Marcella Bothwell (MBA ’14) is an otolaryngology (ear, nose & throat) specialist. She was recently appointed to the San Diego Park & Recreation Board.

What impact has Rady had on your career progression?

Before coming to Rady, I was a successful pediatric ENT surgeon.  I recognized that this seemingly narrow focus could be enhanced with the graduate business degree and chose to come to UCSD Rady Business School while remaining almost a full-time equivalent at the UCSD medical school.  While some surgical skills are transferable to other areas of interest many are not and after retiring from the surgical practice my MBA has been invaluable in creating other avenues for success.

Good government and its processes have always interested me and now I’m taking an active role in the Pacific Beach Town Council as Board member and Treasurer, Board member of the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Board and Co-chair of the Working Group for recreation councils to make a new City Council policy in 2018.   I am also on the Board for Mental Health America and heading up a development project for them.  And I have made two “Angel” investments in health care companies (one a start-up from UCSD) and am on the Advisory Board for another start-up in the area.  While all of this activity has been volunteer, I have enjoyed it immensely and feel I am making a difference in my and our San Diego community.

What event or realization served as a ‘turning point’ for during your Rady School and/or professional career? 

Surgery is a physical job.  Having my neck and back issues result in 4 spine surgeries and a neck disability was an unintended reality for me.  To make a successful transition from a very active person to a more physically limited capacity is difficult.  Broadening my skill-set has made other avenues possible.  The Park Board manages over 44,000 acres of parks in the San Diego community.  Another Board member said “I don’t think we need a surgeon for this Board but your MBA is very useful.“   I disagree a little with that analysis in that surgical training creates a very focused mind with logical processes but the MBA gives the skills to do the analysis.

What was your favorite class and why?

After being out of school for 25 years, Quantitative Analysis was very difficult, but it has been very useful.

How did your view of entrepreneurship/innovation change throughout your time at the Rady School?

Completely — I  am now an Angel Investor.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Remember that while this is school, you are learning actual skills to use in the work place. Take each project seriously, you never know what you might actually learn from it.  I had a research project where I had to do tracheotomies in baby rats (so I practiced over and over again), then a few years later I had to do an emergency tracheostomy in a 22-week gestational age baby girl who was not much bigger in 30 seconds.  Who knew I’d been practicing in the lab.

What is the most memorable moment from your Rady School experience?

Being almost 50 and in a graduation robe again with a lot of great friends!

Did you participate in StartR/mystartupxx? If so, how did these programs impact your MBA experience?

After graduation: mystartupxx. It put a ‘real-world’ take on our project.

Tell us a fun fact about you, or something people may not know about you.

I am a “failed foster” puppy mom.  While volunteering at Labs and More, another Non-Profit, I took Ari home to bandage and heal his ear which had been largely bitten off.  As he recovered, he got along with my other 3: Lexi, an 7-year old Husky, PT Barnum, a 13-year old Miniature Poodle, and Bailey, a 13-year old Rat Terrier; that I had to adopt him.  It’s a circus at my house!

February 21, 2018 0 comment
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As a first-year full-time MBA Student at Rady, I was excited to go on the Bay Area Trek this past January.  San Francisco is the city with the second-biggest population of Rady Alumni living there, and I was excited to visit new companies and make a fun trip out of it.

Rady Career Services organized company visits from the financial, tech, biotech and healthcare industries, and had us rank our favorite options as we prepared for the trek.  Some examples of company visits include Flex, Splunk, Paypal, Google, Kaiser, Thermo-Fisher, and many others.  I was most interested in visiting Kaiser because of my background in the healthcare industry; I also thought it would be fun to visit OpenTable and Facebook so I could see what these customer-facing tech companies were like.

I was excited to visit San Francisco. I stayed in a hotel in Lower Knob Hill with two of my girlfriends from Rady. It was fun to bond with them and make a girls’ trip out of the trek. We especially enjoyed trying out different coffee shops throughout the city, and exploring new neighborhoods.

