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Filtering by Category: Philanthropy

Brooklyn Diamond Coffee

fairweather enterprises

It was amazing to sit down with Lottie Terzi, the founder of the delicious cold brew coffee shops, Brooklyn Diamond Coffee. At the age of 21, Terzi opened her first store in Brooklyn in 2013 and she is excited to share that she just launched a new shop on 54th street right next to Soul Cycle. How did it all begin? "I just loved coffee," smiles Terzi. "But I was also very particular about my coffee and I would never settle. I'm very picky," laughs the gorgeous entrepreneur. So when she started making her own cold brew coffee at home, it quickly became a hit among friends. And word spread that she had something beyond your regular cup of joe. And that is certainly the case as it takes 18-20 hours to brew her yummy cold brew.

In the spring of 2013, she started to do door-to-door deliveries of cold brew coffee and by the summer, she was asked to open a summer pop up in South Street Seaport. The budding entrepreneur generously donated the summer’s proceeds to the victims of Hurricane Sandy and by the fall of 2013 bottled Brooklyn Diamond Cold Brew was available at local grocery stores and health food markets throughout the tri-state area. Next, Terzi decided to open her first location in Gravesend, Brooklyn. And she found that the stores are more than just coffee shops. As Terzi put it, “It has almost become a culture,” a community that is expanding with her new location in midtown as well as a popup shop during the summer at the Jersey Shore. In 2016, Terzi plans to open 2 more locations in NY as well as to expand her wholesale business of cold brew coffee.

What advice does she have for entrepreneurs? “Today you need hard work but it has to be strategic work and smart work,” reflects Terzi. “You need to constantly educate yourself. Always read. Read about CEOs and entrepreneurs. It’s very important to have role models.” And after seeing Terzi’s success, I’m sure she will become an incredible role model for others. So, if you are looking for a role model or an insanely delicious cup of cold brew, make sure to visit one of Brooklyn Diamond Coffee’s shops.

A Fairweather Moment with Laura Turner Seydel

fairweather enterprises

I met international environmental advocate, eco-living expert, and chairperson of the Captain Planet Foundation Laura Turner

Seydel for breakfast at the Park Lane Hotel in New York City. She shared the importance of creating a healthy and sustainable future and how we all need to unite as “Planeteers” to protect our planet.

A Commitment to Activism

“It has been a lifelong progress,” says Turner Seydel on how she be- came an environmental advocate. “Have you ever read Last Child in the Woods?” She explains how Richard Louv’s book showcases how the nature-deficit in children is leading to rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. “Children grow up devoid of nature either indoors or in front of a screen, and they are less likely to be socially adapted well,” she notes. “We grew up always outside, playing, learn- ing experientially in nature, so we developed an affinity for it.” As

a child, Turner Seydel’s father, philanthropist, media mogul and founder of CNN, Ted Turner, had her and her siblings “out on the weekends picking up bottles and trash. You did neighborhood beautification.”

Turner Seydel and her hus-band, Rutherford Seydel, set outto do everything in their powerto lighten their footprint on theplanet. As they constructed aLEED-certified home, they rec-ognized that it was not just aboutwater conservation, but it wasalso about the off-gasses of materials and products that make up the pieces of one’s home. The seriousness of these byproducts culminat- ed for Turner Seydel when she participated in a multi-generational study with the Environmental Working Group. “We became a part of the first generational study on toxic-loads. My son (then 12) and my- self and my father were tested for about 80 chemicals that are pretty persistent in our everyday lives and we all had chemicals of concern. My dad had high levels of heavy metals like lead and mercury. I had high levels of artificial musk, which is fragrance/added fragrance and my son had high levels of flame retardants.”

An Advocate for Information

“It was very eye opening for me. I’m such a huge advocate of sharing information with the chief consumption officers of the home: Moms make 90 percent of the consumption choices, and they do the shop- ping. They don’t really know what’s in the products, because by law, some of the trade ingredients don’t even have to be labeled. So lead in lipstick, formaldehyde in baby products; it’s really difficult to know. But you can go to Environmental Working Group and punch in any product that you have and it will tell you if it’s a safer product or not.”

“The good news is that companies are voluntarily re-formulating their products, because moms have stopped buying them,” Turner Seydel notes. “We need to vote with our checkbooks or credit cards.”

Be a Planeteer!

Turner Seydel reflects on Captain Planet and the Planeteers, the American animated environmentalist television program co-created

by her father, Ted Turner, in the 1990s. Recognizing how children who were watching the show could take what they learned fromthe cartoon and apply it to the real world, the Captain Planet Foun- dation was founded by Ted Turner in 1991 and is now chaired by Turner Seydel. It helps to establish Learning Gardens in hundreds of schools and provides training on outdoor-classroom management, standards-based curriculum, and lesson kits, so children can learn math, science, history, language arts and health in the context of project-based learning in the garden. Turner Seydel explains, “We

are in the stage of establishing curricula. Let’s say if you take tomatoes from the garden and then you cook them and make it a sauce, you are taking a liquid from a solid and that in itself is a chemistry lesson.”

