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On the Subject of Prodigies, and Being Gifted and Wise Far Beyond One’s Years – and of Stefan Vilsmeier and Brainlab

Brainlab AG founder and CEO Stefan Vilsmeier (Image credit: Brainlab AG)

Let’s talk prodigies.  Encyclopaedia Brittanica defines a prodigy as “a child who, by about age 10, performs at the level of a highly trained adult in a particular sphere of activity or knowledge.”

Merriam-Webster defines a prodigy as “a highly talented child or youth” – a definition which, it would seem, allows for prodigies who are older than 10. Perhaps 16? How about 17?  Maybe 18?

Now, for sure, broadly and generally, in society, the term prodigy is applied to children, or teens, or those in early adulthood (let’s call 21 the cutoff age), who are exceptionally … and we mean exceptionally … gifted, skilled, and talented beyond their years.

A poster child for prodigies is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  Born in Austria in 1756, Mozart played the piano skillfully at 3; he taught himself the violin at 4. At 6, his piano playing wowed and enamored audiences across Europe.

Pablo Picasso was a prodigy.  Born in Spain, in 1881, it is said he could draw before he could talk.  And when he started to talk, he did so by saying, “piz,” which is short for lápiz, the Spanish word for pencil.

Picasso applied to the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona when he was 13.  The application process usually took a month. Picasso finished the application in a week, and so impressed the admissions jury that it enthusiastically chose to accept him.

Of course, for both Mozart and Picasso, their childhoods and adolescences were foundations and jumping off points to lives of extraordinary artistic prolificacy, and delivering work that is brilliantly transformative in beauty, power, and revelation.

Mabou Loiseau is a prodigy.  When she was 8, Ms. Loiseau, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, spoke English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, Creole, Japanese, and knew and was able to communicate in American Sign Language (ASL); yes, that’s nine languages.  Ms. Loiseau skillfully played the piano, violin, drums, guitar, harp, clarinet, flute, and conga.   Ms. Loiseau, a New York City resident, also was involved in dance and sports.  Mabou Loiseau is now 13, and continues to learn and be amazing.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services has ties to … we are only a degree or two separated … from a man who holds true and solid prodigy credentials.

Stefan Vilsmeier is his name.  Mr. Vilsmeir is a medical technology titan.  Before Mr. Vilsmeir was a medical tech titan, he was a prodigy.

Stefan Vilsmeier is the founder and CEO of Brainlab AG, a global leader in developing, manufacturing, and marketing “software-driven medical technology, enabling access to advanced, less invasive patient treatments.”

It is and has been the privilege of Willwork to provide services to, and to work closely with, and for, Brainlab AG.

Stefan Vilsmeier and Early Brilliance, Early Achievement

Born in 1967, Stefan Vilsmeier grew up in a suburb of Munich. As a teenager, he taught himself computer programming.  An enthusiastic gamer, he used his technology talents and imagination to create video games.  At the age of 17, Mr. Vilsmeier wrote a book on 3D graphics that became a bestseller, with more than 50,000 books sold.

With a bestselling book behind him, Mr. Vilsmeier then coupled his creative and programming gifts, with high energy, a driving work ethic, entrepreneurial zeal, and excellent entrepreneurial insight to build the groundwork and foundation for Brainlab.

Following is an excerpt from Mr. Vilsmeier’s bio at the Brainlab website:

“In 1989, Vilsmeier enrolled at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, to study Computer Programming and The Theory of Medical Technology. However, his enterprising nature and burgeoning business in computer-assisted medical technology left little time for theory. While still in the first semester, Vilsmeier founded Brainlab GmbH from the proceeds of his book. During the following years, Stefan Vilsmeier spearheaded new developments in the area of neuro-navigation and radiotherapy.”

Please click here to be taken to the full Stefan Vilsmeier bio.

Stefan Vilsmeier and Brainlab Capitalized on the Value of Tradeshows

Early in his stewarding and directing Brainlab – and Willwork just has to point this out – Stefan Vilsmeier capitalized on and accessed the opportunity of tradeshows to market and sell his company and its technology.

In 1992, Mr. Vilsmeier and Brainlab made a strong and strategic foray into the U.S. market, exhibiting at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) Annual Scientific Meeting in Washington, D.C.  The Brainlab exhibit at the show, and this should not be surprising, was one that Mr. Vilsmeier designed and built himself.

