The Fischer Family Celebrates Their 4th Bar Mitzvah with Marcello and the MMP Entertainment Team at Portobello in Oakland, NJ

Zach and all of his friends pose for the traditional group photo after cocktail hour at Portobello

If you had to choose the ideal venue for your Le Chaim finale, you’d want a location that was close to the Temple, had great food and offered excellent service. If you’ve ever been to lunch or dinner at new Portobello Feasts in Oakland, NJ, you already know that those  bases are covered.  But what about their sister property… the original Portobello right next door?  Under new management and featuring some notable renovations, Portobello Banquets deserves your attention once again if you’re planning a Bergen County social or corporate event in the near future.

Time Flies... Zack with his older brother Jared- We did Jared's Bar Mitzvah 9 years earlier at the Westmount Country Club

Over the past nine years, we’ve had the honor of providing the entertainment and event production for the Fischer family.  We did Jared’s Bar Mitzvah first back in ‘02, Samantha’s Bat Mitzvah in’04, then Julie’s Bat Mitzvah after that in ‘06, and this past October, it was time for Zachary to be the guest of honor.

If you’re getting a little stressed out just thinking about what it’s like to have to plan 4 Bar Mitzvahs… relax.  It actually gets easierOnce you find just the right combination of professional vendors and resources, you just keep hiring them back and let them do most the work. On the other hand… having to pay for 4 Bar Mitzvahs, now that’s a different story. 🙂

Zack’s mom and dad, Jeanette and Glen, once again trusted our recommendations for the kids cocktail hour and reception enhancements.  We provided the MMP trifecta for the kids cocktail hour. It included The Interactive Game Show, Paparazzi and DJ Hero.

As you can see from the photos, these activities were very well received by all of the young adult guests as usual.

Jeanette and Glen take it all in and enjoy a romantic dance after dessert

For the reception, the Fisher’s upgraded to our dual plasma multi-media package. We created custom visuals for Zack’s Casino theme, we designed personalized video clips for the dance sets and featured candid photos of all the guests on the screens during dinner and dessert.  As you can see from the photos, Zack and his friends were entertained and kept busy from the moment they walked into Portobello until the moment they walked out, so Jeanette and Glen were very pleased with the return on their additional investment.

Special thanks to Vincent Amen, Portobello’s Director of Catering, for his hospitality and professionalism.   He was instrumental at the site survey when we needed to ensure the necessary spacing for the activities, to review the planning logistics, to confirm the timing of the food courses and verify our power requirements. (just a few of  ways that an Entertainment Director can enhance your over-all experience) Vincent can be reached at 201-337-1383 ext. 4 or

We’re looking forward to our next collaboration with the Fischer family and Portobello   … which by the way time seems to be flying by lately, will be Jared’s Wedding Reception.  Unreal.   –mp

Encore Gallery:

Better, Faster, & Stronger in the New Economy: Samsung Electronics Soars and Treats their Team to Another Exceptional Holiday Event with MMP Entertainment

Photo Credit: Mario Anzuoni / REUTERS

Chances are if you turned on the news or listened to the radio over the past two years, an over-whelming barrage of doom and gloom was being relentlessly shoved in your cautiously-optimistic face and into your ‘everything’s gonna be alright” ears.

By no means was it all rainbows and butterflies, but there were definitely some success stories that went under-reported or got conveniently left out of the conversation because they didn’t jive with a political agenda or enable another greedy speculator to manipulate a particular investment.

Case in point, Samsung Electronics.  We have had the pleasure of entertaining the Samsung team and their families since 2005.  Throughout the decade, they have become one of the dominant global companies for consumer electronics and technology.  If you’ve picked up anything other than an iPhone or iPad that was really cool in the new milleniem or watched something on a flat-screen television latley, you’ve probably seen the Samsung name on it.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

In 2009 and the first three quarters of 2010, Samsung Electronics did the seemingly impossible by pessimists everywhere...  “The manufacturer of the 7000 Series 3D flat panel TV estimated that consolidated revenue during 2010 came to $137.31 billion, which would be an increase of 13 percent from the previous year’s record performance.  (source: Kelly Olsen,  AP Business Writer)

And check out this quote from Robert Yi, Vice President and Head of Samsung Electronics’ Investor Relations Team, from almost a year ago to the day… “Despite the uncertain business environment in 2009, Samsung was able to achieve record revenues and strong profitability based on our technological and marketplace leadership.  We see this positive growth and performance flowing on into 2010 as the global economy continues to stabilize.”    Like I said, unfortunately, these weren’t the stories earning prime-time sound bytes for the general public to sink their teeth into when a little positive reinforcement could have had significant positive impact on morale.

