Category Archives: Business

Dollar Loan Center CEO Chuck Brennan on Helping Las Vegas Charity Rebuild After Fire

Chuck Brennan

Chuck Brennan and his company Dollar Loan Center stepped in when the Opportunity Village thrift shop was destroyed in a fire. According to Chuck Brennan, the celebrated Las Vegas, Nev., attraction assists Opportunity Village in its mission of helping people with intellectual disabilities increase their quality of life. Chuck Brennan explains the store’s importance in the

Las Vegas area and how Dollar Loan Center worked to get them back in business.

ZRYLW: What does Opportunity Village do?

Chuck Brennan: Opportunity Village, based in Las Vegas, Nev., manages job training and organizes employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

ZRYLW: How many people does Opportunity Village serve?

Chuck Brennan: Opportunity Village has assisted thousands of people in the Las Vegas area since its inception.

ZRYLW: How well-known is the Opportunity Village thrift shop?

Chuck Brennan: Celebrities like Elvis Presley and Bob Hope used to visit the shops and often donated their personal effects to be sold there.

ZRYLW: How long has this location been in business?

Chuck Brennan: This particular storefront has been part of the Opportunity Village family for 56 years.

ZRYLW: Are the donations through the Dollar Loan Center exclusively for the store?

Chuck Brennan: Yes, all the money donated will be used to rebuild the thrift shop.

ZRYLW: So, what kind of business is the Dollar Loan Center?

Chuck Brennan: Dollar Loan Center provides short-term loans for people in Utah, South Dakota, California and Nevada.

ZRYLW: How did these efforts help employees of the thrift shop?

Chuck Brennan: The thrift shop employs several people, so the store is crucial to them.

ZRYLW: Will they stay employed by the shop?

Chuck Brennan: That’s the main objective. Speeding up the rebuilding efforts will ensure that these hard-working individuals can keep their jobs.

ZRYLW: What other Dollar Loan Center initiatives give back to the community?

Chuck Brennan: Dollar Loan Center donates $100 a day to Opportunity Village for each day that the temperature in Las Vegas reaches 100 degrees.

ZRYLW: But that’s not all, right?

Chuck Brennan: Right. During the rebuilding and remodeling process, Dollar Loan Center will double this amount to $200.

ZRYLW: Of course it gets quite hot in Vegas.

Chuck Brennan: It sure does. The fact that money is going to charity makes the massive heat an easier pill to swallow.

ZRYLW: Where can people find out more information about Opportunity Village?

Chuck Brennan: For details about special events, program and volunteer opportunities, their website is

Entrepreneur Sandra Dyche Spearheads Efforts to Reauthorize the EB-5 Program


A strong advocate of foreign investment as a facilitator for American economic development, Sandra Dyche dedicated her professional energies toward the EB-5 program’s reauthorization with support by the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM). Sandra Dyche relates how important the EB-5 program has been to its investors and other beneficiaries.

ZRYLW: How did you support the EB-5 program to get renewed, Sandra Dyche?

Sandra Dyche: USCM passed a resolution issued by CapSpan asking Congress to reauthorize the EB-5 program and eventually to authorize the EB-5 program permanently.

ZRYLW: Can you give a brief summary of the EB-5 program?

Sandra Dyche: The EB-5 program, of course, has been an essential resource for foreign investors seeking a U.S. green card. More importantly, it helps companies to secure financing for daily operations and special projects.

ZRYLW: When was the EB-5 program set to expire?

Sandra Dyche: The EB-5 program had an expiration date of Sept. 30, 2012. Since it authorizes numerous U.S. green cards for foreign investors, the termination of the EB-5 program would have been a devastating blow to the American economy. The proposed legislation would reauthorize the EB-5 program into 2015.

ZRYLW: Was there significant support for the program?

Sandra Dyche: A number of organizations stood in favor of the program’s extension. All projects under the EB-5 program are designed to create 10 or more full-time U.S. jobs per each foreign investor, so there was significant interest in ensuring that these successes could continue.

ZRYLW: Which organizations helped in particular?

Sandra Dyche: CapSpan, as a trusted organization for foreign investors seeking new business opportunities, was an essential partner in presenting this issue to USCM. IIUSA also played a significant role throughout the process.


Sandra Dyche: IIUSA is a nonprofit industry trade association that acts as an advocate for the EB-5 program and its approved Regional Centers. The association assists with public and government affairs, lending a voice to those who pursue American job creation and economic development.

ZRYLW: How is IIUSA involved with CapSpan?

Sandra Dyche: IIUSA counts CapSpan as one of its valued members. Michael Bailkin, a principal of CapSpan, is also a member of IIUSA’s best practices committee.

