In the guest chair:

Margaret Lisi & Dana Barrett

Margaret Lisi & Dana Barrett

During the first hour of today’s show, Margaret Lisi, CEO of ST!R Marketing joined Dana in studio for a look at some of the lessons she learned in 2015 that could help you solidify your own business in the coming year. Sonia Booker joined in for the second hour to discuss tips on saving when spending money for the holidays and Margot Dorfman, CEO of U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce called in to talk women owned businesses.

ST!R Marketing is a storytelling agency, using communication to connect businesses with their clients through all forms of media. ST!R Marketing is experienced at helping their client partners develop the right messages for the right audiences that enable business transformation for their people, platforms and processes.

Sonia Booker & Dana Barrett

Sonia Booker & Dana Barrett

Sonia Booker, CEO of Sonia Booker Enterprises is an “uber” entrepreneur and real estate guru. She is also one of most sought-after speakers and real estate coaches. Sonia is the best-selling author of “Real Estate and Wealth: Investing in the American Dream,” inspiring a wealth building movement equipping people with a blueprint to build wealth “one dollar at a time.”

The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce is a uniquely respected and influential national trade association promoting the advancement of women in work and business. Using a platform of influence, innovation, and opportunity, the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce works with and for its members to grow successful businesses and careers.

In the headlines:

  • It looks like one of our marquis office towers that’s been sort of the capital of struggle town since the recession may be getting some new life. San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties LLC is emerging as the front-runner to buy the only half occupied Bank of America Plaza in Midtown as the area begins to see some new development.
  • And speaking of reviving Atlanta landmarks, Manuel’s Tavern is set to close on Dec 27th… but not for long… they’re just renovating and improving and it’s mostly stuff you can’t see. The plan is to keep the same look and feel for most of the place. So much so that some area university professors have actually cataloged the paintings, photos and other artifacts to ensure everything is put back right where it was.
  • Atlanta-based Global Payments Inc. will buy Princeton, N.J.-based payment processing rival Heartland Payment Systems Inc. for about $3.8 billion in cash and stock according to The Wall Street Journal. The deal will expand Global Payments’ reach among midsize and small merchants.
  • Atlanta’s Peach Drop will take place after all. Mayor Reed says the event in downtown Atlanta is scheduled despite changes at Underground Atlanta according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.  Mayor Reed had previously said the event would not happen because of the new ownership at Underground Atlanta. But the event has taken place for 27 years and people were not happy it was going away. “We heard folks loud and clear,” Reed said. He also says the Atlanta Police are making plans for security. The holiday event is known as the largest New Year’s Eve celebration in the Southeast and the No. 4 largest New Year’s Eve event in the country.
  • Howard Stern will be on Sirius XM for 5 more years. According to USA Today, he signed a new contract with the satellite radio operator to continue to produce and host The Howard Stern Show for the next five years and help develop SiriusXM’s foray into video streaming. “I happen to think that its best days are ahead,” Stern said in a statement. “So, if you are not listening to SiriusXM and The Howard Stern Show, then you are really more like a zombie, a rotting corpse monster, living half a life, deadened and blackened inside. It’s as if you were still watching black and white television while shopping in actual stores on your way to the post office to fax a memo.”
  • In a move that could set a precedent in other cities, Seattle has just passed legislation that will allow Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize, meaning they can negotiate pay and benefits. The implications are significant, because the on-demand driving startups currently classify their drivers as contractors and not full-time employees.
  • Facebook is taking on Yelp, Angie’s List, Amazon, Google and LinkedIn as well as startups like Thumbtack Inc. and as it moves into the local service & review market. Facebook launched a new site that connects users with “local businesses and organizations with the best Facebook reviews and ratings.” The new site includes a broad range of businesses, including auto dealers, accountants and psychics and can be found at if you want to check it out.
  • Last week, the CEO of Sprout Pharmaceuticals — the woman who shepherded the first drug to treat low libido in women through to FDA approval announced that she is stepping down from her role.  It’s interesting timing given all the buzz and positive momentum for the company. First there was FDA approval back in August, then there was the $1 billion acquisition by Canada-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals which led to a push to add roughly 200 people to her staff of 34. Then there was the effort to educate and certify doctors and pharmacies across the nation so they could prescribe the drug when it became available Oct. 17. But there have been reports that adoption and interest could be lower than the libido it’s meant to treat.
  • Did you catch the controversy last week over IBM’s Hack a Hairdryer campaign?  It was a commercial campaign designed to encourage girls to “dissolve the stigma” that STEM jobs are just for men. The ad showed scenes of girls using hair dryers for science fair projects. And low and behold the ads caused a negative reaction from women engineers who said they were “sexist and patronizing” and only furthered the stereotypes that women only care about silly stuff like their hair. The company apologized and ended the campaign.

Other stuff:

Join us Monday, January 11th for the next meeting of The Dana Barrett Show Business Book Club! This month’s selection is THE ROAD TO CHARACTER by David Brooks. We’ll talk leadership and the line between the “Big Me” and our own inner, personal values. We will meet at American Food and Beverage in Buckhead. Get all the details and sign up to attend here:

For other events and appearances, check out Dana’s event calendar:

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