Anywho, when we provided the entertainment and event production for their Holiday Gala at The Venetian in 2009, I was admittedly a tad curious as to how everyone could be so festive when most people you ran into kept saying that the sky was literally falling.  Now  I know.  🙂

This year, at their new corporate headquarters, when we produced their annual Holiday Family Fun extravaganza, you could also sense the joy and optimism in the air.  Granted, who wouldn’t be smiling when they’re playing Minute To Win It interactives and dancing with their kids to Bar Mitzvah classics and current hits, but you could tell there was more to it.  It was more than just a fun and enjoyable vibe- which is fine by us, it was a refreshing and invigorating sense of  … “oh yeah, life is good!… we earned this celebration!”

Listen to the word of Matthew..."just keep livin"

As I continue to follow, study, and learn from our impressive portfolio of corporate clients, one distinctive factor for achieving success is glaringly obvious;  a stellar CEO is what will ultimately take a company from good to great. The stellar CEO’s that are also humble will usually defer much of the credit to his or her team.  This, in most cases, is the right thing to do and is certainly a valid truism.

Beyond that being an established fact, if you ever get the opportunity to meet a fortune 500 CEO, a note-worthy entrepreneur, or even a super-cool actor, you will encounter some uber-impressive men and women.  They usually have just the right combination of natural instinct, intelligence, people skills, vision, perseverance and leadership skills to make for a formidable force to be reckoned with.

Matthew McConaughey

I’ve always been told that you are who you surround yourself with.…  Now MMP didn’t quite make 137 billion last year and Jim Kramer wasn’t interviewing me to learn more about my company, but just enough of the Samsung aura of hard work, team work, resourcefulness, and foresight rubbed off on me to keep my glass half-full of positivity and prosperity.

Special thanks and sincere gratitude to Kristen and the entire Samsung team for having us back again.  We’re looking forward to the 2011 event schedule.  -mp

p.s Just in case you need another reason to feel good about Samsung or life in general, check out the strategic partnership they made with Best Buy and Matthew McConaughey‘s j.k livin Foundation

A Cup of Life Ceremony for Michael at The Grand Summit Hotel

Even though I make a conscious effort to stay on top of industry news and trends, some of the best ideas over the years have also come from my incredible clients.  Case in point, The Cup Of Life Ceremony.  It’s a refreshingly-unique alternative to a traditional candlelighting. Instead of writing and reading poems  for each candle, which can drive both you and your guests a little nutty if they are not entertaining…  Karen & David Rosenberg, my clients,  found a new way to honor all of their guests.

After the opening dance set, grand entrance and motzi, their son Michael, the guest of honor, started things off by taking the mic and giving the official welcome-toast to all of his guests.    Then he took a moment to describe the significance of the Cup of Life Ceremony.   Each small cup of wine represents a special ingredient in the recipe for a happy and healthy life.    One by one, the glasses are poured into one large decorative goblet which the Bar Mitzvah Boy or Bat Mitzvah girl drinks from.

The ingredients include; a cup of Good Health, Wisdom, Faith, Compassion, Good Humor, Dedication, Success, Prosperity, Generosity, Friendship, Happiness, and a cup of Love.

The cup’s ingredients and musical selections can all be personalized to fit your preferences and candles can still be incorporated.   Either way, if you are looking for more options on how to honor your friends and family without doing the same ‘ol same ‘ol, the Cup of Life ceremony is worth looking into.

As you can see from the photos and the video testimonial from Mr. and Mrs. Rosenberg below, Michael had a “fantastic” celebration.  His younger  brothers, Jason and Aaron, looked like they were already getting excited for their big day 5 years from now.  🙂

The Rosenbergs booked our Classic Simcha production which included;  2 cocktail hour interactives for the kids, background music for the adult cocktail hour,  the dual plasma screen multi-media package for the reception and one of our many photo booth selections.  It also features a light show to add energy to the dance floor, 4 party motivators, dance stages and plenty of cool giveaways.   The Classic Simcha was designed for the client who wants an exceptional event and wants their guests to have a great time… but doesn’t want to go “over the top” and lose focus on the significance of the occasion or their child’s accomplishments.

Special thanks to my friend, Peter Wallburg, from Peter Wallburg Studios for referring us to the Rosenbergs.  We’ve been teaming up for a few years now and have a great working relationship.  As I’ve mentioned in many articles, having your photographer and entertainment on the same page at your event will result in all of the special moments being captured forever. Check out Peter’s  facebook page to see his work and for weekly articles on how-to tips, tricks and best practices in the photography world.