My first company visit was Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA. This was a short BART ride from our hotel, and one of the Rady Career Advisors met us in the lobby to help coordinate the visit with the Kaiser personnel.  Kaiser gave us a really nice welcome, and provided an in-depth presentation on its structure, vision, and opportunities for graduate internships and post-MBA full-time positions and rotational programs.  After the presentation, we had time to talk with the recruiters and a representative from the Business Development division. They were all extremely generous with their time, offering us their contact information and encouraging us all to keep in touch.

After our Kaiser meeting, I was able to have an impromptu visit Pandora Radio through another Rady student’s personal connection with the company. Pandora was a really cool company to visit: it had that quintessential San Francisco tech company feel with open spaces encouraging collaboration and innovation, along with lots of nooks and crannies for someone to hideaway and get work done when on a deadline.

On Friday morning, I visited OpenTable which has a great location in the heart of downtown San Francisco. I was able to walk a short 15 minutes from our hotel to get there. I had used OpenTable’s restaurant program during my time working in the restaurant industry while in college in Boston, and was excited to see what the company was like. We met with Scott Lavelle, Marketing Director, and Rady Alumni 2009. He gave us a tour of the company, and talked about its vision, and latest efforts to form new strategic partnerships to support the company as it attempts to scale across the globe.

At our visit to Facebook on Friday afternoon, we got to meet with representatives from their supply chain department.  They were extremely welcoming of us, giving us lots of facebook swag, and offered plenty of time for questions.  Afterwards, we had an awesome tour of their campus. It’s huge! They have awesome amenities for their employees: an arcade, restaurants and bars, and even a sweet shop with ice cream and other dessert options—which we got to enjoy! It was interesting to see such a big company campus-it almost felt like a mini-city created just for its employees.

Another great aspect of the trek was the Rady Alumni mixer at the Boudin Bakery Museum in Fisherman’s Wharf. This was a great opportunity to connect with local Rady alumni in the Bay Area. I had a great time meeting them and hearing about their post-Rady journeys. It was inspiring to see our alumni out in the world doing great things with their education.  Everyone I met was so generous—offering to make an introduction or provide general career advice. We even ended up going to In-N-Out with a few for a quick dinner after the mixer!

All in all, the Rady Bay Area Trek was a great experience for me. I got to make some new contacts at some prestigious companies in San Francisco and see firsthand what they’re like inside. But even more importantly, it was a great chance to bond more with my fellow students and form new friendships with Rady Alumni.

Lauren Murphy is a first-year Full-Time MBA student at the Rady School of Management. She has a background in the healthcare industry, and wants to transition to a career in the healthcare and tech space in business strategy, operations, and business development after obtaining her MBA.

February 21, 2018 0 comment
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The best and brightest minds in the San Diego and Cali-Baja regions will head to UC San Diego’s second annual Ignite Conference to celebrate entrepreneurship and innovation.

The two-day conference connects students and alumni with industry leaders in various industries through keynote addresses, pitch competitions, a startup fair, interactive workshops and more.

“Ignite is a unique opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs on campus and local industry leaders,” said Lada Rasochova (MBA ’08), executive director of the California Institute for Innovation and Development. “We have such a rich ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship and this conference helps to fast track success for students and alums.”

Ignite is catered to those interested in embarking on entrepreneurial journeys, as well as veterans in the startup world. Breakout sessions will cover topics, such as how to use crowdfunding platforms to secure funding for startups, roadmapping early stage startups and navigating the complicated world of intellectual property.

For entrepreneurs and innovators at the Rady School of Management, the decision to participate in the conference was obvious. Ten Rady-affiliated teams will participate in the startup fair, including current mystartupXX and StartR teams, as well as alumni companies such as Ciari Guitars.

Additionally, four Rady speakers will give talks at the event, including Alex Boone (MBA ’18), Silvia Mah (MBA ’10), Sean Haggerty (MBA ’17) and Rasochova.

The first day of the event culminates with a pitch competition where participants will share their enterprise ideas with a panel of expert judges. A number of Rady School student and alumni teams will be participating in the $10,000 Elevator Pitch Competition for a chance to win up to $2,500 in cash.

