Empowered by Water: Marcello Teams Up With HyrdroWorx, Murphy Grant, Nick Berra & The Y in Randolph

A few months ago, HydroWorx installed some of their therapy pool technology at the Y in Randolph, NJ,  and began to change a lot of people’s lives.   Before the installation of three units,  most of us didn’t know that you could put a treadmill underwater without  ruining the machine or electrocuting anybody.  For some of my friends who have bad knees or sensitive joints, they didn’t know that they’d be able run again and recapture their youth.  And for a few of my fellow health and wellness enthusiasts, we didn’t know that a whole new world of high intensity low-impact workouts were about to be added to our fitness routine.

Murphy Grant preps his Boot Camp

Yesterday, Team Hyrdroworx re-visited the Y to film a promo for their X80 underwater treadmill and underwater Boot Camp.  We were treated to the instruction and inspiration of the University of  Kansas  Head Football Athletic Trainer and Director of Sports Medicine, Murphy Grant.  Murphy has a self-admitted reserved way about him until it’s time to kick your butt.  When his workouts begin, he expects nothing less than total focus and effort.  I loved it.

Grant  directed a series of underwater stations that featured various plyometric challenges, agility routines and strength circuits  with equipment specifically designed to get wet and complement the hydro-static resistance.  Participants also rode underwater recumbent bikes and ran on the X80 treadmill.

Nick Berra heats up the track

Speaking of the X80, runner extraordinaire Nick Berra made a special guest cameo as well at the video shoot.  I found out that Nick recently ran a 4:24 mile.  For those of you that don’t know just how freekin fast and impressive that is… just trust me.  It’s freekin fast and impressive!   When he’s not inspiring other runners to train harder and making them laugh, he makes a living as a professional pilot. Berra’s got that typical pilot cool swagger to ’em.   The kind that makes you feel comfortable.  I could picture him calling back to the passengers on the radio and saying, “Hi, this is your captain speaking… it’s just a little lightning, thunder and severe turbulence..  Don’t worry about a thing.  I got this… I’m gonna get us there safely- just sit back and relax.”

Melissa Grosenstein, Marcello Pedalino and Nick Berra

Nick gave me and Melissa Grosenstein, a competitive triathlete who works for the Y, a few new interval workouts to try on the treadmill.  One in particular that stood out was in the style of Tabata.  In case you’re unfamiliar, Tabata training is 4 minutes of the highest, high intensity interval training for humans who seek out such things.  For this Tabata, Nick cranked up the hydro-jet frontal resistance and  then cranked up the speed dial to 10 out of 10.  The interval went like this;

1) 10 seconds of leaps  on your right foot

2) 10 seconds of leaps on your left foot

3) 10 seconds of sprinting to rest

** yes, you read that correctly!  Your rest is running as fast as the machine goes.

4) Repeat 7 more times for a total of 4 of the toughest, most exhilarating and most rewarding minutes of your life.

Team HyrdoWorx and Team Y (and a Tebow)

Of course, Nick did this and barely broke a sweat.  He was still able to make commentary for the camera throughout the shoot.  We were definitely in awe, but also annoyed… sorta-like when you see the Kenyans at mile 23 of the New York City Marathon seemingly un-phased by their own ridiculous output of energy and athleticism.

When it was time for Melissa and I to give it try, we gave it everything that we had.  By round 3, I was as fatigued as I thought I’d be for impersonating a gazelle trotting on the African plains.  By round 5, I felt like Apollo Creed when he tried to fight Drago.  By round 6, I was praying that they would yell “cut” for any reason whatsoever.  By round 7, I noticed that Melissa was still kickin’ ass and I refused to be beat by a girl.. no matter how great of a person or athlete she is. 🙂  By round 8, I had a Forest Gump-like  epiphany when he ran across the country and said to myself… ” I made it this far, I made as well keep on going.”

We both did, we both finished.  It was awesome!

Our heart rates were maxed out somewhere near 190-something! Melissa and I had just enough energy left for some high fives and a cool-down massage.  I’ll post the video when it comes out.

Special thanks to Bill Lamia, The Y’s CEO,  Kathy Fisher, The Y’s Aquatic Director, and Team HydroWorx for inviting me to participate in the promotion.

Continued health, happiness & success!










Gonna Make You Sweat: Marcello’s Top 50 Workout Songs

I love songs that motivate you  to hit the gym, go out for a run or break a sweat doing something you love.