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon Discusses the Certification Process for Kosher Supervision of America

KSA-Kosher-Food5 According to Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon, Kosher Supervision of America (KSA) is the largest accepted and recognized kosher certification agency in the Western United States. Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon points out that it is a prestigious and honorable distinction granted to only select kosher certification agencies. KSA is proud to be featured on this short list of recognized and reliable organizations.

Q: What’s the current status of the food industry?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: New food labels misrepresent processed foods high in fat and/or sugar as “fresh,” “natural” and “healthy.” In fact, these foods are often high in sugar and fat.

Q: How has this trend occurred?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Because of shortcomings of food label regulation by the government and the food industry.

Q: How do health-conscious consumers avoid this confusion?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Even in this age of misleading food labeling, one regulation in the food industry offers a clear definition: kosher food certification.

Q: How many American companies produce kosher foods?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: There are more than 10,000 kosher-producing companies in the U.S., according to sources.

Q: So there must be quite a number of products available to the American public.

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Very true. More than 135,000 kosher products for 12 million American consumers who purchase kosher food particularly because it’s kosher.

Q: What kind of financial results does kosher certification provide for the food industry?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: The kosher market for the U.S. food industry generates more than $12 billion each year.

Q: Is kosher certification labeling common in supermarkets?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: In various studies, researchers have determined that the term “kosher” is used for more food products than “premium,” “organic” or “natural.”

Q: What about the KSA label?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Stroll down any supermarket aisle and the KSA certification will be visible on a number of American foods that have been certified kosher.

Q: Why do supermarkets prefer certified brands?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Supermarkets favor kosher-certified brands because it gives the product a viable edge that makes it sell more quickly.

Q: Are most of these consumers Jewish?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: The opposite is true. Only 8 percent of these kosher consumers identified themselves as religious Jews.

Q: Why choose kosher foods then?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: Most kosher consumers select kosher foods for reasons related to taste, food safety, health, lactose intolerance or vegetarianism.

Q: How do these kosher foods become certified?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: More than 300 kosher certification agencies in the United States diligently monitor the food production so that kosher products are indeed kosher. KSA is chief among them.

Q: What is the overall mission of KSA?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: KSA strives to ensure that each product labeled with a KSA symbol will meet all the standards of Kashrus.

Q: To what does KSA attribute its success?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: KSA is built on a foundation of excellent customer service and positive attitudes.

Q: Who works for KSA?

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon: KSA is proud to feature a hard-working, dedicated staff of renowned experts, including experienced rabbinical authorities. Many of these staff members possess more than 30 years of experience.

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon is the leading administrator of KSA Kosher.

Wesley Upchurch Talks about the History of Arcades

Wesley Upchurch is a Certified Internet Web Professional and CIW Professional Designer. He is also the Columbia, Missouri-based visionary behind entertainment venues The Virtual Arena and Gunther’s Games. Recently, Upchurch chatted with the staff of ZRYLW about the history of gaming arcades.

ZRYLW: What got you started learning about arcades?

Wesley Upchurch: Well, I was seriously thinking about going into this business, and knew it would be worth my time to learn some more.

ZRYLW: How far back do arcades go?

Wesley Upchurch: Really, about as far back as carnival midways or boardwalks. As far back as you can think.

ZRYLW: What were some early arcade games?

Wesley Upchurch: Most of them were mechanical games—stuff like shooting galleries, pinball machines, mechanical fortune tellers, things like that.

ZRYLW: In what kinds of places would you typically find arcade games?

Wesley Upchurch: Really, about any place where people have time to kill—laundromats, bowling alleys, supermarkets, bars, truck stops, etc.

ZRYLW: So the games weren’t strictly for kids then?

Wesley Upchurch: No, not at all. It was recreation and fun for anyone, all ages.

ZRYLW: When did a new generation of interactive games start?

Wesley Upchurch: By the 60s, electromechanical games were starting—things like car-race games, flying simulators, gun games—all with projected film for backdrops.

ZRYLW: Were they well-received?

Wesley Upchurch: Yes, they were fun, but pretty limited. They also required a lot of maintenance. Not that many of them left anymore.

ZRYLW: What was the next advance?

Wesley Upchurch: Well, the earliest, really primitive video games came along in the early 70s.

ZRYLW: What were some of those games?

Wesley Upchurch: Computer Space and Galaxy were a couple of early ones, and Pong came along not too much later.

ZRYLW: And so things were off and running with video games…

Wesley Upchurch: Yes, they were. The whole industry of arcade video games really came into its own by the late 70s.

ZRYLW: What were some of those early games?

Wesley Upchurch: That second generation of video games included titles like Galaxian, Space Invaders, Frogger, Pac-Man—that sort of thing.

