will need to find new, creative ways to keep malaria in the foreground of the global development agenda.


My new interview series, REMARKABLE PEOPLE 2014 includes experts in technology, the arts, well-being and social good. It is an exciting group of creative thought leaders and enlightened personalities. Some are extraordinary examples of social responsibility; others are creating game-changing paradigm shifts in their market segments.

Profile: Ellen Maidman-Tanner is the executive vice president of member relations, focusing on issues of quality and service excellence for PinnacleCare’s members. Ms. Maidman-Tanner inspires efforts designed to support the company’s mission – to exceed member’s expectations and do everything possible to ensure their optimal health and promote good healthcare experiences.

Prior to joining PinnacleCare in 2004, she served for several decades as a marketing and strategic planning executive within a variety of industries, including consumer goods and the legal profession. When she moved to the Washington, DC area from Toronto in 1990, she undertook work in the non-profit arena, including work for: the Canadian Embassy; a homeless shelter; Financial Executives International, a professional association; and, just before coming to PinnacleCare, Ms. Maidman-Tanner helped found the national Organization for Autism Research (OAR), which funds applied research studies.

Ellen embodies a sense of personal integrity and radiates energy, vitality and will. Clarity is one of her most powerful attributes. She has a fabulous sense of humor. She’s a great listener and conversationalist and has a genuinely caring humanity. She is a thinker, writer and artist. She has evolved a model for building trust and deeply valued relationships in the health advocacy industry.

Mary Olson: How have your views changed as you look back on your experience?

Ellen Maidman-Tanner: Over time, I have come to appreciate the value of common sense, compassion and remaining true to objectives. There is a huge place in business for speaking from the heart. No matter what we are trying to accomplish, we are typically working with other humans, and it is a respect for the common experiences and feelings we all share that can help us achieve our goals in a more efficient and harmonious manner. That is something I strive for on a daily basis.

Mary Olson: How do you see the way the world is emerging?

Ellen Maidman-Tanner: Obviously, our amazing and recent interconnectivity is changing the way we view ourselves. Are there really more wars, super storms and epidemics than there were before, or are we simply more aware of them? I am concerned by the rise of fundamentalist tribalism, the degradation of our planet, and the seeming loss of the moral compass previously the result of the better side of our religious practices. My hope for us as a species lies primarily in reason, education and the tremendous discoveries delivered every day by science.

Mary Olson: Ellen, what do you think about as you look forward?

Ellen Maidman-Tanner: The adoption of new discoveries toward the betterment of people. This is something we all do each day at PinnacleCare, by helping people access great medical care. It is something blossoming all around us. At a very rudimentary level, you see the plastic bottle light bulb invention, while at the upper end you see nanotechnology being adapted for disease interventions, and the creation of solar roadways. Overall, I am an optimist, a ‘possibilist’.

Mary Olson: What else would you like others to know about you?

Ellen Maidman-Tanner: Intuition, spirituality and creativity are important to me. We are all stewards of our lives. We all share the same biology. I find the challenge of the transitory nature of our existence fascinating. As Matthiessen said, “The gap between what I know and what I am.”


C-Suite executive roles are diminishing at a rapid pace while technology and social culture are generating new levels of complexities for leadership and governance.

The bias is toward short-term solutions. Materialization of rapid results is de rigueur these days.

Today, many C-Suite execs operate without an explicit contract(1) and face obvious decreased job security. The probability of turnover is the highest in today’s market mainly because of the shortened executive contractual time horizons.

Many C-Suite executives see the end of the runway as these forces cause them to transform into outside advisors.

Here are the primary attributes of today’s outside C-Suite advisors:

  • Appetite for the forces of change
  • Entrepreneurial mindsets
  • Focused on brand value, customer experience and technology

What’s next for you? How do you leverage your expertise? Most importantly, how do you frame your identity, create new opportunities and communicate your value?

It is useful to consider personal branding. A well-designed personal brand is a major driver for leveraging your value, identity and attracting new opportunities.

Those of us who perceive the value of personal branding already appreciate logo design, brand identity systems and the financial valuation of the brands we manage.

Your name is the anchor of your identity. Your core message and its relevance demonstrate the value you offer. Developing a meaningful relationship with your brand’s viewers is a vital part of the path to engagement.

Personal branding requires a commitment of time, budget and resources. Invest in yourself.

