2018 SPS Video Challenge


From SPS: Stamford Public Schools (SPS), in partnership with the Stamford Board of Realtors, the Ferguson Library and the Stamford Public Education Foundation announced the winners of the 2018 SPS Video Challenge. Students, staff members and alumni from across the district submitted short videos that demonstrated the essence of the SPS vision: The Stamford Public Schools . . . will challenge, inspire and prepare all students to be productive contributing members of society.

The first place video, “Because We Are,” was produced by Strawberry Hill Music Teacher Seth Goldstein, along with Principal Frank Rodriguez, Administrative Intern Sandra Carlton, Reading Teacher Jessica Petruzzelli and Ian Wheeler, a friend of the school. The following actors and musicians also starred in the winning video: Grade 2 Students Sophie Foster (lead actor), Aryan Ruia, Srijitha Rayabarapu, Diego Bars, Adele Forman, Neil Nair, Aarav Ritesh and Nika Stepanov. (See the video below)

“The winning video was very original, creative and involved teachers, students and staff,” said Contest Judge Rocky S. Progano, President and Video Producer at MediaCOM Inc., a Stamford-based video production company.

“This film conveyed a creative and original story of the SPS mission and vision as seen through the eyes of a second grade student,” said Contest Judge Leigh Morfoot, SPS parent and professional filmmaker.

The contest was part of the district’s effort to increase public awareness of, understanding of and engagement in the vision and mission.

“We received many outstanding video submissions that offered a glimpse into our schools,” said Superintendent Kim. “The videos not only demonstrate what talented storytellers and artists we have among our students and staff but also the pride they have for our district.”

APPLES Early Childhood Education Center took second place with the video, “APPLES Cultivates Habits of Mind, Body and Heart,” produced by Special Education Paraprofessional Samantha Alemseghedand Apples Interim Director Kendra Brown.

Scofield Magnet Middle School Sixth Graders Charlotte McDonald and Riley Allyn earned an Honorable Mention for their film, “Why Stamford Public Schools Inspires Us,” which was deemed the best all-student produced video submission.

The district invited community and district leaders to serve as judges. The district appreciates the time and expertise of this year’s judging panel:

o Leigh Morfoot, SPS Parent and Filmmaker

o Rocky Progano, President, MediaCOM Inc

o William Hart, SPS Alumni and Filmmaker

o Tamara Dilworth, Visual Arts Department Teacher, Westhill High School

o Louise McMinn, Technology Teacher, Scofield Magnet Middle School

o Dr. Tamu Lucero, Assistant Superintendent—Elementary

The SPS Video Challenge was open to any SPS student (and their families), staff members or alumni. The winners were announced during a press conference on Monday, May 21, 2018, at the Government Center

CREDIT: Posted in Stamford Patch on May 22, 2018

Want To Make Better Decisions?

Do you ever look back on your decisions and think, “Why I on earth did I do that?”

We all make bad decisions.

Buying an SUV that sucks up all your cash
Starting a relationship without being in love
Saying yes to a job that you’re not passionate about
Creating products that no one needs
Stuff happens (the above examples are all about me). But the funny thing is that bad decisions never seem like bad decisions in the moment.

I’ve been reading about the decision-making process of Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger, two of the most successful investors of all time.

In Alice Schroeder’s biography of Warren Buffett, I read that Buffet and Munger have a learning strategy that’s based on what you should avoid doing. They identify mistakes and do their best to avoid those mistakes.

But as Charlie Munger says:

“Smart people do dumb things.”
You can never avoid making a mistake. However, you can do your best to avoid making dumb decisions.

Plus, by learning from other people’s mistakes, you can make their mistakes your own. You’ll learn faster that way.

Don’t Overthink.
Smart people are way too preoccupied with doing the right things. They want to have the perfect life, career, house, business, car, holiday, etc.

When you put too much pressure on yourself to make the right decisions, you get analysis paralysis.

I recently spoke to a friend who wanted to make a career move. I asked him to walk me through his thinking process:

“I like the company I work for, but my job isn’t engaging anymore. I’ve been doing this work for four years. And sure, I’ve been promoted twice, but it’s still the same work. So I’ve been looking at other companies. But what if I go somewhere else and that doesn’t work out? I’ll have to move on quick. And that won’t look good on my resume.”
I remained silent.

