“Building a great business the socially responsible way” was the theme of the day when Lauren’s Kids Foundation and DS Xpress co-hosted an Aventura Marketing Council Chairman’s Roundtable luncheon featuring Robert Diener, co-founder of Hotels.com and president of GetARoom.com - awarded “Best Hotel Booking Site” by Frommer’s Travel Guide.
AMC Chair Cliff Schulman of Weiss Serota Helfman welcomed AMC business and community leaders gathered at Christine Lee’s at Gulfstream Park along with Lauren Book, founder of Lauren’s Kids, her father, attorney and Lauren’s Kids Board Chairman Ron Book and DS Xpress founder Dimitry Shaposhnikov.
The Books explained the mission of Aventura-based Lauren’s Kids is to prevent childhood sexual abuse through education and awareness; and to help survivors heal with guidance and support. The organization was founded in 2007 by Lauren Book, after enduring years of abuse at the hands of her female nanny. For her tireless work to prevent abuse and help victims heal into survivors, Book was recently presented as the 2013 L’Oreal Paris USA National “Woman of Worth” by actress Lea Michele at a star-studded ceremony in New York City. Through this honor, Book earned a $35,000 donation to help support her annual 1,500-mile “Walk in My Shoes” walk across Florida, which takes place each March – National Child Abuse Prevention Month – and April – National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
During the meeting, AMC members were among the first to purchase vouchers for the new Romero Britto-designed “Love & Healing” specialty license plate created to benefit Lauren’s Kids. Expressing heartfelt thanks to benefactors, Ron Book said, “This presents an opportunity for others not only to contribute to the cause and show support, but to serve as rolling billboards and raise awareness.” Lauren’s Kids recently obtained the 1,000 state-mandated pre-orders and plates will soon go into production. Visit LaurensKids.org/Plates to order yours today.
Also based in Aventura, DS Xpress helps local and international clients build success with services including custom web design and development, graphic design, search engine optimization, e-commerce, flash, online marketing, social networking, video applications and more.
“DS Xpress provides affordable, effective solutions, personalized service, attention to the details and on-time delivery,” Shaposhnikov said. “We have a world-class team of highly skilled technicians, web designers and all-around Internet gurus who help take businesses to the next level.”
Turning to travel industry innovation, Diener explained how GetARoom.com differs from Hotels.com. “We created a private-type network, so those invited to join can log in and receive preferred rates no one outside this VIP program can see. The rates are much lower than the ones on public websites.”
Sharing insights on “Building a Great Business the Socially Responsible Way,” Diener emphasized fairness, great customer service, honesty and ethics. “By following these fundamental principles, your customers and employees become increasingly loyal,” he said, adding that greater success can also be attained by giving back. “Help make your community a better place and encourage associates to become charitable as well. If you run your business in an ethical, socially responsible way, you can go beyond just bringing in a profit and reach higher levels.”
For more information, visit LaurensKids.org, Dsxpress.com and GetARoom.com.
By Bari Auerbach
Photography by Andrew Goldstein