The Celebrate Life Series, Episode 12: Vincent Velasquez of Hurricane Productions- The New Generation

It’s a bird! It’s a plane!! … nope.  It’s Vincent Velasquez, from Hurricane Productions, flying high in the sky thanks to his seemingly effortless and fearless crowd-surfing skills.  Whether it’s at the International DJ of the Year Competition in front of a couple hundred people or down at Rutgers University in front of a couple thousand, the Puerto Rican-Italian entertainer and entrepreneur takes full advantage of the double-whammy confidence, drive and sharp wit that his heritage offers up.    And the crowds love it.   Present company included.

His approach to life and his tech-chic clientele remind me of the vintage commercial and slogan for Pepsi, “The Choice of A New Generation.”    Essentially, anything that was cool more than four days ago is outdated and the only way to survive beyond the cliched trends is to pioneer a new movement.   Along with his uber-talented partner, Strato Doumanis, Hurricane Productions is attracting the energetic and demanding youth who want to celebrate with style.   FYI, you probably noticed that The Celebrate Life Series was recently treated to a sexy production facelift.    Strato and the Hurricane design team created our new video intro and outro stinger.     The feedback has been full of generous praise.

In this 12th episode of The Celebrate Life Series, Velasquez talks about how steady growth, diversification and client accessibility has enabled Hurricane to establish a notable presence in the glitterati-packed Jersey Shore DJ Entertainment and Event Production arena. Vincent reminds brides  about the importance of hiring a company that can offer all of the pre-reception concierge service items necessary to ensure a stress-free experience as well as exceeding your expectations the day of your wedding reception.

Velasquez and I also riffed about a common culinary pleasure and decadent passion...  pizza.  If you’re like me, and think that a great slice is right up there with a great steak or bacon cheeseburger, tune in for Vincent’s south-jersey pie recommendation.  And if you like gag reels,  reminiscent of the old Cannonball Run movie endings, stick around for the final minute of us just having a few laughs.  🙂

To find out more about Hurricane Innovation, call 888-393-7066.

Follow Vincent on Twitter @VinVelasquez

Best wishes and continued success,



Wedding Pros Go ‘All In’ at EPMEN

I don’t mind being inside when it’s cold and rainy outside.  Especially when some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the wedding industry are sharing techniques to improve what you’re passionate about and philosophies that can help you earn loyalty for life from your clients.  EPMEN 2012 was on.

SCE ‘s Jason Jani, struck a nerve with a lot of the attendees when he said that “75% of the people on this earth aren’t doing what they love everyday… That sucks.”  “Don’t just chase the dollar, chase the dream…  Don’t settle…”  It was clear why artists like Jay Z and Kanye West call on Jani when they are on tour.  His passion for “doing cool things for cool people” is currently unmatched in the mobile entertainment and event production field.  I loved the way his question, “Are you making excuses or are you all in?” came up in conversation and on twitter the rest of the day.  As I said on my Twitter… “I’m all in JJ!”

EPMEN 2012 Inspired by Instagram.... From Top Left- Glenn Roush, Strato Doumanis, Jay Thomson, Vincent Velasquez, Sean McKee, Erik Kent. From Bottom Left- Marcello Pedalino, Jayne Hallock, Mike Walter, Jason Jani


Lorenzo Araneo, host of Rockstar Podcast and devout Twitter fan, shared some heart-felt personal stories about why he and his family are loyal to particular brands in his Art of Social Marketing presentation.  After he and a few others in the audience got a little choked up, his points were easily made and accepted.  I really liked how Lorenzo wasn’t shy about sharing his affection and respect for his Italian heritage.  Araneo tells it like it is.

Always a crowd favorite, Elite’s Mike Walter, brought his usual dose of well-prepared wit and wisdom in a seminar called, 10 Things You Can Do To Have A Better Day.  In addition to stressing the importance of waking up early, exercising and eliminating distractions… he earned a tweet-worthy moment with “Health and fitness IS a time management solution.” Amen Michael!  Neen James would be proud.

After a post-EPMEN steak dinner, we did our best Reservoir Dogs impression. Strato Doumanis, Vincent Velasquez, Tony Tee Neto, Marcello Pedalino, Glenn Roush, Jeffrey Scott Gould, Mike Walter, Jason Jani

Many of us got to meet WedLock’s Jayne Hallock for the first time and picked up a few nuggets from her seminar on Blogging.  One in particular was the Yoast SEO Plugin recommendation for Word Press users.  Another was how to use Pinterest as a source for content and inspiration.  Jane also had some heads nodding when she said, “Your website is your business card; your blog is your personality.” And, when you are blogging, “sometimes about 100 words is enough.”     (-maybe next time. )  Hallock and seemingly everyone else in the entire world except me was dialed-in to Instagram too.  (Some of the cool filters that app offers was the inspiration for this entry’s photos).

Up and coming stars of the photography and cinematography world, Vanessa Joy and Rob Adams, offered some great tips for capturing event footage and testimonials with the latest DSLR equipment, software and technology.  Since MMP still uses a video camera from 1997 to record comments from our clients at the end of events, this seminar was extremely informative and timely.  We’ll be taking their advice soon and  upgrading to a DSLR camera with a 50mm 1.4 lens and a manfrotto 561bhdv-monopod.  Rob and Vanessa also shared ways to offer instant gratification to your clients.  This dynamic duo is making quite an impression on the workshop circuit.

If you were interested in Creating an Exceptional Customer Experience before the actual sale, Alan Berg had you covered.   Alan has a remarkable ability to take anything you do or say and within 5 minutes advise you how to do it and say it 10 times better.  On top of that, he knows how to take whatever you are currently doing for your prospects and rethink everything–  from the way you contact them initially to the way you respond to them when they call you back after shopping around.  Mr. Berg has some serious skills.

EPMEN 2012 B.I (Before Instagram) From Top Left- Glenn Roush, Strato Doumanis, Jay Thomson, Vincent Velasquez, Sean McKee, Erik Kent. From Bottom Left- Marcello Pedalino, Jayne Hallock, Mike Walter, Jason Jani

The country’s most lovable Emcee, Sean “Big Daddy” Mckee, took a day out of his ‘8 gigs a week’ schedule to host the festivities.   Show producer, Adam Skuba, deserves major kudos for the caliber of Monday’s line up and the over-all production;  especially considering that this was only his sophomore effort.  Special thanks to Adam, the EPMEN team, and all the sponsors (NJ Wedding, Bride Live, Elegant Bridal, Hurricane Productions, Screaming Lunatic, NJDJN, Sherman Specialty, NAME and ADJA) for their hospitality and support.

See ya next year!

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