The largest lupus fundraiser in the world raised close to $3 million for innovative research that can save lives while advancing toward a cure

December 1, 2015 – New York, NY – The Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR), Lupus Research Institute (LRI) and S.L.E. Lupus Foundation celebrated their first joint dinner at the “Moving Forward Together to Fight Lupus” Gala that heralded their upcoming merger. The largest lupus fundraiser in the world raised close to $3 million for innovative research that can save lives while advancing to a cure. The gala was held at the iconic Waldorf Astoria and the venue looked as beautiful as the donors.

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Megan Hilty, the Broadway, film and singer/actress on NBC’s Smash, brought the audience to its feet with her powerful voice and Hollywood glamour. Having starred in 9 to 5: The Musical, and Wicked, Megan returns to Broadway this December in the revival of Noises Off.

Founder of the Alliance for Lupus Research and Chairman and CEO New York Jets, Robert Wood “Woody” Johnson IV, and Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO, iHeartMedia, Inc. co-hosted the evening with Richard DeScherer, President of the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation and Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, Bloomberg L.P. and Robert J. Ravitz, Chairman, Lupus Research Institute. Television broadcaster, lupus advocate and devoted mom to her daughter with lupus, Brenda Blackmon, served as emcee with inimitable warmth and charm.

Michelle Ifill accepted the Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of Verizon Communications, Inc. for their long-time support of the ALR’s research initiatives and contributions to the lupus community. Thousands of Verizon employees have attended ALR Walkathon events across the country and have raised more than half a million dollars by going out and fundraising on their own.

The 2015 Visionary Award recognized the outstanding contributions of two extraordinary women with lupus — S.L.E. Lupus Foundation founder Susan Golick and Jennie DeScherer, dedicated member of the Boards of the Foundation and Lupus Research Institute. Three-term Mayor of New York City, entrepreneur and philanthropist Michael R. Bloomberg presented Jennie with her Visionary Award, describing her as an “inspiring example of someone who won’t let this disease get in the way of living her life to the fullest.” Presenting the award to Susan, LRI and S.L.E. Lupus Foundation Board member Jerry Chazen thanked her for launching the lupus movement in America 45 years ago and for her continued involvement in helping shape the organization’s growth.

“Tonight we honor the champions who had the extraordinary vision and pioneering spirit to support the most novel research,” noted Margaret G. Dowd, President and CEO of the Lupus Research Institute and Executive Director of the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation.  “We support patient-centric research which means that everything is about the patients and for the patients.”

“This year’s Gala celebrates the strength of the lupus community as it brings people from ever-widening circles together to fight for a common cause,” said Kenneth M. Farber, President of the Alliance for Lupus Research.  “The upcoming merger of the ALR with the Lupus Research Institute and S.L.E. Lupus Foundation is enormously exciting as the culmination of our ongoing collaboration and the launch of the world’s largest group dedicated to advancing innovative research in lupus.”

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Six hundred guests attended included Matilda Cuomo; Edward and Arlyn Gardner; Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg; Brett Heyman; Donald Newhouse; Joan Sarnoff; Fern and Lenard Tessler; and Carol and Michael Weisman. Governor Andrew Cuomo was not able to attend but sent a letter of congratulations and Assistant Secretary of Health Tracie Gardner in his stead.

About the Alliance for Lupus Research
The Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) is a national voluntary health organization dedicated to finding better treatments and ultimately preventing and curing systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, or lupus). The organization is based in New York City and chaired by Robert Wood Johnson IV. Since its founding in 1999, the ALR has given more money to lupus research than any non-governmental agency in the world. To date the ALR has committed nearly $100 million to fund the most innovative and aggressive research into the cause, prevention and cure of lupus.  The board of directors funds all administrative and fundraising costs, allowing one hundred percent of all donations from the public, and the proceeds of our signature grassroots fundraising program, Walk with Us to Cure Lupus, to go directly to support research programs. More information can be found at

About S.L.E. Lupus Foundation and Lupus Research Institute
Formed 45 years ago, the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation is dedicated to advancing lupus research, patient education, advocacy and awareness. In 2000 the Foundation helped launch the Lupus Research Institute to support only bold novel research in lupus – the creativity and innovation needed to drive scientific discovery in this complex autoimmune disease. Together the organizations have generated over $200-million for cutting edge lupus research, delivering many of the most pivotal scientific breakthroughs of the past decade. Today the LRI is the world’s leading private supporter of innovative research in lupus. Learn more at and

The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation Celebrates Innovation at Gala 2014

November 24, 2014– New York, NY – The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation and the Lupus Research Institute raised $2 million at the annual Life Without Lupus Gala to support novel research that can transform patients’ lives while advancing towards prevention and a cure. Close to 600 members of the metropolitan New York’s philanthropic, government, business, art, music, society and health care communities joined to “Celebrate Innovation” in lupus research and care.

