Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Sunrise Bidders, Inc., [dba uBid.com] Names Howard A. Tullman to Board of Advisors

Sunrise Bidders, Inc., [dba uBid.com] Names Howard A. Tullman to Board of Advisors

ITASCA, IL, March 29, 2011 – Sunrise Bidders, Inc., dba uBid.com, announced today that Howard A. Tullman has been named to the company’s Board of Advisors.

Mr. Tullman is President and CEO at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, a Digital Media Arts college in Chicago, and is the former Chairman and CEO of Experiencia, an educational company that delivers unique, Immersive Learning® programs, as well as the former President of Kendall College.

In addition, Mr. Tullman is General Managing Partner for the Chicago High Tech Investors, LLC and a Board Advisor for Hightower Advisors in Chicago, PrepMe, LLC., and for Mudd Advertising in Iowa. He is a Director of the Rally Marketing Group in Seattle and a member of Mayor Daley’s Council of Technology Advisors. He was recently named by Governor Quinn to the newly-formed Illinois Innovation Council. He is also a Trustee of WTTW in Chicago, a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Academy of Art, the Chairman of the Endowment Committee of Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago, and an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Evanston and at the Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. Mr. Tullman also served as a long-time Director and Board Chairman of The Cobalt Group, as a Trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and as a Director of the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, and as the lead Director of The Princeton Review and briefly as its Board Chair while assisting in its sale to Bain Capital.

“Howard Tullman is a true visionary, entrepreneur and leader,” said Scott Koerner, President and CEO of uBid.com. “We are delighted that he’s agreed to join uBid.com’s Board of Advisors. Being able to leverage his expertise and creativity will unquestionably provide a vital, unique and strategic perspective to the continued growth and development of uBid.com.”

“I’m thrilled to join uBid.com’s Board of Advisors,” said Mr. Tullman. “This company has so many great attributes and a unique business model that has significant staying power, not to mention opportunity for significant growth. I look forward to working with the company to help maximize its potential and achieve great success. “

Mr. Tullman is the inaugural member of uBid.com’s Board of Advisors, which supports its Board of Directors and is designed to broaden uBid’s strategic vision and direction. The company is handpicking potential members and expects to round out and finalize its Board of Advisors in Q2, 2011.
About uBid.com

Since 1997, uBid.com has been one of the top web retailers selling excess, closeout and recertified products covering more than 25 categories. uBid’s longstanding partnerships with thousands of top sellers and manufacturers, representing brands including HP, Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, Asus, Dell, Olympus, Lenovo and many others, gives uBid’s five million registered members access to one of the web’s largest online marketplaces, while offering the unique options of both fixed price and multi-unit auction-based deal hunting. uBid.com also powers a sister site called redtag.com, which offers a single new deal every day, consistently representing outstanding values that can be found nowhere else on the web. uBid Business, based in Los Angeles, CA, provides services to B2B customers in the SMB, government, healthcare and other industries.

PrepMe Announces Release of COURSIFICATION Platform

PrepMe’s Coursification Offers A Personalized Online Learning Platform

Leena Rao

10 hours ago

Online test prep company PrepMe is taking on the likes of online course platform Blackboard with the launch of Coursification, a web-based application for personalized online learning courses.

What differentiates Coursification from other course management and online learning platforms is that it helps teachers offer a tailored, personalized curriculum to each student based on their performance and learning schedule. Each online course begins with a diagnostic assessment that identifies student learning gaps (specialized to the subject). After the diagnostic test, each student receives a personalized study schedule, which the teacher can simply import into the platform. The schedule is customized based on student proficiencies and the duration of the course.

As students complete their assignments online, their comprehension is evaluated in short quizzes and longer tests online. PrepMe will store and analyze every interaction between the student and the curriculum and adjust the study plan based on progress the student has made. The platform also offers the ability to message and chat with teachers within Coursification and the ability to send files as well.

Similar to Blackboard and other online learning SaaS offerings, PrepMe allows teachers to upload source materials, tests, quizzes and more. Because much of the learning and testing is based online, Coursification is ideal for professors and teachers who are comfortable with placing all of their content on a web platform. PrepMe’s offering could also be useful for remote teaching.