If you have any favorites from your workout play list that you’d like to share with all the Celebrate Life fans here at The Sunshine Club, feel free to post them.

Health & Happiness!



Marcello’s Top 50 Fitness Fav’s

1)      I Want It All- Queen

2)   New World Man- Rush

3)      Crazy- Seal

4)      The Cave- Mumford and Sons

5)      Let Me Entertain You- Robbie Williams

6)      One- Metallica

7)      Beautiful People- Benny Benassi and Chris Brown

8)      Babylon- David Gray

9)      Prayer- Disturbed

10) Dreams- Van Halen

11)   Shipping Up To Boston- Dropkick Murphys

12)   Wheel In The Sky- Journey

13)   Rocky 4 Training Sequence- Vince Dicola

14)   Shine- Collective Soul

15)   Big Country- Big Country

16)   Alive- P.O.D

17)   Amazing- Seal

18)  Time- Hootie and the Blowfish

19)   I Don’t Care Anymore- Phil Collins

20)   Roll With The Changes- REO Speedwagon

21) Lunatic Fringe- Red Rider

22)   Higher Ground- Red Hot Chile Peppers

23)   Times Like These- Foo Fighters

24)   Land of Confusion- Disturbed

25)   Rare Earth- Celebrate

26)   Jesus Walks- Kayne West

27)   Stronger- Inez

28)   Gimme Shelter- Rolling Stones

29)   On The Loose- Saga

30)  Plowed- Sponge

31)   Mr. Brownstone- Guns and Roses

32)   Evenflow- Pearl Jam

33)   A.D.I.D.A.S- Korn Level X Mix

34)   Remember– Distrurbed

35)   Cars- Gary Newman and Nine Inch Nails (live from London)

36)   Ring of Fire- Social Distortion

37)   Crossover- EPMD

38)   Plush- Stone Temple Pilots

39)   Bring Me To Life- Evanescence

40)  You’re The Best- Joe Esposito

41)   Photograph- Santana and Daughtry

42)   Whole Lotta Love- Santana and Chris Cornell

43)   Wish You Were Here- Incubus

44)   Turn The Page- Metallica

45)   Yves Larock- Rise Up

46)   Everybody’s Free- Rozalla

47)   Remember The Name- Fort Minor

48)   Rocket Queen- Guns and Roses

49)   Higher- Creed

50)   Coldplay- Viva La Vida

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

California Dreamin’: Marcello Consults With Bay Area Entertainment Powerhouse: Denon & Doyle

Note to self: The next time you fly across the country or anywhere for that matter, make sure you are not seated in the back of the plane near the bathrooms. In addition to the constant NHL-worthy elbows being thrown your way, there’s quite an aroma coming from those little window-less depositories. Fortunately, Dawn Dubois, the District Manager from Rodney Strong Wine Estates was seated across the aisle.   Dawn’s ability to laugh at and make a challenging situation fun actually made the flight enjoyable.

Dan Ohrman, Denon and Doyle's General Manager

Upon arrival to San Fransisco, I met up with my good friend, Dan Ohrman, General Manager of Denon & Doyle.  Dan and his family treated me to a day at the Wharf so I could do the “touristy thing.”  If you’ve never been there, these were the highlights; 1) eating a bucket of Dungeness crabs next to the window at Joe’s so you can watch the Bushman “spread joy” and scare the heck out of unsuspecting tourists,   2) driving down ‘the long and windy road’ aka Lombard Street,  3) seeing Alcatraz, 4) checking out all the street performers, and 5) Ghirardelli Chocolates (soooo good that the line was two blocks long).

Mount Diablo

After a good night’s sleep, Dan took me and one of D&D’s most requested Emcee’s, Partick McMichael, hiking up Mount DiabloNot only was it a beautiful hike and an awesome workout, I felt like a 5th grader on the ultimate field trip. At the top of the mountain, you can visit the Mount Diablo State Park Summit Museum.   Beyond offering one of the finest views in the world, it also has interactive demos that describe the native American history of the region and a diorama that plays native sounds and offers an overview of the park’s ecosystems.  The perfect “80 degrees and sunny” weather made the experience that much better.