Seventeen-time Grammy-winner and beloved singer for seven decades, Tony Bennett was introduced via videotape by his collaborator and close friend Lady Gaga. She noted, “Fighting lupus is a cause very close to me, my family and to my friend, the one and only Mr. Tony Bennett.” Bennett performed such classics as “They All Laughed,” “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” and “The Way You Look Tonight,” and his performance was met with a standing ovation befitting a performer of his immense stature and enduring popularity.

This year’s Gala Honoree Iris Cantor, Chairman and President of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, was celebrated as a trailblazer in bringing the power of philanthropy to transform medical research and care. Particularly fitting, the award was presented by Herb Pardes, M.D., retired president and chief executive and current executive vice chairman of New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Board of Trustees. There Ms. Cantor led the creation of the Iris Cantor Women’s Health Center as well as New York’s first men’s health center. She noted, “Philanthropy and innovation go hand in hand. Through philanthropy we can accelerate the path from concept to practice.”

As Scientific Honoree, Bahija Jallal, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, AstraZeneca, Head of MedImmune was recognized for her leadership in helping the company fulfill its commitment to furthering biomedical innovation that can change the face of autoimmune treatment. “We believe great science will bring great medicine.”

As the biggest single lupus event and highly-anticipated annual fundraiser, the Gala was appropriately held at another larger-than-life New York institution, the American Museum of Natural History. New York City’s chic crowd came out to support the cause in some of fall’s best looks:

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One of the city’s beloved television personalities, NBC’s Today Show Co-host Willie Geist entertained as Master of Ceremonies for the fourth consecutive year. Opera legend Jessye Norman served as Honorary Gala Chair and Gala 2014 Dinner Chairs were: Jennie and Richard DeScherer; Anna R. Fisch; Susan Golick and Alan Wasserman, D.D.S.; Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg; Pamela and Arnold Lehman; and Bing Yao, Ph.D.

Other prominent guests included Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; philanthropists Edward and Arlyn Gardner; Joan and Arthur Sarnoff; Carol and Michael Weisman; Christina and Robert Baker; and Fox-TV political commentator Jeanine Ferris Pirro; and Miss New York 2014 Jillian Tapper.

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A live auction conducted by Sotheby’s Chairman Jamie Niven generated donations for research and services to help people with lupus now and in the future. Thanks go to Modern Luxury for providing copies of the latest issue of Manhattan Magazine.

About S.L.E. Lupus Foundation and Lupus Research Institute

Formed over 40 years ago, the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation is dedicated to advancing lupus research, patient education, advocacy and awareness. In 2000 the Foundation helped launch the Lupus Research Institute to support only bold novel research in lupus – the creativity and innovation needed to drive scientific discovery in this complex autoimmune disease. Together the organizations have generated over $185-million for cutting edge lupus research, delivering many of the most pivotal scientific breakthroughs of the past decade. Today the LRI is the world’s leading private supporter of innovative research in lupus.

Looking for a Sexy Chic Popup? Look No Further Than the Hottttt “House of Triumph”

New York, NY – August 21 2014 – Triumph Lingerie, the 127-year-old lingerie brand widely recognized around the world as “The Maker of Lingerie”, proudly announces House of Triumph- a multi-use brand space located at the Old Bowery Station in Manhattan. House of Triumph is open now through September 10th.triumphe 11

Triumph will host a series of events including a luxurious pampering day for women and a premium sample sale – designed to encourage New Yorkers to experience the world of Triumph.

The luxury spa day takes place this Saturday, August 23rd from 2pm-6pm. Invited guests will enjoy an afternoon of champagne, canapés, manicures and massages. Triumph’s Tailoresses will also be on site to offer personal bra fittings and ensure guests walk away with a perfectly fitted bra. Long Island residents will be transported to NYC in style with complimentary pickup and drop off from both Long Island Triumph Lingerie stores (Walt Whitman and Roosevelt Field malls). See in-stores for details.