In addition to Blackboard, PrepMe faces competition from Instructure and Moodle.

Monday, March 28, 2011


I am sooooo excited about Victory Gardens Theater’s 2011 “Chicago Stories” fundraiser on Friday, May 13th, at the Four Seasons Hotel!

I am proud to be a co-chair along with Anne Marie Peretz and Stephanie Pendexter for Artistic Director Dennis Zacek’s farewell gala. This event will be a special tribute to Dennis and will be hosted by another legendary Chicagoan, Bill Kurtis, who was also a former fellow “Chicago Stories” playwright!

The night’s events will include cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, live and silent auctions, a divine dinner in the elegant Grand Ballroom and plays written by two VERY notable Chicagoans: philanthropist Pam Crutchfield and Howard Tullman, president/CEO of Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy.

The evening will close with a special tribute play to Dennis Zacek written by the VGT Playwrights Ensemble. There are also some surprises I can’t mention in case Dennis reads this!

Tickets are $350 with Table Sponsorships beginning at $5,000. For tickets and more info, please call the fabulous Development Manager Kaye Oberhausen at 773-328-2146 or email koberhausen@victorygardens.org.

I can’t wait to pay tribute to this beloved Chicago institution, Dennis Zacek!



Review: Dreams of Californication in Sharon Shapiro’s solo show at {Poem88}

Mar 28, 2011

Sex and sunshine—and the plenitude of both the West Coast has always offered to cold-assaulted, repressed, tradition-bound Easterners—are at the heart of Sharon Shapiro’s solo show “California” at {Poem88} through April 2.

Drenched in nostalgia both heartfelt and mildly campy, Shapiro’s strength in “California” is a woozy, bewitching evocation of a largely imagined, fantasized-about time and place in dewy, Maybelline shades of pink and brown.

Drawing from the same Sixties and Seventies-era image bank that has of late given us muscle cars and Steve McQueen style, Shapiro’s vintage soft-core watercolors get at pornography’s strange mix of innocence, knowing and sexuality, which promises one thing—everything—and delivers another: nothing.

Her images are of girls-next-door and vixens both occupying the same body. Shapiro zeroes in on pornography’s fantasy-stoking, narrative-inducing seductive textures: feathers, heavy jewelry falling between breasts and the imprint of sunshine in bathing-suit covered blindingly white skin surrounded by a landscape of tan.

These smallish watercolors are both silly–flocked with neon colors, gumdrop-tinted hair—and melancholy, summoning up a long-gone vision of paradise and the women who embodied it. In the watercolor “Madonna Inn” an Ann-Margret all-American vamp strikes a vintage men’s mag pose of come-hither and haughty–both denying our gaze with her clutched pink frock, and indulging it with her blatant nudity. The pin-up becomes a metaphor for our communal, cultural fantasy of California-as-deliverance: beckoning, denying.

The artist has interspersed her watercolors with photographs made using the iPhone Hipstamatic application—a weird, very 21st century hybrid of cutting-edge technology and nostalgia-soaked old school aesthetics that foregrounds Shapiro’s simulacrum of the past. In the Hipstamatic, which mimics the hazy, squared-off look of a vintage Polaroid or Brownie snapshot, Shapiro’s images of palm trees, beaches and retro sports cars are saturated in the same sense of longing and nostalgia as her pin-ups.

Shapiro is on shakier ground with her large-scale acrylic paintings, which look gaudy and bloated next to her far moodier, more formally interesting watercolors. Works like the acrylic on canvas “Ease,” featuring an amputated, headless torso with two very visible breasts, fall resoundingly flat. The image cuts off the woman’s humanity and the wistfulness and crazy, sun-baked allure the pin-ups offer.

Shapiro’s watercolors find their strength and resonance in their diminutive size which contains and entraps their vixens in the format of magazine pages. The more forgiving, dreamy, amorphous contours of the watercolors suit Shapiro’s mission far better.

“California” is about longing: for the past, for paradise, for sunny beaches and swaying palms, for sex. When it sticks to the hazy imagery of desire, it succeeds beautifully.

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