Good Works

In 2004 Laura Turner Seydel co-founded Mothers and Others for Clean Air when she realized that Atlanta had one of the highest asthma rates in the country. The organization set out to mitigate outdoor pollution by cleaning up diesel school buses and preventing unnecessary exposure to pollution for children, by monitoring which days were bad air pollution days. Today, they are advocates for renewable energy, electric vehicles and public transportation.

Foundation work is nothing new to Turner Seydel. In 1994 she and her husband co-founded Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, when she noticed how much of Atlanta’s lost sewage was overflowing into the river. “The sewage system was a 100 years old,” explains Turner Seydel. “Even though people say they are all about clean water and healthy food, when they get to the polls, they are really voting for jobs and the economy in the short term. But water and soil and bio- diversity and the plants...these should not be partisan issues.”

Turner Seydel has taught her her children well. “My daughter wrote a book about frogs and the plight of frogs when she was 9 years old, so she is really aware of endangered species. My son is working on an app in college to unite students with their legislators and voice their pleasure or displeasure over their votes. He is very interested in the nexus of politics and renewable energy. We have really worked to teach our kids to be responsible. Also, gardening! Kids love to plant in the garden and they love to eat the fruits and vegetables that they grow,” the proud mother notes.

“It’s going to take the millennials to rise up and start voting for their beliefs and start holding the older generations accountable and stop them and say this is our inheritance and it can’t be exploited and ruined for profit,’ Turner Seydel insists. “We have to figure out sustainability, and we are getting there—and a lot of corporations are leading the way, and that’s very heartening.”

Fairy Tale Kingdom

Mira Dayal


LEGEND HAS IT that a young King Ludwig II of Bavaria, known as the Fairy Tale King, told his governess: “I want to remain an eternal enigma to myself and to others.” Arriving at his magnifcent castle more than a century after his death, we could see instantly that his dream had come true.

We were there to celebrate the 80th birthday of Franz Herzog von Bayern (the Duke of Bavaria), head of the Wittelsbach family and a descendant of Ludwig II. We reached the royal palace after driving several hours on the Autobahn, followed by a boat ride across Bavaria’s largest lake, Chiemsee , to the island of Herreninsel, where a walk on a path through the woods took us to the castle.

Construction of Herrenchiemsee (New Palace) began in 1878 but was not completed until two years after the 42-year-old king’s mysterious death in 1886. 

The so-called Bavarian Versailles, which was modeled after the French palace, boasts elegant staterooms, a huge state staircase and the Great Hall of Mirrors. Ludwig, however, preferred his small apartment designed in the French rococo style. The large garden, with its now-famous fountains, was not completed until after his death.

We passed through the north wing to the Fairy Tale King’s awe-inspiring masterpiece. In a two-story section of the castle marked by unfnished brick walls, there were exhibition spaces flled with works by Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Sigmar Polke, Arnulf Rainer and Eugen Schönebeck. Also on display were installations by Dan Flavin, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning and John Chamberlain.

The spectacular exhibition of American art in this historic setting marks the intersection of modernism and tradition, where Europe meets America. And while it may appear striking that the historic castle features art which postdates its walls, the exhibition was, in fact, building on the House of Wittelsbach’s long history of collecting works by the world’s best artists during each respective generation and making these collections available to the public.

Franz was born in Munich in 1933 to Duke Albrecht of Bavaria and his wife, the Croatian Countess Maria Draskovich. His family staunchly opposed the Nazi regime and left Germany for Budapest in 1939. They lived there in exile until 1944 when Hitler invaded Hungary and ordered the arrest of the family, including 11-year-old Franz. The royals spent the remainder of the war in various concentration camps, including Dachau, until American troops liberated them in 1945. The duke resumed his education, eventually studying economics and business in Munich and Zurich.

Meanwhile, a debate continues in England over amending the 17th-century Act of Settlement, which could technically place Franz in the direct line of succession to the British throne. The act, which created a parliamentary monarchy and prevented any Catholic from ever ascending to the throne, was established after Franz’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great- grandfather, King James II, was deposed during the Glorious Revolution.

Succession passed to James’ Protestant daughter, Mary II, who ruled jointly with King William II. They died without heirs, and the throne eventually passed from the Stuarts to the current House of Windsor. The law stands, but is amended periodically (most recently to allow frst-born royal ofspring to inherit the throne regardless of gender), and the Protestant requirement continues to be debated. 

But the duke does not spend time dwelling on royal succession, focusing instead on the Wittelsbach family tradition of promoting the arts and sciences. He is a member of the board of trustees for both the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich and the German Museum. He is also a member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, chairman of the Society for the Promotion of the Alte Pinakothek, vice-chairman of the Munich Gallery Society and chairman of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 

And so it was ftting that the duke decided to celebrate his birthday with a spectacular debut of artworks from Munich’s world- renowned Pinakothek der Moderne, where many masterpieces from the duke’s private collection are on permanent loan.

After viewing the exhibitions, we mingled with guests outside the castle, overlooking the magnifcent fountains. We refected on the vision of Ludwig II over 100 years ago and the continuation of that vision through Franz today. Before heading back into the castle for dinner, we could not help but believe that fairy tales do exist. One has only to dream.