The premium sample sale- taking place on September 5th, 6th and 7th – will give guests an exclusive preview of the upcoming Autumn/Winter collections while offering past seasons lingerie at reduced prices. Triumph bras, panties, shapewear, nightdresses, swimwear and loungewear will also be available for up to 50% off.

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“Creating an elevated & innovative experience for our customers has always been Triumph’s strength. We pride ourselves on our unparalleled fit, beautiful design and the highest quality lingerie that cater to self-confident women who share in our appreciation for style, fit and comfort. These offerings will be on full display at House of Triumph,” says John Groman, General Manager of Triumph US. “Having seen great success at our stores on Long Island, we are so excited to integrate into the fashion forward culture of Manhattan in advance of a new store opening in 2015. We believe that Triumph lingerie will resonate with the women of New York as they share our appreciation for both quality and design.”

The Old Bowery Station
168 Bowery, New York, NY, 10013
Lingerie lovers are welcome to RSVP to

For more information and all the latest from Triumph, please visit or follow them at @triumph_us on Instagram & Twitter.

How to Organize Your Financial Life, by Thomas J. Santucci CIMA®

gateway image blog postThe successful management of financial resources can be equally challenging for businesses and individuals alike. But while businesses have accounting departments, we usually have just ourselves to rely on for the basics, before getting expert advice. These basics are important and include formulating and prioritizing your financial goals and organizing your accounts in a way that will help you accomplish them.

Most of us have an IRA, a 401(k), or more than one, a savings account, perhaps a taxable brokerage account and/or a variety of other savings or investment accounts. All these accounts need taking care of in order to fulfil their function, that is, provide you with a sufficient supply of funds at a given point in the future. Successful money management starts with setting specific goals that you need this money for. You could assign a goal for each account or you could group your accounts around a goal. You could also assign more than one goal per account and then manage these accounts based on the goal they go towards accomplishing. Here are five practical tips to follow after the goals have been set:

  • Pay Bills Online — Online payments are quicker, easier and secure. Going paperless can save you time and money, and it is also easier to track your expenditure. Besides, most banks offer a round-the-clock electronic payment services, which is much more convenient than being constrained by work hours.
  • Consolidate/Group IRAs together — Every type of account has certain advantages for specific investment or savings goals. Grouping them based on their type and, therefore, primary goal will make it much easier to manage these accounts.
  • Track Your Progress with a Monthly Review — Take some time each month to review how your finances are doing and if you need to change something in the way you manage them. Investment opportunities change and so do returns, so keep an eye on your funds and review them regularly.
  •  Invest in Personal Finance Software — To organize all this information, which tends to be quite a lot, you might want to consider some software management tool. You can choose something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet for your basic accounting or you could try a specialized money management tool that will relieve you of much of the hassle around keeping your accounts and investments in check.

Whatever technical option you choose, the management of your finances should be primarily focused on the goal, not the account. Still, it could be a complex, exhausting undertaking, especially for those who have more funds to manage. This is where professional investment advice comes in.

Gateway Investments, LLC prides itself on offering its clients comprehensive investment advice, based on the specific goals they have set themselves. Aware that the top financial priorities for anyone are security and independence, Gateway’s advisors can tailor highly personalized investment options, taking into account the particular needs of every client and what their risk appetites are. Through face-to-face meetings, these advisors will draw on their professional experience and the company’s ample resources to provide you with the best investment roadmap that would help you accomplish your financial goals.

*Securities, insurance and advisory services offered through Royal Alliance Associates Inc., member FINRA/SIPC.  Gateway Investments, LLC is not an affiliate of Royal Alliance Associates Inc. or registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor.

Defeating Lupus is in the Bag

NEW YORK, NY – April 28, 2014 –

Tim Gunn

Hundreds of leaders in New York’s fashion, entertainment, travel, philanthropic and lupus communities turned out to support the fight against lupus at the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation’s sixth annual New York Bag Ladies Luncheon. Raising nearly $400,000, the sold-out event featured Emmy-winning Project Runway host Tim Gunn as Master of Ceremonies.

Women of Achievement Honorees

The 2014 Women of Achievement honored were: Desiree Gruber, President and CEO, Full Picture, Co-Creator & Executive Producer, Project Runway and Co-Founder, Theodora & Callum; Lisa R. Sammaritano, MD, Associate Attending Physician, Hospital for Special Surgery and Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College; and Michelle Gadsden-Williams, Managing Director and Global Head, Diversity & Inclusion, Credit Suisse. The three honorees were recognized for their outstanding professional accomplishments in their respective fields as well as their help in advancing the fight against lupus.