Last year, close to half of Brainlab’s $311.1 million (€ 260 million) in revenue was generated in the United States.

Stefan Vilsmeier and Brainlab Continue to Believe in Tradeshows

Today, Brainlab, still based in Munich, employs 1,300 across 19 locations internationally.  There are almost 12,000 Brainlab technology systems operating in more than 100 countries.

And, today, Stefan Vilsmeier and Brainlab remain deeply and strongly committed to tradeshows as an integral component of marketing Brainlab technology, telling the Brainlab story, and strengthening and solidifying the Brainlab brand.

As explained at the Brainlab website –

“Every year Brainlab participates in dozens of large and hundreds of regional tradeshows all around the globe. Events are a great way for us to not only get to know our current and future customers, but also present new products and gain valuable feedback for products that are still in development. We look forward to welcoming you at the next Brainlab event!”

This all sounds good to Willwork.  Then, again, we sure don’t have to be sold on the value of tradeshows.

Willwork looks forward to continuing to provide optimum tradeshow and exhibit services and value to Brainlab, the company founded by a prodigy, and which produces the “software-driven medical technology” that heals and delivers hope and improves lives the world over.

 

 

 

 

Infrastructure Week – Building America and Supporting the Skilled Trades

It is nice, encouraging, and inspiring when there are initiatives that receive broad-ranging support, and which are championed by Democrats, Independents, Republicans, liberals, and conservatives.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services gives a call out to one of those initiatives: Infrastructure Week – actually, more specifically, the 6th Annual Infrastructure Week – which is ongoing and upon us, with this year’s edition running from May 14-21.

Infrastructure Week is the baby and brainchild of the nonprofit organization of the same name.

Here is a descriptor of Infrastructure Week from the organization’s website:

“Infrastructure Week, a non-profit organization, convenes a national week of education and advocacy that brings together American businesses, workers, elected leaders, and everyday citizens around one message in 2018: Americans are waiting. The future won’t. It’s #TimeToBuild.  Each year during IWeek, leaders and citizens around America highlight the state of our nation’s infrastructure – roads, bridges, rail, ports, airports, water and sewer systems, the energy grid, telecoms, and more – and the projects, technologies, and policies necessary to make America competitive, prosperous, and safe.

“Our bipartisan Steering Committee and nearly 400 affiliates host events, drive media attention, and educate stakeholders and policymakers on the critical importance of infrastructure to America’s economic competitiveness, security, job creation, and in the daily lives of every American. As a business, union, non-profit, government, or an individual who depends on infrastructure, you have an important story to tell. Find a way to participate and tell your fellow citizens and policymakers: We’re tired of waiting. It’s Time to Build.”

And here is some language taken from the FAQ section of the Infrastructure Week website: “Infrastructure Week is non-partisan, is not affiliated with any political candidate, and does not take a position on any legislation or elections.”

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is a national leader in exhibition services and event project management.  Fundamental and integral to our success is our deep reserve of highly skilled tradespeople.  And, of course, we find tremendous merit in infrastructure-based development and construction, for it puts skilled tradespeople to work.

It is important to remember that while, in the U.S., the history of infrastructure building and maintenance and renovation is largely and vastly one of publicly financed projects, there have also been many infrastructure projects financed through public-private partnerships, also called P3s or PPPs.

Actually, P3s are more popular as a financing mechanism in other countries than they are in the U.S., with the main reason being that America, as is the case with only a few nations worldwide, exempts the interest earned on local and state bonds from the taxes that Uncle Sam assesses.  The U.S. bond market, as a result, is bigger and more advanced than in other countries, making exclusive public financing of infrastructure attractive.

Yet, states and the federal government are looking for new streams of financing, and there are more and more P3 projects in the U.S.

An example of a successful P3 is Florida’s I-595 Corridor Roadway Improvement Project a partnership between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the private concessionaire I-595 Express, LLC.   The project, approved in 2008, and commenced in 2009, involves design, building, financing, operation, and maintenance over a 35-year term – and to date has been coming in on time and on budget.

Smart, innovative, and strategic infrastructure investment is necessary for the overall strength of America.