Best wishes to the Rosenberg family.  Mazel Tov!  -mp

NJSBA Hosts 2000 Guests in the Palace at Somerset Park: Another Signature Event Collaboration from Jason Jani and Marcello Pedalino

The Palace At Somerset Park

Last month I teamed up again with my good friend and Signature Event partner, Jason Jani, for another exceptional portfolio piece.  Our client, Pomptonian Food Service, was celebrating 50 years of excellence in conjunction with the New Jersey School Board Association’s 2010 Convention and Member Appreciation Gala.

Throughout the day, upwards of 2000 attendees were shuttled back and forth from The Palace at Somerset Park to attend educational seminars and informational symposiums.  Topics included; social media, energy efficiency plans, public relations, health benefits and the effects of nutrition and wellness for students.  Speaking of nutrition, the Pomptonian currently provides staffing, high quality lunches, and innovative culinary concepts to over 70 school districts in NJ.

Guests enjoy the festivities at the V.I.P Lounge

After a long day of taking notes and networking, the Pomptonian and the NJSBA wanted the remaining attendees to return to the Palace to relax, enjoy a nice dinner and have some well deserved fun!

In addition to several other performance and specialty interactives that were taking place simultaneously throughout the colossal Palace, Jason and I were given 1/2 of the West Ballroom to create the Pomptionian V.I.P Lounge. Since most attendees registered in groups of 3 to 5 people, we were told we’d be catering to intimate crowds of 10 to 30 guests at a time who would stop by and leave as they wished, have a drink or two, grab a bite to eat, and maybe even bust out a few of their favorite dance moves. No problem!  🙂

Jason Jani, Marcello Pedalino and the Signature Event Team

Jason’s vision for the production layout was on point as always.  From the luminescent projection of Pomptonian’s signature logo on the cathedral ceiling, to the L.E.D decor lightscaping to the surround coverage of 4 plasma screens displaying custom visuals, retro music videos and guest candids, word spread quickly throughout the Palace that this was a cool place to stop by and enjoy life for awhile.   Of course Jason, as one of the top DJ/Remix artists in the country, manned the DJ booth all night and dropped a masterfully-blended soundtrack of lounge, pop, classic funk and current musical audience pleasers.     I handled the on-site logistics, client relations, hospitality and interactive Emcee hosting.

Marcello entertains the guests with an interactive game from Minute To Win It

Over the course of the four hour reception, we had several occasions where a select group of guests were either enjoying the evening’s soundtrack with a nice glass of chardonnay, dancing to their requests with colleagues or competing in an impromptu challenge from our Minute to Win It repertoire.  We were very pleased with the feedback from the NJSBA, The Palace and the happy guests.

Special thanks to the Palace team; Stacie DeMicco, Senior Conference Planning Manager, Kristie Pappas, Senior Corporate Sales Manager, Anthony Panchery, Banquet Manager and Richard McConney, Director of Banquets as well as Erik Endress, Director of Association and Meeting Development and Marcia Lavingne, County Activities Coordinator from the NJSBA for their professionalism and coordination assistance.

If your company is planning a convention, team building workshop or a holiday gala and you’d like to take it to the Signature Event level, contact us to schedule an on-site consultation and design session. Our client portfolio includes The Allen & Co. Media Summit in Sun Valley Idaho, Macy’s, The Borgata, Samsung Electronics, Bank of America, Pathmark, LG Electronics, David Tutera, Synchronoss Technologies and AnnTaylor.    -mp

A Nice Run, Sunshine and Friendship

The WKIP crew (from left) Paul Rallo, Terri Contaxis, Michael Walter, & Marcello

Yesterday afternoon, I went for a beautiful 8 mile WKIP run with my good friends, Terri, Paul and Michael.   It was cool to hear Michael, who has 14 marathons under his belt giving advice and encouragement to Terri, who is training for the New York Marathon in November… her first!  Good luck Terri!

Huge bonus… my mom lives right up the road from my house at the mile 6 marker of the scenic country road loop.  She had plenty of hugs, kisses and cold water for everyone.  When Mom sent this photo last night,  I couldn’t help but notice the flag she has hanging from her house.

After a delicious al fresco lunch on the deck back at my house with Terri and Paul, Michael stayed to rehearse for our upcoming presentation at the Wedding MBA in Las Vegas on the 21st. We figured if we’re going to give a seminar about life balance and health and wellness, we better practice what we preach.  🙂

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie.

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