Annual Food Drive for St. Marys Food Bank in Full Swing; Trucking Consultants, Ahern and Associates Kicks Off 12th Year of Feeding the Needy

Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) December 14, 2012

When Andy Ahern, CEO of Ahern and Associates, Ltd., isnt consumed with over-delivering for his transportation clients, hes hard at work planning and executing his nationwide, bi-annual food drives for the benefit of St. Marys Food Bankthe nations first and largest food bank.

Garnering local and national attention for his efforts such as a recent write-up in the Arizona Republic showcasing his Christmas in July food drive, Ahern has tirelessly worked for 12 years organizing his food drive while calling upon his vast list of supporters within the transportation industry. Year over year increases in donations have been actualized through Aherns direct contributions and relentless follow up of his friends and clients in transportation; ranging from the one truck, owner-operator to chairmen of some of the countrys largest publicly traded companies.

Ahern has supported the Food Banks efforts in large part for their outstanding reputation as a charitable organization. In addition, St. Marys Food Bank was recently on the front lines of the relief effort providing food for those affected by Super Storm Sandy.

Established in 1967, St. Marys Food Bank has been the recipient of Aherns food drives for twelve years, largely because of the remarkable job they do in supporting the hungry and elderly, as well as the high standards St. Marys adheres to as a non-profit.

According to St. Mary’s Food Bank:

For every $ 1.00 the food bank collects, .96 cents goes back to the community and translates into $ 7.00 worth of food which places St. Marys Food Bank in the top 1% of all charities in the country. Thanks to their hard working staff and drove of dedicated volunteers, 90% of the aide provided goes to feed families with small children and the elderly.

To date, an unfortunate 1 in 4 children are now going to bed hungry in neighborhoods across the country tonight. In addition, Ahern urges the public to consider the following, staggering statistics:

????1 in 7 households are food insecure this is the number highest number ever recorded in the US.
????1/3 of the food in insecure households had very low food security.
????To date, 46.9 million people are in poverty, up from 37.3 million in 2007
????The poverty rate is 15.1%, up from 12.5% in 1997
????1.5MM older Americans have already lost their homes to the Great Recession.
????Approximately 600,000 people who are 50yrs or older are currently in foreclosure.
????The poverty rate increase for children under 18yrs old has increased from 20.7% to 22%, and 20.5 million Americans now live in extreme poverty. This means that these families cash income is less than half of the poverty level or about $ 10K a year for a family of four.
????An astounding 49.9 million people or 16.3% of the American population do not have medical insurance.

All of these statistics mean that since the recent financial catastrophes that have taken place, there is an increase of 3,000,000 or more people who are now considered poor in this country. The percentage of children, in poverty is also 27.7% of that total population.

As a result of Aherns annual food drives and through the generosity of his supporters, he has collectively raised well over $ 1,500,000 in food for St. Marys Food Bank over the past twelve years. Unfortunately, hunger is an everyday issue for many Americans, with the situation only growing worse.

Id like to offer a heartfelt thank you to all of my friends and supporters across the nation who have answered the call year after year, making every food drive even more successful than the last, said Ahern.

About Ahern & Associates, Ltd.:

Ahern and Associates is North Americas leading trucking and transportation management consulting firm. The skilled consultants at Ahern and Associates specialize in mergers and acquisitions of trucking and logistics companies as well as the restructuring and evaluation of existing carriers that seek to increase operating efficiency and improve profitability. Since 1987, Ahern and Associates has aided hundreds of buyers in the acquisition of trucking and logistics companies throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as assisting many transportation and logistics companies in reducing their overall operating costs and increasing their profitability. For more information, please call 602-242-1030 or visit

Business contact:

A.W. Ahern


Media contact:

Jason W. Jantzen

Phoenix Marketing Associates


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FEMA Halt to Flood Insurance Rebates Means Millions in Annual Savings Will Vanish from Florida Communities, Says Advocacy Group

Fort Lauderdale, FL (PRWEB) June 20, 2012

A recent decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to disallow insurance agents rebating a portion of their own commission from flood insurance policies will take millions of dollars in savings out of the coffers of struggling, cash-strapped Florida communities, unless Floridians act now to successfully urge FEMA to rescind its decision and reinstate the practice.

In a guest editorial in todays South Florida Sun-Sentinel (, leading Florida community association attorney Donna DiMaggio Berger writes that the unprecedented move by FEMA will end a program implemented in 2006 to allow agents writing national flood insurance policies to rebate up to 15 percent of their commission to their customers.

Those who will be most impacted by FEMA’s dictate, she says will be property owners living in tens of thousands of Florida condominium and homeowner associations located in low-lying areas, where the vast majority of Floridians reside today.

Berger, who is Executive Director of Floridas Community Advocacy Network ( and a Founding Partner of the statewide community association law firm of Katzman Garfinkel & Berger (, urges Floridians to sign petitions being circulated that call on FEMA to reinstate the rebating practice, which has been allowed for more than 15 years in Florida under Statute 626.572.