“Just hearing myself talk leads me to another thing: Overthinking it.”
We both laughed our assess off. I can do the same with overthinking. And I bet you’ve been there too.

When you overanalyze every single decision, you become paralyzed. Result? Nothing. Now, that’s a bad outcome!

That’s how people end up wasting their lives.

The only way you can stop overthinking is making yourself aware of your thinking process. When I asked my friend about his thinking, he became aware of how irrational his process was.

You can’t control the future. So stop thinking about it.

Do This Instead: Make Small Decisions. Decide Often.
I recently read Seeking Wisdom by Peter Bevelin. It’s about the way Charlie Munger thinks. One of his decision-making strategies is to avoid mistakes. But that can be interpreted in different ways.

You can fear decisions altogether because you might make mistakes. What happens is that you don’t make decisions at all. As Munger says:

“The difference between a good business and a bad business is that good businesses throw up one easy decision after another. The bad businesses throw up painful decisions time after time.”
You can interpret that Munger quote in different ways. I interpret it as follows:

When you make small decisions early, before they become big — it’s easy. When you put off decisions, they become big — and painful.

For example, I’m not happy with the email provider I use to send out my newsletter. Their support is slow, there’s no good integration with my online courses platform, and readers have complained about not getting my newsletter.

This is something that’s on my radar for more than 1.5 years. At the time my list was less than half of the size it’s today. I also had only one online course. Now, I have three.

The hassle of moving to another provider gets bigger every day. Had I moved early, it was easy. By now, it’s a painful process.

In life, it’s exactly the same. The longer you stay in a bad relationship, the harder it gets to leave. It’s also true for your job.

Earlier Decisions Lead To Better Decisions
The earlier and more you decide, the more chance that you make better decisions.

I often say that there are no right or wrong decisions — only decisions. That’s not entirely accurate. Of course, there’s a difference in the quality of our choices. That’s the topic of another article.

But here’s the thing: NOT making a decision is also a decision. It’s a choice to put things off until “another time.”

So in effect, you’re making decisions all the time. Instead of making fewer decisions, we need to make them earlier.

Because all you need are a few good choices in your lifetime anyway. What will be your best? You only find out after, you guessed it, you’ve made a decision.

This article was originally published on

Why to Know Your Why?


As another Mother’s Day comes and goes, I silently reflect on years gone by. Wow, they do go fast! I think everyone that is a mother wishes they could be warped back in time to either relive the great moments one more time or to get a redo on the things that that didn’t go so well.

This Mother’s Day, in particular, I witnessed a charming and helpful exchange between my nearly 15- year-old son and my brother who spent nearly an hour coaching him to be “great”! Having been on the receiving end of those lectures, there was a part of me that wanted to drag my not so little guy out of there. However, the conversation was heartfelt and endearing to listen to and I actually had a take away myself!

My brother advised my boy to watch the “Ted Talks, Know Your Why”. As I zoned out listening to the diatribe between uncle and nephew, I decided a refresher in knowing my “why” would be beneficial.

Simon Sinek narrates the episode and I would highly encourage you to review it.

In a nutshell, he breaks down leadership and believes you only need one thing to be a leader – followers!

Poor or inexperienced leaders manipulate people to follow them either by power, rank, or influence. But the truly great leaders of the world are those who have learned to master the ability to inspire people. Personally, I have always believed that through strong relationship building comes unmatched loyalty.

Sinek details the history of Apple, Harley Davidson, and Southwest Airlines and how their unique approaches to marketing made them world leaders. It is their inspirational vision, clarity of why, discipline of how, and consistency (in that order) that has built their success.

From a biological standpoint, it is feelings that control your decision making, thus reinforcing how imperative relationship building is.

In summary, it’s clear that to be effective in business as a leader or at home as a leader – knowing your “why” is the most effective way to inspire others to follow. Say and do what you believe and trust emerges. This proves that you are a reliable source. It’s always good to take pause and re-evaluate what it is that is driving you – or not!

Credit: Beki Rainey-Hamell

How to Build an Effective Employer Brand with Video Marketing


Credit:  Jennefer Brunett

Video is an increasingly important tool in all aspects of marketing. It’s especially important when it comes to employer branding. You want people to feel compelled to join your team as much as you want people to feel compelled to purchase your products or services. You’ll never see the success you deserve if you don’t have right kind of employees taking you to the top. Make a great first impression with video marketing, and watch the top talent roll in.

