R. Michael Brown is both a journalist and copywriter. His portfolio shows examples of content that was created by Mike as the hands-on writer for his integrated marketing, communication, and public relations plans and campaigns or as freelance writing projects. He specializes in brand storytelling for these markets: Tech, Healthcare, Science, Engineering, Environment, Real Estate and Builders, Architecture and Construction, Art, Retail, Government and Public Policy, and Nonprofits.
“Business stories have been the bread & butter of my writing career.”
The Tallest Residential Building South of NY City Coming to Miami
By: R. Michael Brown, Freelance Editor & Writer, South Florida Agent Magazine
Condominium sales launched at Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Residences Miami
The Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Residences Miami will rise 100 stories with the shape of nine spiraling offset glass cubes. Targeted completion is 2025.
Condominium sales have launched according to the joint venture partners Property Markets Group (PMG), Greybrook Realty Partners and S2 Development. The estimated development cost for the project is $970 million.
“This is really the tallest building, the best views and the best hotel in the most interesting location,” said Fredrik Eklund of Eklund-Gomes and Million Dollar Listing fame in a press release, on what makes this such a landmark project and one that Miami has never seen before.
See More [South Florida Agent Magazine]
Chicago Agent Magazine Cover Story: Building Tomorrow’s Real Estate Market
Article and Excerpt By R. Michael Brown, September 6, 2021
Residential real estate sales have been a bright spot for the economy since the onset of the pandemic, but along with retail, entertainment and other economic sectors, new-home construction has struggled.
Wild fluctuations in the cost of building materials, rapidly changing buyer preferences and a variety of other factors have compelled builders and developers to find innovative solutions to get their projects completed.
The Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago and New Home Source websites show there are 503 homebuilders in Chicagoland selling 296 communities. Shoppers can tour 213 model homes and 196 quick move-in homes are available. Prices are from $220,310 to $6,550,000.
Chicagoland new-home sales lost much of their early 2021 strength in the spring, mostly because prices rose as building-material costs spiked, according to a report released by Tracy Cross Associates, a Schaumburg-based consultant to the homebuilding industry. In addition, inventory was unable to keep up with high pandemic-era demand. After a first quarter when sales were about 76% above the norm, second-quarter sales were up by only 13%.
Part of the difficulty right now is the cost of construction — houses are selling for less than the replacement cost, which requires builders to think ahead and creatively to deal with the material supply issue. “It’s been really challenging, but we’ve been able to navigate through it,” said Kerry Dickson, director of residential real estate at Vermilion Development. “We had agreements in place before the supply crisis, so we were able to get [most of the material] at the earlier prices. But we’ve had to be flexible too, substituting material when we couldn’t get what we originally designed.” As far as a rebound in the new construction market goes, the data shows that whatever Chicagoland developers are doing, it’s working.
“Last year the city market for new construction was quite a bit slower,“ said Cyndy Salgado, executive vice president of development sales and marketing for @properties. “There just wasn’t much going on because people couldn’t access all the amenities that they come to the city for. But now we’re seeing the city pick back up.”
“I specialize in making complex topics like technology easy to understand.“
Icom: Magic for Amangiri
By: R. Michael Brown, Freelance Writer, Special to Icom-America News
To say that the new magnificent Amangiri resort in Southern Utah is isolated is an understatement. The resort collects guests from the nearest airport in Page, Arizona with one of their fleet of BMW’s.
Your cellphone won’t work. The property is too far from a tower.
As one visitor of the $800 – $3,500 per night suites said, “We arrived in the middle of the night, greeted by not one, but two Aman staff. The entire resort was bathed in candlelight, dozens of lanterns artfully cascading light along the graceful grand staircase.”
The daylight reveals rooms made of solid concrete, ph-balanced and treated to match the patina of the surrounding cliffs and canyons. They are like square luxury caverns looking out at the Southwestern desert.
“Producing content about healthcare that is helpful and understandable – always centered on the reader.”
Flu Season Worst to Hit Florida in Years, Doctors Say
By: R. Michael Brown, Communications Director, Town of Palm Beach Civic Association
Flu activity levels statewide continue to increase sharply for the fourth week in a row and were above peak levels observed during the previous two seasons. Sharp increases in activity have been observed in all regions of the state and across all age groups.
In South Florida, flu activity is above peak levels observed during the previous three seasons. The Town of Palm Beach is no exception. Doctors in the town are encouraging residents to get flu shots now and pay attention to treatment options if you get the flu.
Nationwide there are more than 41,000 confirmed flu cases, more than double this time last year according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The Florida Department of Health reported this week in a press release, “Nearly all of the outbreaks (98.4%) reported so far this season have been for people at higher risk for complications due to influenza infection (children and adults aged 65 years and over). Based on the data available for the outbreaks that have been reported thus far, this flu season may be more severe; this trend will be monitored closely.”
