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Mark Martinez

 

Mark Martinez first invented the one-man, one-scoop, one-bag sandbagging device known as the SackMaster in 1976, “when I was in seventh grade and living in a low-lying area that was prone to flooding.” The world was first introduced to the SackMaster on Simon Cowell’s hit TV show “American Inventor,” in the spring of 2006. Mark actually had a patented product that was ready for production. Nevertheless, he was eventually eliminated and sent home.

In an airport, shortly after wrapping “American Inventor,” Mark was stopped by a group of soldiers who recognized him from the show. The soldiers begged Mark to get the SackMaster to the Army because in Iraq there is tremendous need for sandbags and, to meet that need, the soldiers would often be put on backbreaking sandbag detail for hours on end. Before even getting all the way home from the show, Mark realized that there were two areas in which his invention would be most helpful in saving property and lives: within the armed forces and amongst emergency preparedness officials.

Given the recent disasters in New Orleans and Florida, Mark was anxious to help. He set about organizing a tour of both areas so he could make donations of the SackMaster to emergency preparedness officials. He has also gotten orders from the U.S. Air Force Base in Travis, Calif. and the U.S. Army Base in Ft. Rucker, Ala.

Isela Aguirre

Latino Sports & Entertainment Marketing, a culturally-relevant, Latino sports and entertainment marketing, event management, experiential marketing and consulting firm, has hired Isela Aguirre as account supervisor. In her new position, Aguirre is responsible for strategizing, planning and executing local and national events, leveraging sponsor exposure and return on investment. She will ensure each brand is represented properly within the Hispanic market and the appropriate message is being conveyed to the target audience. Her specific responsibilities include the successful management, planning, and execution of programs. Aguirre will work with media partners and sponsors to expand the marketing reach of programs, as well as develop communication and coordination of detailed marketing and logistical timelines for each event.

Ari Wurmann

 

By the age of 30, Ari Wurmann had taught at a Hebrew school, graduated from a Catholic university, moved to and from Chile twice, became a husband and father, and conceived a restaurant concept that he hopes will change the nation’s hot dog industry forever. Franktitude, Wurmann’s chain of gourmet hot dog eateries, is redefining the image of the hot dog by offering a bevy of fanciful choices when it comes to buns, toppings, and franks. Franktitude offers white, whole wheat, and poppy seed buns, and almost two dozen toppings that range from non-traditional accoutrements such as hummus, banana chips, wasabi mayonnaise and avocado, to standard garnishes including mustard, ketchup, onions and relish. The restaurant also offers a unique salmon frank, a heart-healthy hot dog rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Mr. Wurmann convinced a Chilean company that produces salmon franks to give him exclusive rights to American distribution. As a business development manager at Global Food Venture in Miami, his job required him to develop plans and raise money for new restaurant ventures. Once Mr. Wurmann finished Franktitude’s business plan, he flew back home to Chile to raise money to launch his own restaurant concept. The first Franktitude location celebrated its grand opening Sept. 27, just after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and days before Mr. Wurmann returned to Chile to celebrate Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, with his family. Four more Franktitude units are under construction in South Florida and will open by December 2006.

 

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