Exhibit and Celebrate Company Culture
Company culture is of the utmost example. Who are you? What do you do? How do people work in your offices? What do you stand for, and what are you looking to accomplish in the long term? A great job is a long term commitment. Use video to show people what they’ll be committing to. Video is the closest you can get to an authentic experience without actually bringing everyone into a room with your employees. Let them see how you celebrate your company culture. They just might want to become a part of that celebration.

Types of Videos You Can Consider
Depending on your budget, timeline and scope,here are few ways you can use to create your video:

Live shooting – This is the most common and best way to create impressive videos that can emotionally appeal to your potential employee. Generally it is done by hiring a professional video photographer to come in and do a photo-shoot of your office campus featuring different moments and the work environment. However, this can often be a very costly and time taking affair.
Animated video– There are several animated video companies who can create a cartoon or motion graphics style animated video explaining your company values and work culture. This can be done quick and within a limited budget.
Video creation software– If you are one of those who would like to do it yourself, you can try using video creating software like Videoscribe, Wideo and GoAnimate. They are generally very easy to use and if you have a creative mind, you can come up with something nice.
Research Your Competition and Deliver More
You’ll want to include the video you create along with your job postings. Take a look at popular job boards like Gumtree. View your competitors’ postings for similar jobs. Outside of posting a video with your job ad, what else can you do to set yourself apart? You want the right candidate to view your description and watch your video, feeling compelled to submit their resume to you first. Think about what they lack and what messages they aren’t selling. These should be your major talking points.

Give Your Employees a Voice
A lot of people make their purchasing decisions based on the reviews of others. If you’re trying to sell your company to a candidate, let your current employees review you. If potential employees can see the way your current employees speak about their positions and their opinions about working for your company, this just might be what it takes to make them believers. Viewers will have a face to put with the voice, and that will help them solidify what they’ve heard.

Focus on the Upsides
A lot of the upsides of working with you might be hidden in long blocks of text or small print. Do you offer education to your employees? What about advancement opportunities? Do you have office parties every time you complete a huge project together? These are excellent talking points, and they’ll make a great addition to your video. Bring these things to the forefront. People who are serious about sticking with a company will want to know what that company can offer them in the long term.

Start a Conversation
Since videos are more engaging than text posts, take that engagement to the next level. Encourage potential candidates to respond with videos, whether they be longer and more informative videos or quick participation through a platform like Snapchat. What you want to do is create a call to action that motivates potential candidates to reach out to you. You need to get the conversation going as the first step in the recruitment process.

Never underestimate the power of video as a medium. It affords you with new ways to capture attention and demonstrate your value. Going the extra mile to produce quality videos will help you make some great first impressions, and who knows if one of those people may be your CEO someday?

Credit:  Jennefer Brunetti

The individual with a negative mental attitude attracts troubles as a magnet attracts steel filings.

Napolean Hill Header

It is a curious fact of nature that somehow our minds find a way to transform into physical reality the things we think about most. If you expect to fail, you can be sure that you will, and if you find something negative in every opportunity, nothing will ever work out positively for you. Fortunately, the reverse is also true. If you are a happy, positive person, you will attract positive things. You can keep your mindset positive by eliminating negative thoughts the moment they begin to creep into your conscious mind. If you dwell on the negative aspects of every opportunity, you will never accomplish anything worthwhile. Be prudent about the risks you take, but don’t be paralyzed by fear of failure.

Are You A Tech Nerd?

Are You a Tech Nerd?

tech-nerdWe love cultivating the passion for video in our community. Many people have tons of footage in a variety of outdated formats. Whether you need somewhere to view your films or need to get video off of tapes, we are happy to help you out.

With digitization, you don’t have to worry about losing all your hard work from over the years. We love assisting your in the preservation of your memories. Once transferred, you will be able to access the footage anytime, anywhere from any computer. That makes it easier than ever to share your hard work with the world!


Why Look to MediaCOM?

With over 30 years of experience, we know how to translate your dream into a reality. Our team seeks to understand the goals you have for the footage, and will do everything possible to reach those goals.

Once you have provided the files, we can begin the process. We have a comprehensive understanding of various media formats, which gives you a variety of media storage options. When you choose MediaCOM, you are selecting a studio that is dedicated to your success. Get in touch today!