Marcello advises D&D Emcee, JT, on how to handle challenging consultations

By Tuesday night, it was time to get to work.  🙂  Over the past few years, Dan has taken Denon and Doyle, which is known primarily by value-seeking brides as the go-to wedding entertainment company, to being a dominant force on the Bay Area’s Bar Mitzvah scene. Dan arranged for me to present an interactive  seminar to some of the D&D djs, emcees and dancers.  I moderated a round table q&a about typical challenges you face as an event director,  offered a few techniques on how to elevate the customer relationship management level before the celebration and then demonstrated three of the most effective interactive audience participation routines that my company, MMP, is currently offering it’s clients here on the east coast.

The 2010 DJ of the Year Competitors (from left) Mark Addington, Chris "Cowboy" Mowery, Abra, Marcello Pedalino (Judge), Patrick McMichael, Dan Ohrman (Judge), AJ Rogers, Solomon Dauber & Jon Higgins

It was one of the nicest ‘venues’ I’ve ever presented in.  It was poolside at Brian & Sue Doyle’s magnificent home.   Their house was the first I’ve ever been to that had a real peach tree in the yard. Brian, Denon and Doyle’s founder, said that the tree only produces California-quality peaches for one week every year…  and guess who had perfect timing for the 2010 season?  (Honestly, it was the best peach I’ve ever had.)   After the presentation, Brian, Dan and I discussed the importance of starting off a Bar Mitzvah effectively with the the necessary interactive cocktail hour entertainment. When your guests are entertained by and enjoy the opening act, that enthusiasm and momentum carries over to the main event and stacks the deck in your favor for an unforgettable celebration.

Dj of the Year Cameron Chatterton (left), the Rockstar Dancers and Emcee of the Year Patrick McMichael (Right)

Wednesday night was the highly anticipated 4th annual D&D DJ of the Year competition.  I can tell you as a former winner and current judge of the national competition held in Atlantic City every year, Dan and the crew from Denon and Doyle definitely know how to produce a first class show! From the LED uplighting and staging to the lazer light show and special effects on surround trussing, the audio/visual ambiance really took the competitors adrenaline level through the roof.   D&D gave out awards for the Best Dance, Best Game, Best Shtick, Dancer of the Year, DJ of the Year, and Emcee of the Year.

I was really impressed by the level of camaraderie as well as the level of talent. All of the competitors supported each others’ performances throughout the night.

Each of the D&D Emcees assembled a select crew of performers to be on their team and even came up with customized names and logos!  Kudos to everyone that participated and congratulations to the winners:

Ashley Castro (left) and the Rockstars

Mark Addington (right) and the PuppetMasters

Solomon Dauber (middle) and the Masterminds

Best Dance: Solomon Dauber and the Mastermindz– Get Down Tonight

Best Game: Solomon Dauber and the Mastermindz-Picture This

Best Shtick: Mark Addington and the PuppetMasters– Dancefloor Volleyball 

Dancer of the Year: Ashley Castro from the Rockstars

DJ of the Year: Cameron Chatterton from the Rockstars

Emcee of the Year: Patrick McMichael from the Rockstars

Competition Judges (from left) Lisa Feldman, Marcello Pedalino & Dan Ohrman

On a side note, I sat at the judging table with Dan and renowned Event Designer, Lisa Feldman.  She is one of most highly sought-after celebration specialists on the west coast.  Not only was it a pleasure getting to meet her, she shared a story with me that really struck a cord.  As usual, the topic of health and wellness came up during our initial small talk.  Lisa, who has run several marathons, mentioned that she just recently ran another one a few weeks back.  But she only signed up for it the day before!   For those that don’t know, you have to be in ridiculously good shape to just decide to run 26.2 miles tomorrow. Anywho, Lisa ran it to help out a friend who was running  her first marathon.  Lisa normally finishes in the incredible 3 and1/2 hour time frame.  For this race, she stuck with her friend, who was having a tough day, and finished together in 5 and 1/2 hours.   You know you found a good friend when they’ll stick with you through the good times and through the challenges. Kudos to you, Lisa!   This running quote came to mind…

“You’re running on guts. On fumes. Your muscles twitch. You throw up. You’re delirious. But you keep running because there’s no way out of this hell you’re in, because there’s no way you’re not crossing the finish line. It’s a misery that non-runners don’t understand.” -Martine Costello

Dan with his daughter, Madison, enjoying the crowd's favorite prop of the night. "The Rockstar Throne." Design and production by Patrick McMichael

The day after the competition, Dan and I went for a nice little run up Brionnes. You know life is good when a great run is literally right outside your door. (The State Park entrance is right up the street from his house).   There were times when we were running along the scenic trails under the blue sky and warm yellow sun when it felt like we could have been filming the next commercial for Nike sneakers or something.