The online petition from her own Community Advocacy Network urging FEMA to reconsider its detrimental decision to discontinue the rebating of agents commissions is available online at:

FEMA itself, in 2006 at the height of the good economic times now behind us, began permitting so-called Write Your Own (WYO) flood insurance carriers in Florida to allow agents to rebate a portion of their commissions to encourage extending NFIP flood coverage to more homeowners, Berger writes in the Sun-Sentinel, noting that now, in the dark depths of the economic downturn in our state, FEMA says it wants to reverse course alleging complaints about the rebating practice from some in the insurance industry.

Obviously, those complaints cannot be coming from agents who offer the rebates nor are they coming from the thousands of Floridians who have saved significant amounts on their flood policies over the last six years, Berger says. They must be coming from those agents who are losing out in the more competitive insurance market that rebating stimulates by leveling the playing field for smaller agents (who) stay competitive against larger players by offering rebates of up to 15 percent of their own commission fees to their customers.

Berger further notes that the longstanding practice of rebating bears no direct relationship to the cost of flood insurance to consumers, because flood insurance policy premiums already are capped and uniform, while the rebates are deducted solely and exclusively from an insurance agents own commission.

But millions of consumers living in Floridas estimated 60,000 shared ownership communities, such as condominiums and HOAs, do stand to lose significantly because of the FEMA decision, Berger notes. The vast majority of those associations are located in the same flood vulnerable areas where most of Floridas 2.1 million flood insurance policies are written each year along the coast, where 8 in every 10 Floridians now live, and in the counties south Lake Okeechobee that are now home to 8.1 million Floridians, more than 43 percent of the states total population.

These communities have already been hit hard by steep increases in insurance rates, while simultaneously seeing their assessment income from homeowners dwindle as a result of the residential real-estate downturn and the mortgage foreclosure crisis, Berger writes. They will be particularly hard hit by the FEMA ban on rebates, set to take effect October 1st, because many of these communities have come to rely upon significant savings in their insurance premiums that these rebates represent for them.

In addition, she says the FEMA decision may have a further negative trickle down impact on many local small businesses, as communities around the state find their ability to finance landscaping, security, cleaning, plumbing, electrical and other vital services further constrained by the loss of the insurance rebate savings.

Floridians concerned over FEMAs detrimental decision to discontinue the rebating of agents commissions are urged to petition the federal agency immediately at by a concerted, immediate action to urge FEMA to reconsider this decision will community associations statewide be able to retain their 2012 annual flood insurance policy rebate this year.

Founded in 2007 by the Florida community association law firm of Katzman Garfinkel & Berger, the Community Advocacy Network represents more than a million homeowners across the state and is Floridas only advocacy group speaking exclusively for association homeowners and their boards.

For more information about the benefits of CAN membership and the organization’s activities around the State, please contact Julie Fishman at jfishman(at)canfl(dot)com or (954) 486-7774.

# # #

About the Community Advocacy Network (CAN)

The Community Advocacy Network (CAN) is Floridas leading voice for the interests of more than 60,000 community associations statewide, advocating for progressive community association legislation and leading the fight against over-regulation of private residential communities by state and local government.

As a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization, CANs year-round educational program provides the latest information to Florida community association members on issues critical to the maintenance of their community lifestyles and property values. Each year since its inception in 2007, CAN has spearheaded important State legislative reforms designed to protect and enhance Florida community association living and foster the financial stability and operational integrity of common-interest ownership communities statewide.

Established by the law firm of Katzman Garfinkel & Berger, the Community Advocacy Network operates with the guidance of a volunteer Advisory Council of community association managers, Board members and attorneys from throughout the state. Organizational membership is open to all Florida condominiums, co-operatives, homeowner associations, timeshares and mobile home communities. For more information on the benefits of CAN membership and the organizations activities throughout Florida, visit

Nominations Now Being Accepted for First Annual No Limits Award Sponsored by ROI Media Direct to Honor Businesspeople who have Overcome Disabilities and Succeeded

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) May 10, 2012

Nominations are currently being accepted for the First Annual No Limits Award, celebrating business executives who have achieved success in the face of serious physical challenges, says ROI Media Direct, a San Diego-based direct response radio and television advertising agency, and sponsor of the No Limits Award Mission.

Were looking for executives from all walks of life who refused to let physical limitations limit their professional success, and are willing to share their experience, strength and hope with others, said Patrick Lennon, founding partner and CEO at ROI Media Direct. Its a topic that Lennon understands very well, having succeeded even as his body was failing. Despite multiple brain surgeries, two bouts with cancer, a heart aneurysm, and a grueling stem cell transplant that left him legally blind, Lennon never lost sight of his dreams.

Lennon, whose father was a former prizefighter turned successful real estate developer, received his first life-threatening body blow at age six when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The doctors didn’t offer his parents much hope, but Lennon would beat those odds only to develop spinal meningitis, a harbinger of more medical challenges to come.

By the time he was 18, Lennon had broken 12 ribs, punctured his left lung, suffered a broken pelvis, and broken his collarbone five times as a result of auto accidents. Undeterred, Lennon, who also overcame alcoholism and dyslexia as a teenager, earned a degree in telecommunications from Pepperdine University, and elected to try real estate sales right out of college.