ZRYLW: Was that when places like Dave and Busters started, too?

Wesley Upchurch: Yes, places like that or Chuck E. Cheese.

ZRYLW: Those are great venues.

Wesley Upchurch: Yes, the idea is to combine restaurants with arcades. “Fun for the whole family,” as they used to say.

ZRYLW: What happened in the 80s?

Wesley Upchurch: Really, by the late 80s, we saw the market begin to drop off.

ZRYLW: Why was that?

Wesley Upchurch: More home game consoles were coming on the market, and it ate into the arcade video games.

ZRYLW: What do you see as the niche for them now?

Wesley Upchurch: I think there will always be a niche for video arcades. They’re just fun places to be, and have a whole social/community aspect to them that isn’t a part of playing video games at home.

Federal Reserve Chairman Examines Economic Recovery

The leader of America’s central bank is hesitant to proclaim an end to economic trouble after examining recent trends. At the Federal Reserve’s Chicago branch recently, Chairman Ben Bernanke stated that current market conditions continue to be precarious even as many financial experts have declared a full recovery.

Bernanke made his remarks during a lengthy speech that described the Fed’s role in observing the successes and failures of the banking system. The speech was a focal point of the 49th Annual Conference on Bank Structure and Competition, which brings together experts in technical, financial and academic research.

As a central thesis of his speech, Bernanke noted that participants in the financial market have been taking considerable risks in recent months. The extended run of economic stability in America reduced their desire to use reasonable provisions.

Securities lending endures as a major problem. Borrowers have proven unable to finance asset holdings and subsequently were forced to sell. This occurrence drove asset prices down even further, leading to extreme asset liquidation.

Money market funds are also susceptible to the unstable environment. Bernanke believes that risk is amplified because the Treasury has been stripped of its power to secure investors’ holdings in money market funds, which proved critical in halting the disastrous 2008 run.

To introduce the subject of income inequality, Bernanke said that wealthier households have made great gains in net worth, while lower- or middle-income households have declined in capital since the financial crisis. This reality is most apparent in the area of real estate. A number of homeowners are still “underwater,” with homes valued at much less than their mortgage balances. According to Bernanke, this fact alone indicates that the country’s financial well-being is more fragile than statistics might show. As a side note, he recommended that additional regulation should be installed in the repossession market—the wholesale market that financial institutions use for their daily funding requirements.

Bernanke stated that more preparation is required for both investors and market participants so that they can deal with any potential consequences. Leading research for this is the Office of Financial Stability Policy and Research, which educates both the central bank and the Federal Open Market Committee on policy decisions.

In closing remarks, Bernanke assured attendees that the Fed continues to identify threats in order to thwart future emergencies, and carefully monitor the activity of the nation’s financial institutions.

The 5 Wedges Every Girl Needs

Wedges are quickly becoming one of’s star styles and for good reason; they’re flattering and elongate the leg while adding height. Plus, they’re comfortable and easy on the feet. The team at has sourced styles in an array of platform heights, materials, colors and more, and with so many options, is able to offer a wedge for every look.’s multitude of styles may make it hard to narrow things down, so the fashion experts at have identified their five top picks.

The Shanghai goes seamlessly from day to night. This wedge is sky high, giving the impression of long, lean legs. Its strappy lace-up silhouette features on-trend tassel accents, and shoppers can choose from classic black or soft nude. Pair with silk genie pants for a day at the office or a flowing maxi skirt for weekend brunch with the girls.

Keena is a casual, sporty sneaker wedge from that gets you where you need to go in style. With three color choices including black, navy and multi-tone, there’s an option to match all of your weekend wear. Just Velcro the straps and hit the park to walk the dog or conquer your errands while staying in fashion, thanks to

Thebes is’s take on two styles in one. This cut-out, lace-up sandal features a demi-wedge and combines the comfy, easy-to-wear style of a flat with the lengthening look of a wedge. offers your choice of black or brown; simply slip on with a pair of cutoffs for a summer music festival or wear them with a mini dress to dance the night away. re-interprets the espadrille with Los Feliz. Made from cut-out canvas with an exotic black and white ikat pattern,’s take on urban chic will have you strolling the city streets in style. Pair with a full length black dress for a cocktail party or skinny jeans and a tank for an afternoon at the flea market.

With Doheny, has wrapped three of the season’s hottest trends into one fashionable wedge sandal. This shoe combines leopard-print detailing, an ankle strap and minimal design for the freshest in summer footwear. Available in orange and mint, the team at knows that a pop of color is just what the season ordered.

These styles are perfect for updating your summer shoe wardrobe, but don’t forget about the rest of your look. also offers accessories and clothing, releasing a new selection to members every month.