Ms. High Octane, Julie Fink, from Nike

Speaking of Nike, later in the afternoon, Dan took me to the UFC gym to take a “High Octane” circuit training class with Nike’s own, Julie Fink .  It was both an incredible and humbling experience. Julie is the real deal.   She is gorgeous and can kick your ass!  We were doing various 30 to 90 second station challenges that didn’t allow for any weak body parts to be pampered or protected from an ego adjustment. *90 seconds of pushups, tricep dips or burpees sounds a lot more manageable than it actually is.  Trust me.

On Wednesday night, Brian graciously sent Dan and I to Flemings Steak House to debrief on the competition’s production, to do an overall evaluation of Denon & Doyle’s day-to-day business culture and to give specific performance evaluations for three of the company’s top performers. Based on the initial responses, I think my critiques and suggestions were well received and accepted with merit.

Back in 1984, D&D Founder, Brian Doyle, started the company with one sound system and an old bread truck. Currently, Denon and Doyle has 95 employees, performs at 1300 events per year and has annual sales of 2.2 million.

In my opinion, the reason why Denon and Doyle is so successful is because of three things; the founder of the company puts the right people in the right place, the general manager genuinely cares about his team’s continuing education and well being, and the D&D team really cares about their clients and their professional craft.

That’s a pretty rare combination these days.

Special thanks to Brian, Sue, Dan and the entire D&D crew for their courteous hospitality and friendship.

I wish the Denon and Doyle family continued success, health and happiness. -mp

Betsy Fischer Shares Success Story and Introduces Zumba to NJDJN


Zumba, A Latin-Inspired Dance-Fitness Class

Hats off to Darryl Jacobsen, President of the New Jersey Disc Jockey Network.  Since his first days in office, he’s secured some of the biggest names in the mobile entertainment industry to speak to our group and also arranged for some very topical issues to be presented for our personal and professional benefit.

This month’s meeting was a great example.  Jake asked fellow mobile entrepreneur and NJDJN member,  Betsy Fischer, to host an evening at her new dance studio, The Groove Lounge, in Voorhees, NJ.

Betsy Fischer, Owner- The Groove Lounge

Betsy Fischer, Zumba Instructor and Owner of the Groove Lounge

Betsy shared her inspirational success  story without sugar-coating the rise to the top.  We all appreciated her openness and real-world account of what it takes to open and run a busy studio.  She shared all of the logistical and financial pros and cons with regards to state inspections, marketing campaigns, and monthly maintenance requirements.  Like many in attendance, I really appreciated her candor and was reminded of how much more it takes to open a new business than simply putting up a “We’re Open” sign.


Betsy and the NJDJN Shakin' Their Groove Thing

After her mini Wharton School of Business-like presentation, we all found out why Betsy wanted us to “dress comfortably and bring a bottle of water.”   It was time for Zumba! Fischer, a certified intructor, had the NJDJN dancing and sweating for the next forty-five minutes.  The best part… we all had a blast!  In case you’re out of the gym scene or don’t read  any of the Health and Wellness magazines out there, Zumba is known as “The Exercise in Disguise!” Essentially, it’s a Latin-inspired dance-fitness class that incorporates spicy rhythms and international beats.  In our session, the music programming included salsa, merengue, reggaeton and even a Jewish hora.

It was obvious that Fischer had a background in entertainment as an Emcee.  Her other venture of ten years, Party Dancing with Betsy Fischer, LLC, was apparent in her ability to keep us all motivated and engaged throughout the class, never once losing her smile or enthusiasm.

The NJDJN at The Groove Lounge

The NJDJN at The Groove Lounge

The meeting ended with dinner, a re-cap discussion and lots of laughs.  It was a great night.

Special thanks to Betsy for her hospitality and for sharing her talents and experiences with us.

Betsy and her staff continue to entertain at Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Weddings, Birthday Parties, Sweet Sixteens, School Events, Fundraisers, and Corporate Events at venues throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  Her new studio can be booked for private dance instruction, local gatherings, milestone celebrations, and of course, some awesome Zumba classes!

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