“The $10,000 Elevator Pitch Competition is a unique event that gives students the opportunity to showcase their ideas to an audience of over 600 people,” said Boone, CEO of the Entrepreneur Challenge — a student run non-profit organization co-hosting the conference. “Access to this early stage funding can be crucial for student entrepreneurs. Additionally, our pitch workshop at Ignite that is mandatory to compete in the $300K Business Plan Challenge will give students the resources to perfect their presentations. ”

February 13, 2018 0 comment
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A technology company and router distributor developed by a Rady School of Management alumna is making waves in the worldwide cryptocurrency market.

Emma Russell (MBA ’15) is the CEO of Gmine, which is the seller and distributor for the Newifi 3 router in the U.S. Gmine distributes routers that can share bandwidth and storage. In return, users will be assigned tokens through smart contract. The Newifi 3 router, the first blockchain-powered router in the world, launched in the U.S. on January 30. Emma is also the CEO of Newifi Global.

The success of the Newifi router was noticed by technical giant Tencent, a Chinese multinational investment holding conglomerate. Tencent decided to explore crowdsourced content delivery networks provided by Newifi 3 router to accelerate its self-developed game, King of Glory. This top-grossing game is the mobile version of League of Legends, which already has 200 million users in China and also generated $5 billion revenue in 2017.

“Thanks to my MBA classes at the Rady School, I can see the big picture, understand entrepreneurial mindsets and know how the real business operates,” Russel said. “Also, my MBA courses gave me the great opportunity to learn and improve my leadership skills, professional knowledge and teamwork values. The Rady School helped me turn my previous role into entrepreneurial one.”

Newifi’s blockchain technology breaks the traditional concept of content delivery network service providers and cloud service providers. Newifi 3 is the only smart router currently available for cryptocurrency mining in the global market. This means that every household can have a premier router to share idle bandwidth and storage resources. Another feature of the Newifi 3 is that the router can become a private cloud by plugging in a portable hard drive. The Newifi 3 also features photo album backup, unregistered device alerts, multi-screen interaction and security protection. All these features make Newifi 3 a popular network attached storage for everyone from typical users to photographers and videographers.



February 6, 2018 0 comment
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Acne, eczema, psoriasis – skin conditions can range from being uncomfortable to embarrassing to downright painful. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 85 million Americans and almost a billion people globally suffer from skin diseases.

Inspired by a need to help those suffering from various skin disorders, a Rady School of Management alumna created a dermatology company that recently partnered with Johnson & Johnson as part of a new collaboration aimed at creating new innovative treatments to help millions of people around the world achieve healthier skin.

Lada Rasochova (MBA ‘08) – who also serves as the executive director of the California Institute for Innovation and Development at Rady – started Dermala, a consumer dermatology company that uses the human microbiome to develop better treatments for skin diseases and various skin conditions based on technology licensed from the University of California San Diego.

The human microbiome is the collection of all microbes that live on and in our bodies. We have ten times more microbial cells than human cells and hundred times more microbial genes than human genes.

“The microbiome is very important for our health. When our body’s microbiome gets disrupted it typically results in a disease, including skin diseases,” Rasochova said. “When the microbiome is brought back into balance, health can be restored.”

Using a variety of microbiome-based products ranging from topical treatment to oral probiotics, Dermala targets the many causes of skin diseases without using harsh chemicals. For example, Dermala’s products for the treatment of acne inhibit acne causing bacteria while promoting beneficial bacteria in the microbiome which restores healthier, acne-free skin.

Dermala is not your average skincare company – in addition to topical and oral treatments, each customer will receive a microbiome sample collection kit. By measuring an individual’s skin and gut microbiome, Dermala will be able to optimize the treatments to fit the specific needs of their customers.

“Most consumer dermatology products are developed for an average customer,” Rasochova said. “Dermala is different. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution similar to all the other treatments currently on the market. We optimize the treatment based on the microbiome and treatment outcomes.”

The decision to partner with Johnson & Johnson was an obvious one. When Dermala launched, the company was accepted into JLABS, the Johnson & Johnson Innovation incubator that supports startup companies in the healthcare sector.

“Johnson & Johnson is a leader in consumer dermatology,” Rasochova said. “Being located at JLABS definitely helped us get noticed. This partnership with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC will help us accelerate the technology development and take it to market.”

