9:15AM (PST) – Grae Drake, Senior Editor of Rotten Tomatoes
In 6th grade, when Rotten Tomatoes Senior Editor Grae was arranging movie outings for all her friends, she picked the movie. Through the years studying film at the University of Texas at Austin, being honored by Sundance and the Director’s Guild of America, and working as a filmmaker in Los Angeles, she realized how terrible she was at keeping her opinions to herself. The Popcorn Mafia podcast was born, and led to her becoming CNN’s movie critic. She also has dished the dirt with stars on HLN’s Showbiz Tonight, Fox News,G4’s Attack of the Show, and is a regular at the TV Guide Network and the Reelz Channel. Her passionate thoughts can also be heard on terrestrial radio all over North America. And just to note, she still won’t let other people pick the movies.
9:30AM (PST) – Cristina Ferrare, host of Hallmark’s Daytime Talk Show “Home and Family”
Home & Family
The woman you are about to meet is a model, a tv host, a writer, an entrepreneur, a blogger and has “done it all”!
At the early age of sixteen, Cristina Ferrare started a career in modeling with the Ford modeling agency in New York. Her career as a super model spanned over twenty-five years. Max Factor put her under contract as their spokesperson while still a teenager. During that time her career took off as she graced the covers and pages of every major fashion magazine including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home Journal and traveled the world as a sought after international cover girl. During this time she soon became a trusted spokesperson and endorsed numerous commercial products.
In the early 80s, Ferrare co-hosted “AM Los Angeles,” which was the #1 rated morning television show during her five year tenure. Between many TV appearances, she has hosted her own shows: “Cristina and Friends” and a two hour live show from Universal Studios’ “Home and Family.” She was a substitute co-host on “Good Morning America” and co-hosted numerous times with Regis Philbin on “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.” Her primetime series for CBS, “Shame on You,” was one of the first magazine format shows that featured consumer fraud and awareness. It set the stage for other prime time magazine formats that followed. For NBC, she co-hosted “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” with Dr. Drew Pinsky. At one time, Ferrare had three shows on the air at the same time: the afore mentioned live morning talk show, “AM Los Angeles,” “The Home Show,” and the primetime series “Incredible Sunday” all for ABC. In feature films, she starred opposite David Niven in “The Impossible Years” and the critically acclaimed “J.W. Coop” with Oscar® winner, Cliff Robertson.
Ferrare is an accomplished author, with her New York Times bestseller, “Okay, So I Don’t Have a Headache,” and bestseller “Cristina Ferrare’s Family Entertainment,” “Cristina Ferrare Style” and “Realistically Ever After,” a humorous view of finding happiness when he’s not Prince Charming, you’re not Snow White and life is not a fairy tale.
Her fifth and most recent cookbook, A Big Bowl of Love was released on Mother’s Day 2011 and has been widely accepted and has received rave reviews from bloggers across the country. She is already hard at work on her next cookbook!
Ferrare completed 28 shows that air on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) that debuted on January 3rd, 2011. Her show, “A Big Bowl of Love” featured celebrity guests along with members of her family and friends serving up great ideas for all kinds of situations that happen in real life!
In 2006, Ferrare, along with her partners Brian Thorson and Tim Hosier, started a line of home accessories through their newly formed “Ferrare With Company.” It included picture frames, napkin rings, lamps, scented candles, candle sticks, accessories for the table, and show stopping, one of a kind mirrors and chandeliers using only the finest materials. Swarovski crystals and semi-precious stones, pearls, shells, and metals are placed by hand, piece by piece, onto each object and are true works of art. The pieces are sought after by top interior designers around the country and sells to over 60 stores including Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys on line. Cristina recently sold the company and is focusing her energy to writing. She is writing her sixth cookbook and recently signed on as food and style editor for Westlake Magazine.
Ferrare lives in Los Angeles with her husband, entertainment executive Tony Thomopoulos. They have a blended family of seven children and four grandchildren.
10:30AM (PST) – Eric Brotman, certified financial planner and author of the book, “Retire Wealthy”
According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, only 19 percent of workers are confident in their retirement savings. The man you are about to meet believes that financial literacy and a comfortable retirement are attainable goals for all Americans and is here to share with you how.
Eric D. Brotman, CFP®, AEP®, MSFS is President and Managing Principal of Brotman Financial Group, Inc., an independent firm assisting clients with wealth creation, preservation, and distribution. Mr. Brotman began his financial planning practice in Baltimore in 1994, and founded Brotman Financial Group in 2003. He provides investment, retirement, estate, insurance, and comprehensive financial planning services for families, professionals, executives, and business owners.
Mr. Brotman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM (CFP®) certification in 1998, and completed his Master’s Degree in Financial Services (MSFS) at the American College in 2003. He is also a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), an Accredited Estate Planner (AEP®), and a Chartered Advisor in Senior Living (CASL). Mr. Brotman is a Registered Representative and Investment Advisor Representative with NFP Advisor Services, LLC.
Mr. Brotman’s 2nd book, “Retire Wealthy: The Tools You Need to Help Build Lasting Wealth – On Your Own or With Your Financial Advisor”, was published in 2014 by AuthorHouse as a follow-up to “Debt-Free for Life: The Tools You Need to Free Yourself from Debt”, published in 2009 by One Hour or Less Publishing, LLC.
Mr. Brotman appears regularly on television on 11 News Sunday Morning on WBAL in Baltimore, as well as in print in Wall Street Journal, The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Business Journal, The Daily Record, Smart CEO, Investment Advisor, Fidelity Investor’s Weekly, Investment News, Journal of Financial Planning, Wealth Manager, National Underwriter, Registered Representative, Entrepreneur, Baby Years, Life Association News, and American Way, the American Airlines in- flight magazine. He also publishes articles periodically on the Adviceiq.com website, and has appeared on the Morningstar Advisor, Financial-Planning.com, and Forbes.com websites. Mr. Brotman was recognized as one of the “Maryland Power Players” by The Gazette of Politics and Business in 2010 and was named one of the “Very Important Professionals” by The Daily Record in 2011.
11:30AM (PST) – Joe Vezzani, Vice President of Customer Intelligence. His firm, LifeLine Response, created a mobile safety app which protects individuals and allows them to feel safe in vulnerable situations
The man you are about to meet wants you to empower yourself with the first and only patent protected personal safety mobile app that utilizes human reaction to respond to emergency situations, and he’s here to show you how.
Joe Vezzani, Vice President of Customer Intelligence. Joe is in charge of analyzing data and intelligence in public safety, and using it to actually stop the bad guys before they can commit their crime. His firm, LifeLine Response is a mobile safety app which protects individuals and allows them to feel safe in vulnerable situations.