“Another specialty is making technology products interesting and fun.“
Icom Radios Key Part of Safe Cluster Ballooning
By: R. Michael Brown, Freelance Writer, Special to Icom-America News
“Using gas balloons is unlike any other flying.” said Jonathan R. Trappe, world record holder for the longest gas balloon flight (68 hours, 46 minutes and 1,214 miles). “There is no sound. No propellers, no jet engines. No burner, no heart-thumping rotors of a helicopter. Not even the wind that gliders experience. You’re going 25 knots with the wind without making a sound. This is true, silent flight.” In May of this year, he crossed the English Channel.
Safety is the most important aspect of this type of flying says Trappe. That takes meticulous strategic and tactical planning and equipment. In addition to an aircraft radio, he and his crew uses Icom IC-F14/S Series radios to coordinate the flight with the crew on the surface.
“When I’m high in the air, the range of the Icom radio is a hundred miles.” said Trappe. “It’s a good thing too. Coordinating with the ground crew is extremely important. They need to be there right when I come down. It’s not like we are landing in an airport.” And they aren’t able to see him easily. He has reached altitudes of 17,930 feet, flown over open water, and at night.
Other equipment he carries is an altitude encoding transponder, aviator’s breathing oxygen, pilot parachute, GPS, cell phone for ground communication (usually after landing), Sat phone to talk with his meteorologist that is not part of the chase team, and emergency locator beacon.
“Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis resulted in a big win”
Junior Achievement Helps Teachers and Students with Digital Content for Virtual Classes
April 16, 2020
By: R. Michael Brown, JA Director of Operations & Marketing
Junior Achievement (JA) of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast is excited about the opportunity to help teachers and students in the sudden switch to provide education in virtual classrooms.
JA saw a need for digital content to help teachers and students in their virtual classrooms and within the first couple of weeks of the schools closing, JA provided over 50 digital lessons and activities.
The list of JA content and number of students served is surging.
“We are now serving more than 7,000 students with digital content,” said Claudia Kirk Barto, president of Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast. “Many of our in-class programs that we offer are now virtual lessons.”
JA of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast launched JA Google Classrooms to help teachers provide content for their digital classes that started on Monday, March 30, when new virtual schools went into session.
“News writing and reporting that makes complex science easier to understand.“
Seaweed Invasion Continues in Palm Beach
By: R. Michael Brown, Writer & Multimedia Producer
You’ve seen it and likely smelled it, Sargassum seaweed. If you live in Palm Beach or visit during the summer, you’ve stepped over it on your way to the water at the beach. But this year it’s different.
The invasion started in April. The Civic Association received a news tip from Diane Buhler, founder of Friends of Palm Beach, as they were cleaning the beaches on the north end. Mounds of Sargassum were piling on the beach with vast sheets of it stretching out to sea.
We contacted George Buckley, a Harvard University scientist that has been investigating the Sargassum bloom infecting the Carribean, the Gulf coast, and now Florida. His theory on this growing threat has scientists, government leaders, business owners, residents, and tourists troubled throughout the hemisphere.
“Throughout the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico we are seeing phenomenal blooms like we’ve never seen before,” said Mr. Buckley. “The question is, where does this come from, what causes this?”
Satellite photos show the equatorial currents of Brazil, coupled with the North Atlantic current, brought sargassum into the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea where the right conditions, warmer water and pollution, caused the seaweed to literally explode.
Jill and David Gilmour Give Largest Gift in History to Opportunity Early Childhood Education and Family Center
By R. Michael Brown, March 14,2019
Jillian and David H. Gilmour, a Town of Palm Beach Civic Association Director, have given $12 million dollars to Opportunity Early Childhood Education and Family Center for a new 24,000 square-foot center that is almost completed, replacing a center that is 80 years old.
“Jill and I feel so passionate about pre-school education for at-risk children because long term studies have proven that 80% of a child’s brain is formed by the age of five,” said Mr. Gilmour. “Furthermore, if a child’s nutrition is deficient in these formative years, their DNA and immune system suffer permanent damage.”
Opportunity’s Executive Director, Ali Eger, added: “An at-risk child who has not attended a pre-school like Opportunity — who has not learned the virtues of respect, honesty, and hard work and who have not received the proper nutrition we provide — is much more susceptible to go down a path of crime, violence, drugs, unemployment, and poverty.”
The almost completed new center will expand Opportunity’s enrollment from 85 to 285 students. They already have 500 children on its waitlist.
The Gilmour’s donated $2 million of the $8.6 million needed to build the new school, and today announced an additional gift of $10 million to Opportunity’s endowment fund.