I was driving to an appointment one morning when a truck lost some cargo, causing another driver to swerve violently into my lane at high speed, Lennon said. My head hit the steering wheel, but I thought I had dodged a bullet even though my car was totaled. I was wrong. My vision began getting fuzzy, so I went to a neurologist and was diagnosed with an extremely dangerous condition known as hydrocephalus or water on the brain.

Lennon was rushed into surgery where doctors implanted a shunt to drain excess fluid and relieve the pressure on his brain and optic nerve. When he awoke, he found himself totally blind. While he eventually regained about seventy percent of his vision, the shunt would malfunction, requiring additional brain surgeries. Several more shunt failures were to follow, with each procedure costing Lennon more and more vision. “One time it failed after a sky diving outing, another time on vacation in Italy of all places, where I had to have more brain surgery,” he said.

Despite the scary setbacks, Lennon doggedly continued pursuing his ultimate dream of establishing his own advertising agency specializing in radio and television media buying. He started his company out of his apartment, and later scraped together enough money for a one-room office in San Diego, hired a part-time media buyer (who is still with the company) and, while being legally blind, began making cold calls and gradually growing his agency. One of those calls was to Dr. Greg Cynaumon, Ph.D., a highly successful marketing professional, author and radio and television scriptwriter.

“We met for coffee, hit it off and began discussing ways we could team up to take my small boutique agency to the next level,” Lennon said. “Greg introduced me to Zeus Peleuses, a long-time radio industry sales executive, and the three of us agreed to a partnership.”

While the business flourished under the new partnership, Lennon’s health took another ominous turn about eight years ago. A routine CT scan revealed a heart aneurysm that could have killed him instantly. In addition, the scans revealed a large mass in his chest, which was later biopsied and diagnosed as a rapidly spreading form of late stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Again, his chances of survival were poor. The doctors aggressively treated the cancer first, before turning their attention to the aneurysm. Here I was married, with a newborn child, the agency on a roll, and now this? Lennon recalled. The only word that came to me was Really?”

Despite nine months of treatment, which included six weeks of chemotherapy and three months of radiation therapy, Lennon rarely missed a day of work. When the treatments concluded, he was bald and virtually sightless, but he was cancer free, or so he thought. My wife and I went to Hawaii to celebrate the good news. We had a wonderful time, but on the flight home I felt a nodule on the side of my neck. My worst nightmare was soon confirmed the cancer had returned after just 30 days.

Now facing the fight of his life, Lennon underwent the three-month ordeal of preparing for a stem cell transplant in Houston at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.

We rented an apartment nearby so my wife, Carolyn, could visit me daily at the hospital, where she often had to wear hospital booties, gloves and a smock since I was under quarantine much of the time. I dont know how I would have survived without her constant support, love and encouragement, he said. They basically brought me to deaths door before the transplant by ajaxing my system with chemo, after which I was immediately placed on life-support, added Lennon, who lost 55 pounds during the procedure, which required removing his own bone marrow for transplanting later, zeroing out his white blood cell count and laying waste to his immune system. While the stem cell transplant worked, it left him legally blind, but more determined than ever to achieve his career dreams.

Believe me, after what I’ve been through, blindness isn’t so bad, Lennon said. Thanks to advances in technology for the blind, I’m able to handle all of my duties as CEO. There are a few challenges, however, such as not seeing the expressions of people during a meeting, which sometimes means I speak when I shouldn’t. I’ve also been known to walk into the women’s restroom from time to time, he laughed. And once I jumped into the wrong car. How did I know? Well, there was a Rottweiler sitting in the driver’s seat looking at me like I was crazy.

Today, ROI Media Direct, which joined forces with Brand Affinity Technologies, Inc. in 2010, has become one of the leading agencies in the direct response industry with California offices in San Diego, Newport Beach and Santa Monica. With annual billing in excess of eight figures and growing, ROI Media Direct has such top-tier clients as, LifeLock, Regus and, Lennon believes ROI Media Direct has been successful by treating its clients like partners, and spending their media dollars as if it was our own money. We work hard to become an extension of their staff.

Through multiple brain surgeries and disheartening setbacks, Lennon remains the eternal optimist and harbors no bitterness over his disability. On the contrary, I’ve got an amazing wife, a beautiful daughter named Olivia, and two fantastic partners who share my vision about how an advertising agency should operate, he said. I’ve been thinking for some time about things I could do to help others from children to adults who are experiencing disabilities and health concerns of their own, and the No Limits Award is an ideal way to do just that!

According to Lennon, the No Limits Award Winner will be selected from nominations submitted to the No Limits Award Mission Website,, throughout the year. The winner will be handed a check for $ 5,000 to be given to the Braille Institute, Lymphoma Society, or the designated charity of his or her choice. In addition, the winners charity or cause will receive $ 5,000 in free national media exposure via radio and/or television public service announcements. A nationwide press release program will also be launched through PRWeb to tens of thousands of media outlets featuring the winners story.

If you would like to s

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