Infrastructure Week advances a good and noble cause.

 

 

 

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services Heralds the Ennobling Power of the Love of Mothers, and their Role as Foundation and Nurturer of the Best of this World and Humanity

Mommy cheetah and her cub (image credit: Desktop Nexus)

 

“Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.”

STEVIE WONDER

“Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease.”

LISA ALTHER

Almost every great achievement and endeavor, every extraordinary accomplishment, is owed in some way – and in most cases in a major way – to the influence and love and guiding hand of a mother.

For sure, owed considerably to the success of Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is the work and giving and guidance of so many mothers whose influence was integral in bringing up exceptional people with strong virtues who now do exceptional work for our company.

It needs to be noted here that Willwork president William F. Nixon and his wife, Helen, married for 52 years until Helen’s passing in 2007, had eight children.  And, indeed, Helen Nixon was known for her strength, devotion to family, and amazing ability to budget the salary of her husband – who, during the formative years of the children, worked as a public high school teacher and coach – so that all the kids (six girls and two boys) wanted for nothing.

Every day should be Mother’s Day, of course, but it is wholly proper and good and appropriate that yearly a day is dedicated to honoring and thanking and doing something especially nice for mom.

Mother’s Day in the U.S. has been with us for a little more than a century now.

In the entry on Mother’s Day at the HISTORY website, we learn that “the American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914.”

And we are also informed in the entry that “Jarvis would later denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar.”

Now, we hear and can empathize with the lament of Anna Jarvis – and we know that commercialization of Mother’s Day, and other holidays, is overdone.  But in that Willwork does a considerable amount of work with and for the hospitality industry, we suggest and we submit that taking mom out for dinner, and perhaps to a show or concert, or on a local tour, or maybe even on a trip to a place far away … and also purchasing for mom flowers and other gifts … can be done in a manner that is measured and balanced and wholesome, and which is a healthy extension of true love and devotion.

Then, again, a bit of lavish spending on mom can be totally in order.  Provided, of course, that the purchase of “things” radiates from that true love and devotion, and that it doesn’t put the buyer in financial straits.

Still, and this will always be the case, the most valuable gifts are not bought in stores, as moms around the world explain every day with their actions

All too often, though, sons and daughters don’t appreciate and recognize just how much mothers give to, and do for, them.  Sometimes, Mom’s children don’t appreciate and understand all that Mom has done for them until she is gone.  Sadly, there are those children who never comprehend what Mom gave and the effort she expended to make their lives better.

All-star motivational speaker Mark Mero is a former professional wrestler and amateur boxer who, in earlier days, lived an unhealthy life, associating with the wrong people and boozing and drugging.  A primary reason that the bad influences did not destroy him is because he had a mother who always looked out for him, and who never gave up on him.

Please click here to be taken to a video of Mark Mero delivering a powerful and moving talk to young people in which he honors his mother, and in which he discusses that it was not until the immediate aftermath of her sudden death that he gained a much fuller and insightful recognition of the positive and enduring influence she served in his life.

The mothering and maternal instinct compels exceptional women to not only take care of their biological children, but the biological and noble impulse compels them to take care and watch over all children, and to work to make better the lives of all young people.

Irene Sendler, mother of two, savior of 2500 children (image credit: People’s Republic of Poland)

Irene Sendler, a Polish Catholic woman, and mother of two, during World War II served in the Polish Underground, and risked her life over and over in leading an effort that smuggled 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto, saving the children from transport to the Nazi concentration and extermination camps.  Sendler was arrested by the Nazis, who tortured her to extract the identities and hiding places of children she had saved.  Sendler refused to divulge the information.  She was sentenced to death, but was saved on the day the sentence was to be carried out when, a German officer, bribed by a Polish citizens group, allowed her to escape.  After the escape, Sendler continued her rescue efforts.  Irene Sendler died in 2008 at the age of 98.

Josephine Baker is best known as a pioneer for black entertainers and an icon of the Jazz Age.  Born in St. Louis in 1906, she achieved stardom as dancer in Paris during the 1920s.  In 1934, Baker became the first person of color to star in a major motion picture (Zouzou), which cemented her status as the first person of color to achieve international renown as an entertainer.  Soon after Baker married French industrialist Jean Lyon in 1937, she became a citizen of France.  Baker assisted the French Resistance during World War II.  After the war, and into the 1960s, Baker traveled to the U.S. where she refused to perform for segregated audiences, and contributed to and took a prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement. Baker adopted 12 children whom represented a diversity of ethnicities and religions, and collectively which she called “The Rainbow Tribe.”