Next steps

Dermala recently launched microbiome-based treatments for acne that received overwhelming positive feedback from its first round of customers. Currently, Dermala is working on incorporating into the treatment regimen the microbiome analysis and a mobile application that customers will use to track their treatment progress while using the Dermala products. In addition to acne, Dermala is also working on developing eczema treatments and several microbiome-based anti-aging products.

Rasochova credits her time at the Rady School for helping her develop and launch her successful business.

“My time as an MBA student at the Rady School was transformational,” she said. “It helped me, as a scientist, see the big pictures and see the business case really clearly. The Rady School helped me take the science and turn it into a business.”


January 30, 2018 0 comment
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With unique skill sets and experience in a variety of fields, veterans are equipped to inspire changes in the world with exciting innovations. But not every veteran has the option to enroll in an MBA program to learn the stages of how to get a new business off the ground – a gap that a new program developed at the Rady School of Management aims to fill.

To support veterans embarking on entrepreneurial journeys, the Rady School of Management joined forces with the UC San Diego Basement, an entrepreneurial center on campus, to create Veteran Ventures, an accelerator geared toward helping veterans turn business ideas into functioning enterprises.

Vish Krishnan, faculty advisor of Veteran Ventures and professor at the Rady School of Management, worked with Mike Hayden (MBA ’15) and Brianna Weisinger, a UC San Diego Startup Advocate, to develop courses suited to the needs of veteran entrepreneurs. The program, which is free of charge was developed to assist veterans at all levels of entrepreneurship, from an initial idea to a fully formed concept.

Launched in April, the accelerator program recently wrapped up its initial cohort, graduating 24 participants with business ideas ranging from enhanced cybersecurity technology to better ways to deliver healthcare.

“Veterans have given our country and their communities so much, so we see this as a way to give back to them,” Krishnan said. “We wanted to develop a program that was beneficial and free of charge for veterans not just at UC San Diego, but in our community.”

Throughout the ten-week program, participants come to campus to participate in courses with topics such as idea development and business model discovery and definition. With a strong emphasis on mentorship and training, Veteran Ventures has enlisted a talented group of successful San Diego Veterans and professionals to help the participants throughout the process. Talent and experienced mentors, including Richard Coleman, Colonel USMC Retired and co-founder of Optimal Veteran Enterprises; Matt Harper, Commander USN Retired and COO of Think Tank Innovation; and J.D. Davids, Sargent USMC Veteran and Founder of SmartMoneyStartups all bring diverse skills and backgrounds to advance and assist in idea generation, business development and funding.

“We have some amazing, dedicated and successful veteran and civilian mentors that selflessly integrate and support our Veteran Ventures members,” Hayden said. “The mentorship doesn’t stop once the program is over – we continue to work with the veterans to help support them and continue to build their businesses.”

In addition to top-notch support and mentorship, participants have the opportunity to earn funding for viable ventures.

“Thanks to state grant money and private donations, we are able to provide teams that have proven viable ideas with some initial startup funding,” Hayden added.

The program culminates with a pitch to potential investors, followed by an idea contest with the opportunity to win funding for the best innovations.

The success of the initial cohort and amount of positive feedback from participants set the stage for the program to continue. Veteran Ventures is currently supporting a new group of eager veterans with exciting ideas for future commercial opportunities.

“Veteran Ventures at UC San Diego has been a great way for me to practice pitching my idea and listen to others pitch their ideas,” said Robert Sweetman (MBA ’19), Navy Petty officer. “The network of mentors gives us professional feedback and a resource for improvement. The networking within VV has already opened up several doors. When I first arrived at Veteran Ventures at UC San Diego, I did not have a solid plan. Now, with the mentorship, our funding award, and space to grow, I feel like we have hit a major mile marker for our business.”

Would you like the opportunity to attend the next Veteran Ventures at UC San Diego? Sign up now for the April 2018 cohort:

January 19, 2018 0 comment
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The start of a new quarter signifies the start of a brand new cohort of innovative thinkers. The StartR Accelerator housed at the Rady School of Management admitted a new batch of startups in the fall who will be working throughout the next few months to develop business, marketing and pitching skills. At the end of the program, teams will pitch their companies to  investors, industry experts and the San Diego community at the StartR Demo Day event.