Modern Family Room Creative

Creating the Ultimate Family Room

Theater room in luxury home with wide screen

It’s been a long day at the office and you need to relax. You come home, only to find an outdated family room with a television you have to walk up to it to turn on. This is an all too familiar situation for many busy families today.

As hardworking professionals, we understand the need for an oasis in the home. You need a place to retreat to after a long day. With this in mind, the MediaCOM team has created a solution just for you.

We know how to setup and create a modern family room. Our team comes into your home and starts by creating a family room strategy. Your room is laid out in a way that encompasses the perfect family room for the space. It’s not just about the technology, but it’s also about having the right atmosphere. That’s where we start.

After that, we move into the important technology aspect. We’ll give you advice on the ideal technology setup, help you link all your devices together, and help you get completely setup.

Once our team completes your family room, you won’t understand how you ever relaxed before it!


 WE are the family specialists

Our team has over 30 years of technology experience, which gives us the expertise to create a great environment for your modern family room. Let us get started today, and you can begin enjoy the retreat that you and your family deserves! FIND OUT MORE!

Contact us!

if you want to find out more contact us!

Family Room Specialist

Introducing the Family Room Specialist


When it comes to creating the family room you desire, leave it in the hands of the professionals. The MediaCOM team features a family room specialist that is trained to help create the perfect environment for you and your family. Once the specialist finishes, you will have a true family room oasis.

Our specialist starts by creating a family room strategy based on your unique room. A variety of different things are taken into account to ensure the perfect environment for relaxation. Once the strategy is prepared, the specialist will advise you on technology needed for the room. Although there is no requirement to purchase the advise technology, it will help the ultimate goal of rest and relaxation if purchased.

With the room laid out and the technology in place, the family room specialist can assist you in installation and setup. All the technology advise will have the capability to link with all your devices. This cross-platform synching will create a simplistic control of all the family room technology. Once you’re setup, it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy the room.

Why Choose MediaCOM’s Family Room Specialist?

With over 30 years of experience, our team knows what it takes to create a relaxing atmosphere. We take a deep look into your family’s desires for the room, and estimate how you can use technology now and in the future to make those desires a reality. You won’t feel disappointed when you choose the MediaCOM specialist to assist in your family room creation.

Contact us!

if you want to find out more contact us!

The Internet of Everything….ugh?

The Internet of Everything. So this new phrase keeps popping up. I’m sure you have seen it. What is it and what does it mean exactly? On a large scale level, Imagine if engineers at a water plant knew in advance that a Water Main was getting weak and could burst in the next few days. This could be huge and spare many from being waterless for days.

What if Rob Royea, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur is successful in creating an Internet connected Bra that detects Breast Cancer and saves lives. Awesome, right? Well this is not a pipe dream. We are currently working with Cisco and its PR Agency, Golin in capturing footage of the Film Maker who is producing a Documentary called “Detected”  (Check it out at

Its been very interesting talking with Seth Kramer, Filmmaker at Inbound Films. Listening to him talk about his personal experience and how, when he was a young boy, his best friend’s Mom lost her life to Breast cancer and the effect that had on him. Its exciting to think that lives can be saved from this awful disease!

So, I think I better grab a snack…I feeling a little hungry. Oh snap, my phone just informed me that I need to stock up on my favorite snack as I’m out…bummer. The Internet of everything…hmmm.

See more at


The Ugly Truth About Meetings: Why They Are Such a Time Suck

by Lindsay Kolowich

DateAugust 25, 2014 at 2:00 PM
Screen_Shot_2014-08-22_at_3.06.48_PM-1You know that refreshing feeling when you get out of a meeting, bright eyed and bushy tailed, feeling like you really got a lot of solid work done?

Yeah, okay. Most meetings aren’t like that at all. When great meetings happen, they’re awesome (I myself love a good brainstorming session), but most of the time, they’re just a huge time suck. (I’m looking at you, “status update” meetings.)

But how bad is it, really? How much are lousy meetings costing your company? And what isit that causes meetings to be so darned unproductive?

This infographic from in collaboration with the folks at fuze illustrates statistics that will make you think twice about your upcoming calendar commitments. They also pinpoint what causes bad meetings, and what you can do to make your meetings much more practical. Check it out.


The Ugly Truth About Meetings: Why They Are Such a Time Suck