Writing samples, published clips and videos
Business Insider – 6/27/18
I flew on a $9 million Swiss private jet that's trying to disrupt the industry — here's what it was like
While a private airplane might seem unnecessary and unreasonable, there are a few compelling reasons to fly private — at least, if you or your business can afford it.Of course, owning a plane can require a major investment of time, energy, and resources. That's where fractional ownership, which is what PlaneSense offers, comes in.PlaneSense has had a couple of lite jet aircraft, but until recently has focused on turboprop — or propeller — planes.In February, however, the company took ownership of a brand new jet, the first one of its model to ever be delivered.The PC-24, made by Switzerland-based Pilatus Aircraft, is a natural fit for PlaneSense — and not just because the company already owns a large number of Pilatus turboprop PC-12s.Although it's powered by jet engines and has the speed, range, and maximum altitude associated with similar jets, the plane is able to land on and take-off from much shorter runways than any other jet — more like a flexible propeller plane. Read more.
Business Insider – 6/4/18
It's interesting how credit card have become inextricably tied to travel (and tangentially, experiences) in our minds. Google search trends show that more people search for "travel credit card" than just about any other type of card or reward scheme, while people are fixated on the flight benefits, miles, and exclusive access to events and experiences they can get through their credit cards.It's partly because the first credit card rewards were exclusively frequent flyer miles, tied to co-branded airline credit cards. The very first frequent flyer program was launched by Texas International Airlines in 1979, while the three biggest programs in the United States today — run by American Airlines, Delta, and United — launched in 1981. Within a few years, those co-branded cards offered customers a chance to earn extra miles as a reward for spending, according to the Policy & Economic Research Council. The first cash-back credit card came a few years later, and credit card-specific rewards programs started to pop up in the late-1980s — Amex launched its program as "Membership Miles" in 1991, according to the company.Meanwhile, over the past decades, travel has become a part of a larger "experiential" mindset that people look for. Read more.
Business Insider – 6/4/18
Italy's newest international airline just arrived and it wants to take on the world with Qatari money
A new Italian airline launched its first long-haul route on Friday, with its maiden flight from New York's JFK airport to Milan's Malpensa airport. As Air Italy's Airbus A330 received the traditional "water cannon salute" upon landing at JFK, the airline's stakeholders and leadership celebrated the beginning of what many hope will be a swift and effective expansion of routes throughout the world.The flight represents a major milestone for the airline, which aims to grow from a small niche carrier to major international airline over the next several years, starting with six long-haul routes in 2018. The airline has more than 50 aircraft on order. Read more.
Business Insider – 4/16/18Marriott International has announced a new, integrated set of benefits across the loyalty programs for its guests.This marks the first standardization of benefits between the Marriott Rewards program and Starwood Hotels' Preferred Guest program — Marriott acquired Starwood in 2016. The changes will become effective in August.While the programs will remain separate for now, rebranded single program will be introduced in 2019. Read more.
Business Insider – 3/7/18
You can enjoy an incredible tropical getaway at these 5 Puerto Rico resorts — while helping support the island's recoverWhen Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico last September, it caused massive devastation. The costliest hurricane in Puerto Rican history, the storm effectively destroyed the island's power grid, paralyzed running water services, and knocked out cellular service.Puerto Rico has made significant strides toward recovery, but there's still a lot of work to be done. More than 200,000 people were still without power as of earlier this month, and Puerto Rico's manufacturing sector is still heavily incapacitated.The tourism sector, however, is making it's big comeback. Tourism represents a major part of the Puerto Rico's economy — nearing 10% of its GDP — so the return to normalcy for Puerto Rico's resorts, beaches, and tour operators is of paramount importance.For travelers hoping to head somewhere warm, tropical, or beachy (or all three!) during the final throes of winter or later this spring, consider visiting Puerto Rico. Not only will you have a great trip, but your tourism dollars will contribute to the American territory's economy, directly helping the island recover. Read more.
Business Insider – 2/21/18
Once you've flown a long flight in business class or international first class, it can be hard to go back to coach. Unfortunately, these premium tickets can be prohibitively expensive for personal travel, costing several times the price of a coach ticket.If you want to fly in business or first class without paying an exorbitant amount, though, there's good news: You can use your credit-card points and frequent-flyer miles to book an award ticket. All you'll have to pay is taxes and fees, which are as low as $5.60.Even if you don't have miles with the airline you want to fly, as long as you have credit-card points, you may be able to transfer them to your frequent-flyer account to book the ticket. Read more.
Business Insider – 2/7/18
Last year, Qatar Airways was named 2017's best airline by Skytrax, the authoritative airline review and ranking consultancy group. Qatar only started flying in 1994, but over the past decade its been on a roll: It's won the top Skytrax honor four times since 2010.I recently had a chance to tour a Qatar Airways 777-300ER plane while it was parked at New York's JFK airport in between trips. I was able to test the seats and the in-flight entertainment, explore the business class and economy cabins, and sample the business class catering and amenities, as well as interact with the cabin crew that would be working on the flight later that evening.While this was a staged media event, which is obviously different than actually flying the airline, it became clear why Qatar won Skytrax's 2017 top honors. Read more.