Consider the value of making yourself invaluable.

(1) Ref:


This new series, REMARKABLE PEOPLE 2014 includes experts in technology, the arts, well-being and social good. It is an exciting group of creative thought leaders and enlightened personalities. Individually, they are inspiring new models or trends; are extraordinary examples of social responsibility; or are writing and publishing hard-fought insights.

Tim Anderson discusses his professional background, current focus, and insights about how the world is emerging.

Profile: Tim Anderson is the founder of In My Backyard Health and Wellness, a grass-roots urban community prevention model that engages individuals to adopt and sustain a healthier lifestyle of an entire culture of African-Americans: A population that has among the highest rate of chronic disease health disparities in the United States. In My Backyard Health and Wellness provides health education and physical activities that focus on chronic disease prevention and reducing the risk of chronic disease complications.

Tim recently innovated the African American Men’s Health Check-in and Conversations in collaboration with Dr. Charles Modlin a urologist, kidney transplant surgeon, founder and director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Minority Men’s Health Center and the monthly co-host. Together, they are providing African American men living in urban, suburban and rural communities across the United States free health and wellness conference calls with highly accomplished medical, health and wellness experts.

Mary Olson: Tim, how have your views changed as you look back on your past?

Tim Anderson: Beginning in 2001, my focus was on health screenings. I viewed health screenings as the number one objective in addressing health disparities. Health screenings for diabetes, hypertension and other metabolic disorders were the primary tool addressing health disparities at that time. The importance of health screenings remains and effective public health engagement, however, screening does not engage in “moving the needle” towards the elimination of health disparities.

Improving health outcomes in high risk communities and populations requires a critical alignment of the following:

  • Health and nutrition education
  • Health screenings
  • Preventative infrastructure
  • Collaboration between healthcare systems and communities
  • Realignment of local and state government public health resources
  • Changes in public policies

Prevention is not clinically-based, it is community-based. I think by and large the medical community understands the need to engage more in community health initiatives addressing disease prevention.

By 2004, I had created the diabetes lifestyle center in my community. Since that time, I have continued to focus on a holistic approach in addressing health disparities. By connecting the dots, I have build a model of prevention that is sustainable and replicable. Thereby eliminating or reducing health disparities and improving health outcomes.

Mary Olson: Tim, How do you see the way the world is emerging?

Tim Anderson: For me, I am concerned about technology’s effect upon human development. I do not think we have the answer. We are projecting that technology will enhance our human existence. However I also think if we are not careful and diligent in the use of technology, our human development may be disrupted by such technological advances.

Like the natural elements of our world that have shaped our DNA it appears we now have a powerful synthetic element that may also influence our DNA. We are on uncharted waters, never in our human history has our life been impacted by a revolution of advancement that affects everyone on the planet simultaneously..

Mary Olson: Tim, What do you think about as you look forward?

Tim Anderson: I contemplate the impact of chronic disease epidemic not as a crisis, but the warning bell for things to come. Chronic disease is the tip of the iceberg. Throughout human evolution, our DNA has adapted to our environment. It is this adaptive ability that has ensured the survival of mankind, but there are two sides to this adaptation. I do not know the scientific term if there is one, but I refer to it as a harmonic adaptation.

Where our DNA is programmed to receive environmental codes that allow are genes to adapt accordingly. I believe this harmonic adaptation has existed from the very beginning. Conversely, I believe that stress or crises can trigger long changes in DNA. Under this scenario, adverse emotional or environmental factors can trigger gene mutation that can result in a host of health crisis.

The perfect storm consists of poor nutrition, high sodium diet, unhealthy fats and sugar, obesity from poor nutrition, low physical activity, chemicals and additives in products that we consume and use, as well as, other factors that impact our health. I believe these adverse conditions are now laying the foundation towards gene mutation of diseases.

I believe if we fail to change the harmful conditions in our behavior and environment, future generations will be born with genetic mutations contributed by the current chronic disease epidemic of today. We will have babies born with diseases like type 2 diabetes that are a result of genetic mutation and untreatable by current treatment intervention. In many instances, genetic mutations resulting in diseases will be incurable. Today, women who carry a specific gene for breast cancer elect to have a mastectomy even though cancer is not present. What will the options be for future generations whose gene mutation resulted in either untreatable and/or incurable chronic diseases?