Josephine Baker, in 1959, with members of the Rainbow Tribe. At right is Baker’s husband Joe Bouillon (image credit: St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter fantasy novel series, the best-selling book series in history, wrote the first Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, while a single mother of a young daughter, and suffering from depression and receiving public assistance. Rowling, now mother of three, has said, “I am prouder of my years as a single mother than any other part of my life.”  Her days as a single mother motivate her.  Among Rowling’s philanthropic causes is serving as president of Gingerbread, an organization that provides support, education, and is an advocate for single-parent families.

Motherhood is not an obligation and a duty that only we humans respect and observe.  Across the animal kingdom, mothers will do all for their children.

Please click here to be taken to a video which is a compilation of remarkable and sometimes courageous conduct of mommy animals in the protection and care of their young   The video was created, for Mother’s Day 2017, by The Dodo, a company that develops and produces a treasure of excellent and fun media for animal lovers, and also advocates for animal welfare.  Clicking here will take you to The Dodo YouTube channel.

Willwork hopes you have enjoyed and found interesting this honoring of, and tribute to, mothers and their vital role and work in improving and keeping healthy society and civilization.

To All Mothers out there – whether human or of another life form – Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services wishes you the Happiest of Mother’s Days!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Spring Continues to Bloom, as Warmer and Longer Days Approach, Willwork Exhibit & Event Services Takes a Look at a Selection of the World’s Best Flower Shows

Flower Carpet of Brussels, in 2016, at the La Grand Place in Brussels (image credit: Jami 430)

“Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil.”

REGINALD HEBER

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is a national leader in exhibition services and event project management.

Founded in 1987, Willwork is in its fourth decade in business.

Willwork likes to use this space to discuss all types, all aspects, of events and shows and exhibitions and meetings.  We like to be timely and current in our commentaries and reflections.

Now that we are in April, and 17 days beyond the calendar launch of spring (March 20 this year) – and with the woods and waterways around the Willwork corporate office having, within the past few days, come alive with the sound which for many truly marks the advent of spring: that of spring peeper frogs sounding their sleigh-bell-ringing chorus – we thought it appropriate to do a call out and feature here today a selection from the world’s more renowned and established flower shows.

Many of the international all-star flower shows are held in March (and some in February), and are out ahead of the day on the calendar that spring begins – with this scheduling one of anticipation and hope and the foretelling of increasing warmth and longer days.

Among those shows, here listed with their 2018 dates, are the Philadelphia Flower Show (March 3-11), the largest indoor flower show in the world; the Hong Kong Flower Show (March 16-25); Canada Blooms (March 9-18) in Toronto; and the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show (March 9-11).

Then there is the Melbourne International Garden & Flower Show in Melbourne, Australia, held for five days starting, depending on the year, in either late March or early April, which in the Southern Hemisphere marks the advent of fall.  This year, the Melbourne International Garden & Flower Show ran from March 21 through March 25.

But many flower shows are ongoing, or have not yet opened their 2018 edition.

Artist rendering of the David Harber and Savills Garden, one of the Show Gardens in the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

One of those shows is the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which promotes itself – and it just might be speaking the truth – as the “world’s most prestigious flower show.”  It certainly is the most prestigious flower show in the United Kingdom, one attended by horticultural and landscape enthusiasts and students from around the globe.

Beginning in 1862, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) held annually, for 26 years, in the Kensington section of London, what was then called the Royal Horticultural Society Great Spring Show.  In 1888, the show was moved to the Temple area in central London where it stayed until 1912 when the show was relocated to the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in the Chelsea neighborhood of London.  This site has been the home of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which has been held annually in May, with the exception of two years (1917-1918) during World War I, and the years of World War II.  Over that period the show ran for four days, until 2005, when another day was added.