Business Insider – 1/10/18
According to the Federal Reserve, consumer credit card debt in the US grew to a total of $1.02 trillion in November. Considering that there are around 250 million adults in the US, according to the US Census Bureau, that means that each adult is carrying an average of $4,000 in credit card debt.While there are healthy and productive ways to use debt, credit card debt typically isn't the best, due to high annual percentage rates (APRs) and compounding interest.However, it's important to differentiate between carrying debt and using credit. In this context, "credit" is when you have access to revolving loans like a credit card.Using a credit card doesn't automatically mean you'll end up in debt — in fact, it's possible to use credit cards for every single purchase you make without ever paying a cent in interest fees or ending up carrying any debt whatsoever. Plus, having and using a few credit cards is an important part of your overall credit score.Take a look below at how your credit score works, why its important, and why using credit cards — while avoiding interest and debt — is the best way to build it. Read more.
Business Insider – 6/2/17
The 2016 launch of the Sapphire Reserve credit card by J.P. Morgan Chase stirred up a frenzy usually reserved for the newest iPhone. Millennials and Gen X-ers jumped into the once-obscure world of credit card rewards and bonuses, drawn by Chase’s introductory offer of 100,000 bonus points if you spent $4,000 in your first three months of card membership.Now that the big bonus is gone and many of the points likely spent, what’s the next move for someone seeking to boost their stock of credit card points and frequent flyer miles? Here are some of the top credit card sign-up bonuses still available. Read more.
The Points Guy – 10/10/17
Among frequent flyers and points and miles buffs, Delta’s SkyMiles program doesn’t have the best reputation. It’s been derided since the early 2010s, with the general consensus being that SkyMiles aren’t worth much, and consequently aren’t worth investing in. That idea has continued to spread over the last few years as Delta has removed award charts, added — and then rolled back — surcharges on award tickets flown on Virgin Atlantic and raised rates for award flights on partner airlines.While it’s true that the program has changed a lot in the past few years, there’s still plenty of value to be had; all it takes is a little patience. Over just the past year I’ve made a few SkyMiles redemptions and always managed to get a value of at least 2 cents per mile — a nice premium over TPG’s valuation of 1.2 cents. By searching availability and being a little flexible, it’s definitely possible redeem your SkyMiles for valuable flights. Read more.
The Points Guy – 9/8/17
Those of us in the points and miles hobby understand that credit card sign-up bonuses are among the fastest ways to earn points and miles, aside from actually flying. Importantly, we also understand how opening a new credit card could affect our credit scores. However, sometimes it feels like we’re in the minority. Many people out there think there must be a catch when we earn rewards, or that we’re being reckless with our financial health every time we collect a new sign-up bonus.So what do you do when someone asks you about your travel; when they’re curious about how you got to fly in first class, or how you take so many trips? When you explain your points and miles obsession to your partner, parents, in-laws, friends or co-workers, how do you get them to realize that you’re not insane, and that you’re, in fact, extremely responsible about your finances? And how do you help them get involved so that they can enjoy award travel with you? Read more.
Upgraded Points – 9/29/17
There are a ton of online travel agencies (OTAs) out there, each competing hard for your business. With such a saturated market, many of them try to offer something unique to attract customers.For example, Priceline offers savings through opaque booking, while Amex Travel offers cardholder perksand fantastic customer service. Others, like Costco Travel, offer freebies for members. Each service hopes that by attracting business with specials, travelers will stay loyal to the platform for all their future bookings.What Orbitz offers is an in-house loyalty program, strong search functionality, regularly published low prices, and occasional discounts. It also features a wide range of services, letting you book flights, hotels, packages, activities, cruises, rental cars, and more. Read more.
Upgraded Points – 9/19/17
Amex Expanding Dallas-Fort Worth Centurion LoungeEarlier today, American Express announced that the company would be expanding the Centurion Lounge at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). The announcement follows several announcements over the past year about expansions of previous spaces and new lounge openings. The new space at DFW is expected to open in the first half of 2018. Read more.
Upgraded Points – 8/30/17
American Express is best known as a charge card and credit card issuer, but the company also offers other products and services, including travel booking and planning using Amex Travel.While American Express Travel is available for anyone (not just cardmembers), holding an Amex card can definitely help you get extra value when using the program. In this guide, we’ll take a look at what Amex Travel is, what services it provides, what it costs to use, and the best ways to use it…when it’s worth using! Read more.
Mount Sinai Health System
Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have been awarded more than $9 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate the effects of a broad range of environmental exposures on children’s long-term health from near the time of conception through adolescence. The grant is part of a seven-year, multi-institute initiative called Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO). Read more.
Mount Sinai Health System
Simple changes in how we cook could go a long way towards preventing diabetes, say researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. A new randomized controlled trial, published online July 29 in the journal Diabetologia, found that obese individuals with signs of insulin resistance showed improvement simply by avoiding the intake of advanced glycation endproducts, or AGEs, a byproduct of cooking found most commonly in dry heat-cooked or heat-processed foods. Read more.
Mount Sinai Health System
Kidneys donated by people born with a small variation in the code of a key gene may be more likely, once in the transplant recipient, to accumulate scar tissue that contributes to kidney failure, according to a study led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published today in The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Read more.
WCBS-TV – 6/9/16
(Note: In my role as a press officer at the Mount Sinai Health System, I filmed all day-of-surgery video for this segment, including pre-op interview with patient, post-op interview with doctor and operating room B-roll) See more.