The harmful conditions in our environment are sending our DNA into crisis mode. What we are witnessing in the world wide epidemic of chronic diseases is not a crisis, but the warning of imminent change in genetic mutation. I believe we may still have time to switch our DNA to the harmonic adaptation by making significant changes in our life.


My new series, REMARKABLE PEOPLE 2014 includes experts in technology, the arts, luxury brands, well-being and social good. It is an exciting group of creative thought leaders and enlightened personalities. Individually, they are creating important new models or trends; are extraordinary examples of social responsibility; or are writing and publishing hard-fought insights.

It is difficult to name anybody in the luxury goods industry more respected or revered than Thierry Chaunu.

It is pleasure to explore Thierry’s experience and learn his views about how the world is emerging.

Profile: Thierry Chaunu is a luxury goods industry leader with vast management experience of iconic brands such as Cartier, Christofle, Chopard, Leviev Diamonds, Marina B, Damiani, and lately Mauboussin Jewelers.

Thierry started as a product manager at the Cartier headquarters in Paris and was promoted to vice president marketing at Cartier North America. He evolved as a world class C suite executive as president of Christofle, president of Chopard and president & COO of Leviev diamonds. Thierry oversaw domestic and global expansion; opened stores and wholesale distribution. He inspired new sources of revenues and produced engaging customer experience that is emulated throughout the industry. He is passionate about technology, entrepreneurial growth and fresh ideas.

Mary Olson: How have your views changed as you look back on your past?

Thierry Chaunu: The luxury industry has matured significantly since the early eighties. When I started my career at Cartier headquarters in Paris, we were elaborating all the codes and recipes (such as selective distribution, marketing methodology, etc…), at a time when other luxury brands were still very much family-owned and parochial. Others quickly followed suit in the nineties. They emulated our practices, adopted our strategies and set codes. Then they became what they are today — usually parts of big conglomerates.

Cartier was a pioneering firm and I am proud and grateful to have been associated to the incredibly exciting years of world expansion.

Mary Olson: How do you see the way the world is emerging?

Theirry Chaunu: The world is now linked electronically with the Internet and social media networks. New dynamics are constantly coming to play. Cultural boundaries are merging and creating new level-playing fields. Even small companies, if they have creativity and talent, can accomplish, in a short few months, what took years to achieve. Today, luxury entrepreneurs can create their own dynasty.

Mary Olson: What do you think about as you look forward?

Thierry Chaunu: The world has opposed experience in favor of youth. At this stage in my professional career, I think more entrepreneurial than ever. Experience IS youth. Human values and ethics are more important than material assets.


Yes, it’s official: KLOUT, one of my top ten brands listed in 2014 BRANDS TO WATCH has been acquired by Lithium Technologies.

According to FORTUNE, the social score startup and provider of social customer experience solutions for the enterprise, was acquired in a deal valued at nearly $200 million.

FORTUNE also stated that according to two sources familiar with the matter, the deal is a mix of cash and Lithium private stock. (Lithium is gearing up for an IPO, which could happen as early as later this year.)

Lithium software powers amazing social customer experiences for more than 400 iconic brands including AT&T, BT, Best Buy, Indosat, Sephora, Skype and Telstra.

Klout’s history has been an interesting one. The startup was co-founded by CEO Joe Fernandez and Binh Tran in 2008 as a way to measure influence on the growing social Web. Individuals who signed up would receive a “Klout Score,” a numerical value between 1 and 100. In theory, the higher the Klout Score, the more social pull the user has.

Klout has also expanded with Klout for Business, a portal intended offering deeper analytics to brands, as well as content creation aggregation, so users could share articles and posts with their audience.

Congratulations to Joe Fernandez, co-founder and CEO of KLOUT, one of the top ten recipients of 2014 Brands to Watch posted below.


My 2014 BRANDS TO WATCH campaign has concluded successfully in Q1 with attention in the business media and fostering not-so-surprising business-building deals.

These exceptional innovators represented the worlds of art, fashion, finance, research, technology and writing. These are companies I’ve watched; some are one’s I know well and have believed in them

The leaders demonstrated unparalleled management, vision, innovation, 2013 financial results, and/or exceptional customer experience.

Thank you to these remarkable brands for participating in the 2014 campaign and for setting the gold standard for 2015:


View the top ten 2014 BRANDS TO WATCH below.