“I feel it’s my responsibility to help gain awareness for a disease that particularly targets women,” said Ms. Gruber.  “The Bag Ladies Luncheon is the perfect opportunity for the fashion industry to support the very women they serve on a daily basis.”

Michelle Gadsden-Williams, Jessye Norman, Tim Gunn, Desiree Gruber

Michelle Gadsden-Williams, Jessye Norman, Tim Gunn, Desiree Gruber

“The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation and the Lupus Research Institute have played an important role in the continued focus on lupus research at Hospital for Special Surgery,” said Dr. Sammaritano. “In addition, we care for many shared patients, providing both medical and social support so no one has to face lupus alone.”

Ms. Gadsden-Williams noted, “I joined the Board of the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation because, as a lupus patient myself, I strongly believe in the organization’s vital mission – supporting science and service. I strive to empower myself and others to overcome the challenges of living with this difficult disease.”

Star-Studded Attendees

There to honor Ms. Gadsden-Williams was Cissy Houston, gospel singer and mother of the late pop superstar Whitney Houston. Attending to celebrate another Woman of Achievement was Ms. Gruber’s actor-husband Kyle MacLachlan, well-known for his roles on the TV shows Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives, Portlandia, Believe and How I Met Your Mother.

Honorary co-chairs were Matilda Raffa Cuomo, Former First Lady of New York State, Founder and Chair of Mentoring USA and opera legend Jessye Norman.  Miss Norman commented, “As an artist, I have always refused to believe in limits. Today we are raising the funding for research that will allow young women with lupus to go beyond the limits of this disease to pursue their dreams.”

Melany Hearne Martins, Founder and Chief Investment Officer at Exantas Capital LLC, chaired the Bag Ladies Luncheon this year. The Foundation’s Board was well represented by founder Susan Golick and members Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg; Jennie DeScherer, Fern Kay Tessler; Betsey Selkowitz; Carol Weisman; and Kate Kelly.  The Foundation’s growing Young Leadership Group were among the guests and volunteers, helping make this annual fundraiser a major success.

Several fashion luminaries attended including Anne Keating, Senior Vice President of Public Relations, Special Events & Corporate Philanthropy at Bloomingdale’s, Inc.; Danielle DiFernando, Founder of Danielle Nicole Handbags; and Foundation board member Mary Belle, President, Licensing at The Jones Group which encompasses iconic lifestyle brands such as Anne Klein, Jones New York and Nine West.  Noted philanthropists and socialites included Phyllis Mack, Denise Wohl, and Lady Va Maughan.

Bags Brimming with Promise

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“We thank everyone who helped make this event an unprecedented success,” said Margaret Dowd, Executive Director, S.L.E. Lupus Foundation. “While the annual Bag Ladies Luncheon is great fun, the reason we’re here is quite serious – to raise the necessary funds to advance the most novel and innovative research. Our Foundation helps people live with lupus day-to-day, but the best way we can help long-term is to deliver better, safer treatments as we pursue a cure. ”

About Lupus:
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or lupus, is a chronic, complex and serious autoimmune disease affecting more than 1.5 million Americans. Nine out of 10 people with lupus are women. In lupus, the immune system, which is designed to protect against infection, creates antibodies that attack the body’s own tissues and organs — the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin, and joints. Lupus is difficult to diagnose, difficult to treat, and a leading cause of premature cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and stroke among young women.

About the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation:
Formed over 40 years ago, the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation leads the nation in providing direct patient support, education, public awareness, as well as funding for innovative lupus research on the national level. The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation is a member of the Lupus Research Institute National Coalition of patient groups throughout the country. Visit for more information.

A Business Owner’s Dream Come True

By Michael J. Kessler, Profitability Consultant and CPA

To read more about what Michael does, go to

To read more about what Michael does, go to

As a business owner, your primary responsibility is to increase the salable value of your business.  That’s right because, whether you are going to pass your business on to future generations or sell it to your employees or even divest to a third party, it can be very financially rewarding for you and your family.

So how can you increase the value of your businessHere are three of the best ways:

1.     Strengthen the predictability of your revenue streams – That starts with marketing and ends with more marketing.  Keep investing in the right marketing strategies especially during tough economic times. That’s when most of your competitors are running scared and slashing their marketing budgets – often times to zero!