Fall 2017 StartR teams

Utilizing patent pending electrical biomarkers and machine learning, CReATE provides patient-specific electroanotomical heart models to aid physicians with the diagnosis of ventricular dyssynchrony, program CRT devices and predict patient outcomes to CRT treatment.



E-Way is developing the technology to safely electrify the roads using solar panels.



Key is a platform that enables professional labor partners and doula agencies to build, manage and support their birth clients, within a growing business. We are first-to-market, industry-creating infrastructure, transforming a freelance-based lifestyle market into a profitable industry, delivering an essential pregnancy and birth service.



Kibots reduces the cost, time and risk associated with food safety compliance and enables food establishments to monitor compliance across multiple sites in real-time.


Viking Scientific
Viking Scientific, Inc. (“VSI”) has created a groundbreaking delivery system for pharmaceutical agents, by using drugs as molecular building blocks to construct biodegradable materials. This proprietary “hydrogel prodrug” platform allows measured release of active agents and optimizes management of patients who require regular and consistent dosing.


Wasim the Dream

Wasim The Dream is a platform for motivational speaking services, book sales, career and fitness coaching.

January 18, 2018 0 comment
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The Rady School of Management was home to the recent Global Interdependence Center Money, Models, and Digital Innovation conference – an event dedicated to exploring current trends and their effects on portfolio management, big data and machine learning and crypto-digital currencies.

The conference brought together Rady School academics and practitioners to discuss exciting innovations, the current economic climate and trends that are shifting the world of finance.

According to Michael Melvin, Executive Director of the Master of Finance program: “We are delighted that the GIC chose the Rady School of Management as their partner to host this important conference and bring 75 distinguished finance practitioners to our campus. This reflects the growing stature of our School in the eyes of the global finance community.”

Rady School professors participated in the event as moderators and lecturers. Allan Timmermann, Professor of Finance, presented a talk titled “Quantitative Methods and Judgment: Competitors or Complements?”Michael Melvin served as a moderator for the panel. Finance professor Ross Valkanov gave a lecture detailing different strategies to optimize portfolios. Accounting and finance professor Harry Markowitz — who started the modern portfolio era with his pioneering work on risk and portfolio selection — gave a presentation about his life and the theory that earned him a Nobel Prize in Economics.

The conference also served as a platform to award Eric Rosengren, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, with the Fredrick Heldring Award for Global Leadership. In his keynote address titled “Considering Alternative Monetary Policy Frameworks: An Inflation Range with an Adjustable Inflation Target,” Rosengren discussed the current United States economic climate and suggested alternative frameworks for Federal Reserve inflation targeting policy.

“We were honored to host the GIC Conference,” said Rady School of Management Dean Robert Sullivan.  “The Rady School’s increased focus on quantitative finance and data analytics was perfectly aligned with the theme of the conference.”

About the Global Interdependence Center

 The Global Interdependence Center is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization with a global reach. Its mission is to encourage the expansion of global dialogue and free trade in order to improve cooperation and understanding among nations, with the goal of reducing international conflicts and improving worldwide living standards.


January 17, 2018 0 comment
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The Rady School of Management is home to a number of innovative startups launched by students and alumni with the goal of changing the world for the better. One of these companies has been making waves since its inception in 2014, recently launching a partnership with one of the world’s leading ridesharing services.

Aira – an operating system that enables individuals who are or visually impaired to navigate their world with instant access to information – recently secured a partnership with Lyft to ensure transportation is accessible for blind or visually impaired individuals.

So how exactly does this unique company operate? A customer of Aira – dubbed an explorer – uses Smart Glass technology in conjunction with a smartphone device to connect with a network of highly trained people, called Aira Agents, allowing the agents to see a real-time video feed of the user’s surroundings. These agents stay on the line with the explorer to help locate items at the grocery store, navigate through crowded airports, and even compete in marathons.