“Without pre-education, crime will continue to rise,” said Mr. Gilmour.“ And that’s important to Palm Beachers because these problems are right in our backyard.”
The Gilmour’s and stakeholders at Opportunity fear that the young at-risk children in the neighborhood will become the target of 160 gangs operating in the area.
“The police tell us that there are over 7,000 criminals in these gangs,” said Mr. Gilmour. “Plus in the county, there are 1,600 families living in cars and 200,000 don’t know where their next meal is coming from.”
Citizens in Medellín, Colombia Work Together with Icom
By R. Michael Brown, Freelance Writer for Icom America’s News
The South American country of Colombia is well know for its beauty and history, but also for news about its crime rate. According to United Nations Crime Statistics, Colombia had a homicide rate of 53-66 murders per 100,000 people per year in the early part of this decade. Kidnapping, which peaked at 3,572 in 2000 was #1 in the world.
How were the 91,000 police officers nationwide able to cope with this and other crimes? They couldn’t do it alone. In 2004, as a strategy of the democratically elected national government states like Antioquia, whose capital is the famous Medellín, a Citizens Support Network was created to work as volunteers with the police.
“Over 10,000 volunteers in the Citizen Support Network in Antioquia have increased the number of eyes on the street for the police.” said Gus Troconis, Icom Sales Manager for Latin America. They are working to help the police minimize crime and the chaos caused
by drug dealers.”
It’s working. Now, the most recent homicide rate nationwide is 36 per 100,000, dropping steadily since 2003. In 2009, the kidnapping rate fell to 172.
“Real estate copy written to sell. Landing pages, ads, email blasts, brochures, and more…”
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Executive Bio Writing
Mr. Stein served with Bali Company, Inc., 1948-75; he was appointed president in 1961 and chairman in 1969. During WWII, he served in the US Navy and Coast Guard. He was past president of the Palm Beach Country Club and a past member of the Palm Beach Medical Care Commission, co-chair of the Palm Beach Civic Association’s Health Care Committee, and a member of the Society of the Four Arts and the Harvard Clubs in NY and Palm Beach. Mr. Stein was the founder/chair of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, chairman of the Palm Beach board of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, founding trustee of Morse Geriatric Center, national vice president of AIPAC, trustee/vice chair of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, founding president of Gustave Hartman YM-YWHA, and a member of the Board of Regents of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Mr. Stein graduated from Valley Forge Military Academy and earned his AB from Harvard College. He and his wife, Louise, have two grown children, four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
Jayne Firman McConnell
Mrs. McConnell was involved in real estate since she moved to Palm Beach and founded Jayne Duncan Firman Real Estate in 1979. In 1998 she sold the firm to Brown Harris Stevens, and after a sabbatical in Virginia, she returned to Palm Beach in 2003 as a broker associate with Brown Harris Stevens. She served as a director and president of Palm Beach Board of Realtors and president of Planned Parenthood Guild of Palm Beach. She was a founding member of the Palm Beach chapter of Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and served on the board for 15 years. Beginning her career as a model for Elizabeth Arden, she then managed beauty salons for Elizabeth Arden, and served as vice president of Seligman & Latz, and as senior vice president at Glemby International. She lived in Palm Beach.
Louis C. Pryor
Mr. Pryor retired in 1985 after 33 years with duPont Co., much of it outside the U.S. His multinational involvement sprang from his birth in Argentina to American parents, formative years in England, and WWII service in three theaters of operations. With duPont he held senior executive positions in marketing, manufacturing, mining, applied research and corporate administration. His foreign assignments included Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Iran, New Zealand and Nigeria. He was a director and officer of a number of American Chambers of Commerce abroad; primary concerns were free trade and also, in the case of Australia, industrial relations issues. He helped forge an alliance of key business and union leaders that thwarted a Soviet-orchestrated “cold war” move to infiltrate and heavily influence Australian trade unionism. He is a former member of the Palm Beach Public Employee Relations Commission. Mr. Pryor is a graduate in business administration from Henley Business School, University of Reading, England.
James A. Weiner
Mr. Weiner retired after more than three decades as a US State Department Foreign Service officer, with the rank of minister counselor. His major overseas assignments included counselor for management affairs at embassies in Brasilia and in Bogota, and a tour as a Foreign Service inspector. Additionally, Mr. Weiner assisted in opening the US Embassy to the German Democratic Republic, and served as the embassy counselor in Berlin. In Washington, DC, his roles included director of the Office of Recruitment, Examination, and Employment, executive director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and executive director of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Mr. Weiner is a member of the World Affairs Council, the Foreign Service Retiree Association, and the Cato Institute in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of Bates College and the National War College.