Every year, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show hosts about 157,000 visitors.  The dates for this year’s show are May 22-25.  Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Selection of rose varieties on display at the 2015 Portland Rose Festival’s Spring Rose Show (image credit: Mike Darcy)

The largest and longest-running rose show in the United States is the Spring Rose Show, one of the events of the Portland Rose Festival conducted every year, with the opening date usually a day in late May or early June, and with a run of two to three weeks.  Started in 1907, the Portland Rose Festival promotes Portland, OR and the surrounding region.  This year the festival will be held over a longer stretch, with the first event, the Rose City Sing-Off, to be held tomorrow, and the concluding event, the Cambia-Portland Classic, an LPGA golf tournament, which will be held from August 30 through September 2.

Actually, the Spring Rose Show is older than the Portland Rose Festival, and celebrates its 130th annual installment in 2018.  Following is some information on the Spring Rose Show, which this year runs for two days, Thursday, June 7, and Friday, June 8:

“Each year, the Lloyd Center hosts the Annual Spring Rose Show, the largest and longest-running rose show in the nation. The exquisite beauty and fragrances of this yearly show emanate from more than 4,000 blooms. Entry is open to anyone, and all entrants are encouraged. Rose growers from across the Pacific Northwest participate, and some 6,000 spectators from across the country are expected to visit this year’s Spring Rose Show. Sparkling trophies go to those entrants who grow the most beautiful roses.”

Flower Parade at Festa Da Flor Da Madeira (image credit: Festa Da Flor Da Madeira)

Festa Da Flor – Madeira (The Madeira Flower Festival), with its origins going back to the mid 1950s, is held annually in spring in Funchal, the largest city in the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira, located in the north Atlantic Ocean.  April 19 through May 6 are the 2018 dates for the festival.

The Madeiran islands were long known, collectively, as the “Island of Flowers,” a title inspired by the experience of tourists visiting the islands and seeing the busy trade of vendors selling flowers, and how it was a custom of the residents of Madeira to fill their homes with fresh flowers.  Contributing to the flower culture of Madeira is that its climate is hospitable to healthy growth of both tropical and cold weather plants.

It only makes sense, and it is only right, that Madeira would have a great flower festival.

And Festa Da Flor Da Madeira is not just about flowers, for it is a celebration of spring, and of Madeira, with many activities, including parades and music and acrobats, and in which is highlighted the history and food and culture of the islands.

The Singapore Garden Festival, a yearly event, is not a spring production, but one of summer – so close enough.  It is also young in that the inaugural year of the Singapore Garden Festival was 2010.

But, for sure, the Singapore Garden Festival is already a premier international happening, and the organizers of the festival – Gardens by the Bay and the National Parks Board of the Government of Singapore – have full intentions of building on its prestige and renown.

A Landscape Garden at the 2016 Singapore Garden Festival (image credit: LONELY TRAVELOG)

“Festival Highlights”– with July 21 through August 3 this year’s dates – are the Landscape & Fantasy Gardens, Floral Windows to the World, Balcony Gardens, Orchid Extravaganza, and Vibrant MarketPlace.

A post dedicated to the world’s best flower shows has to include the Flower Carpet of Brussels, a flower exhibit and extravaganza – yes, an actual carpet … a magnificent carpet … of flowers – which, since 1971, has been created every two years in August in the La Grand Place, the historic and classical square in the Belgian capital of Brussels.

Among so much that is remarkable about the Flower Carpet of Brussels is that it is installed in four hours by an all-volunteer crew.  Indeed, unto itself, the construction and planting of the carpet is a fascinating draw for spectators.

In 2018, the installation of the carpet will take place from 8 am to 12 noon on August 16.  After completion of the Flower Carpet, the exhibition will be open to the public later that day from 1 to 6 pm, followed at 10 pm with an opening sound-and-light show.  The Flower Carpet will also be open for viewing On August 17 and 18, with sound and light shows on both days at 9:30, 10:00, and 10:30 pm.

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Flowers transmit feel-good and inspiration.

They do so when we encounter and mingle with them in the untamed or lightly-tamed outdoors … or in our home garden … or in public parks.

They do so when they are exalted and featured in the designs and presentations of grand and famous flower shows.

Days are getting longer, and nights shorter, and temps are rising.

And nature, as it always does, fulfills its promise – and continues its awakening and efflorescence of color … and its blooming and renewal.