I’ll share an example. It comes from an independent source knowing very little about business just yet – my youngest son.  Prior to going on active military duty, he went to work for a home remodeling business in the Pacific Northwest.  He was on the demolition crew, the roofing crew and the painting crew working on three or four large jobs per week.  Throughout his ten months on the job, he always said how busy they always were.  When I asked how everyone else in the remodeling industry was doing out there, he told me, after asking the owner, that many of his competitors no longer exist.  Because even in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, his boss, the sole owner of the business, kept investing heavily in marketing while most of his competitors did not.  This kept him first-in mind and highly credible with his prospects to get him a ton of new work over the past several years as well as recurring work from many of his customers.  And that has created a powerful and growing referral network for his business.

Prospective buyers of that business would love seeing this – the higher the probability of predictable growth in your sales pipeline and revenue stream, the higher the premium they would pay if they bought your business.

2. Have systems in place that produce predictable results that are reproducible virtually every time – Every function in your business has a system.  Whether production related, fiscal management related, sales & marketing related, HR related, virtually anything you do to operate your business should have a documented system. Prospective buyers of your business value turnkey systems that are simple to operate.  They will more often than not pay a nice premium for your business if you have those systems in place and operating effectively.

3.  Have a strong management team at all levels of the business – Prospective buyers see a one man show and they immediately perceive higher risk and thus a lower value in the business.  Even the smallest businesses should have lower level people (even outsourced partners) executing their systems flawlessly. Prospective buyers generally don’t want to come in and have to reinvent the wheel.  If they did, they wouldn’t have to pay you for the business!

So business owners, do everything you can to increase the salable value of your business because in the end it’s not about how much you make, it’s about how much you get to keep!

Michael J. Kessler is a Profitability Consultant and CPA with a completely fresh approach beyond traditional accounting. Mr. Kessler’s background is running small businesses which ultimately became employee-owned and then acquired by multibillion dollar public companies. Mike has been interviewed on NBC’s America’s PremierExperts® TV show, and has appeared on CBS, ABC and FOX Affiliates around the country.  On April 28th at the Image of Success Networking Series event at Seasons 52 in Garden City, NY, he will present “Secrets to Making Your Business Soar into the Roaring 2020’s”.

Former NY Senator Fuschillo to Address Business Community at Image of Success Networking Series February 4, 2014

Acting in his new capacity as head of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), former senator Charles Fuschillo will be a guest speaker at the popular “Image of Success Networking Series” on February 4th at Mio Posto in Hicksville. A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the AFA.

“We are delighted that Mr. Fuschillo will be joining us and helping to draw attention to this devastating disease,” says Cathy Berger, founder and president of Business Societé, which organizes the networking series. “Currently over 5 million Americans are afflicted with Alzheimer’s.  The AFA’s mission is to provide optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia and to their families – through member organizations dedicated to improving their quality of life. This is so important to patients and their loved ones.”

The Image of Success Networking events run throughout the year and feature cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, first rate opportunities to connect with prominent members of the business community on Long Island and beyond and noted speakers to provide fresh business ideas. On February 4th, Mr. Norman Wasserman will be the featured presenter. Norman is a successful producer of concerts and fundraising events throughout the metro NY area and Las Vegas since the late 80’s. He is also the founder of Friend Entertainment USA, which appeals to all ages and adds a new dimension to an old idea – creating highly profitable fundraising events. His topic is “CONCERT + OPM = FUN-RAI$ER.” The event runs from 6-8pm. Mio Posto is located at 600 W. Old Country Road in Hicksville.

Fuschillo, who served New York's 8th Senate District, on Long Island, noted that he is ready for a new challenge. "Joining AFA as the new CEO presents an exciting opportunity to improve the lives of others and effect change in a disease state that is reaching crisis proportions," Fuschillo said.

NEW YORK (January 2, 2014) — Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) Chairman Bert E. Brodsky announced today that Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., an eight-term New York state senator, has been appointed chief executive officer of the leading national nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to optimal care for individuals with dementia and their families.

Standard and VIP tickets include the program, raffle prizes and  hors d’oeuvres. Standard admission is $18 online or $30 at the door: VIP admission, which is only $39 online or $55 at the door, gets you over $100+ worth of goodies plus a ticket to premium raffle prizes. Online tickets can be purchased at To learn more about this event and future events in the Image of Success Networking Series visit If you prefer a direct line to the company, email or call 347.574.4600.