2004 Letter

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In looking back on the past two years, so much has changed yet so much has stayed the same.

Fred & Addy have spent another two years in New Jersey growing up with their large extended family while Linda and I have been working to start our own businesses.

Fred and Addy are very close friends despite the expected sibling rivalries. They have each developed into their own personalities and have both shown early signs of artistic skills in addition to being solid A & B students.

Fred and Addy both go to the local public elementary school - Union School - which is only one-block from our home and spending their summers at the town-run day camp.
At the day camp they played with their friends from school and went on numerous field trips, both educational and recreational. They have both been able to establish many friendships in the four years we have lived in Rutherford and we are thankful for being able to raise them in a "small-town America" environment.

Addy is in 1st grade and is doing very well. She attended kindergarten last year at St. Mary's and then transferred to the same elementary school Fred goes to.
Addy is doing well in all her subjects and enjoys going to gymnastics after school. She is a talented artist and has created several yet-to-be-published children's stories with full Crayola illustrations. Addy will celebrate her 7th birthday on February 22nd.


Addy is, as I have been saying for the past several years, me in a skirt. She has developed into a very sweet and considerate little girl (ok, she gets that from Linda). And if being sweet and considerate doesn't get her what she wants then Addy has the ability to express her wants and desires in ways that would not be categorized as "sweet" or "considerate" (that part she gets from me). The bottom line for Linda and I is that we should not have any worries with Addy being able to take care of herself in the future :-)

Fred is involved in wrestling, soccer and basketball. After three years of playing soccer Fred decided that he wanted to focus on wrestling and basketball. He has been winning over half of his wrestling matches and since he is starting his first year of basketball he is working on the basics like his outside shot and learning how to dribble well. Fred has developed a passion for the Yu-Gi-Oh strategy card game and was the top "Duelist" in his age group at day camp and he has also become a master builder of "Bionicles," Lego's new line of futuristic toys (with several hundred pieces per Bionicle) . Fred received all of the Bionicles below on Christmas day and assembled them all before going to bed. If any of your kids need help building their Bionicles or sharpening their Yu-Gi-Oh dueling abilities, Fred stands ready to help !!!


Linda just completed her second year as a Southern Living at Home consultant. Over the past two years Linda has progressed from having no one in her network and holding just one party per month to having 16 recruited consultants in her network, holding six to eight parties a month, and achieving the level of "Director" and coming in 10th in her network of 800 consultants in annual sales. Her hard work has earned her several awards including an upcoming all expense paid trip to Cancun, Mexico.

Linda continues to sell luxury items on EBay on consignment for her friends and she achieved the distinction of "EBay Power Seller" with over 500 sales to date plus she continues to maintain a 100% positive feedback rating. In addition to her Southern Living at Home and EBay businesses, Linda is very active at Union School (she has been class Mom for both Fred and Addy) and the Junior Womens club of Rutherford.


For me, the last two years have been interesting, to say the least. 2003 was devoted to starting up the Honest Prepaid Calling Card company. While I was able to raise over $1M from friends and family I was unsuccessful in finding a bank that would give me a SBA loan for the telecom equipment HPCC needed to handle international calls. However, at the end of 2003 one of Honest Prepaid's investors offered me a great opportunity working with him and several other former Nextlink executives at a privately held company in Houston, TX.

For eight months in 2004 I commuted every week to Houston - down on Monday mornings and home on Thursday night. We all worked very hard to turn around the company but we were not successful and in the last three months all of the Nextlink executives (the CEO, SVP of Business Development, General Counsel and myself), and several hundred employees left the company.

Despite two failed attempts over the past two years to find my next great adventure, I have been working the last three months on the business plan for an exciting new opportunity where "the third time" may "be the charm." Being a superstitious person, I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch so I will let everyone know if my ship comes in early this year. Stay tuned !!!


Linda and I were happy to hear from many of our friends over the past two years and we wish everyone the best of health and good luck in all that you do in 2005. And if you find yourself in the NYC area, we look forward to hearing from you and hopefully being able to get together with you during your visit!

 

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