The partnership with Lyft allows explorers to connect with a driver while staying on the line with an Aira agent, rather than ending an Aira call, contacting Lyft and getting back in touch with an agent once the Lyft request is placed. Aira agents can help explorers navigate to designated pick-up spots, identify vehicles and drivers, provide ETAs, cost estimates, and other ride details.

Aira’s commitment to encouraging explorers to embrace autonomy pairs perfectly with Lyft, which supplied 160 million rides to users in 2016. The new partnership supports Lyft’s commitment to increasing accessibility for their diverse community of riders.

“Lyft is an extremely popular service used by a large number of Aira explorers,” said Amy Bernal (MBA ’14), Vice President of Customer Experience for Aira. “This integration makes it easier for explorers to identify their ride in a busy location, or know which car theirs.”

“Lyft is committed to be a model for the type of community we want our world to be: diverse, inclusive, and safe,” says Suman Kanuganti, Aira Founder and CEO. “Aira’s mission is to give people who are blind or low vision the power of information. I am psyched about this partnership as it’s designed to provide an end-to-end enhanced experience that makes transportation more accessible to all blind and low vision people, anytime and anywhere.”

Suman Kanuganti (MBA ’14) launched Aira during his time as a student at the Rady School of Management as part of the Lab to Market sequence which helps students transform ideas into functioning startups.


January 12, 2018 0 comment
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We all get the same 24 hours, so why do some people accomplish so much more with their time than others?  The answer is good time management. It’s a shift in the way we look at things. Being busy is not the same as achieving results. In fact, the opposite is often true.

Having a frenzy day of activity slows most of us down because we’re dividing our time between so many different tasks.

Time management is the process of organizing and planning how much time you spend on specific activities. Start by tracking where your time goes this week — you might be surprised.

How often do you run out of time?

Are you getting everything done on your to-do list? Do you feel you need another Saturday to keep your head above water?  If so, welcome to the human race — now let’s find our way to sanity.

To start managing time effectively, you need to set goals. Once you know where you’re going you can figure out what needs to be done, and in what order. Without clear goals our time gets used up, thanks to conflicting priorities. By taking time to set goals you’ll quickly spot distractions that can often lead you astray.

The foundation of good time management is setting goals, then backing into the activities needed to make those goals a reality. Here’s where you start if goal setting is new to you.

  1. Start with the big picture. What do you want to do with your life over the next 5 to 10 years?
  2. Next, break these down into smaller targets that you must hit to achieve your big goals. Look at what you can do to start moving towards them. Look at what things you can do in the next year, what could you do in the next month, next week and today.
  3. Last, once you have your plan, start working on it to achieve your goals.

Managing interruptions

How do you manage your time when you’re continually interrupted? If you’re a manager it can be very challenging to work on your top business priorities. For some of us, our employees have new questions and unexpected problems that need to be dealt with right away. Ultimately, that can be a barrier to success. If that’s you, do what you can to minimize those interruptions without scaring people off when they need help.

One step is to realize your day only has so many hours in it. A number of small interruptions can eat up time you need to achieve your goals. With each interruption comes time that you must spend to refocus to successfully complete complex work.

Get control over interruptions by knowing what they are and plan for them in your daily schedule. If the interruptions are to a point where you are frequently pushed off schedule and causing delays in completing your work, start to record the interruptions you experience throughout the day. Do this for a week noting if the interruption was urgent of could have waited for a better time. Once you have recorded your interruptions for a week, analyze the information.

Which interruptions are valid? Ask yourself, “Could some of the valid interruptions be eliminated with a weekly meeting for increased training and clearer communication? Could some of the non-urgent interruptions have waited to be addressed at the same weekly meeting?”

Last, plan how much time is taken up by the urgent, valid interruptions. Block the appropriate amount of time into your schedule needed to handle interruptions and only take on as much work as you can fit into the remaining time.

Nancy Drew teaches Time Management at the Rady School of Management’s Center for Executive Development. Drew is a dynamic business speaker with over 15 years high-level business expertise who is recognized internationally in the United States, Canada and Europe. The course takes place on Jan. 18 and runs from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

January 9, 2018 0 comment
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